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Sea of Stone Audio Download – Unabridged

4.4 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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4.4 out of 5 stars
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A long awaited sequel in the Fire and Ice Series featuring Magnus Ragnarsson an American detective of Icelandic birth. I suggest readers read the previous books in order first to fully appreciate the connections between characters, the interweaving of the Icelandic sagas and the impact on the current generation of these old stories. Not quite as atmospheric as the previous books in the series, it seemed some of the punch and vitality was missing; mainly I believe because Magnus' character is relegated to the side-lines. Still a very enjoyable read.
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The end of Meltwater, book 3 in the Fire and Ice series, sees Magnus going to confront his grandfather, Hallgrimur, only to find him dead. Magnus concludes that his younger brother Ollie is responsible for this terrible deed. Sea of Stone starts with the police finding Magnus at the crime scene, seemingly deliberately interfering with the evidence, and so incriminating himself. We know from Meltwater that Magnus is innocent, but as the reader is the only person privy to that secret, we then see polarised views of whether Magnus is a murderer or not.

Magnus has got himself into a fix. To protect his brother, Magnus avoids answering direct questions and refuses to confirm or deny certain details about what happened when he went to meet Hallgrimur. Although Magnus’ unwillingness to co-operate makes it seem like he’s innocent, it’s soon pointed out that his behaviour could equally be interpreted as a sign of his guilt and there’s at least one senior policeman, Baldur, who is prepared to believe that Magnus is guilty. As Magnus is remanded in custody, we see more of the family backstory developing, with deceit, greed, adultery and worst of all murder coming to the fore as the action speeds up with an alarming escalation of violence. The truth about Magnus’ father comes out as an excellent climax to a well developed plot, with a final shocking consequence which shows that some Icelandic traditions are far from dead.

I did wonder when I picked this book up if Ridpath could follow Meltwater with an equally good novel. Simple answer – yes! Sea of Stone has a good, easy to follow narrative with a sophisticated plot that’s built around “old fashioned” reasons for crime – human weakness, jealousy and a misguided need for revenge.
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It is imperative that this series of books is read in the correct order to be able to fully appreciate the character of Magnus and his need to understand the death of his Father. This book follows on perfectly from the preceding one and takes an immediate unexpected turn which I found intriguing. Much more information about the rather strange members of his Family and their situations is very welcome and interesting. Considering that his situation rather prevents Magnus from doing what he does best (I thought the book would founder once he was out of the immediate action, but it is handled so very well) the book develops in an excellent manner and is a marvellous mix of his family history and the development of the crime and its very surprising and well handled conclusion. Read this series and enjoy, but in the correct order!
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By Elaine Tomasso TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 27 Jun. 2015
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I have read the other books in the series and I think this is the weakest. Firstly I think you would have to read the other books in the series before this one to fully understand Magnus's obsession with the death of his father although it is explained to a certain extent. Secondly it concerns the murder of his grandfather whom he has long considered the driving force, if not the actual perpetrator, behind his father's death which makes the novel rather confined in terms of suspects and as Magnus is arrested early on equally confined in terms of his input. Lastly most of Magnus's family are extremely unpleasant characters, especially his brother Ollie, and I found it very difficult to understand, never mind empathise with, their motivations and actions.
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I have read all of Michael Ridpaths Fire and Ice series and thoroughly enjoyed them. I love the mix of detective novel and traditional Icelandic Saga. He paints a fantastic picture of the Icelandic scenery and you really get a feel for the place through his writing. To get the best out of the books you need to read them in order as the ongoing story of his father and grandfather runs through all of the books ending in this one Sea of Stone. I do hope that he adds to the series in the future.
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Excellent ending to the series! I found the whole series fascinating. The characters developed really well and I enjoyed how his personal story evolved and the Icelandic legends were woven into the current events.I thought the third in the series was easily the best but they all kept me wanting more.
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I love the whole series, but you really need to have read the ones which have gone before to get the full impact of this book. Love learning all about a different culture and family dynamics, which are so intertwined.
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I loved this book. I have enjoyed every book in the Fire and ice series and this is as good as the others. It is important to read the books in order. I wondered if the strange Icelandic names would be distracting but the writing and the plot carry you along and they are not a problem for me. I hope there will be more books in this series.
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