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A Fortress Of Grey Ice: Book 2 of the Sword of Shadows [Hardcover]

J. V. Jones
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 April 2002 Sword of Shadows

The war to end all wars is coming. The Endlords are preparing themselves for invasion. Now should be the time when city men and clansmen come together to fight the dark forces of destruction, yet they feud amongst themselves, unaware of the danger facing them. Only the Sull are preparing for war against the Endlords. They are an ancient, dwindling race, and they fear this fight might be their last. Sull legend speaks of The One Who Bears Loss, the warrior who will slay the Endlords, and they believe this warrior will be one of their own. Ash March is their most valued and sacred warrior, and it is Mal Naysayer's duty to bring her home to save her people. But thousands of leagues to the north, Raif Severance is learning that he alone can kill Endlords swiftly. An outcast and outlaw, Raif must betray his clan and forsake his beliefs, and raise the Fortress of Grey Ice.

Look out for more information on this book and others on the Orbit website at www.orbitbooks.co.uk



Product details

  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (4 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857237706
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857237702
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 16.2 x 5.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 463,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon 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

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)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excelent book. 1 Sep 2002
Format:Hardcover
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 excelent. All characters are perfected for their roles in the story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be prepared to be spellbound 4 Sep 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
What a stunning read! J V Jones had surpassed her previous book, 'A cavern of black ice' in characterisation, plotting and description. I will admit that I was a bit worried that the constant changing of strands in the story would lead to confusion but I was soon absorbed in the experiences of all the characters. And there are many more to follow than in 'Cavern'.
The character development of both Raif and Ash as they mature and find their own path through the plot is facinating. Don't be put off by the long passages with little or no speach - Jones's power of description brings alive a world emerging from a harsh winter into a tentative spring and this makes the decisive action sequences more dramatic and, in some cases, shocking. Buy this book and prepare to be spellbound!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Word From the Cynic 15 Jun 2002
Format:Hardcover
Firstly, I'd start off by saying it's been hard trying to get the book being that I'm nowhere near Britain, or even the whole continent of Europe. Done whining about that, I'll share my thoughts on the book.
I'd have to mention that the three stars is probably a bit harsh, but that I'm grading on a very tough scale. A Cavern of Black Ice was one of the best contemporary books I've read, with only Cold Mountain and the His Dark Materials series coming close. Fortress is good, but not that good.
I don't feel like I'm ruining anyhting by mentioning that Raif and Ash are seperated at the beginning of the book; it's a pretty public fact at this point. I was very unimpressed by how unaffected by this Raif was. C'mon, I mean; Ash is this man's life! He spent an entire morning trying to break down a cell door when he found out she was moved from Ganmaddich. If he left her (especially how she left him), I'd expect him to simply lose it. Completely. Ash was his clan, and now even she has left him. He does miss her, granted, but not nearly enough. Ash also misses him, but one would expect a little more from the girl who was carried for a day by Raif Sevrance, and laid unconscous as he killed a wolf with frostbitten hands in her name, watched as he was the only person who'd stand up for her time and time again. Oh well.
Raif has also forgotten his clans much, much more, much more than I would have expected. Even after he started saying he was from No Clan, he still thought in terms of Stone Gods and the measure of guidestone at his waist. He's much more godless now, which disappointed me. As did the Maimed Men, but that's only because I expected them to be different.
The Ash chapters are great, despite what I said before. Her journey is simply cool.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff....... 17 April 2002
Format:Hardcover
J.V. Jones is a great "storyteller" in the best sense. She takes her time; builds character, setting and scene. If you have any sense, you don't fly through one of her books. Take your time and savor it and you will be amply rewarded.
I can almost imagine sitting around a nice fire listening, enthralled, to Ms Jones tell her stories. If you haven't read her before...do yourself a favor and do so.
Oh, another thing....unlike many fantacists, she does not rely on traditional dragons, magic, kings, queens, studly studs, voluptous maidens etc. Hers are, for the most part, common people in uncommon situations and, thank you God, they are not all such specimens of physical perfection they seem to good to trod the earth.
Enjoy...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fortress of grey ice
A cannot say nothing more that I really love this two books Sword of shadows. Before my reading this books I never believed that something should be so real!
Published on 17 Jan 2004 by "serlena"
4.0 out of 5 stars Only because I am a JVJ fan
In deferrence to the first novel I will give this four stars (instead of perhaps three) Middle novels in trilogies often are a bit flat as was FoGI. Read more
Published on 30 Aug 2002 by Kartoga
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not quite up to the first volume
Why only 3 stars, when Jones' writes so many brilliant individual passages in this volume? Mostly I think because they are individual passages and not a seamless whole. Read more
Published on 13 Aug 2002 by "jonrosenberg2"
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This book is great. Simple as that without a doubt its one of the most enjoyable books ive ever read. Read more
Published on 22 July 2002 by Steve
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning
J.V. Jones delivers another amazing manuscript with A Fortress of Grey Ice. I have been a fan since her first book, The Baker's Boy came out 7 years ago, and she has only continued... Read more
Published on 14 July 2002 by soulwielder
5.0 out of 5 stars Better and better...
JVJ has not been resting on her...whatever since Cavern of Black Ice. Fortress is truly a fabulous work of fantasy fiction. Read more
Published on 11 Jun 2002 by Michael Francis
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what i expected, but good
Well, after waiting three years for the book i've just completed reading it. My initial impressions were disappointing, I did not like the direction the plot was leading. Read more
Published on 7 Jun 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars A sequel as good as the previous novel
I found this a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging read. I felt that the characters matured and evolved in believable ways. Read more
Published on 28 April 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing!
JV Jone's second installment in the Sword of Shadows trilogy is a pretty much unputdown-able book. The writing is, as usual, great stuff and I really love the way she concentrates... Read more
Published on 14 April 2002
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