I missed the last day of the CSFF Blog Tour this past week, so this final post for the tour featuring A Draw of Kings by Patrick W. Carr is several days late. I do apologize. I’ve been away from home for a week, hunkered down in an undisclosed location, doing writerly things and pretty much ignoring the outside world.
If you’ve read my previous posts about Carr’s fantasy series, The Staff and the Sword, you know I like it. I like it a lot.
Through A Cast of Stones and The Hero’s Lot, readers followed Errol Stone’s journey from small-town drunken ne’er-do-well to kingdom-saving hero, friends with mighty men and betrothed to the king’s niece.
The kingdom isn’t done with him, though, because there’s yet another epic task required, one that may also demand his life.
Carr answers the two major questions of the series–between Liam and Errol, who will be king, and who must die?–in a way that ties in with the rest of the story before it, so the reader doesn’t feel cheated. All the build-up, all the tension, and then BAM. The solution is logical, harking back to something revealed in the first book. It’s simple and elegant.
On the other hand, the ending felt rushed, crammed, and somehow less epic than the story deserved. But maybe that’s just me whining. I do tend to read right past words without giving their full meaning a chance to soak in, so perhaps information (about Adora’s family, for instance) shouldn’t have seemed quite so surprising or tacked-on. Maybe it’d been too long from the time I read the first two books to reading this one, so I’d forgotten pertinent details. Still, despite my wishing it were more, the ending does wrap up the story threads, and there is happiness despite loss, and the enemies are defeated, either by force of arms or the embrace of friendship, and the kingdom is saved once more.
Recommended reading for adults and teens. Maybe even older middle-grade readers will enjoy the series, too.