Sword of Shadows by J.V. Jones
I have just this minute finished reading the Sword of Shadows and was searching the web for the follow up when I found this site - I have to say I was stunned to see the photograph of the author at the back of the book - I was surprised and impresssed to see that this terrific story, stepped in brotherhood and clan issues was written by a female. I am a fantasy sci-fi fan from 40 years back and have read all of the majors and minors and have really enjoyed the writing style of J V Jones. The hint of sorcery rather than an abiding existence of all things unbelievable has been refreshing. The characters are well drawn and remorselessly draw you into their tough and challenging world with an ease sometimes missing in some of the more profile writers. The reference to clan styles is reminiscent of dour scots history but does not draw the bow too thin. I did not read the first in the series prior to Sword of Shadows but will now go looking for it as well as the follow up tome. A fabulous read - I will refer it to my partner as his next best read (he is ex military and has no patience with superficial story development so will be a hard critic). Recommeded as a truly great read for the history/sci-fi buff.