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A Fortress of Grey Ice

(Sword of Shadows #2)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  5,543 ratings  ·  74 reviews
"Wonderful . . . J.V. Jones is a striking writer." So says Robert Jordan, the author of The Wheel of Time epic fantasy series. And Jones lives up to that praise in the highly charged epic adventure of Ash March and Raif Sevrance, two outcasts whose fates are entwined by fate and by need, in the cold, dark world that threatens to be torn asunder by a war to end all wars. Th
Mass Market Paperback, 624 pages
Published August 1st 2004 by Tor Fantasy (first published March 1st 2001)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  5,543 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
This one was better paced and moved much faster...I felt myself being able to connect to the characters and the way that the author is proceeding with the storyline - I don't have to worry about the development of Ash and Raif's relationship.

Much much better...but will I go on to read the next in the series?

I don't think so, I ended up reading the reviews and there was a spoiler that kind of turned me off from reading further.
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
WOW! It took a while to complete this but was sooo worth it!
Al Burke
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Somehow, in the sands of time, I'd forgotten the name JV Jones. What I haven't forgotten was how much I liked this book. It had lots of action, an interesting world, and a fine dark streak, which is always a plus. Apparently the series has gone unfinished, but I think I'll catch up on the next few books at some stage, even thought it might be 20 years since I last read them. Yes, I remember liking it that much.
Feb 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Thinking back on it, almost nothing happened in this book. If it were to summarize what happened to each of our main characters I could probably do it in about 1-3 sentences each, and with room to spare for most of them, because the plot progresses at a glacially slow pace right until the last five chapters or so when things suddenly flare up. Ordinarily, I’d write something like this and feel this way about a book I didn’t like but, crazily enough, I actually enjoyed a Fortress of Grey Ice a lo ...more
Martin Wilson
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
It's been four or five years since I read this, so I might misremember some details, and possibly get details mixed up with the sequel. The two blend together and suffer from exactly the same problems, only further exacerbated in the third book.

This series suffers from what, with the benefit of hindsight, I would like to call "Song of Ice and Fire" syndrome. The first book is great fun, tightly packed with a strong central plot and a lot of characters. Then as the series goes on, it
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the first times the second book has been better than the first. The writing was much stronger, and I found I cared deeply for the characters, Effie Sevrance most notably. There are very dark themes at play, and I was moved to tears a couple times. Great book, great series, great author. Can't wait to finish it.
Ian Jordaan
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a beautifully paced book! It was a lot tighter than the first one, that took me over 400 pages to really get invested in. You feel the weight of the victories and the failures of each of the main characters. It ends on a relatively good cliff hanger as well, which makes me look forward to the next book in the series!
WTF! I'm not prone to swearing, but that was my initial reaction on reading the last three chapters while trying to relax in a nice hot bath!

But first, synopsis - errrrr! It's hard to actually say what this book is about, because of the sheer amount going on. There's literally loads of plotlines, peopled by so many characters, that the story didn't feel that cohesive to me, so actually saying what's happened is hard. In fact, that was by biggest problem with this book - it's the seco
Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all, if you don't like spoilers, don't read the blurb!! It's essentially a summary of the entire book.

The four star rating is purely because I was disappointed by the ending. I was thoroughly enjoying the book and felt like it was building up to some exciting or unexpected event that never happened. Crope's storyline was my favourite - I loved this new character and his interaction with one of my favourite storylines from the first book. Aside from that, I just felt like the book was s
Dec 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
A soap opera with frost barbarians. Multiple characters separately dealing with changing times at the northern edge of a fantasy world. A good read, a slowly building plot, where magic from an ancient race threatens the entire weird. a bit heavy on introspection, a little light on action
Chip Hunter
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This second volume in the Sword of Shadows series (now up to 4 books) continues the emotionally-intense, hard-hitting epic style that so impressed me in A Cavern of Black Ice. Here, J.V. Jones takes advantage of the already established setting to focus more on character and story development. Raif, Ash, and the rest are helplessly swept along towards their destinies, facing daunting trials but growing throughout this book into remarkably fleshed-out characters, something that was arguably missin ...more
Adam Whitehead
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Ash March has visited the Cavern of Black Ice and stalled the arrival of the evil Endlords, at least for now. She must now make her way to the homeland of the enigmatic Sull, where her true path will be revealed. Meanwhile, Raif Sevrance's role in events seems to have conclude, and he now seeks a life for himself amongst the exiles of the Maimed Men. But it seems that his destiny has not done with him yet, as he is called into the vastness of the Great Want in search of the Fortress of Grey Ice. ...more
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Overall I enjoyed this book more than the first book of the series.

Some of the main villains from the first book take a back seat in this book but we are introduced to some new characters who are interesting and add to the story. However you get the feeling that its still jsut setting things up for the main body of the story. This book is mostly just people travelling trying to get somewhere for 90% of the story and all the action happens in their last chapter. Having said that thoug
Rob Donovan
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had high hopes for J V Jones’ first book in the, “the Sword of Shadows” series and I was pleasantly surprised when “A Cavern of Black Ice” met all of them. Reviews heralded Jones as an author similar in style with George R R Martin, I agreed to an extant but also found a smidge of Abercrombie and a hint of Jennifer Fallon in there as well.
Knowing there was a long wait between books, I waited a long time to read the second book in the hope that the final book will be released when I get t
An  Xin
Oct 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Plot points are delved into deeper and everything gains a new perspective. At times it gets complicated to follow the story due to the larger number of plotlines. It has a darker tone than the first book which makes for a somewhat slower reading pace. I'd say that it is a book that is the needed but lackluster bridge between the better 1st and 3rd books.
Sarah Gutierrez
Aug 21, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 5 for the last 1/4, 3 for the rest.
Oct 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Got about two thirds through and gave up, just not as good as the first one in my opinion, a bit disjointed.
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Riko Stan
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
All the world building in the first book is paying off here. Diggin' it.
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 stars. Book 1 was better
May 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Re-reading the series in 2018)
The second entry in the Sword of Shadows series builds on the foundations placed by its predecessor, and encounters some problems on the way. I do wonder at what point J.V. Jones realised that this planned trilogy would not be a trilogy: while the story advances nicely at times, it also does bog down and one has to wonder what the role of all the characters is in the big picture. As most of the characters have a nice arc that carries their story through this
Michael Evans
Dec 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Another solid page-turner from Jones.
See my review of the first novel in this series; everything holds true for the second in this series:
- a strongly-built, detailed world that feels believable
- amazing attention to characters and their development, which draws the reader into every chapter
- unfortunately also, the detailed writing that builds so much of the story earlier in the book, becomes a barrier to quick, striking story-telling by the climax of the book.
Bogdan Capitanoiu
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
How does it feel so far?
I am scared as not enough books in the series, either planned or written! but we should be OK, as 4 are out and the last is 3/(2) years in.
Why JV , why u do not have a online presence...? what sells is only hype..and I mean sells= drives the interest, and hopefully 47% of the writer Muse.

What's not clear yet?
Hey JV, u chose to bring (in) 2 Opposition point of views, and yet to provide the incentive to keep on readin'(like Robbin was saying...worst writer's fear)What's
Eric Leblanc
Aug 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is the second book of the Sword of Shadow serie by JV Jones. In contrast to the first book, this one was slower paced, most likely because the focus of the book shifted from the main characters of the first book to introduce new ones, or expand some that were already introduced in the first book. I enjoy this serie tremendously so far, I like the complexity of the characters, I like that I would like to kick some of them in their faces while at the same time recognizing that they do bring s ...more
Kiel Van Horn
Feb 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Sequel to A Cavern of Black Ice. The main characters were separated from each other in this one: Ash went off with the Sull at the beginning, leaving Raif behind in a strange scene that isn't executed well. He tries to follow her but gets involved with the Maimed Men. Jones explores their harsh little culture for a while, but his honor from his clan clashes with the intent of the Maimed Men leadership and he goes off on his own to find the Fortress. Fortress was pretty cool as she describes it. ...more
Stretch's Books
Oct 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am just enjoying the heck out of this series. I can hardly wait to purchase book 3 for my nook. J.V. Jones has put together quite the series, so far.

My biggest complaint with book one, "The Cavern of Black Ice", was at times it seemed long winded. Not so with "TFoGI". I was just sucked right into Jones' icy world.

Jones has created a story that makes me determined to find out what becomes of Raif, Ash and Angus Lok, and that is exactly what she is supposed to do.

There w
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the book as a continuation of the Sword of Shadows trilogy. I find JV Jones an interesting author who displays a great understanding of the fantasy genre. Her main characters are well fleshed out and the storyline is really captivating.

As with many other authors in this genre she follows the practice of devolving the story into numerous threads. The plus to this approach is the story has a great deal of depth and detail. The downside is I tend to want to follow the major charac
May 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one took me forever to read, but that was more based on me and my desire to read than the book, I think, because once I really sat down to read it, I finished it in one day.

The clan storyline continues to be the strongest, for sure. Effie and Raina and the Dog Lord are all interesting to read about, and I even warmed up to the new POV of Bram. Raif was kind of hit or miss for me this book, but Ash easily knocked a star off my rating. Her storyline in this book is almost a comple
Aug 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
This second installment in the Sword of Shadows series picks up the pace considerably and broadens its array of heroes. More characters take center stage, ones of different ages, cultures, talents/knowledge, and agendas which helps add depth and variety to this harsh, winter-locked fantasy world. Raif and Ash, the two leads from the previous novel, still play a large role but have now split apart and are enmeshed in different worlds: the violent, unpredictable Maimed Men realm and the haunting, ...more
Aug 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
These are dark books. Nothing good happens to anyone, anywhere. We follow numerous characters, and almost all are complex, and not easily defined. I love it.
At this point I am now thoroughly entrenched in the story of this world. I can't wait to get into the third book, even though I see some party dire circumstances on the horizon.
I went into this series expecting a basic swords and sorcery series. Perhaps something like what I used to read. While it has a bit of those things, this is more ab
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Julie Victoria Jones was born in Liverpool, England. She has been writing for years, and is currently working The End Lords. She lives in San Diego, California.

All three books in The Book Of Words Trilogy are #1 national bestsellers, and have been bought for publication in England, Poland, Russia, Germany, France and Holland. Her fifth book, A Cavern of Black Ice, is the first in a new

Other books in the series

Sword of Shadows (5 books)
  • A Cavern of Black Ice (Sword of Shadows, #1)
  • A Sword from Red Ice (Sword of Shadows, #3)
  • Watcher of the Dead (Sword of Shadows, #4)
  • Endlords (Sword of Shadows, #5)
“There were no stars, or if they were they shone like volcanic glass.” 4 likes
“Not all things that cast man shadows were men.” 2 likes
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