It's been five long years since the city learned to fear...
The war between the thief guilds and the powerful allegiance known as the Trifect has slowly dwindled. Now only the mysterious Haern is left to wage his private battle against the guilds in the guise of the Watcher - a vicious killer who knows no limits. But when the son of Alyssa Gemcroft, one of the three leaders of the Trifect, is believed murdered, the slaughter begins anew. Mercenaries flood the streets with one goal in mind: Find and kill the Watcher.
Peace or destruction; every war must have its end.
Fantasy author David Dalglish spins a tale of retribution and darkness, and an underworld reaching for ultimate power.
©2013 David Dalglish (P)2013 Hachette Audio
The bold cast of characters continues into this book, although don't get attached to anyone .. they are highly likely to die along the way in dramatic fashion. This book is even darker than the last and to great effect. Dalglish does not disappoint. The same smokey-voiced narrator as last book -- excellent delivery, and continued consistency through the creative use of accents. Love it!
I went into A Dance Of Blades right after listening to the first book A Dance Of Cloaks. In my review of the first book, I noted that I really liked the story but didn't much care for the narration. The same applies to this book, however after listening to the first, I have become somewhat used to the narrators speech, and I didn't find it as bothersome this time around. So I won't spend a lot of time on it here.
A Dance of Blades finds Aaron, now named Hearn to his friends, and The Watcher to everyone else, now on a vendetta to stop his father and the other thief guilds. The book starts out the action quickly, and Hearn even leaves the city of Velderin, showing a little bit more of this world. While on the road he encounters an ambush of the caravan carrying the son of Alyssa, one of the characters from the first book, and now a powerful merchant. Hearn intervenes to try and save the boy, but is later blamed for his death. This sets up the rest of the story, with all characters seeking revenge.
There are several characters that continue on from the first book, and some who didn't survive the first book are missed, although at least one reappears having apparently survived. There are also a few new characters, Death Mask, a wizard who joins the Ash Guild in a plot that is not quite fully uncovered in this book, and Ghost, an assassin who is very skilled and entertaining. I did have to laugh a little at their comic book names though.
I would have liked to seen a little more of the world this book is set in, but almost as soon as the story left the safety of the city, much like the main character Hearn, it seemed to grow afraid of what lurked outside the walls and quickly retreated back inside. Overall though, this is a very exciting second book in the Shadowdance series, and I think author David Danglish will become a name in the fantasy genre if he continues with books like this.
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