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The Cradle of Ice by James Rollins

Fans of the “Game of Thrones” and “Lord of the Rings” series looking for something to tide them over until the next spinoff or season arrives need look no further than James Rollins rollicking fantasy adventure tale “The Cradle of Ice” (Tor Books, 672 pages, $29,99), the second in his spectacular Moonfall series.

Rollins’ second installment pretty much picks up where the first, “The Starless Crown,” leaves off with our collection of heroes coming together. He wastes no time in separating them yet again, into two wayfaring camps that set out on parallel, connected journeys to prevent the apocalyptic vision of Moonfall from coming to pass. As with all great quests, Rollins’ latest is peppered with wondrous lands of legend like the Frozen Wastes and the Southern Klashe, all fraught with danger and risk as our noble heroes race to save their world from destruction.

The structure of “The Cradle of Ice,” like many fantasy epics, follows the general contours of Homer’s incomparable “The Iliad and the Odyssey.” At its heart, though, the book makes us feel like we’re kids again watching the original “Jason and the Argonauts” or one of the better entries in the Sinbad series. This is storytelling at its absolute level best.

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