October 27, 2017

Fortress of Ice by C. J. Cherryh

Title:  Fortess of Ice
Author:  C. J. Cherryh
Pages:  402
Genre:  Fantasy
Series:  Tristen, Book 5

Synopsis:  Two surprising allies have emerged to aid the embattled ruler in a struggle he must win: Cefwyn's two young sons. Aewyn Marhanen is the prince destined to rule. Aewyn's half-brother, Elfwyn Aswydd—the bastard son of the king and the sorceress Tarien Aswydd—has spent years unaware of his parentage, yet now it is his time to emerge and claim the gifted birthright he's been denied for so long.

But a dark, sinister magic has crept close to the young man and seized hold of the kingdom. Nothing is as it seems, as the bonds of family strain against the powerful forces that would see them undone—and the battle is joined to unmask and destroy the malevolence that threatens to unhinge the king's peaceful and fragile reign.

Review:  I was upset at the very beginning of this novel.  The first few pages are supposedly a synopsis of the events that happened in the past books, but some of the events never happened.  The author used this three page description to add facts that never actually took place in the books.  It didn't bode well to me.  But, the story was solid.  It's set 15 years after book 4 so perhaps the inclusion of information that wasn't previously revealed is excusable, but it felt a little bit like cheating.

Either way, Cefwyn's two sons are honest and loyal young men.  Their determination and love for one another is stronger than the dark forces that stand against them.  It wasn't my favorite of this series -- Tristen, Uwen and even Cefwyn are secondary characters in this tale.  Aewyn and Elfwyn, both sons of King Cefwyn, are by far the more important roles.

Still, this was a wonderful, fantastical ride and I highly recommend the entire series to anyone who loves some really good fantasy.

Rating:  8 / 10

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