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A Sword from Red Ice by J.V. Jones

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Submitted by Jason 
(Jan 03, 2008)

This book continues on where the series left off but unless you just read the other two that doesn't help you a whole bunch. In my case it hasn't helped much at all. Having to wait over three years between books in this series makes it almost impossible to stay in any sort of flow and I have ended up reading them more as stand alone books rather than the series they were intended to be. Secondly, Jones recognizes this. She includes a "story so far" section at the beginning but it does not come close to reminding you of the mannerisms of the charecters we have grown fond of in earlier books or the intricacies of the story and world she has created. I am constantly trying to remember who did what in earlier books even though I read the first two more than once. It makes for frustrating reading and causes the experience to be less than what it could be with more continuity. Finally, Jones is falling into the classic trap of Fantasy series'. She is starting to get so many story lines going on that even in a several hundred page book, none of them get advanced that far. I call this the "Robert Jordan syndrome" and she is dangerously close to falling prey to it. In the first two books we were given about three or four story lines to follow. Now we are up to 7 or so. It is starting to become too much to keep track of and it causes the story to move very, very slowly.

Jones is a master of creating a rich world that does not rely on the old cliche's drawn from Tolkein and others. Her charecters are engaging and have depth to them that you will not often find in other fantasy writers. And, unlike other prominent fantasy writers, her charecters act like grown ups in adult situations. To date, I have like everything she has written a great deal. I hope she does not blow it by continuing to take several years to crank out a sequel and by having too many spin off story lines that are not central to the main theme.

Submitted by Asianhawk 
(Dec 20, 2007)

A Sword from Red Ice still does not impact me like A Cavern of Black Ice, but it comes close. I fortunately waited to read the whole series for the first time less then 3 weeks ago and finished SFRI just moments ago. Other than Terry Goodkind, no other author has impacted me like JV Jones. I have been searching for a new kind of fantasy for years, little did I know that the 1st 2 books sitting on my shelf for about 3-4 years was exactly the barbarian gritty heroic style I was searching for!
The only problem I have with SFRI, is there is not enough Raif and certainly not enough Ash, who were the main characters. There are too many chapters with sub plots that never overlap with eachother, and about characters I just don't care for even nearly as much as Raif and Ash. The story arc with Raif is well worth the read, but I constantly felt myself just getting through the next 3 chapters of other side characters to get back to Raif. And out of the entire 623 page book, Ash is only in like 4 chapters.
Now other than the lack of the main characters, this book is STUNNING, and is on my top list of the best fantasy story telling of all time. It's just mind boggling why it takes 4 years for JV to write each book now... If I have to wait for the next installment until 2011 I don't know what I will do. Raif Severance is right up there with Richard Rahl for me.
Jones can write with such gritty realism your face scrunches with pain while you read. When Raif is injured, YOU fell injured. When the characters are freezing in a blizzard, YOUR fingers feel numb with bitter chill and turn blue.
I'm not going to go into any spoilers of plot etc. but I don't think most readers will be impacted with this book like the A Cavern with Black Ice.... nothing compares to getting to know Raif and Ash, and going through all their trials and tribulations like the 1st volume; it's hard for me to say it, but it's the truth.

Submitted by J Dowling 
(Dec 20, 2007)

JV Jones latest release "A sword from Red Ice"is the third book in what is now apparently a series of five. The first two books in the series are amazing, the standard of work achieved is stunning.

JV Jones's talent is in her ability to create a world, which is completely original; it does not borrow itself from anything. The characters created are very real and the names given are almost anointed upon each that character, so strong do they belong to the individual in question.

Five years after the previous book was released, comes the third in what perhaps was originally was a trilogy.

Five years is a long wait for a sequel, so much so that my wife paid $65.00 for it as a gift for me, I couldnít wait for the Australian release and had it shipped from America for my birthday.

A Sword from Red Ice is without doubt the worst book that I have read since I canít remember when. The book has absolutely no pace to it what so ever, character development is nil and since this book has 12 main characters the new release adds up to alot of nothing.

Concerning the pace of the book or lack of it the book flits from one character to next, from chapter to chapter. As such nothing is achieved. Character development stalls after every chapter as we move on to another one of the 12 main characters. The result is mind blowingly frustrating.

One of the major characters spends the entire 600 plus pages sitting in a canoe floating down a creek musing on her life and where its taking her. Another invades a clan round house, chews the cud on local politics then turns around and heads home.... he doesnít even fight anyone. I finished that chapter banging the spine of the book against my head wondering why I was too gutless to throw the book in the bin and go to sleep!

Actually, we now have so many main characters, that some whom are central characters in the first two books now for no reason at all, are barely mentioned. One character has a 580-page gap from one chapter to the next.

Raif Severance the main character achieves nothing; he gets sick, gets better, finds a sword does nothing with it, book finishes.

Many of the other characters receive a worse fate then Raif's, in so far as much, that nothing happens. The enemy of this world is apparently "the Endlords" Ms Jones and the good people at "Tor" (the publishers) may in fact find the real enemy is boredom.

I can imagine that with a five-year gap between releases, there may have been tension between Publisher and Author. For my sake, I hope there was, as I do not want to be the only person who suffered through this debacle.

I realize that this review will offend people, but when reading this review remember two things: JV Jones was my favourite author so being this critical is hard. Therefore, when Ms Jones releases her next offering in 2017 my unborn son will be able to read it to me and then you can correct my disparaging comments.

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