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What loss and pain awaits the Watchers of the Dead

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A Sword of Shadows - Book 4 - Watcher of the Dead by J.V. Jones
Watcher of the Dead
J.V. Jones

J.V. Jones continues to enthrall readers of her epic dark fantasy series A Sword of Shadows. The aptly titled fourth novel, Watcher of the Dead, continues the story where it left off with Raif in possession of Loss as shadowy forces and groups continue to scheme and fight. The darkest novel in the series so far Watcher of the Dead masterfully draws the readers focus to the strife and hardship that all characters are enduring as the prison on the Endlords and their armies continues to crumble. A sense of a held breadth is the feeling the reader is left with as you know devastation and death will be falling shortly upon all of the North, regardless of the steps being taken to prevent it.

Unlike a lot of epic fantasies where the cast grows to such an extent that it seems to become unwieldy to the author, J.V. Jones masterfully keeps the story flowing with swift moving chapters that although contain different characters and settings always have the same dark but not yet hopeless mood. Upon completing the book you may wonder what is happening with the few characters that didn’t appear in Watcher of the Dead, however in no way do you feel that the story was incomplete or lacking in any way.

Although Clan Gray is known as the cursed clan it sure seems that the Sevrance siblings are the most cursed of all. Raif, forsworn clansman, slayer of Clan Bludd women and children, watcher of the dead is held in fear tinged with hope by all as the gods it seems have great fun toying with his life. His dreams have been shattered and mantels are thrust upon him by myths and prophecies alike. Having attained possession of the infamous sword Loss through hardship and pain little does he know that the true nightmare is about to begin as he learns to wield the legendary weapon.

Meanwhile Effie having been kidnapped ends up in Clan Grey with her stone lore stolen. She undergoes her own trials of love found and lost and endurance in her quest to escape while also unraveling the secret behind why Clan Grey steals all clan born children that show the old skills. Angus Lok is perhaps the character that most readers will be following closely as he is on the hunt for revenge and there is nothing, nothing that will stop him as he hunts the hunter.

Raina Blackhail, unwilling wife of Scarpe born Chief Mace finds herself coming to power as she slowly but inevitably takes her place in front of the clan. Although the Scarpe guide lies dead by her hand the clan has no time to rest or gather themselves. For the Wiesel Chieftein Yelma Scarpe wants the hailhouse for herself and Raina will need to gather her allies as blackhail fights for the very survival of their clan. Meanwhile Ash finds herself finally at the Heart of the Sull but learns there is no safety for one such as her who can walk the boundary between the worlds at will.

In addition to the individual character and plot developments the stage is being set for future novels and confrontations as clans are at war with themselves and each other. The land is immersed in peril and intrigue as the motives behind the Phage, Sull, Clan Chiefs, and City Lords still lay in shadow as their actions seem to drive and abide the current conflicts instead of resolving them in preparation of the arrival of the Endlords and their unmade army. Watcher of the Dead is a cold story sure to chill your soul and set your joints to aching. I suggest you pick yourself up a copy today then settle in with a warm blanket and a hot drink as you get immersed in this vivid but tense frozen world.

Oh as a side note if you haven’t read the previous volumes you can technically pick up and read Watcher of the Dead by itself as there is a short intro to events that have transpired so far. However I suggest you start with A Cavern of Black Ice as this story is to good to start halfway through.

If you enjoyed this book you may also like:

The Desert Spear by Peter V. Brett Shadowmarch - Book 3 - Shadowrise by Tad Williams Sword and Citadel by Gene Wolfe
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