Title: The Hero’s Lot
Author: Patrick W. Carr
Publisher: Bethany House
A few months ago, I read and reviewed Patrick W. Carr’s debut novel, A Cast of Stones, and I wrote, “[I]f the sequels are as good as the first book, then Carr is on his way to an outstanding writing career.” Well, I just finished reading an advanced reading copy of Carr’s second book in the series, and I can honestly say that I have not changed my mind.
The Hero’s Lot picks up where A Cast of Stones ends. Errol Stone, now a trained fighter and a member of the nobility, is compelled to go on a quest to find and kill a dangerous enemy to the kingdom—Sarin Valon—a traitor possessed by evil. The problem of fulfilling his mission is that the traitor is deep within a neighboring land that plans to invade the kingdom upon the impending death of the king. Earl Stone must face many dangers along his journey, but he is not alone as his companions vow to protect and aid him on his quest. To complicate matters, Errol’s true love—Princess Adora—has followed him after running away from the arrogant lord that her uncle, the king, promised her to in marriage.
Errol and his some of his companions find themselves followed by domestic enemies as well as thwarted by Valon’s agents throughout the journey. Errol must learn who he can trust and who his friends are, some of whom he finds in unlikely places. He learns that he plays an essential role in the kingdom’s survival, but he realizes that either he or the young man that seems destined to be the next king will die. He assumes that it is he who must die and resigns himself to that fate, but renewed hope and the will to live, for the woman he loves, gives him the strength needed to survive and escape captivity and death at the hands of the enemies that fear him.
Errol fulfills his mission and escapes, but on the way home, he and his friends realize that the king is dead. The story ends leaving readers wondering what is next in store for Errol and the kingdom as war is about to commence. Can he live up to his destiny? Will the rightful successor be placed on the throne? Or will enemies from within and from outside the kingdom prevail?
Patrick W. Carr’s second novel is even more exciting than the first as Errol’s story continues to unfold. The characters are interesting and believable as more of who they are is revealed. They are flawed, but they grow into better people as they make the nearly impossible journey. The settings are reminiscent of the real world of historical cultural although Carr’s novel takes place in kingdoms and lands of his creation. Carr uses his characters and the world that he has created to allegorically explore the world we live in from historical and spiritual aspects as well as similarities in what is happening in the current timeline. The human condition is shown from introspective viewpoints along with the realization that individuals all have a part to play in the important events that affect thousands, even millions, of lives. I look forward to the third novel in the series.
My rating is 5 stars.