A Cavern of Black Ice (Sword of Shadows #1)
|Series:||Sword of Shadows S.|
When Raif and Drey Sevrance return home to their clan as the only survivors of a vicious attack in which both their father and the clan chief, were killed, everything changes for Raif. Uneasy with the new chief's reign of brutality and his brother's acceptance of it, Raif welcomes his uncle Angus Lok's invitation to accompany him to Spire Vanis. Asarhiah March, Ash for short, is the beautiful ward of Penthero Iss, Overlord of Spire Vanis. Suspicious of Penthero's increasing interest in her developing body, when Ash overhears him planning to imprison her she flees, only to be cornered at the city gate by a band of the Overlord's elite guards. But as they close in on her, a stranger comes to the rescue - observed by a bemused Raif, Angus Lok plunges into the midst of the guards and snatches her to safety. For Angus knows that as this girl grows to womanhood she will develop powers which could destroy herself and the world if she doesn't learn to control them ...and only Raif can protect her on her journey to understanding.
'J. V. Jones is a striking writer . . . wonderful' Robert Jordan 'J. V. Jones is quite a find . . . a deliciously intricate tale' Katherine Kurtz 'A storyline featuring the kind of political scheming and intrigue that makes for gripping reading' SFX 'We have major new writer here. Bravo! An intriguing tale well told' Dennis L. McKiernan 'This opens the "Sword of Shadows" trilogy from J.V. Jones, whose debut novel was The Baker's Boy (1995). A Cavern of Black Ice is set in a land divided between small warring clans of hunters and more sophisticated southern cities whose lords covet the clan territories. Young clansman Raif has a touch of "old blood" magic that guides his arrows to the heart. Bad times come when a hunting party that includes his father and clan chief is wiped out by supernaturally aided attack: Raif's open suspicion of the brutal new leader eventually drives him into exile. Meanwhile Iss, overlord of Spire Vanis city, keeps a chained sorcerer whose powers he channels by revolting means and has unexplained but horrifying plans for his "foster daughter" Ash--herself an unwilling focus of dreaded forces. Raif and Ash find themselves fleeing together through wintry, hostile clanlands, pursued by Iss's vilest henchmen, seeking the dubious goal of the Cavern of Black Ice. What lifts this far above routine quest fantasy is Jones' deft characterisation, relentless intensity and unsparing depiction of pain and slow-healing injury. She has a flair for memorably horrid images. Here a sorcerer gloats over one of his nastier tricks: "A man could not fight when his corneas were snapped from his eyes like badges from a chest." This hefty volume has over 800 pages but the narrative grips hard once it's gained momentum, and the pages turn increasingly fast. Book two, A Fortress of Grey Ice is coming soon.' David Langford, AMAZON.CO.UK REVIEW
J. V. Jones worked initially for a record label in her native Liverpool, later moving to San Diego, California, where she ran an export business and was marketing director for an interactive software company.