Review of A Draw of Kings by Patrick W. Carr


Genre: Fantasy/Adventure

Series: The Staff & The Sword, Book 3


The kingdom of Illustra is without a king and on the brink of a multi-front war. More, the religious leaders are confounded that Deas (God the Father) has not revealed the identity of their new king, who will save their nation. The draw is between two very different and equally likeable men: Errol and Liam. A prophecy given some time ago suggests that one of these men will save the nation by giving his life, while the other will live. Princess Adora is also a key character, and unashamedly in love with Errol, who reciprocates her feelings.

This is an epic adventure full of action, mystery, the exploration of other lands, strange monsters, and detailed battles, as well as having elements of romance and theological thought. Parts of the story reminded me a bit of The Odyssey, while it also has a medieval feeling, and surprising theological depth (especially considering ecclesiology and pnuematology).

The writing had some rougher moments, but overall was enjoyable. It plays out in “movie form”–moving quickly from scene to scene, sometimes at suspenseful moments, while also providing thorough detail to numerous characters at once. There is special emphasis on the action/battle scenes. I think the story would do well on “the big screen.”

I jumped into this third and final book of the series without having read the first two. While I was immediately pulled in to the intriguing story, I was also constantly aware of the missing back-story. There are several groups of characters to learn, and many references to relationships, memories, and events of the past. I enjoyed the book for itself, but also had moments were I was confused by the narrative. Therefore, I would absolutely recommend reading the trilogy in order if possible–I will probably go back to read the others as well!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House.