One has conquered a city. The other covets an entire nation.
Haern is the King's Watcher, protector against thieves and nobles who would fill the night with blood. Yet hundreds of miles away, an assassin known as the Wraith has begun slaughtering those in power, leaving the symbol of the Watcher in mockery. When Haern travels south to confront this copycat, he finds a city ruled by the corrupt, the greedy and the dangerous. Rioters fill the streets, and the threat of war hangs over everything. To forge peace, Haern must confront the deadly Wraith, a killer who would shape the kingdom's future with the blade of his sword. Man or God; what happens when the lines are blurred?
Fantasy author David Dalglish spins a tale of retribution and darkness, and an underworld reaching for ultimate power in the third novel of the Shadowdance series, previously released as A Dance of Death.
©2013 David Dalglish (P)2013 Hachette Audio
Some of the accents are simply painful to hear. I thought I might get used to it over the course of the book, as I have iwith many other audio books, but every single time I heard certain accents I would cringe. The accents seemed almost randomly chosen with little consistency with the story. I also found the enunciation, intonation and emphasis to sound almost intentionally awkward and unnatural.
I'm not sure why I bothered to listen to this book. Somehow, I recalled thinking that the earlier books were much more compelling and I don't recall being so annoyed with the narration.
It's possible I've just become jaded or bored, so take my review as just one listener's opinion. I love Brandon Sanderson and recently enjoyed listening to Words of Radiance quite a lot, but felt disappointed with Warbreaker, which I enjoyed when I read (not listened) to it years ago. So maybe I'm just experiencing listening fatigue.
Here are my takeaway impressions having just completed listening to the book.
I didn't feel any attachment to the characters. I can't articulate precisely why, but it may have been due to my overall disappointment with the entire experience. I found the writing lazy and blunt in far too many instances--emotions and thoughts that should have been simple to convey with subtle story telling were described with absolutely no nuance. The plot didn't hang together and felt slapped together.
So here we are, in what is billed as the third book in the Shadowdance Trilogy. In the first book, you have the story of Thren Feldhorn, leader of the thief guilds who terrorrise the city of Vehlderan, and his son Arron/Hearn, who learns to despise his father as he grows to be an adult. In the second book you have the now adult Arron/Hearn, who is now “The Watcher”. Throughout the book, he takes the lessons he learned from his father to take control of the city, and force the thief guilds to play nice with the wealthy merchants.
So now that the third installment of this trilogy is here, does Arron/Hearn/The Watcher wrap up these threads left from the last book? The answer is no.
Arron/Hearn’s entrance into this new book begins with him learning of a copy cat killer named The Wraith (more on him later) in another city who is leaving the symbol of The Watcher whenever he kills someone. Arron/Hearn goes to his home he shares with the mercenary band with whom his hopeful love interest Delisia belongs. It has been five years since the last book, so by now surely the love has blossomed into a relationship right? Nope. Arron/Hearn still acts like a scared teenager in high school, and in fact only gets his first kiss upon telling her he is leaving town. As the book goes along, you begin to realize that the plot lines followed from the first book, are not to be followed in this one. Arron/Hearn’s confrontation with his father never happens. The mysterious plot hinted at revolving around Death Mask never materializes. The story of Alysa’s son is dropped, as he is quickly sent away to another far away kingdom after seemingly taking up the majority of the last book to get him back. The storyline of the two churches and the priests are non existent, along with the faceless ninja like nuns, with Zusa now nothing more than a body guard to Alysa.
While some may enjoy this book as an additional tale added along to the first two books, it makes absolutely no sense as the final book of a trilogy. There are no answers here, and no continuity of the plot. The author apparently realizes these faults in the story, and in a message at the end of the book states the ending of the last book was rewritten so as to add another book or more to the series to wrap up some of the loose ends.
And now, the narration. I blasted the narration of the first book, but went easy on the second having read them back to back. I had begun to get sort of used to the voices by then. After listening to the second book however, I found the third was not yet available. I went on and listened to another book. The narration in that book (Blood Song by Anthony Ryan if your interested) was perfect. The voice of the reader perfectly complimented the book. After the experience of listening to a awesome reading of a very good book, it was a shock to my ears when I came back to this series. I had forgotten just how horrible the narration for this series was, and I had a hard time getting back into this book. This narrator is just beyond terrible, and once again I was struck by the cartoonish reading, and the awful voices. The perfect example of this is new character The Wraith. You spend the first part of the book listening about how frightening this Wraith is, and have an entire scene where he goes to the well guarded home of the most powerful man in town and slaughters not just his family, but all of his guards by himself. After this scene, the manly, skillful, and deadly monster known as The Wraith sneaks into a meeting of elves. As they see him they become fearful, most like from his visage of testosterone, and he begins to speak. Does he have the voice of a manly man? No. He sounds like a twelve year old girl. A twelve year old girl who has been spoiled her whole life by her rich mommy and daddy.
This whole book, and now in hind site, pretty much this whole series, is just a huge disappointment. After reading early reviews I really thought I would enjoy this series. The first book was promising, but it is downhill from there. The series as a whole never completes the promise or plots it set out with, and I think I overrated Mr. Dalglish’s writing ability. The narration takes this series down even further. I am tempted to go back to my first review and title it, “Don’t get pulled into this mess of a series”. I will probably not move on to the new books added to this trilogy in the future unless a new narrator is brought in.
I normally do not write many reviews except for a few 5 stars however when I read the reviews for this book on audible they were all 1-2 star reviews even though the majority of the ratings were 4-5. I liked this book, was glad the trilogy did not end and gave it 4 stars. I have enjoyed this series so far and would recommend it to all my friends who also enjoy listening to sci-fi books.
this series been fun but last book was a dissapointment
Fun story but to many shortcuts in plots
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