Professional Reviews for Book 2,
The Ice Shadows of Arna
Readers of THE CHIMES OF YAWRANA will be pleased by the latest adventures of the intrepid, young Oreus
Blake, starship crew-member turned warrior and adventurer. Oreus, who was barely more than a boy in THE
CHIMES OF YAWRANA, has become a man to be reckoned with in THE ICE SHADOWS OF ARNA, the
second book in the Snowtear Wars series. Now a Baron, Oreus Blake and King Noran are faced with new threats
to the kingdom of Yawrana. Oreus finds that despite his valor, destiny can be a very hard thing to bear as once
again he finds himself at the center of a life and death crisis.
Noran and Oreus are drawn into the frozen wastelands of Arna on a quest to save their friends. But, while they
are away from Yawrana even greater tragedies strike--the Black Fever, a mysterious plague, sweeps over the land
and threatens to leave the kingdom in tatters, and, even worse, several of the fabled prophets of Yawrana are
killed along with their symbiotic Sequera trees. The rift caused by the loss of the prophets and their trees creates
ripples that may be more far-reaching than anyone understands. Can the mysteries behind the plague, the fires,
and even the Snowtears themselves be solved in time to save Yawrana? And, who or what exactly is behind
these traumatic turns of event?
THE ICE SHADOWS OF ARNA is even more fulfilling than the first Snowtear War novel. Oreus and Noran
are fully developed in this story and come into their own as heroes. As in the first Snowtear Wars novel, you can
expect myriad plot twists, dark mysteries, high adventure, and even a bit of romance. The characters are clever
and the story is very compelling. Once again, Scot R. Stone has managed to create characters who are very
human. They can be compassionate, daring, and witty, but also short-sighted, selfish, and arrogant. The villains
are just as intriguing and developed as the "good guys," and certainly just as interesting.
The Yawrana that readers were so captivated by in the first novel is unbelievably more vivid. The dynamic bond
between the people and the land, hinted at in the first book and symbolized by the prophets and the Sequera trees,
is even stronger in THE ICE SHADOWS OF ARNA. And, Arna itself is breathtaking in its starkness. There are
new landscapes to explore, new creatures to meet, and new vistas around every corner in this brilliant book. The
link between the natural order and the rightness of things is further reinforced in this second work in the Snowtear
Wars series. And, it becomes more important than ever that the characters choose the path that is best for the
people and the land--since the two are really one.
THE ICE SHADOWS OF ARNA has a mythos all its own. It is a mystery, an adventure, a fantasy, and a book
of philosophy all in one. Like THE CHIMES OF YAWRANA, THE ICE SHADOWS OF ARNA never
disappoints. This is a book you cannot put down--an absolute menace to a Saturday afternoon! Any fan of
Tolkien or Hickman & Weiss will find this book irresistible. Good work again, Mr. Stone! We're all certainly
looking forward to the next book in the Snowtear War series.
Curled Up with a Good Book ~
Barbara Bamberger Scott, www.curledup.com
The poet Robert Frost wrote that some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice. The Ice Shadows of
Arna grapples with both possibilities, and throws in a plague as a third candidate for devastation.
In fact it is Scot R Stone's ability to link several plots in one harness and keep them all reined in that makes this
book such an enjoyable read. At one corner of his fascinating alternative world, Elvana, we have the quest of
King Noran and Baron Oreus to rescue their kidnapped compatriots in the northern caves of Arna that present
perils far greater than mere ice. While in the south, in the kingdom of Yawrana, General Regoria and the Fire
Chief Decker are battling flames that inflict the ancient sequera trees, and a mysterious death-dealing plague
whose only cure is the snowtears, thought to be extinct.
The many characters that people this tightly plotted work leap out of the genre as multidimensional and
sympathetic. In this sequence, Braiy Decker recalls the fires that destroyed the sacred sequeras, trees in which
the gentle Elders chose to live: They screamed their painful cries in the sequeras that were engulfed by fiery,
dancing death. Soon their faces led to others that had also been lost during his devoted years of service. To
keep them alive within his heart he constantly reminded himself of their last living moments.
One of the notable strengths of Stone's intricate quintet (Ice Shadows is the second volume) is the role played
by women. The warrior Jada is a case in point. Until she succumbs to the mysterious plague, she is Rydor's
equal in the search for the rejuvenating snowtears, bearing the title Baron. Ola and Willow, though victimized
by the nefarious Johr and carried away to Arna, do not lose their resolve and are able to exhort their men to
feats of courage when fate seems massed against them.
Another element that makes the story so compelling are the constantly shifting challenges faced by each of the
protagonists. Rydor encounters blood-sucking water gliders and spike-covered leg stalkers. Noran and his
stalwart band find themselves trapped in an ice palace of deadly illusions in which they must battle not only
flesh and blood enemies but their own fevered hallucinations.
The conflicts and their resolutions are not merely imaginative. They draw us in to the reality of Stone's fantasy
universe, a rather idyllic place where technology is limited and carefully controlled, true authority is respected,
bravery is rewarded, and there is much worth saving.
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. 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 them 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. These 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 his 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.
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 book 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!
The Beezer Review ~
by Andrew Gray, Website: www.beezermn.laethyn.com