Book Review: The Hero’s Lot
By Patrick W. Carr
Riveting Sequel from Christian Fantasy’s Most Talented New Voice
When Sarin Valon, the corrupt secondus of the conclave, flees Erinon and the kingdom, Errol Stone believes his troubles have at last ended. But other forces bent on the destruction of the kingdom remain and conspire to accuse Errol and his friends of a conspiracy to usurp the throne.
In a bid to keep the three of them from the axe, Archbenefice Canon sends Martin and Luis to Errol’s home village, Callowford, to discover what makes him so important to the kingdom. But Errol is also accused of consorting with spirits. Convicted, his punishment is a journey to the enemy kingdom of Merakh, where he must find Sarin Valon, and kill him. To enforce their sentence, Errol is placed under a compulsion, and he is driven to accomplish his task or die resisting. (Courtesy of goodreads.com)
Adult Point of View
So many middle books become a set up for the finale. The Hero’s Lot escapes the middle book trap with arresting action and character development. It is a bit more complicated as the narration goes back and forth between different characters on their own adventures. This series is marketed as Christian Fantasy, but will be enjoyed by anyone who loves a medieval fantasy.
Martin and Luis have been sent off to Callowford and through their experiences discover erroneous beliefs they have been raised with in the church, particularly the unknowability of Aurae. Martin faces a theological conundrum while also discovering what it means to be a tool of Deas as he stumbles from one circumstance of danger to another. I loved seeing how a man of faith could change and adapt instead of refusing to accept the truth.
Errol is put under a compulsion by the church through the influence of his political enemies to kill their enemy Sarin Valon. While setting forth on this quest we see the further development of Adora’s character; she is stubborn, wily and exhibits a lack of caution that princess generally exhibit. Errol broods over his fate, wallows in self-pity and overcomes obstacles to rise to the duty before him. Liam’s presence has power over men and women, and never shirks from his duty.
The political pieces of the surrounding kingdoms are being positioned into place, much like a chess board for the third book. Even though elements in The Hero’s Lot are part of the set-up, each piece is so interesting in itself that I was intrigued through every page. The scope of cultures, religions, races and ideas that Carr has included in The Staff and the Sword Series truly is epic. There is violence, grotesque creatures, but no sex or profanity. It’s appropriate for Jr. High students if they are exceptional readers.
I highly recommend this series and can hardly wait to read more books from Patrick W. Carr. (I still can’t believe he’s a math teacher!)