I was very happy to recieve a galley copy of J.V. Jones's A Sword from Red
Ice. It seemed like I'd been waiting forever for TOR to finally publish
this third novel in the Sword of Shadows series. I read a lot in the
fantasy and scifi genres, and I mean A LOT. And there's plenty out there
to get into. Jones's books are up on a shelf with George R. R. Martin's
and Neil Gaiman's, instead of being in the "to be traded" boxes under my
desk. The thing I like about this series (and all of Jones's novels) is the
depth and detail of the world's history, cultures, religions, and
characters. A Sword from Red Ice just added more to the previous works.
The thing that always stands out the most to me, though, is the characters.
You get so into them that you care when one of their horses dies (or pony,
as the case may be). The journey with Raif through the Great Want and with
Ash closer to the Heart of the Sull lands is alternately frustrating and
euphoric, but worth the trip. Following a captive little Effie down the
rivers, I began to sense the reason that all the other clans consider Clan
Grey cursed. While I liked Robbie Dun Dhoone previously, I really really
don't like him anymore. Bran, though, I can't wait to see what Bran does.
I was also glad to see more of Vaylo Bludd, the Dog Lord. He's probably my
second favorite character in these books because he rings so truly. In the
beginning, I cared little what happened to him. Now I'm rooting for him to
thrash each and every one of his sons, take back the Bludd house, and fight
the Shadows. And I miss the Dog Horse. Poor Dog Horse. I hope he bites
Robbie's ass. Mariface Eye is coming right along too; I'm kind of hoping
accomplishes what he's set out to do. And then there's Baralis. Ever
since Baker's Boy, Baralis has been at the top of my all-time favorite evil
character list. At this point, I'm wondering if I'm going to have to
scratch through that "evil" part. The absolute best parts of the book
though, are the ones featuring Raina Blackhail. Gods, but the woman
finally starts coming in to her own there at the end.
All in all, I'm patiently and eagerly awaiting the next book. Again. The
length of time spent writing it can take as long as it needs, but I'll kick
TOR in their collective shins if they make me wait as long before they get
all the kinks out and get it on the shelves.