Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Pastors in Fiction: "A Cast of Stones"

Today I'll be looking at Pater Martin from Patrick W. Carr's A Cast of Stones. I've kept this analysis spoiler free to the best of my ability. If you want a little more context for this character analysis, you can find my review here.  I would highly recommend the series to fantasy fans.

Name: Pater/Benefice Martin

Book: A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr.

Genre: Christian allegorical fantasy.

Role: Main Character

Personality: Understanding and sympathetic, but with a stubborn streak

What he brings to the table: Pater Martin is somewhat of a hermit at the start of the book. He is one of the people who offers Errol, the protagonist, the chance to change his life. (Errol is a drunk at the start of the story).

Spiritual role: Pater Martin is one of the main spiritual protagonists in the book and wants to convince Errol to come back to the church. He disapproves of how other churchmen have treated Errol over the years and serves as a foil to several of them.

Pastorly/Worship notes: Not much is revealed of Pater Martin's worship or beliefs in this book. He is shown administering the Sacrament at one point. The world is allegorical in nature and his method of administering the Sacrament can be readily compared to Catholic, Lutheran, or other liturgical bodies.

We do know that he holds different beliefs than some in the church and that he is more welcoming to outcasts than many other priests. He also got into a physical fight with an abbot prior to the start of the story over theological issues.

Ninja Status: Orange belt. While we don't often see him in action, we do know that he is "familiar with a sword" and manages to handle himself well when attacked at numerous points throughout the story.

Further Discussion: In this story, Pater Martin is one of the few members of the church who is cast in a primarily positive light. He is set as a foil to numerous other priests and abbots in the story who have abused their power in various ways. (I plan on covering some of them in the future).

While Pater Martin serves largely as a protagonist, he also serves an antagonist to some of Errol's personal goals and desires. For him, protection of the church and state is of the utmost importance. He has pity on Errol, but he's also willing to sacrifice himself and anyone else necessary for the greater good of the kingdom. This can sometimes make him seem uncaring.

I like Pater Martin for the fact that he's a well-fleshed out character with his own desires and goals. Sometimes he's a little misguided or takes things over the top, but he's a man with good intentions overall.

Who's your favorite priestly protagonist?


  1. Yay! I like it when pastors are fully-fleshed out, because they are often quite one dimensional. I still have to get around to reading this, I think it's on my iPad waiting to be read. *backs away slowly* I'll read it and get back to you on my thoughts.

    1. I think Pater Martin is more fully developed in the later two books, but he's still better than most in this first book. Please do! I'd love to hear what you think!

      Thanks for the comment!


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