The Dance of Thieves

Dance of Thieves_FINAL 9.18

The Dance of Thieves

By Mary E. Pearson

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: August 7, 2018

Bang Bang Review

Disclaimer: If you are saying to yourself, “Self, I didn’t like Kiss of Deception even though lots of other people loved it. Maybe I’ll try Pearson’s new book.” You are probably not going to like Dance of Thieves because the tone is extremely similar to KOD.  It’s long, 460 pages, there’s a journey on foot early on, and there’s lots of story and character development. If you like plot driven story, you are going to think this is slow.

Now on to the review. It’s six years after the big battle and Lia is the Queen of Venda. She has an army called Rahtan and our main character Kazi is a member of that army.  Kazi was orphaned at six and grew up as a street rat in the Komizar’s Venda. She found herself in Lia’s army and a loyal servant of the new Queen.  There’s a traitor in a nearby settlement and Kazi and her five person crew must infiltrate, locate the traitor, and bring him back to Venda.

Jase is the new leader of his town and his family rules all.  When Kazi and the Rahtan come to his town, he wants answers but is soon publicly humiliated by Kazi and wants retribution.  Originally at odds, Jase and Kazi find themselves chained together by slavers and must rely on each other for survival.

I’m not going to give a long review but DOT has great character development in Kazi and Jase and Pearson is a beautiful storyteller.  The beginning is really strong and I loved Kazi and Jase. Kazi has a heartbreaking history and Jase transforms from a seemingly spoiled brat to a compassionate leader.  It did get a bit sappy between the two and I think it dragged a bit in the middle. This book could have been about 50 pages shorter.

If you are a fan of KOD, which I am, I definitely recommend Pearson’s new series.

Bang Bang Rating bombbombbombbomb

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The Speaker

the speaker

The Speaker (The Sea of Ink and Gold #2)

By Traci Chee

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: November 7, 2017

Review

This installment picks up where The Reader ended, with Sefia and Archer on the run from The Guard. Unsure about how to proceed, Sefia searches the Book and uncovers several jaw-dropping discoveries: Tanin is still alive and Archer is still believed to be the one to lead the impending Red War. In an effort to quell Archer’s nightmares and to stop the conflict, the pair uses the Book to find and kill impressors and free their captives. Meanwhile, Tanin will stop at nothing to retrieve the Book, to ensure important events take place that lead to the Red War, and to hold on to her power.

I loved The Reader and was so excited about The Speaker, I read it while standing in lines at ALA Annual.  Let me begin by saying that if you are looking or a GREAT epic fantasy series, start with this is one! Now on to my review.

The Speaker is super spoilery so I can’t say too much but Chee puts a major jaw dropper right in the first 30 pages and then we find out that Tannin is kind of human with actual feelings and everything.  Chee makes it very difficult to hate her and she has become one of my new favorite characters.  We learn more about Captain Reed and DAMN, didn’t see that coming.  There are two new characters King Eduardo, the lonely king who dies if he finds love, and his best friend Arc.

A major part of the book centers around Archer because he’s The Speaker. (I didn’t actually realize this until after I finished the book.) He’s finally free and is on a mission to find and kill all the impressors while setting all the other boys free.  These are some painful scenes as we see Archer go from a scared mute boy to an extremely angry young man.

One of the things I loved about this book is the way it references book 1.  Among other things, there was a HUGE unanswered moment in book 1 that comes back in book 2 and this made me realize that Chee knows how her book is going to end. That’s important because that means that there is foreshadowing in both books so pay attention as you read!

That’s all I can say without spoilers but once again, if you are a big fantasy fan; read this series.  It has a 3.78 on Goodreads which is ridiculous and it’s probably because people thought this was a fluffy book.  It’s not fluffy, people. It has many complex characters and it told nonlinearly, and you have to pay attention to everything or you’ll be confused.  You might even have to take a few notes but if you are a fan of The Thief by Whalen Turner, Kiss of Deception, Six of Crows, or Winner’s Curse, you’ll like The Reader/The Speaker. 

So I’ve read all the “good” books I’m gonna read for the year and I’ve only given 5 stars (or a bang) to three books and The Speaker is one of the three.

Bang Bang Rating: bang