Book Review: A Dance of Shadows by David Dalglish

A Dance of Shadows is David Dalglish’s 4th book in his Shadowdance Series. This time around, Lord Victor Kane a man with a mysterious past enters Veldaren and promises to rid all the thief guilds and in doing so get rid of most of the crime in the city. At the same time, an assassin called The Widow has also entered Veldaren and is targeting Spider Guild members. While our hero, The Watcher, tries to deal with this so called Widow, he also has to decide whether Lord Victor Kane is good for the city or not.

Reading this, I can’t help but think that Dalglish is using a certain formula. A notorious figure enters a city, promises change or vows to dominate. In the meantime a rogue assassin is killing people. Then somewhere in the middle enter blood thirsty mercenaries. The similarities between the third book and this are there. However that does not mean it is a bad book, it is still exciting and an incredibly fun read.

Dalglish manages to juggle through character to character and keeps them interesting. Making sure that each character has motivation to do whatever it is he/she is doing. There are many returning characters and a lot of them are nicely written. Thren Felhorn plays a larger role this time around but a big, show stealer is Deathmask. Although his intentions still unclear, he is written in such a bad ass way. I have no doubt he’s a favorite amongst the series’ readers. Tarlak also plays a larger role although I still can’t get over his appearance as he is described in the book as a wizard that wears bright yellow robes. That said he’s got some nice fight scenes and great moments.

Lord Victor Kane or as he is called in the book, Victor, plays a prominent role, and it’s safe to say he is written quite well, The Widow on the other hand is a mystery waiting to be solved, the revelation however is quite shocking and would definitely take the readers by surprise. There are a lot of great moments in this book and great fight scenes are also there however there are plot hole or story arcs that felt like it was dropped mid way through leaving them incomplete.

To conclude, A Dance of Shadows is a step up from A Dance of Death, mainly for the characters are well written and not to mention highly interesting story arcs. There is never a dull moment in this book and every page an essential event is happening. The combat style this time around is very RPG-esque with a warriors on the front, Wizards on the side and healers on the back. That said, it is fun ride through and through. Recommended for the fans of the series and also new readers can get into it without reading the previous three books.

Book Review: Spook’s Alice By Joseph Delaney

Spook’s Alice is the 12th book in Joseph Delaney’s Wardstone Chronicles. This time we see things in Alice’s perspective as she travels into the dark to take a dagger called The Doloures. On the way she encounters a mixture of new and familiar faces.

Coming off from Spook’s Slither (book 11) I was very excited to read Spook’s Alice and finally continue the story of Tom Ward. Unfortunately I was a little bit disappointed for a large portion of this book is a flashback. A flashback of which I felt was not necessary or should have been on the book Spook’s Stories: Witches. Another flashback felt like it should have been the books prologue rather than a chapter in the book. Personally it ruined the book’s flow for me and I found myself almost skimming through it just to get to the true part of the story.

That said the good outweighs the bad for the book does deliver on the continuation of the series and not only that it brought the gore, the blood, the violence and the horrendous monsters that always appear on the series. Not only this but we also see familiar faces such as Thorne, Bony Lizzie and much much more. You would have to read all the previous books to be familiar with the names that appear in this books and believe me there are a lot.

To conclude I believe this should’ve been a much shorter book if it wasn’t for the dragged out flashback and without the flashback the book would have gotten a perfect 5 stars. Although it does give a satisfying continuation and it does really excite you for the last book. And as we read before seeing Alice go all powerful is one of those moments we love reading about and this book delivers of that.

Book Review: A Dance of Cloaks By David Dalglish

Dance of Cloaks is the first book in David Dalglish’s Shadowdance series. It takes place in the dark underworld of Veldaren where thieves assassins rule the streets.

Reading Dance of Cloaks, I felt like this is another crack at a Game of Thrones feel. With the point of view jumping from character to character, having a young king rule the city and also countless deaths here and there. Although that may be the case here, I can confidently say all of it was very well written. In which I believe is one of the strong points of this book.

The setting allows you to feel each and every detail of the story, from the city of Veldaren itself to every blood splattered death that occurs. It is a graphic and gritty journey and it is one you want to keep going.

With unpredictable twists and turns you will be afraid for the character you are rooting for, except of course for Hearn as you definitely know he will live due to his involvement in Half Orcs, but apart from that no character is secure. Not only this, but even if you had picked a favorite character, he/she may turn to be the most despicable person in the book. Of course none of these will confuse you for once again the writing is superb.

To conclude, if you love a dark gritty fantasy that involves well written characters, story arcs and fight scenes. A Dance of Cloaks is a great book to read, with two books already published and one on the way. It will only be a matter of time till this series gets the recognition it truly deserves.