A Sword from Red Ice by J.V. Jones

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Book Information  
AuthorJ.V. Jones
TitleA Sword from Red Ice
SeriesSword of Shadows
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Shane 
(Sep 02, 2009)

I am so disappointed. I waited months for this book to come back into print so I could read it. I had it pre-ordered and was looking forward to seeing how this trilogy would end only to find it's not a trilogy at all. JV Jones has sold out. She has joined the ranks of fantasy writers who develop stories with too may subplots and which don't actually reach any real conclusions between the opening and closing pages of a book.

Do you remember when the Wheel of Time was a compelling story with a real story arc or when Richard Rahl was a three dimensional character with more than a single idea stretched across 700 pages? Jones has joined this heady club of authors who start great fantasy stories and then turn them into cash milking machines. I so hoped she would be more like Robin Hobbs but I guess that is the way fantasy writing is going these days.

Of course, it's still a good read which is why I have given it three stars. Good characters, though some of the sub-plot characters are boring and I am not in the slightest bit interested in finding out what becomes of them. Angus Lok's story was offered up as important by being placed early in the book only for him not to appear again till the epilogue. The Castlemilk sub-plot is incredibly boring and I don't care at all for the Marafice Eye subplot. Raina Blackhail could have been interesting but it takes way too many chapters for her to do anything and she comes across as the most milked of the characters along with Vaylo Bludd.

Gods, I am so disappointed. JV Jones is just another Raymond E. Feist or Katherine Kerr (Kerr showed great promise before she practically tied up the Deverry story only to start a whole new story arc). I can't understand how it takes so long for Jones to write a book when she doesn't even develop the story in any great way.

I will not be buying any more of these books until the series is completed and even then only when they are bargain basement reprints. I refuse to sponsor this kind of writing behaviour. And given how long it takes her to write a book, I guess that won't be for another 10 years.

Submitted by paintrgrl 
(Jun 16, 2009)

Some of the previous comments rang true for my reading experience of Sword of Red Ice as well. The time that has passed between novels has been so long that it took me about half way through the book for my memory to kick in and resurrect certain minor but memorable characters. Strong female characters really attracted me to the writing of J.V. Jones but I found that the male characters started to override the female in this novel. I loved the little girl Effie and Raina as well as Annwyn and the thoroughly evil assassin (can't remember her name). Although when Raina takes matters into her own hands at the end I couldn't help but think - finally!
I do still like the female character development in the novels- so much sci-fi or fantasy novel writing uses the typical whore/madonna stereotyping of females it gets annoying. I think that Jones' strength is her very human characters that make mistakes and fail. A dog-lord that gets sentimental and a clan matron that commits murder- all in all good stuff.

Submitted by Zubi 
(Feb 11, 2008)

I see that I am not the only one who was massively let down by the quality of Sword From Red Ice (SFRI).

I'd waited in feverish anticipation for 3 years for SFRI to come out. When it did I read through it in 24hrs! My initial reaction while I was reading was one of immense disappointment. At the end of the book I still hadn't changed my mind. Having gone over it in bits since then, I still see no reason to change my mind. And the reason for that is that I found the plot to thin, characters underdeveloped and explanation of detail very tedious, over the top and in some cases totally irrelevant - irrelevant because the sequence of events that were supposed to act as a follow through to the details themselves were sparse and patchy.

The previous books in the series were a beauty - gripping, real, gritty and imaginative. In contrast, SFRI was a boring read. I had the strong impression that the original intention had been to make a Sword of Shadows trilogy, but that JV Jones must have somehow allowed herself to be browbeaten by the publishers into agreeing to milk the fans for what it was worth by making a longer series. If true, then bad idea.

With regard to the remainder of the series, my advice to JV Jones would be to offset the copious amounts of detail with relevant sequence of events that throw more light on the initial explanations as well as allow for continuity(she did this especially brilliantly in the first book of the series). Also, she would do well to bring the main characters into play by giving them active roles - Raif, Effie, Drey, Angus Lok, Vaylo, Marafice, Raina and Ash. Less explanations - we already know their history, more action and more story-telling. Even if it ends up be a 1000 pages long.

Then we would have a book worth reading!

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