Overall: 5/5 Stars
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5
Review in a Nutshell: Dance of Thieves surprised me. I knew I would enjoy it, but I never expected to become completely obsessed with it. This book is so fun, and full of so many of the best possible tropes.
“Choose your words carefully, even the words you think, because they become seeds,and seeds become history.”
// Content Warning: Violence, Death, Assault, Torture, Rape Mention, Animal Death, War Themes, Murder, Illness, PTSD, Kidnapping/Abduction //
Release Date: 6/7/2018
Page Count: 491
Dance of Thieves is the first in a duology that takes place in the same world as The Remnant Chronicles. But don’t worry, if you haven’t read those books, you will still get full enjoyment out of these. Kazi of Brightmast grew up a thief, alone on the streets after her mother was taken from her. However, her skills as a thief earned her a spot as a member of the Queen’s most elite soldiers, the Rahtan. When she is sent on a mission to another kingdom to find a missing war criminal, under the pretense of investigating treaty violations, she has no doubts that she will get the job done. Until she meets Jase. Jase Ballenger is the new Patrei, head of the Ballenger clan. While his lands may not be “officially” recognized as a kingdom, his family has a tight hold on them. However, he knows that his transition into power will be rocky. When Kazi and her friends come into the picture, Jase knows better than to trust her, but the more he learns about her, the harder it is to stop himself from falling for her.
“The ghosts, they never go away. They call to you in unexpected moments, their hands lacing with yours and pulling you down paths that lead nowhere.”
Read more for all of my thoughts on Dance of Thieves!
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“You must find the magic that warms your skin in winter, the magic that perceives what cannot be seen, the magic that curls in your gut with fierce power and will not let you give up, no matter how long or cold the days.”
Writing & Setting
Mary E. Pearson won my heart with The Kiss of Deception. It was a refreshing, fun read and I truly loved it. The final book in that series, The Beauty of Darkness wasn’t my favorite, but it wasn’t bad and I still had fond memories of the series as a whole. This book reminded me of why I loved The Kiss of Deception so much. Mary E. Pearson’s writing style is elegant yet easy to jump into. It’s fast and fun but still packs a punch. And the worldbuilding… The Remnant Chronicles had fantastic worldbuilding when it came to the physical world, but I always felt kinda murky about the magic system. Dance of Thieves does not have that problem. In fact, it clarified all of the confusion I felt in the first series. The mythology and magic of the world actually made sense to me, and the kingdoms themselves all felt fully realized and fleshed out.
“It began with the stars.”
Listen guys, this book got it all. Fake dating, no strings attached relationships, enemies to lovers, deciding between duty/family and love, spying, found family… honestly what trope doesn’t this book have? If you’re worried it may be too much- don’t. All of these tropes are perfectly woven into a very intricate plot full of scheming, betrayal, and violence. This book is a little long, just over 500 pages, but it never lags. There is so much packed into this one book, I swear. The pace alone is brutal, not to mention all of the violence and murder.
However, I will say, the romance does take center stage in this book. Yes, there’s a lot of action, but the romance plotline is at the heart of most scenes. Some people may think this is a bad thing, but this is exactly what I wanted. Seriously. I want more YA books like this- epic fantasy but with a heavy romance plot. I know, I know, a lot of people are sick of heavy romance plots. But I’m not. I need more. This book was the perfect balance for me and I wish more books were like it.
“Truth that came too late was as useful as a meal to a dead man.”
Kazi and Jase are killer protagonists (literally and figuratively). Both of them have equally compelling character arcs and are very well developed. They both also have their own quirks and personalities that distinguish them from the many YA fantasy protagonists like them. I especially loved Jase’s dedication to family, tradition, and storytelling, and I loved Kazi’s fierceness, love of riddles, and dedication to her duty. Their relationship is absolutely perfect- there is so much angst and so much cuteness I thought I would explode. But contrary to what it may seem like from how I keep going on about those two, there are other amazing characters in this book as well. All of the side characters are extremely well developed, with their own journeys and personalities. I also loved the emphasis on friendships (especially female friendships) and family.
“Every exchange of words between Jase and me seemed like a dance, a step forward, a step back, circling, both of us leading, anticipating, wondering what the next move would be. He didn’t trust me any more than I trusted him.”
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Pros- Strong characters, great worldbuilding, and omg all the best tropes
Cons- Some people may not like all the romance. They’re wrong, but I thought you should know
Overall- 5/5 stars.
I never expected Dance of Thieves to captivate me the way it did. I constantly have to struggle with my urge to reread it again and again (I’ve already failed this battle once, and I can tell I’ll be failing it again soon).
“Let me show you the stars.”
If You Liked Dance of Thieves, I’d Recommend:
- Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin – [ Review ]
- The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson
- The Wrath & The Dawn (The Wrath And The Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh – [ Review ]
Have you read Dance of Thieves, if so, what’d you think? Also, what is everyone’s favorite YA fantasy that has a little more focus on romance? Because this book reminded me how much fun they are.