“The queen once told me there were a hundred ways to fall in love. Maybe there were a hundred ways to find and give forgiveness too.”
– Mary E. Pearson
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Henry Holt for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!
(Beware spoilers if you have not read Dance of Thieves)
Kazi and Jase have survived, stronger and more in love than ever. Their new life now lies before them―the Ballengers will be outlaws no longer, Tor’s Watch will be a kingdom, and the two of them will meet all challenges side by side, together at last.
But an ominous warning mars their journey back, and in their rush to return to Tor’s Watch, just outside the fortress walls, they are violently attacked and torn apart―and each is thrust into their own new hell.
Unsure whether the other is alive or dead, Kazi and Jase must keep their wits among their greatest enemies and unlikeliest allies. And all the while, Death watches and waits.
I was not emotionally prepared for this book at all. I cried, I laughed and like Kazi I was devastated when her and Jase were separated. I devoured Dance of Thieves a week before the release of Vow of Thieves. It was everything I needed after The Remnant Chronicles. I’m always a bit weary of companion novels, but I honestly might think this duology topped the original series for me. Don’t get me wrong, Kiss of Deception will always have a special place in my heart, but the writing, plot and character development were just amazing in this book.
At the beginning of the book something happens that separates Kazi and Jase from each other. Kazi is held captive by a new enemy while for the longest time we’re unsure if Jase is even alive for a while. I mean from the synopsis and interviews with Pearson we know he is but the writing was so well and I was so into the book that I was right there with Kazi, devastated by his loss. They were separated probably about 70%-80% of this book, which you think would create problems with character development and the romance, but we we actually saw them mature into leaders and fall more in love with each other. With the use of cut scenes and them being so in sync as a couple, we see how deeply they care for each other while also protecting their family and the town they care deeply for.
The plot was more of a slow-burn, but I never found myself not engaged. There was constant progression of character development along with the plot. There was always something going on, to the point where I was always tense and worried what twist Kazi or Jase would have to face next. I was constantly trying to figure out who was friend and who was enemy. Like our characters I didn’t know who I could trust. The new enemy was also a formidable one. He was always one step ahead of our hero and heroine, smart as a whip with a well thought out plan to boot. Everything weird that was going on with the town in the first book was finally answered and brought full circle.
Family was such an important part of this series. The Ballenger family were formidable opponents, a strong team that seemed like they could face any challenge and overcome it but even they were taken by surprise. For a lot of the book they are hiding in the vault we were introduced to in the first book. The same vault where the founder Greyson Ballenger hid his friends and family in when they were under attack and trying to start over. The juxtaposition between then and now was one of my favorite things to read besides the romance of course. The vault is an important part of Ballenger roots that we get to see in present day action. The vault itself fascinated me. Pearson said she’d done a lot of research on secret bunkers to base it off of. It was interesting to see it in action, how it was a little town of its own that could sustain so many people.
While significantly different from The Remnant Chronicles, Dance of Thieves has become one of my favorite series. The characters and their interactions with each other along with their own development captivated me and still has yet to let me go. I loved exploring more of this world but in a new and completely different way. Pearson’s writing gets even better, if that’s possible. Never trust her though because there is always an unexpected twist, especially at the end. I never even considered what this world could have been based of or where the inspiration of the map came from. During a meet and greet I got to see her at she admitted her map was based off of something, but refused to tell what exactly and instead said that there are Easter eggs throughout both stories to aid us in discovering the truth. It was just one more thing that enraptured me about this series in world. This series ending was an epic one and wrapped up thing nicely. I’m never disappointed to pick up a book by the spectacular Pearson.