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The Ice Shadows of Arna (The Snowtear Wars,…
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The Ice Shadows of Arna (The Snowtear Wars, Book 2)

by Scot R. Stone

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The Ice Shadows of Arna by Scot R. Stone is the second book in the Snowtear Wars. The first book being; The Chimes of Yawrana (The Snowtear Wars). This is a new series by a new author. As I said in my review of Chimes of Yawrana, being that Mr. Stone is a new author chances are most fantasy fans have not heard of him and thusly may be hesitant to pick up these novels. Fans of the fantasy genre should at least take a look at the first book as it seems to be a fair representation of what the series will entail. So far, this series is a solid addition to the fantasy genre as a whole.

Unlike the first novel, Mr. Stone is not required to set up the majority of places, events, and people. This enables him to focus more on the plot and characters, instead of having to explain multiple things within one scene. There is a comfort that can be found with Mr. Stone's prose, he doesn't try to be overly flamboyant or wordy. He obviously has a story to tell and just seeks to get his vision across to the reader. From reading the first two books in this series, I can say that Mr. Stone does a fantastic job of conveying his image of this story.

The plot of this novel takes up two years after the events of book one. The preceding two years were relatively calm and serene. However, events quickly occur that throw the region into a state of flux. There are actually several plot arcs within this book; Oreus Blake, King Noran and a small group of men go on a trek into the frigid wastelands of Arna to search for those closest to hem who have been kidnapped, there is the mysterious Black fever that is spreading across the territories, and the death of three of the elders as a result of a massive fire. There three major events, as well as smattering of smaller ones, creates many interesting story lines and plot points. Once again Mr. Stone does a very good job of weaving the multiple plot lines together to create a concise novel. Each one of the three major plot points could have easily taken up an entire novel. Yet, Mr. Stone does a good job of keeping them tight and not letting the story get out of control. Some fantasy authors seem to think that fans always want to read 900+ pages novels. This novel, even with all the plot points, only amounts to 484 pages which is just about right for this book. The old adage less is more, certainly applies to this scenario.

For the most part the characters in this book are largely the same ones as the first book. There are a few new characters added, but fans of the first book will certainly find many familiar faces within these pages. A benefit of reading additional books in a series is that the author does not have to invest as much time explaining the characters. Rather, they are allowed to jump right in and further develop characters. One of my most positive aspects of the first book was that he characters were engaging and Mr. Stone did a good job of defining each character as their own entity In the first book's review I even said that every character elicited some type of response from me, from loving the character to despising a character. However, this book seemed as though Mr. Stone focused more on events than actual character development. Certainly, there were some instances of character development and progression. However, by and large, the focus seemed on places and events. Don't get me wrong though, the characters in this book and very enjoyable and memorable.

One of my minor criticisms of the first book was the point of view shifts with little warning. This remains the same for this book as well. There are times when sections are divided with three ~ ~ ~, however, more often than not, those ~ are not present and the `shift' to another point of view , often times in a different story arc, is disjointing at first. It takes away from the flow of the story. My second criticism about this particular novel is that the middle of the novels seems to become sluggish as the author tries to move the plot along. The middle felt as though the characters were being dragged along by the story instead of the characters creating events of the story.

Overall, this is a very solid book and certainly deserves its place in the fantasy genre. If you are a fan of deeply involved plots and multiple characters this is certainly a books you should look into. This book, and series thus far, will not `re-create' the fantasy genre, yet it will entertain many readers. Mr. Stone does a fantastic job of building his world and showing the reader his vision. He does not fall into the trap of telling the reader what to see, he allows the reader to experience it via his carefully chosen words. This is a series that I will be certain to recommend to fantasy fans in the future. Another solid effort by Mr. Stone!

***This review is dedicated to all those who were effected by the tragic events of the Interstate 35 bridge collapse in Minnesota on 8/1/07*** ( )
  BeezerMN | Oct 22, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 193301606X, Paperback)

Two years have passed since the great grassland war of the Waungee. Baron Oreus Blake and King Noran Yorokoh face one of their worst nightmares when those closest to them are taken prisoner by banished convicts into the dangerous and frigid ice lands of Arna. During their chase, they discover the precious and curative snowtears still exist and much more may be at stake for the kingdom than they at first realized. While away on their struggles to the far north, a deadly black fever is spreading throughout the territories and a devastating fire has scorched and killed three of the ancient, sequera tree homes, including the Yawranan prophets who resided within. General Rydor Regoria and Chief Braiy Decker are the best remaining hope to solve the two mysteries and the murderous plot trails left behind.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:41 -0400)

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