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A Fortress Of Grey Ice: Book 2 of the Sword of Shadows Hardcover – 4 Apr 2002

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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: 413,099 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 1 Sept. 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 By "blasphemy22" on 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 By A Customer on 14 April 2002
Format: Hardcover
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 on little details in the description of scenes; it makes them come to life.
Again, we have some characters from the previous Book of Words trilogy crossing over into this one (I'm not giving anything away), but it is quite subtle and there is no need to have read the previous trilogy before this one. There are also some new points-of-view chapters which give us a good insight into clan politics, as well as some of the other plotlines, and not all the new POVs are new characters, either.
So, do I have any criticisms? Well, there were quite a few type errors which kind of spoilt it a bit, but that's only nitpicking. The pace was quite laid-back until the end - laying the foundations for later actions. Raif and Ash were separated.., which I didn't really like, as I wanted to see how their relationship developed. It was necessary for the plot, though, so never mind. There were a lot of POV scenes from Raif, not as many from Ash; the first book was about Ash's battle, but this one concentrated more on Raif's.
JV Jones is a unique writer with a really distinct style (be warned; expect more swearing in this book than in her others) and I would have to say that this book is probably her best yet. Brilliant characterisation, descriptions, and a great plot (and sub-plots) which all wind up in an exciting and shocking climax to the second book. Go out and BUY it now! ;-)
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