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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow-going in some storylines, but overall a strong addition to the series
The armies of Spire Vanis have invaded the clanholds and are marching against Ganmiddich. The clans are responding, mustering their armies to defeat the invaders and claim the prize of the Ganmiddich roundhouse. However, events back in Spire Vanis are outpacing the armies and may soon render the whole conflict moot.

Meanwhile, Raif Sevrance has succeeded in...
Published 21 months ago by A. Whitehead

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Feeling totally disillusioned..
You know the feeling... You find a really great fantasy trilogy and gallop through the first couple of books, only to realise the final instalment is not yet written. You wait a couple of years and finally, finally the last book comes out. You start reading with bated breath, slowly stretching it out, in delicious anticipation of the end of the story...
Published on 21 Sep 2009 by Nicky T


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Feeling totally disillusioned.., 21 Sep 2009
You know the feeling... You find a really great fantasy trilogy and gallop through the first couple of books, only to realise the final instalment is not yet written. You wait a couple of years and finally, finally the last book comes out. You start reading with bated breath, slowly stretching it out, in delicious anticipation of the end of the story...

Then..

You get halfway through and realise the plot isn't really going anywhere... Start to wonder how on earth this is all going to be tied up in the remaining pages. Slowly suspicion sets in, and you reluctantly turn to the back, just to check. And there it is. "To be continued".

I can't tell you how fed up I am with this new fashion of short selling readers who are expecting a trilogy. The dollar signs must be gleaming in the publisher's eyes. They hook us in, whet our appetites, and then at the end serve us up a spun-out, flabby, unnecessary extra book (or if we're really unlucky two, three extra).

This is happening more and more lately, and I would like to say STOP. You are spoiling the books and alienating your readers.
I don't know if I will bother to read anything further by this author. Which is a shame, because she used to be really good.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 22 Aug 2009
After thoroughly enjoying the first two books in this series, I have to say that I felt sorely let down by A Sword From Red Ice. The book seemed to meander from one lenghty character journey to the next. There was a lot of wandering around looking for things and not an awful lot of action. I also felt it a bit predictable although with only a third left of the book, thinking it was a trilogy, I knew it wasn't going to wrap things up for each character.

I have a great fondness for Vaylo Bludd, but once again, I felt that his story, although building his character up, was very long winded. I think this book could have been half the length without actually losing any of the story. Unlike the previous two books, this one seemed to go into a lot more detail of what each character could see in their surroundings and that turned into long winded descriptions at times which I felt were un-necessary to be honest. I did find myself skim reading a lot through this book, which I hadn't done in the previous two books and when I finished the book, my husband had a good laugh at me wandering around complaining that it didn't wrap things up, in fact, I found the ending very lame.

Do I want to read the next book if and when it is published? I'm not sure that I can read through another book of meandering... and as previously mentioned in another review.. there were a lot of typo's and mis-naming characters throughout this book.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Punctuated with wonderful moments but otherwise a filler, 12 Nov 2007
By 
K. J. Verma - See all my reviews
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First of all, the wait for this book was just that bit too long.

And before I launch into an actual review, the edition had LOTS of typos - alot of 'though' when it should be 'thought' and twice the name Raif was written when it should have been Bram. Who got that mixed up?

Generally the book is well written, I mean it's J.V. Jones. I was slightly disappointed to know that this wasn't the end of the series but that there would be more. I don't look forward to the wait.
The characters are always written immensely well. I found myself always drawn into Raif, Raina and Vaylo's stories. However, I found it - dare I say it - a little boring at times. One character is literally floating down a river the whole time her story is covered. The last two hundred pages where all the characters strands are wrapped before the end is the real meat I was waiting for to sink my teeth in. Otherwise I felt rather hungry and empty.

J.V. Jones still describes her world in stunning detail but I think that I must be growing impatient because for the first time I found myself skipping/skim reading parts.

I will stay loyal to this series because development with Raif and Raina is brilliant, as well as Bram, Vaylo, even Angus. It's enjoyable but still doesn't measure to the wonder that was 'A Cavern' nor quite as engaging as 'A Fortress.' I hope the next installment has some real juicy developments. The way J.V. Jones has spun this tale, I'm sure I won't be disappointed. You still have to read this book if you enjoy her writing and have liked the series so far.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow-going in some storylines, but overall a strong addition to the series, 22 Mar 2013
By 
A. Whitehead "Werthead" (Colchester, Essex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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The armies of Spire Vanis have invaded the clanholds and are marching against Ganmiddich. The clans are responding, mustering their armies to defeat the invaders and claim the prize of the Ganmiddich roundhouse. However, events back in Spire Vanis are outpacing the armies and may soon render the whole conflict moot.

Meanwhile, Raif Sevrance has succeeded in defeating the Endlords at the Fortress of Grey Ice, but knows the victory is only temporary. His path takes him back to the Rift, where his fellow Maimed Men are besieged by a servant of the Endlords, but he must also strike out beyond, in search of the mysterious sword known as Loss.

A Sword from Red Ice was originally published in 2007, five years after the publication of the previous novel in the series, A Fortress of Grey Ice. It is fair to say it faced a mixed reaction, with some readers citing it as Jones's best book to date and others as a novel with very limited plot development and poor pacing.

I elected not to read the novel on release, instead waiting for additional volumes to appear. Reading A Sword from Red Ice immediately after A Fortress of Grey Ice, it is clear there's been no major drop-off in quality or indeed pacing. A Fortress of Grey Ice was a slightly weaker novel than the first book in the series, A Cavern of Black Ice, because it introduced several new POV characters and storylines and the need to service all of these plus the existing characters resulted in a lessening of focus. Actually, this seems to have been one of the two main reasons for the delays to the third novel (the other being the fact that the publishers sat on it for more than a year before releasing it, due to scheduling issues): Jones had introduced even more storylines and characters to the mix and seriously pared these back in editing, allowing her to spend more time on the core characters.

The result is a book in which, when taken as a whole, a lot happens: Raif crosses the continent (twice), undertakes a quest, saves a city and finally finds a home and place in the world; the biggest battle in the series to date is fought, with the consequences being enormous; and the political situation within both Clan Blackhail and Clan Bludd shifts dangerously and dramatically. However, other individual storyline progress more modestly: Angus Lok only appears in the prologue and the epilogue; what he's doing for the rest of the book seems rather unclear, especially given the months that have passed in the interim. Effie Sevrance spends the whole book (though that's only four chapters from her POV) going up a river on a boat. Ash March, despite being set up as the series' second main character after Raif, spends the whole book traipsing through a wood. There is a definite sense of a dislocation of time in the novel, with some characters spending weeks or months travelling and others apparently only having a few days unfold in their storyline (Lok, most notably). I am also rather uncertain what Bram Cormac's storyline adds to that of the series overall. He spends most of this book (and the previous one) wandering around unable to make a decision about his future and angsting about it, like an introverted student on a particularly chilly gap year. He finally does commit to a new cause at the end of the novel, but it's questionable if we really needed this amount of set-up for him.

Of course, epic fantasies which get so big that the author loses control a little bit of them and ends up (inadvertently or not) adding more material than we strictly need is nothing new. Fortunately Red Ice is much more of a Dance with Dragons - a novel with problematic pacing and some storylines that could have been handled better but also some very fine moments sprinkled throughout - than a Crossroads of Twilight, where the reader will have more fun reading the Wikipedia summary than suffering through the novel itself. Raif reaching the titular Red Ice is a satisfyingly mythic moment. Raina Blackhail finally taking matters into her own hands and seizing control of her own and her clan's destinies is an important moment in her character arc (especially as she is arguably one of the best-written characters in the series). Ash realising the full potential of her powers is a powerful scene. If A Sword from Red Ice disappoints in some areas, it excels in others.

A Sword from Red Ice (****) is well-written, particularly well-characterised and its strongest moments shine. At other times the pace falters and some storylines are left under-developed (Book of Words fans hoping to learn more from Baralis will be disappointed). But a few problems aside, this is a strong addition to the series. The novel is available now in the UK and USA.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The high quality of this fantasy/adventure continues in book 3, 15 May 2009
J.V.Jones continues with her impressive story in this, the third book, of the 'Sword of Shadows' series.

Again, as with the first two books in the series, the quality of the prose is the one defining feature that stands out in Jones' writing skills.

With the use of superb pacing and a group of main characters that continue to grow, the author has woven a magical tale that reeks of old lore, intriguing situations and the occasional epic battle. I found that the slow, careful manner in which the main people were developed, gave me the time to really feel an emotional attachment to them; in fact, although you may not particularly like some of the villains, you at least could understand their point of view and they did earn a measure of grudging respect.

This book expands the number of people it follows on a sequential basis; as with the earlier books, it primarily focuses on Raif, Ash and Effie, but this book also follows more closely characters that seemed to have a more peripheral role in the previous books, those being Bram Cormac, Marafice Eye and Raina Blackhail.

Conclusion:
A fantasy/adventure book/series of the absolute highest quality; the story and the quality of writing are a perfect marriage. I can hardly wait for the next installment.

Ray Nicholson
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A frustrating read... where has the story gone?, 31 Jan 2010
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There is no doubt that JV Jones can write a a beautiful sentence. Her writing is really well structured and the character description and the wry humour she often puts in are very well observed. Sometimes, I have found myself not even feeling that it is a "fantasy world" because I feel so completely drawn into it.

But in this third book, there is no where near enough of a story to justify writing 600 pages. The book meanders and there was little in the story to make me wonder what would happen next. When Raif eventually found the sword I was left with a massive feeling of "so what". Sadly, this volume ended up as a collection of incidents rather than the next episode in a story. I hope that this is just an example of the problem many authors have in trying to draw the threads together of all the subplots they have begun and not an attempt to get 4 books out of a trilogy.

Another minor concern, which cuts across all of the novels, is that I feel that JV seems to discard characters too easily in the story, so that we are left with several blind alleys as we get interested in a character only to find that she has killed him or her off.

I will buy the next in the series in the belief that JV will roar back into form again>
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much descriptive padding, 28 Feb 2009
By 
R. Harper (Dunstable, Bed's United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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The first book was very good, the second good but this one is rather poor. For the length of the book the story develops very little. Its as if the first two books sold so well the publishers decided to make four or five books from a trilogy. The descriptions of forests, etc. appear to assume that the readers have no imagination. If you like your characters redrawn relentlessly and descriptions of scenes complete so that there is nothing for your imagination to do then this is for you. If you expect the author to draw a scene leaving you to fill it in then you will be skip-reading a lot of this book.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars well worth the wait, 5 Nov 2007
By 
S. Gallagher "pubboy" (uk) - See all my reviews
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after waiting several years for this book, i was very happy when it arrived. it only took me 3 days to read it and it is as the others in this series a great read. the storylines continue seamlessly and new charictures are brought in smoothly. my only problem came when i realised that there had to be another book, and given the length of wait for this one i am asssuming that we will finally get the final installment somethime in 2010. but i will be pre ordering it as soon as possible and do urge any other fans to do the same and enjoy the wait with baited breath!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait, 7 Feb 2009
By 
J. Hickman "HickmanJ" (Brentwood, UK) - See all my reviews
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It feels like I have waited years for this book. JV Jones writes enigmatic, evocative prose and entwines the tales of heroes and villains together in subtle ways. The story has progressed, the characters have developed and we have been told more about the powers of the Reach, the domain of the Sull and the Endlords' intentions. But the power of the story comes from the emotional turmoil of Raif and the issues faced by Raina trying to maintain her clan and her dignity. We are pulled also to sympathise with Marafice Eye and the Dog Lord and forced to see that all together face the impending invasion. The stoic Sull are almost saying "told you so".

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. About two thirds of the way through I thought "there is no way the story can wrap-up by the end of the book". A few pages in I thought "I hope this isn't the last book in the series". I am not stalking the Amazon search feature waiting to pre-order the next one. If only to see what Baralis will do next...

If you have never read any JV Jones, get hold of "The Barbed Coil" to get an idea of her writing style. If you liked it, buy everything else she has written.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but more still to come, 23 Nov 2007
By 
B. Stafford (Woking, Surrey) - See all my reviews
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Ive been waiting for this book for ages, so was pleased when it was finally released. I found it a real page turner, like its predecessors. in particular the first third raced along and the stories of the main characters developed. I particularly like the way that the world it is set in is somewhat different from usual fantasy fare.

I found the final third somewhat slower, but I suspect that was because by that point I had realised that there was at least one more book to come...

I hope that the next book is released quicker, because this series is building to an exciting climax!
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