This book is fantastic. I love fantasy, and Patrick Carr excels on every level in The Shock of Night. One of my favorite things is fantasy authors who don’t neglect religion when world building. This book is published by Bethany House, but I wouldn’t really describe it as a “Christian novel.” It’s heavily influenced by Christianity and the idea of spiritual gifts, but it never seems “preachy” and the churches in the novel aren’t artificially close to Christianity. It worked well for the story.
The plot follows Willet Dura, reeve to the king of Bunard, who receives a rare gift from a dying priest while investigating a murder. As he learns to use the gift and uncovers the story behind the priest’s death, Dura becomes embroiled in a centuries-old conflict that threatens his country and his entire world-view.
I actually gave this book a 5-star rating on Goodreads. The blend of mystery and fantasy was superbly done and thoroughly enjoyable to read. My only quibble was that there were quite a few named characters and I had a hard time keeping a few of them straight. The shift from first-person to third-person (which I usually don’t like) even worked well.
I did have to check and make sure I started with book one because there was so much back-story recapped in the first few chapters. Apparently there’s a short story before this that would fill in some gaps, but you can read it without that. There’s also a sequel coming out some time this year, but The Shock of Night can stand alone if you don’t want to commit to a series.