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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing book
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...
Published on 29 Nov 2002 by Amazon Customer

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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fortress of Grey Ice
JV Jones is a writer with an amazing talent. She is able to captivate the reader with a spellbinding narrative in places. Her ideas are interesting and she really stands out from the crowd of fantasy writers. However, I do have to say that she is also one of the most long-winded authors I have come across in a long time. I found myself getting so frustrated with the...
Published on 20 May 2003 by R Wills


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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing series, 14 Feb 2013
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This review is from: A Fortress Of Grey Ice: Book 2 of the Sword of Shadows (Paperback)
Amazing, great series which is very captivating. Beats the main stream authors hands down. Great story line and couldnt put the series down
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3.0 out of 5 stars Start of the descent, 26 Sep 2011
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 wasn't.
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4.0 out of 5 stars rare case of sequel being better than the 1st offering, 28 May 2010
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This review is from: A Fortress Of Grey Ice: Book 2 of the Sword of Shadows (Paperback)
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...

I was one of those people as I thought the first book was so-so - a 3 star read, so I only read the next one as someone had lent it to me so it was just there!
The first book was a bit dreary and the pace wasn't quite right. For such a long book the characters didn't really develop - but this is set right in this book.

Ash stops being so passive and starts to develop a personality, Raif has some gritty ups and downs, the plot thickens nicely in Vanis Spires and some interesting twists in the clans. There are a lot of threads, laying the path for future developments i guess - with Effie, Raina & Angus, but I felt it was all well interwoven.

I would say this is a good read not a great one, the characters are still a bit good OR bad - there isn't enough of the greyness that you see in some other series (Hobbs, Martin, Abercrombie). Also, whilst the journey parts are nicely paced, the end-game in both this and the first book is a bit of a let down - so the showdowns at the ice cavern and ice fortress are both slightly anti-climatic and a bit too easy.

But i will carry on read the next one and see if she keeps it up.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the first one!, 20 Mar 2007
This review is from: A Fortress Of Grey Ice: Book 2 of the Sword of Shadows (Paperback)
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! I therefore steamed into the second one, only to find half way through that I was torn between getting on with the engrossing story, or wading through all the blah blah blah that this book contains.

The good bits:

The Clanholds are fantastic, well conceived, written and structured. Jones has done a fantastic job here and they're worthy of a book on their own.

Characters are also superb. Deep and three dimensional. I love them all.

The not so good bits:

I couldn't help wondering why, when everything is so well written, why I could not understand exactly why Raif makes the choices he does. Neither does the Dog Lord quite fulfil his position as clan chief - I found myself unable to understand his choices and how he could have suceeded for years when he makes some god-awful choices in this book. It made me think that Jones struggled with some of the story lines and couldn't find a way of moving from one scene to the next so that the story headed in the direction she wanted. Raif in particular made some odd choices - and I could not explain them in any logical way.

I read the whole second book waiting for something to happen and nothing really did. When you read the back cover you are expecting Ash to battle demons with magic, Raif to be slaughtering them with his bow and all sorts of other things to be going on, but in fact, well some people wander about a bit, eat some food, a few meetings take place and then some demons appear - there is no real explanation or story to the demons so far - what they do, what is happening or how they navigate/hunt or move. Why for instance are the demons pursuing Ash and the Far Riders?

One other thing puzzles me too - on the books rear cover it says "thousands of leagues to the North Raif is discovering he can kill them easily" or something.... Really? Thousands of leagues? not in this world/landscape they are not: it isn't that big! Also - he ain't discovering nothing till about two chapters from the end - the rest is just stories.

I found some parts of Raif's story just to convenient frankly. The Knights, the cave painting, oh and the rediculous archery contest (ooo the wind just happened to blow at the right time?) the outworlder - and Raif being bested by Stillborn? Isn't this the man that in a rage killed three Bluddsmen? OK I know he wasn't upset by Stillborn (any more than the fact that he was trying to kill him - which to most men would I would have thought, been enough!) but I was expecting much more of him and the events were just to convenient for my liking.

One last thing: the maps are pants.

Overall I DID like this book, but if it had been the first, I would have not bought the second - it was more like the Barbed Coil than Bakers Boy.

The third book is eagerly awaited and I hope it fulfils the first books promise.

Oh and nobody remembers a book starring a guy called Forst, and about a city floating in the sky do they? I can't remember the author or title and I want to find it again!

Cheers everybody!

Paul
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3 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Overlong and rambling, 17 Oct 2003
This review is from: A Fortress Of Grey Ice: Book 2 of the Sword of Shadows (Paperback)
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. Too much time is spent describing characters long journeys to places. Raif's adventures with the Maimed Men seem mostly irrelevant to the central storyline. There are some exciting moments in the book, but they mostly come to the end. In bad need of editing.
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A Fortress Of Grey Ice: Book 2 of the Sword of Shadows
A Fortress Of Grey Ice: Book 2 of the Sword of Shadows by J. V. Jones (Paperback - 7 Nov 2002)
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