A Cavern of Black Ice

J. V. Jones, Author
J. V. Jones, Author Aspect $23.5 (736p) ISBN 978-0-446-52414-8
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
The first volume of Jones's (The Barbed Coil, etc.) new trilogy is set in a sub-arctic land so vividly realized that it contributes notably to the book's suspense and emotional impact--even as it almost overpowers its characters. Ashd March, the adopted daughter of a nobleman; Raif and Dray Sevrance, two accomplished archers; and Angus Lok, a once formidable warrior, are becoming increasingly aware, through alarming signs--a camp of murdered men, a recurring nightmare of ice and blood, an ominous call to arms--of a magical evil coming their way. The destinies of these four, particularly of Ash and Raif, become progressively entwined, even entangled, as the novel lumbers toward its inconclusive ending. Throughout, Jones skillfully mixes bits borrowed from history, folklore, religion (her shamans are particularly well done) and other fantasy works, but her attention to these details and her determination to introduce every element of her trilogy at once slow the pacing and sometimes create more confusion than clarity. Nonetheless, Jones has a real gift for evocative description, and the novel will satisfy most saga lovers. Agent, Russ Galen. (Mar.)
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