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A Fortress of Grey Ice: Sword of Shadows Vol 2
 
 

A Fortress of Grey Ice: Sword of Shadows Vol 2 [Kindle Edition]

J.V. Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Review

A Fortress of Grey Ice is an almost entirely satisfactory second volume of the Sword of Shadows sequence that started with A Cavern of Black Ice. It separates its hero and heroine and puts them through very different experiences--Raif is hardened by dishonour and hunger into the hero that will successfully kill one of the more monstrous interlopers into his world from a darker one, Ash takes the decision to atone for the inadvertent acts that have made such incursions possible. Elsewhere, a convict frees his sorceror's master; a young challenger exploits the tangle of clan politics to make himself a name; older and wilier contenders survive for the time being--Jones manages a collection of characters with very different motivations successfully enough that we end up with mixed sympathies and a fair amount of time for all of them. The fantasy world she creates here is less conventional than that of many of her rivals--she draws inventively from human cultures that live in cold places and this is a fantasy that draws as much from Inuit and Finnish legend as it does from Scotland or Scandinavia. There is a controlling intelligence here which makes up for occasional overcomplication and overwriting. (Roz Kaveney, AMAZON.CO.UK REVIEW)

Book Description

Book Two of Sword of Shadows - from the bestselling author of The Book of Words trilogy.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1270 KB
  • Print Length: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; New Ed edition (3 Jun 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003MQM7DC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,691 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing book 29 Nov 2002
Format:Paperback
This, along with A Cavern of Black Ice (the first book of the series), is definitely one of the best books which I have ever read. Once again J.V. Jones' descriptive style of writing has come to life in this sequel.
A very brief plot summary is needed to really understand much of anything, so here we go. The two most important main characters are Raif Severance and Ash March. In the book, there are great waring clans, and Raif is an outcast clansman from clan Blackhail. In the previous book, he helped Ash escape from her foster father, Penthero Iss. In the beginning of the book Ash and Raif are sepparated, and, having nowhere else to go, Raif goes off in search of the Maimed Men, unwhole men who live on the outside of the clanholds. Meanwhile, Ash travels with two Sull, people who are above the ways of humans, who are wise, brave, and powerful. The Sull need her for an upcoming war with very powerful undead creatures which had been freed from their imprisonment. There are many more important characters, and much more to say, but that really sums up the plot as simply as I can put it.
There is one definite thing in this book which really gives an edge over many other books. The whole story circles around the taiga and tundra, where the clanholds and the Maimed Men are. And so, you need to have complete and utter coldness. The cold is constantly an element of the book which sets a solid image in your head from the first pages and is never left out of the story. It must be the most important part of the setting, because without it, there would be so few challenges for the characters, and the land would seem so much tamer.
The characters are also quite exelent. All characters are perfected for their roles in the story.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Startlingly original - but requires patience 1 Feb 2004
Format:Paperback
The sequel to J V Jones' _Cavern of Black Ice_ repeats the feats and folly of the first. Her world of icy wastelands and warring clanholds is wonderfully rich in detail, and described in such flowing prose that it's frequently a delight to gorge upon. J V Jones has always been an incredibly gritty fantasy writer, and never more so than here: the reader feels every wound, tastes every morsel, and smells every stench along with her characters.
Add some believable, complex characters (shamed clansman Raif and his 'odd' young sister Effie being the standouts) and an entertainingly twisty plot, and this is a winning combination for anyone tired of doorstep fantasy that expends countless pages on anorexic pseudo-medieval worlds and identikit Tolkien-esque cliches.
The drawbacks are twofold. First, at times it can be all *too* rich, and I imagine the detailed accounts of arduous journeys could grow tedious for some, although for me this was mostly staved off by frequent point-of-view changes. Secondly, as yet the more overtly fantastical elements of the plot (nameless evils from the beneath the ice) are sitting a little uneasily alongside the sheer, breathtaking realism of the world. I certainly found myself far more engaged by the grittier, faster-paced plotlines centred on the clanholds - when, to all intents and purposes, this is a mere preliminary to the main, world-shattering event. It remains to be seen how this will be reconciled in the third - but I will certainly be reading it!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By Manda Scott VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
I read 'Cavern of Black Ice' the first in this trilogy without knowing anything about JV Jones as a writer and proceded to press the book on all of my friends as one of the very few intelligently written, literate, cliché-free fantasy novels on the market. The sequel exceeds it in excellence, the plot flows smoothly with jump cuts to the differing characters in appropriate places, the language is lyrical and exceptionally intelligent for this genre - if it weren't fantasy, someone would have picked this up as genuine literature by now - and the characterisation is lovely. The world inhabited by Raif and Effie Severance is real and believable. Go out and buy one now - it's the best you'll find between now and the next Guy Gavriel Kaye - and possibly better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Even better then the first book!

J.V Jones' 2nd book in the 'Sword of Shadows' series is simply a great fantasy/adventure read.

The story continues where book I left off and follows sequentially Raif, Ash and Effie; their stories take some interesting twists and turns throughout the course of this book. The terrain is the same basic bleak winter tundra (although spring appears to be coming) of the first book.

One of the many strong points of this novel is the deliberate pacing of this story and its telling. Then add to this a great basic story, plus an author's with the ability to weave a good tale, and you end up with a memorable fantasy work. And although different in various ways, this work, at times, conjures up memories of the writing quality and techniques found in George R.R. Martin's 'Iced and Fire' series and Joe Abercrombie's 'The First Law' trilogy. (see P.S. below)

The only niggling complaint would be that the map (and in fairness, the one provided is fairly good) could have provided a little more detail; details that give some names or markings as to where our protagonist were located during some of their journeys. I realize this is probably a 'personal' concern, but I've always liked to have a sense of position and of distance/proximity to other geographic locales when reading fantasy/adventure; it just makes the prolonged treks easier to visualize in my mind.

Conclusion:
A 2nd book in this series that is of the highest order; a great story, superbly told. 5 Stars.

Ray Nicholson

P.S.
I defy anyone not be moved to the point of being emotionally distraught by chapter 5 in this book. A subjective opinion...certainly; but read this one chapter and see how it affects you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Just read this series. This is what George R R Martin tried writing, only better and far more fun. Enjoy.
Published 10 months ago by A. Sohanpal
4.0 out of 5 stars Jv Jones as good as ever
Always a fantastic read. I could not put it down till i finished and now i need to start on the next one
Published 12 months ago by Mark Vickery
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow burning sequel
I think Jones is a great writer stylistically. After enjoying his first book in the series immensely I was a little disappointed with this, simply because the story moves along... Read more
Published 16 months ago by A. Nunn
4.0 out of 5 stars A superior fantasy novel, let down a little by pacing issues
Ash March has visited the Cavern of Black Ice and stalled the arrival of the evil Endlords, at least for now. Read more
Published 17 months ago by A. Whitehead
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing series
Amazing, great series which is very captivating. Beats the main stream authors hands down. Great story line and couldnt put the series down
Published 18 months ago by sophia
3.0 out of 5 stars Start of the descent
This book wasn't as good as the first but far better than the third. I still thought there might be potential in this series after reading this, the next convinced me that there... Read more
Published on 26 Sep 2011 by Maxieduncan
4.0 out of 5 stars rare case of sequel being better than the 1st offering
I thought I'd write this review for people who may have read the 1st book in the series, thought it was ok and wondering whether to continue... Read more
Published on 28 May 2010 by Misty
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the first one!
I read The Book of Words a couple of years ago and enjoyed it. I read the first of this triology and loved it - couldn't put it down! Read more
Published on 20 Mar 2007 by Mr. P. A. Scofield
2.0 out of 5 stars Overlong and rambling
While I hugely enjoyed Cavern of Black Ice, I can't say the same for its sequel. It's remarkable just how little happens in a book that's over 700 pages along. Read more
Published on 17 Oct 2003 by Farouk Samad
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!
This book is a very well written story of good vs. evil. All the different plot lines are interwoven wonderfully! I like how there are so many different stories going on at once. Read more
Published on 6 Jun 2003 by S. Taylor
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