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The Isle of Battle (The Swans' War, #2)
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The Isle of Battle (The Swan's War #2)

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  908 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Treachery and deceit run rampant throughout a devastated land, spawning dark alliances in the terrible war ignited by the enmity of two families. But unbeknownst to all, there are others who truly control the beleaguered kingdom's destiny--combatants emerging from eons of restless sleep to renew the bloody terror of a battle older than time.
Paperback, 464 pages
Published May 27th 2003 by Voyager (first published 2002)
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Another example of when I much prefer the second book to the first. The first book had to devote too many pages to background and setup, this book was able to start on the cliffhanger ending of the first and continue on from there, without having to stop too often to explain. Also, this one had much, much more Alaan, and as I'm absolutely in love with him...I mean, what? I didn't write that. Okay, the Vale boys are alright, as far as barely adult characters go, but there wasn't anything really s ...more
Apr 20, 2014 Kyle rated it liked it
“The Isle of Battle” is the second book in the “Swan’s War Trilogy”, and it immediately picks up after the conclusion of the first book. The author provided a brief recap of the events in the first book, which is helpful for those that may take a break before continuing the series. I rated this a three-star read, although I thought it included more interesting characters, events, and more insight into the Children of Wyrr as compared to the first book.

One reason that I feel like the series is a
Apr 29, 2008 Boyd rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-trilogy
I really liked the history and setting in this world. The idea that everything revolved around a river is very intersting to me. The plot seemed well thought out and the Characters were real. the only thing I didn't like about this story is the cliffhanger ending. It just stops, and I hate that...
The one thing I’ve learned after reading the first two books in this series: Sean Russell does not feel he has to provide his readers with any kind of conclusion, closure, or comfort in regards to his characters.

I was annoyed by how the first book in the series ended – given that there were far more questions than answers provided – but this book’s ending was even worse. Far be it for me to tell an author how to ply their craft, but as an avid reader, I do know that I like to be left with someth
Apr 19, 2008 John rated it it was amazing
This is the second book in a series, and I suppose this review is, in a way, a review of the series so far, but I read the first book back in the summer, so it's not as fresh in my mind.

The basics: epic fantasy, filled with political and personal scheming. Russell weaves a world rich in history, thick with mysterious magic, and peopled with wonderful characters. The plot, briefly, starts off apparently centered around two rival families who each wish to reunite and rule an ancient, shattered kin
Shari  Mulluane
The characters are interesting but not really endearing. For one thing there are too many of them. I would be hard pressed to call any of them main characters. Instead there are groups of characters. Different groups with differing goals; some which intersect, and some that are totally opposite. The end result is a collection of individual stories that all contribute to the larger story. Sometimes the divergent groups merge, sometimes individual members of one group switch to another group but r ...more
Chris Maguire
Sep 07, 2014 Chris Maguire rated it it was ok
Interesting. I usually don't read the second book in a series because the first book contains most of what's new and interesting in the world and it's characters. This series was no exception. That's me though; I'm interested in the new world and characters that that the author has created. I'm not as interested in a long and twisty plot about power struggles, intrigue and politics.
Aug 14, 2014 Tally rated it really liked it
This was an improvement on book 1 as the author started to make the characters a bit more 'alive'. However it was simply the need to know how it would end that drove me on to read the third and final instalment
Sep 10, 2013 Bounta rated it liked it
"The Isle of Battle," is certainly not as good as "The One Kingdom," which was a master piece for fantasy. I didn't dislike this book, but I didn't love it. The story moved very slow and the characters became boring and dull. Much of what I loved about the first book was missing from the second. Lord Carral's part was my favorite and even that slowed to a pace that had me wanting more and left me empty. I'm going to read the third boom in hopes it will have the magic of the first. I felt trapped ...more
Dave Butler
Mar 11, 2016 Dave Butler rated it really liked it
very literate and thoughtful fantasy - this series would sit comfortably beside many other classic fantasy trilogies, being the middle book many things are not resolved, but i enjoyed the journeys the characters embarked on and i am sure i will enjoy the concluding volume.
May 06, 2009 George rated it really liked it
Part 2 of the Swan's War epic trilogy continuing the struggles between the Wills and Renne' families for control of the land. The outcome of the struggle focuses on Tam, his two friends, Lady Elise, and Alaan as they oppose the plans of Hafydd who seeks control and power and they stand in his way. Fantasy, gods, mysterious magic are mixed in with the real world as the seeming struggle between good and evil plays out.

Like Part 1, The One Kingdom, the story moves quickly but is filled with endless
Jefferson Coombs
Jun 02, 2016 Jefferson Coombs rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Pretty good fantasy trilogy. The best part of these books is the political intrigue.
Sarah Wagner
Sep 20, 2012 Sarah Wagner rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
In the second installment of the Swan's War trilogy, the rival families of the Wills and the Renne faction and break as unlikely alliances are formed and conflict within the families takes root. The fate of Elise Wills is revealed and more becomes known about Alaan and Hafydd, whose unique backgrounds and mythologies become a focus of the plots. While an alright read, and I do have plans to finish the trilogy, I must say I am not entirely impressed with the series and the writing fails to engage ...more
Steve Scott
As good as the first!

The second book in the Swan War trilogy is just as good as the first. Can't wait to start the next one.
Feb 25, 2013 Melanie rated it really liked it
This is book 2 of the Swans' War series. It picks up right after the events of book one. We learn more about the history of the land and the feuding families. I found some parts of this book hard to follow because some of the descriptions of the lay of the land or how the fighting was going were a little unclear for me. Otherwise, this was another great book that is full of action. I enjoyed learning more about the characters and seeing the relationships between them change and deepen.
Jul 01, 2012 Mary rated it it was ok
How long it took me to finish this book is a testament to the quality. I'm sorry to say it, but Russell is clearly a better fantasy fan than he is a writer. There is little character development, no explanation of the inner workings of the magical system and only vague references to the history of the kingdom where it all takes place, which is supposedly integral to the plot but not integral enough to warrant explanation.
Aug 06, 2014 Mark rated it liked it
It wasn't a roller coaster ride of excitement, but it was good. A lot of new characters are introduced in this book. The plot doesn't advance very much, and you are given a lot of back story. Over all the book was good if a bit slow at spots. But as far as a writer I really like Sean Russell. So I will keep reading his fantasy work.

On to the third book.
Jun 22, 2013 Tankerbay rated it it was ok
Now we get more of the political aspect of the world that the boys' hometown has been hidden away from. Not a very rich environment, really, as the rules seem somewhat ridiculous. There are a few good characters, but not enough to hold up the slowly continuing plot.

I'll read the last book, but this one isn't going on my re-read list.
Laura Kearney
Apr 21, 2015 Laura Kearney rated it really liked it
This Book had a little more action than the first book. The action is divided more as characters split up to different activities.
Sep 19, 2014 Salimbol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
[3 and 1/2 stars]
Jan 14, 2014 Brannigan rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I love how he uses the terrain to influence the pacing of the story. I don't know if it's intentional or not but I really feel it. Book one was a meandering river book two was a swamp and you really feel it while reading the books.
A nice continuation of the series. There are a number of characters I feel great affinity toward so that I care what happens in the story as a whole. Definitely a cliff-hanger ending on this one as on the last.
Sep 18, 2012 Jeanette rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
Also the second volume had surprising ideas, lovely new and old characters and enough character development to be a great read. I instantly started the third book after I finished this one. :D
May 15, 2012 Katharine rated it it was ok
In this book I began to be disappointed as the promise of part 1 didn't seem to be fulfilled and while I cared enough about the characters to want to continue the pacing was too slow.
Aug 16, 2007 Nate rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who wants a new kind of Fantasy.
This is book two of the Swan's War Trilogy. It's a world of fantasy in terms of magic as being some huge mystery and only the wizards of ancient times knew how to wield it.
Cynthia Radthorne
May 04, 2009 Cynthia Radthorne rated it liked it
Great world building, but I felt the story rambled a bit, and some of the characters' actions did not tie out very well.
Feb 14, 2008 Allen rated it liked it
Still not blown away by this series, but I have committed myself to finishing the third and final book in the coming months.
K. Axel
Oct 06, 2008 K. Axel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series has lots of wonderful ideas, but it starts more strongly than it finishes.
Sep 15, 2012 Travis rated it liked it
Not a bad book, but the thing is it finished pretty much where it started.
May 12, 2008 Melinda rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sean Russell fans, fans of epic fantasy
Shelves: fantasy-magic
Couldn't wait to start the third book of the Swan's War series.
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Aka Sean Thomas Russell

Sean Russel has co-written, with Ian Dennis, a mystery series called "Memoirs of a Bow Street Runner". The first volume of the series was published by Bantam under their joint pen name, T.F. Banks.

Sean Russell was born 1952 in Toronto. At the age of three his family moved to the outskirts of the city, where they lived in a cottage at the beach of Lake Ontario. At the age of
More about Sean Russell...

Other Books in the Series

The Swan's War (3 books)
  • The One Kingdom (The Swans' War, #1)
  • The Shadow Roads (The Swans' War #3)

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