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Young clansman Raif has a touch of "old blood" magic that guides his arrows to the heart. Bad times come when a hunting party that includes his father and clan chief is wiped out by a supernaturally aided attack, and Raif's open suspicion of the brutal new leader eventually drives him into exile. Meanwhile, Iss, overlord of Spire Vanis city, keeps a chained-up sorcerer whose powers he channels by revolting means, and has unexplained but shuddersome plans for his "foster daughter" Ash--herself an unwilling focus of dread forces. Raif and Ash find themselves fleeing together through wintry, hostile clanlands, pursued by Iss's vilest henchmen, seeking the dubious goal of the Cavern of Black Ice.
What lifts this tale far above routine quest fantasy is Jones's deft characterization, relentless intensity, and unsparing depiction of pain and slow-healing injury. She has a flair for memorably horrid images. Here a sorcerer gloats over one of his nastier tricks: "A man could not fight when his corneas were snapped from his eyes like badges from a chest."
This hefty volume is over 800 pages long, but the narrative grips hard once it's gained momentum, and the pages turn increasingly fast. Strong meat. Next comes book two, A Fortress of Grey Ice. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Jones is a terrific writer. However, this book is pure fantasy and should not be categorized with science fiction.Published 4 months ago by Phil Walker
First I will start off by saying that JV Jones is actually an amazing author. I loved these books but if you look at her timeline it takes her 3 or 4 years to pump out a book and... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Scott S Cornwell
Just...wow. Great story and the way the author writes makes you FEEL the cold. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this series.Published 9 months ago by J. Snow
The 3rd time I've read it and still great. The tale never loses anything in the telling. I highly recommend itPublished 9 months ago by Zete
fascinating world, the dangers kept me on the edge of my seat. Looking forward to the next novel.Published 12 months ago by Joel M. Elfman
This did not do it for me at all - the characters were unoriginal, the plot boring, and there was no driving force other than the characters going from place to place, fighting,... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Joe
Loved this book. Bought it and read it many years ago and have continued with the whole series. different from the normal rubbish where a damn dragon pops up. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Marie Henry