Skip to main content

Book: A Draw of Kings

This may be a slightly different review for me. A straightforward review would be silly: this is book 3 of a trilogy. If you read books 1 and 2, you want to read it for closure. If not, you'll need to read books 1 and 2. I have reviewed those and Patrick W. Carr's style previously: A Cast of Stones and The Hero's Lot. Spoiler on the reviews: Loved them both.


And building on that, I loved A Draw of Kings. This is modern Christian fantasy at its finest.

 What happens when tradition blinds us to reality? What happens when rules overwhelm relationships?

And what happens when personal pride gets in the way of the needs of those we love dear?

These are the questions that A Draw of Kings by Patrick W. Carr really wrestles with. Working through this final volume of the Staff and Sword Trilogy is like trying to close the loose ends of a thousand little threads, both in plot and philosophy.

Carr does that well, if imperfectly. I think the intricacies of the prior two threw one too many balls in the air, and it proved a bit tough to bring them all down gracefully. This may be as much a factor of publisher limits as it is Carr's writing--give him another 5000 words and the ending might have been perfect instead of just great. (I happen to think spending those words on an explanation of what happened would have done the trick--I like what happened, it just seemed right on the verge of left field.)

Through A Draw of Kings, we see into a world where religion overruns governance, and the risk of the power becoming a temptation. We see what can happen when those who are righteous look too hard at preserving what was, rather than seeing what should be.

A Draw of Kings holds a compelling plot from start to finish, as we see what becomes of Adora, Errol, and the rest of the characters we've come to love since A Cast of Stones. More than that, though, this volume turns up the religious questions. Here we see Carr raise the moral issues, the trust issues.

This makes for a book that needs to be read twice. Once to see who, if anyone does, saves Illustra. And who gets the girl...

A second time, though, to consider: what if we had only tradition and memory? What if we had nothing certain about our faith and our governance? What would become of us?

It's a question worth contemplation.

(Note: I received a copy of A Draw of Kings for review, but I also bought it on Kindle so I'd have two, just in case Ann and I needed read it at the same time. Plus, I'm all for funding authors who write good stuff and not just mooching on review programs.)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.



First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…