This series hooked me with the first one, A Cavern of Black Ice, and I’ve since read all of J.V. Jones’ books. Sure there are better writers out there, but as far as good story-telling goes, Jones is up there with the best of them.
Sword of Shadows reads like a tale told by the village story-teller or a traveling minstrel earning his next room and board. To me, that’s the way a fantasy story should be written, like it’s a story you’d expect to hear while waiting out a storm in cozy hearth-warmed pub or told to a group of warriors-hunters gathered around a camp-fire deep in a primeval forest. JVJ writes just enough description to give you a solid image and feel of the people and places of this world without bogging down the story with too much detail. (Unfortunately description has seemed to become a forgotten art in a lot of the new fantasy books). She is truly gifted at character creation. They are real and interesting. The vilest can have commendable traits and the most heroic can carry dark secrets.
A Sword from Red Ice keeps the momentum of the series rolling and leaves you anxiously waiting for the next book. Just like one of its characters, Angus Lok, this installment gives you just enough information to keep you traveling the path but holds some back and you’ll just have to see this adventure through to get all the answers.
Sword of Shadows — (1999-2010) Publisher: As a newborn Ash March was abandoned — left for dead at the foot of a frozen mountain. Found and raised by the Penthero Iss, the mighty Surlord of Spire Vanis, she has always known she is different. Terrible dreams plague her and sometimes in the darkness she hears dread voices from another world. Iss watches her as she grows to womanhood, eager to discover what powers his ward might possess. As his interest quickens, he sends his living blade, Marafice Eye, to guard her night and day. Raif Sevrance, a young man of Clan Blackhail, also knows he is different, with uncanny abilities that distance him from the clan. But when he and his brother survive an ambush that plunges the entire Northern Territories into war, he yet seeks justice for his own… even if means he must forsake clan and kin. Ash and Raif must learn to master their powers and accept their joint fate if they are to defeat an ancient prophecy and prevent the release of the pure evil known as the End Lords.