CSFF Blog Tour: A Draw of Kings, and an Irish Prayer

First came A Cast of Stones, and then The Hero’s Lot. What could be next but A Draw of Kings?

With A Draw of Kings, Patrick W. Carr concludes The Staff and the Sword trilogy. The first books of the trilogy have both been nominated for the 2014 Clive Staples Award, making it really easy for me to slip in a plug for the award here. (Cast a vote for the finalists!)

I think that most books published in Christian SF are part of a series, and only a few series consist of connected but free-standing stories. Unlike the Chronicles of Narnia or the Tales of Goldstone Wood – where you can read one book and, generally speaking, finish the story you started – most series are spent on one journey, one story, one cast of characters.

I always enjoy it when, as with The Staff and the Sword, the CSFF begins a series and then follows the story through every book to the end. We don’t always do so, and I don’t know if we always should, or can; there are too many authors and too many stories and, arguably, too many series.

No less for that – maybe more for it – there is a special interest in tours like this, where we reach the end of a long story and give our final measurement.

Finally – and this has nothing to do with either the CSFF or A Draw of Kings, but it’s my blog, you know – happy St. Patrick’s Day! “Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me.” ~ St. Patrick

Although it’s not related to St. Patrick’s Day, nor even to Ireland, here are the links to Patrick Carr’s website and to A Draw of Kings on Amazon. And of course, the blog tour:

Gillian Adams
Jennifer Bogart
Keanan Brand
Beckie Burnham
Mike Coville

Pauline Creeden
Vicky DealSharingAunt
Carol Gehringer
Victor Gentile
Rebekah Gyger
Nikole Hahn
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher

Jennette Mbewe
Amber McCallister
Shannon McNear
Meagan @ Blooming with Books
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
Writer Rani
Nathan Reimer
Audrey Sauble

James Somers
Jojo Sutis
Steve Trower
Shane Werlinger
Phyllis Wheeler
Nicole White
Jill Williamson

St. Patrick’s Day

So another St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone. It was, as always, a worldwide opportunity to celebrate Irish heritage, eat corn beef, and drink beer.

St. Patrick’s Day isn’t about Patrick. It’s about Ireland, of which the saint is a powerful symbol. The holiday was first celebrated in 1737, by Irish immigrants in Boston. No doubt they were feeling sentimental, as the Irish so often do. Here’s a peculiar fact of what we in America call Irish heritage: Much of it would more accurately be called Irish-American heritage. The immigrants didn’t bring it over; they made it.

Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, but the holiday is mismatched to its name. Think about his story – we all know it well enough. Patrick grew up in England. When he was a youth, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and enslaved in Ireland. In one swoop, they snatched away his family, home, and freedom. There are many wildernesses, and that was his.

And he did what so many have done in the wilderness: He grew close to God. After six years he fled from his master and went home. Many years later, he returned to the land of his slavery, and Ireland was never the same again.

The Druids went down; witchcraft, paganism, and human sacrifice went down. They say that Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland; they are only telling tales. But the Serpent lost a good amount of ground.

Those who celebrate St. Patrick’s Day are not celebrating his triumph over the Druids, let alone the Gospel burning through Ireland like a fire. I won’t say that, if they were, they wouldn’t be drinking beer. But they would drink only in moderation.

In closing, here is an Irish blessing:

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind always be at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

and rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of His hand.