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A Fortress of Grey Ice

(Sword of Shadows #2)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  5,724 ratings  ·  83 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 August 1st 2003)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,724 ratings  ·  83 reviews

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Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kat-fantasy
Volume 2 of the Sword of Shadows saga is as dark and awesome as the first part.

As in the first volume the story starts slightly slower, but gains quite a bit of momentum in the second half of the book.

J.V. Jones introduces two more storylines with two new protagonists. She keeps the chapters short with ever changing perspectives which allows the reader to keep an overview ot the story in total.

This tale is neither uplifting nor joyful, but it really keeps getting to me, emotionally and mental
I read this book 5 years after I read the first in the series, yet so much of it came back to me and there's a recap in the beginning which covers much of the first book as a refresher. I absolutely loved the first book, and hoped to do so with this one too, and on the whole it's a lot of fun but it's also a typically very slow fantasy build up.

This story is the tale of Raif and Ash for the most part still, however we also follow Effie and Raina in their new roles too. Raif and Ash are the two
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.
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 though it might be 20 years since I last read them. Yes, I remember liking it that much. ...more
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
WOW! It took a while to complete this but was sooo worth 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. ...more
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 loses focus
M.T. Ceres
Jan 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
My favourite melancholic barbarian, indestructible hero dropped a point, but this read is still worth a mighty four stars.
Loved it overall and pulled an all-nighter to finish it - by all-nighter I mean I stayed up until 11.30!
The introduction of other characters like Crope and Stillborn saved this work from becoming a bit of a two-dimensional character profile on Raif's progress as he discovers himself and accepts his power. He is a very melancholic indestructible hero and at time his arc veered
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 second book in a
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
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!
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
Feb 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
I can see now, why J.V. Jones "Sword of Shadows"-Series never shot up in popularity compared to other titles like "A Song of Ice and Fire" or "Mistborn". When it comes to accessibility, this series hurls quite a number of stones in your way. "A Cavern of Black Ice", the first book in the series, had a very slow start, a very gripping middle, and a slow, anticlimactic finale with many plot strands hanging in the open. The second entry isn't much better in that regard. The pacing is horribly slow, ...more
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
Feb 11, 2020 rated it liked it
After the sudden spasms of great change begin, things tend to settle in for the long haul, people regroup, rethink.

Book 2 of J.V. Jones' fine Sword of Shadows series doesn't pack the excitement of Book 1, but it deepens the setting, spreads out to far-flung places. This toning down of the action for somewhat more layered world-building may, to some, make "A Fortress of Grey Ice" a bit disappointing after "A Cavern of Black Ice." If the deepening of this world and its characters on paper compensa
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 though the story
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 to it.
Jul 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Book 2 starts off at a good pace, but ends with a crawl. Too much travelogue scenery description. How much mud and ice can I take. And I always have a problem with monsters. They are boring and kind of stupid. So is Raif. There were no monsters in "Book of Words" and the pace was much faster. Moving on to book 3 only because I already bought it. I suspect it's time for speed reading past endless landscape. ...more
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. ...more
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
What can I say, I'm just really enjoying this series! It ticks all the right boxes and I'm really enjoying getting perspectives from so many different people. I love how much of the world (which has some excellent world-building!) we get to explore. Can't wait to track down and dive into the next book. ...more
Riko Stan
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
All the world building in the first book is paying off here. Diggin' it. ...more
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 stars. Book 1 was better
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.
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 book,
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.

Unfortunately, there were two thin
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)
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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 series.


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)

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