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A Dance of Cloaks Audiobook

A Dance of Cloaks: Shadowdance

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Publisher's Summary

The Underworld rules the city of Veldaren. Thieves, smugglers, assassins... they fear only one man.

Thren Felhorn is the greatest assassin of his time. All the thieves' guilds of the city are under his unflinching control. If he has his way, death will soon spill out from the shadows and into the streets.

Aaron is Thren's son, trained to be heir to his father's criminal empire. He's cold, ruthless - everything an assassin should be. But when Aaron risks his life to protect a priest's daughter from his own guild, he glimpses a world beyond piston, daggers, and the iron rule of his father.

Assassin or protector; every choice has its consequences.

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

What the Critics Say

"[A] winning combination of A Game of Thrones, sword-and-sorcery RPGs, and vivid description...Dalglish puts familiar pieces together with a freshness and pleasure that are contagious." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (370 )
5 star
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3.9 (340 )
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Story
3.9 (340 )
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Performance
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  •  
    beachgirl 11-20-13
    beachgirl 11-20-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great cast of characters, Dynamic narration"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Would definitely recommend! ... This is one of the best fantasy audio books i've listened to. The story is engaging, and in the style of Game of Thrones, with gritty and sometimes brutal plot twists. And I loved the narrator's performance! This story has a huge cast of characters, some with big personalities. I felt the narrator brought the book to life -- the range of accents he used added a dynamic element that kept me engaged --- also helped me tell the characters apart during fast moving dialog, and quick switches between the 4-5 different story lines. Loved it! About to start the next in the series ...


    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Auberry, CA, United States 11-14-14
    Thomas Auberry, CA, United States 11-14-14 Member Since 2008

    My pic says it all. That's my dog and he is really barking for me to throw another snowball. Scary looks but really just a playful guy by nature. Been reading sf/fantasy like a power nerd my whole life which is almost 50 years now. I like all sorts of stuff just make the story believable...

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    "Life is cheap."

    Wow, a lot of people die in this book. Every character is pretty much a killer who kill indiscriminately and without remorse. The lead villain kills so many of his own men and family you wonder how anybody could follow him. His son constantly makes stupid mistakes which leads to dear old dad killing his friends one after another. Etc, etc etc.

    The story is also just ok. Not great but not awful.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Corvallis, OR, United States 01-17-14
    Adam Corvallis, OR, United States 01-17-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Did anyone listen to this guy read first?"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A different reader, I think. Couldn't get into the story because he was so horrible


    What was most disappointing about David Dalglish’s story?

    Not sure. Couldn't get into the story.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Elijah Alexander?

    ANYONE. Anyone but him. His accents are terrible, he sounds like he's reading to middle schoolers, he has inflections at all the wrong places.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I'm sure the story is good.


    Any additional comments?

    These companies need to listen to their narrators first.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JPaladin 01-04-14
    JPaladin 01-04-14 Member Since 2015
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    "OK, but I'd like to take a crack at re-writing it"

    This is a pretty enjoyable book, following a pretty tried and true (if not a bit tired) formula for fantasy novels.

    It falls into my "past the time" on the long drive category. It is written for adults and is done well. Didn't really come up with anything original (and missed a few opportunities for an interesting twist on the coming of age story of a young criminal with a heart of gold).

    I haven't gone on to the sequel yet. But I'll consider it if I can't find another more interesting option.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Simons Central Ca. 11-03-13
    Scott Simons Central Ca. 11-03-13 Member Since 2008

    Scott S.

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    "Very Good Story, Not So Great Narration"

    A Dance Of Cloaks was another Audiobook where the narrator almost ruined the book. But before I get to that, I want to say that I thought the actual story itself was good enough to keep me going. Dance Of Cloaks begins with the story of Aarron, the son of the leader of a cities thief guilds. The father Thren is a bastard of a character, and runs the city with viciousness. Throughout the book he is not a very likable person. Despite this the book is enjoyable due to a cast of other characters, both good guys and bad, who bring the book to life. The first is Aaron who is torn between his devotion to his father, and his distaste for the things he does. I also liked Sinke, one of Thren's henchmen with a good sense of humor, Kayla the pretty street wise girl who Aarron has a crush on, and Alyssa the daughter of a wealthy merchant and rival to Thren. I also really enjoyed the nuns called the Unseen who were more like ninjas than nuns.The story it's self is interesting and well paced. There is not a lot of world building in this story as it mostly takes place in one city, but it is the first in a series, and will likely expand. Had it not been for the aforementioned narration, this book would have gotten a solid 5 stars from me.

    Unfortunately, I really did not care for Elijah Alexander's reading of this book. His main narration is not horrible, or the worse I've heard, but right from the get go I felt he was talking way to fast as if I was listening to a commercial where the announcer was trying to get in 5 minutes of information into a 30 second spot. I had to rewind a few times to get things he had said. That wasn't what bothered me so much though. It was his voices for the characters that were horrible. All of the characters had quiet feminine voices, and for a story that takes place in one city, each had a different accent. Characters had accents reminiscent of British, Irish, Indian, and everything in between. The character Sinke sounded like one of the German guards from Hogan's Heroes. And then when you thought you heard it all, a priest shows up about three quarters through the book who sounds like a hillbilly redneck. I did manage to eventually get used to the voices and Mr. Alexander's speed about halfway through the book.

    Overall, this is a very good beginning to a new fantasy series. It would be a shame to miss it due to the narrator, so if you cannot get past the voices, I would suggest you buy the book and read it instead. Or, you can do like I did, and push through and enjoy the audiobook despite it's faults.

    8 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marlene 11-19-13
    Marlene 11-19-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Good story, Bad narrator"

    I really liked the story, if I hadn't I would have stopped to listen after 30 minutes because the narrator was terrible. With another narrator I might even have given the book 5 stars. The story is in the Morgan and Abercrombie tradition, ruthless fantasy.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ethan 05-27-16
    Ethan 05-27-16 Member Since 2015
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    "No more than average."

    What you're in store for ~
    + Lots of action and stealth.
    = Guilds, criminals, deception.
    = A lot going on for little reason.
    - A setting that was made for the story, not one that the story takes place in.
    - "Meh" climax. Nothing crazy.
    - People die, like, a lot.
    - Not fulfilling.

    Overall ~
    A Dance of Cloaks was one of the first audiobooks I listened to. I certainly picked up my phone and listened to the story for an hour or so every day, however I didn't find it hard to put it down. Sure it was mildly engaging but... that's about it. When the book ends, I was left with a "meh" feeling. I enjoyed my time listening but didn't reach for the sequels. The story is rather dark, but not in an engrossing way. You start getting used to people dying so much, which makes it hard to get attached to people. There's never really a lighthearted moment or a comic relief. It's all just pretty mellow.
    There's some far stretches in the plot and in some actions which young adults may not find appealing. I'd recommend this book to teenagers, who can absorb the mindless violence without question.

    Brief Description ~
    The boy who's father leads the most dangerous criminal guild in the land is our main character. Predictably, he starts deviating from his father's will. Meanwhile, the various criminal guilds in the land fight for turf, power, and money. They steal from the rich families and war eventually erupts. That's about as much detail as I can say without spoiling anything major.

    Writing and Performance ~
    In his closing author statements, David Dalgilsh himself writes that the first version of this book was a mess. I apparently had listened to his rewrite, yet I still found it no more than average. I suppose if you try fixing an inherently bad story, it will only become alright. I've noted that other reviews found the narrator very poor. In all honestly, I didn't notice anything particularly awful about him. His accents and inflections were reflective of the story: average. However, due to the sheer number of complaints about the narrator, you'd probably be better off taking their word for it.

    Final Thoughts ~
    I found this review difficult because there's not too much to write about. This reflects the book in general, I feel. Throughout the read (or listen), there's a real "That's just how it is" vibe. Like when you question the plot, the answer tends to just be "that's how this world is," which isn't very engaging. Overall, I give this book a solid "meh". There's simply much more amazing fantasy out there. The ending made me think "That was it?" There is a sequel to this book, but I will not be picking it up.

    If you made it this far, thank you for reading my review of A Dance of Cloaks. I'd call this one average. I wouldn't re-read it or recommend it to anyone I know.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cyndi French Settlement, LA, United States 05-04-16
    Cyndi French Settlement, LA, United States 05-04-16 Member Since 2015

    Tell us about yourself!Grandmother, 18 years military service, 100 % disabled, love to listen to audio books while - crafting - fishing - riding. SCI-FI / FANTASY

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Never a dull moment."

    I have had this book awhile. Great book can't wait to dive into the rest of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Will Brandy Station, VA, United States 04-08-16
    Will Brandy Station, VA, United States 04-08-16 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Meant for teenagers"

    Put me to sleep. Narrator tried too hard with the voices and his delivery was flat. The story was too predictable and slow to develop. I guess the author was going for epic, but for me it just dragged and was filled with too many depressing moments and one dimensional characters. I guess if you were looking for a Game of Thrones type epic that's more appropriate for young adults, this might be good, but I'm gonna to pass on reading anymore of this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott United States 11-11-15
    Scott United States 11-11-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Story is there - Narration is bad"

    Book first. Life is not sacred to Dalglish in this series. Everybody can die or be tortured at any moment in this series. Oh you just met this character, and you like them a little, and he's developing the character and...they're dead. Don't become attached to anyone! But the story is well developed and intriguing. Characters that survive more than a few paragraphs all seem to start on one level then shift to some completely different all while staying in the ground of the character. The story arcs are entertaining and easy enough to follow as well. The story is fantastic.

    But you should definitely read this and not listen to it.

    I believe the exact words i used to describe this too my wife were, "His accents are just drunk people." And that's as accurate as i can call it. The main characters are...ok (Arron/Harn and Thren are good), but we start to get varying levels of intoxication for each new character introduced. And each new character isn't really given a new tone or pitch, just a new accent that make no sense to any other characters and again sound like Drunk foreigners. Alexander and the producer who let this happen should feel terrible about this read.

    So - Book really good. Narration really bad.

    Moral of the review - save your credit, go out and actually read the book yourself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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