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Ash & Raif
Ash & Raif

Sword Of Shadows Begins

A Cavern of Black Ice is the book that took over my life and gave me my first gray hair! This book is BIG! There are hundreds of characters to keep track of, 30 clans, 6 cities, 5 races and several packs of dogs!
The Facts
The book is 723 manuscript pages long and weighs in at 292,803 words. It has 55 chapters, plus an epilogue and a prologue. I can't tell you either the first or last word as it will give too much away. BUT, know that the Prologue contains two scenes and the second scene starts with the sentence: "They applied the leeches to him in rings of six."

The book took me 14 months to write, and that included writing every day (including weekends). I finished the first draft in early December 1997, and then spent nearly 4 months rewriting it. My previous books had taken 9 months or less to write. So this one was long and difficult.

The book is NOT a sequel to the BOOK OF WORDS, though it is set in the same world and contains some very deep and important connections to the first series. People can read A CAVERN OF BLACK ICE without having read the Words series first. A few characters crossover to the new series, but I canna tell you who or I'd have to send Moth & Clem round to rough you up! (-;

Amongst the hundreds of books I used for research are the following gems: "Timberline: Mountain & Arctic Forest Frontiers" (everything you ever needed to know about Arctic trees!) "Ravens in Winter" (yep, you guessed it, everything you need to know about ravens in winter. They're wily little devils, let me tell you!); "History of the Peoples of Siberia"; and my personal favorite "The Book of the Eskimos" which was written by a Danish gentleman who lived in Greenland at the turn of the century. At one point, he was married to a twelve year old Intuit girl!

Cover Art
The artwork for A Cavern Of Black Ice is by Targete. The characters depicted in the original cover art by Greg Call are Ash March and Raif Sevrance.

US cover
US Cover
UK cover
UK Cover
Cover art and sections of cover Greg Call 1998

An Ice Wolf
Ice Wolf
In Spire Vanis, an uncrowned ruler steals magic from tortured captives, while an innocent girl is haunted by nightmares of ice. On the frigid steppes, two brothers find their kinsmen slain by swords that draw no blood. At a remote homestead, a hardened warrior leaves his family to follow a raven's summons.

And in a deadly wilderness where nature and the gods have no mercy, two young fugitives will confront the unfolding of an apocalyptic prophecy...

The Main Characters

Raif Sevrance:
Raven Born, Oathbreaker, Warrior of Clan Blackhail and Watcher of the Dead.
Ash March:
Foundling, left outside of Vaingate to die. A terrible destiny awaits her in a dead and voided land.
Angus Lok:
Ranger, member of the mysterious "Phage" of which little is known, and uncle to Raif Sevrance.
Effie Sevrance:
Wearer of the Stone Lore, able to see the future in small glimpses; a maiden of Clan Blackhail.
Penthero Iss:
Surlord of Spire Vanis, sorcerer and keeper of a terrible, dread secret.
Sarga Veys:
The Phage's greatest find in over a decade. A powerful sorcerer and a man who nurses his slights.
Marafice Eye:
The Knife. Protector General of the Rive Watch and Penthero Iss' right hand.

Drey Sevrance:
Brother to Raif, warrior of Clan Blackhail and wearer of the Bear Lore.
Cluff Drybannock:
A Trenchborn bastard, part-Sull.

Mace Blackhail:
The Hail Wolf.
Heritas Cant:
Sorcerer, broken on the wheel.

Raina Blackhail:
Wife of the Blackhail chief.
Cavern Index:
Press Reviews
Reader Reviews
The Clansman
The Crouching Maiden
The Dog Lord
Quick Quotes:
"In A CAVERN OF BLACK ICE, Jones proves with her fine characterization and storytelling ability that she is on track to join the pantheon of science fiction's finest."
"Wonderful...A great start to what promises to be a greater tale."
What The Readers Say:
"Book one in J.V. Jones' new trilogy, Sword of Shadows, immediately gets your full attention. The first three paragraphs will have readers who are familiar with her first trilogy, The Book of Words, thinking " that's the connection!" With that delightful knowledge in hand, A Cavern of Black Ice begins with a fast pace, and holds to it to the final, intriguing word."
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