A Sword from Red Ice
Tor, Oct 2007, $27.95
In the Great Want, Raif Sevrance knows he is in deep trouble as he is lost and running out of supplies, but rescued by the enigmatic Lamb Brothers, who seek the dead to bring solace to restless souls. When a wrall kills one of the brothers, Raif teaches them how to send his soul on before he turns into a Shadowflesh.
At the same time Raif struggles to survive, Ash March, still shook from the battle with the Blind creatures, has been separated from her Sull guardian Mal Naysayer, but meets Sull Far Rider Lan Fallstar; she is enthralled with his nasty kick butt attitude while he escorts her through the Racklands. Bram Cormac has been sold while the Cursed Clan abducts Effie Sevrance. Raina Blackhail’s plan to replace Mace Blackhail as chief fails as he prepared for such a contingency. The death of Surlord Penthero Iss reaches the battlefield where his chosen heir Marafice Eye sees victory stolen when his allies the Grangelords desert him to claim the surlord as their leader’s right not his. With war seemingly widening, the greatest threat comes from the Endlords and their army of the Unmade
There are a lot more subplots with incredible layers of complexity than the brief simplistic descriptions above as A SWORD FROM RED ICE is a well written transitional tale that implies many more books in the Sword of Shadows chronicles to come. The ensemble cast remains strong especially Raif, who has the dubious distinction of explaining to his saviors the Lamb Brothers that they must choose between what they consider the lesser of two evil choices. Although progress seems slower on most fronts than what is occurring in Iraq; fans of the series will enjoy this apparently getting much deeper, wider and apparently longer fantasy saga.