Book Review: A Dance of Chaos by David Dalglish

“Watcher, alone you conquered this city. Thren, alone you built the Spider Guild into an empire. Alone, I will outshine you all. This will be the crown upon my legacy, forged with your bones and painted with your blood.”

-A Dance of Chaos, David Dalglish

This is it, the 6th and final book in David Dalglish’s Shadowdance Series. Muzien have controlled all of Veldaren, most of the thief guilds have pledged their allegiance to the Sun Guild. Unfortunately for Muzien, there are those who still deny the Guild and will stop at nothing to see it crumble.

Well what can one expect when reading the end of a series? high octane action, gripping drama, explosions, wars, epic battles? Fortunately for A Dance of Chaos it has everything to create a fitting finale. It is as the title says it is, it’s chaotic but in a good way. The action never stops and the story keeps developing.

You get what you have been getting the past few books which are imaginatively written fight sequences. From duels of swords to magical RPGesque battle sequences. All of it were great and it is really one of the strongest selling point of this whole series.

All of major characters from the past books have a part to play, specially one that was sorely missed from A Dance of Ghost, Deathmask and The Ash Guild. Ever since his d├ębut in A Dance of Blades, Deathmask has been one of if not the coolest character in the series. This time he’s got a lot to do and when he fights, he does not disappoint. Major character development were also done with Thren and Hearn. As both are fighting very similar inner battles as Muzien wants Thren to cement his legacy and Thren wanting Hearn to cement his.

More characters such as Alyssa, Zusa and our favourite a-hole Victor were also given a substantial amount of work as some of them have their own plot though not as engaging as Hearn’s it was still intriguing to say the least. Nathaniel has been developed substantially as Karak continues to work his way into his mind having a huge impact in the story but the most impressively written character is Muzien. Muzien showed how great of a leader he is in A Dance of Ghost, here he shows how great of a fighter he is. You can tell that Dalglish invested a lot of time with this guy to make him the ultimate bad guy and to Dalglish’s credit it paid of. Muzien was believable in every aspect that he possess. You believed that this elf, conquered the city, that he might be a god amongst men.

As much as this is a great finale, there are some elements here that felt random. Such as a zombie army as well as an Orc army that came literally out of nowhere. Though little details as those did not take me out as they still produced a page turner of a book.

All in all, A Dance of Chaos is a satisfying finale for the series and it’s highly recommended to those who are familiar with the series. If you’re not then start from the very start as it’s an epic and rewarding journey.

Rating: 4.5/5

Book Review: A Dance of Blades By David Dalglish

A Dance of Blades is the sequel to Dalglish’s A Dance of Cloaks. It occurs five years after the events of A Dance of Cloaks. This time, rather than the book focusing on the villainous Thren,this time it focuses more on his son Aaron and his development in being Hearn The Watcher.

After finishing the first book, A Dance of Cloaks, I had high expectations for A Dance of Blades. That said I was not disappointed, but rather this book exceeded any expectations I had. A Dance of Blades, lives up to it’s name for the book is very much a continuous fight scene. It is one intense fight after another. It is a page turner of a book and it is one that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Apart from the exceptionally written fight scenes, there are a lot of things in this book to love. New characters are introduced and they are as interesting as the protagonist. Each having a strong motive for their actions and equally dangerous as the other. Returning characters are also well developed from the last book and they are still as interesting as they were. However, none of these characters are safe for as interesting or well loved as they are. The book gives you a fearing sensation that anyone could die at any given time. It really does make you worry for any favorite you have chosen.

To conclude, A Dance of Blades is an outstanding sequel, with Dalglish not holding anything back he gives you that feeling that anything can happen. With high octane fight scenes, amazing character developments, unpredictable plot and not to mention profoundly despicable villains. A Dance of Blades is a dark, dangerous, bloody and truly an unforgettable tale of survival that will leave you wounded and craving for more.