The Hero’s Lot / Patrick W. Carr (The Staff and the Sword, 2)
Bethany House Publishers (July 1, 2013) ISBN 9780764210440
HS (MS) Grades 8-12 Rating: 5
Patrick Carr follows his debut novel, A Cast of Stones, with another engaging fantasy in the Staff and the Sword series. In A Cast of Stones, Errol and Liam were deemed vital to the kingdom’s future, but no one knew what role they would play when the king died. Errol thinks his troubles are over when the corrupt church leader, Sarin, flees the kingdom, but Errol still has dangerous enemies to face.
Now in The Hero’s Lot, with enemies attacking Errol more frequently than Liam, Martin and Luis are sent to Errol’s home village to discover what makes Errol so important to the kingdom. When Errol is falsely accused of working with spirits, his punishment is to find Sarin in the kingdom of Merakh and kill him or to die trying. The Hero’s Lot follows both storylines until they intersect. Some answers are discovered, while others are asked. In some ways, Martin’s journey is more interesting than Errol’s mission, but both are vital to the story.
Carr’s sequel is filled with strong characters, a tightly-woven plot, and lots of suspense. Unlike many trilogies where the middle book leaves more questions than answers, The Hero’s Lot answers those questions and yet asks more. It is an edge-of-your-seat epic adventure, with further development in the main characters as the series progresses. As in the earlier book, there is violence but it is not graphic, and there is a romantic development for Errol.
The last book of the series, A Draw of Kings, is expected in 2014. If the first two books are any indication, it will be welcomed by readers who have come to expect a well-written fantasy by Carr.
Disclaimer: Book reviews are my opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. Thanks to the publisher for an advance copy of this book.
Carol R. Gehringer
See my review on the first book in this series: A Cast of Stones.