Book Review: Dance of Thieves

dtDance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson follows Kazi, a former street thief turned queen’s guard on a secret mission to find (and steal) a war criminal who has disappeared and to make him stand trial for his crimes. She believes he’s hiding in Hell’s Mouth a city ruled by the Ballenger family. It’s already a complicated mission but when Kazi accidentally insults the new Patrei of the Ballengers, Jase, things start to spiral out of control and there might be more than one sleeping dragon hiding in Hell’s Mouth.

I really enjoyed this book and the second in the duology is just as good—definitely one of my favorite reads this autumn. This story does follow another series by Mary E. Pearson, but I read this book before that series and it wasn’t necessary to know the previous stories to follow this one. Kazi and Jase are both dynamic and interesting characters torn between their loyalties, responsibilities, and a growing affection for one another—both realize misplaced trust could very well cause deaths or the end of kingdoms. There’s a real weight to all of their interactions and decisions and I enjoyed how thoughtful Kazi is while processing everything. While there are lighthearted moments and humor to the characters, I love how serious they are as well; no matter what else is going on both never forget their responsibilities and it makes for a more complicated and intriguing story. 
One of the aspects I enjoyed most of Dance of Thieves is the length of the book which allowed for a fuller, more unpredictable plot. There were many points when I felt the story was about to wrap-up but instead the book continued on and as a result it made me wonder where the “end” would be for certain storylines and characters. There was a chance to follow side storylines and allow real growth and progression that wouldn’t normally happen in a faster-paced book and as a result as a reader even though the book isn’t super fast-paced you’re still given unexpected twists and developments that you don’t see coming. I also loved that this meant the characters got see and experience things with their own eyes, instead of one character "telling" or explaining something to convince the other, the character lived the experience and saw it for themselves, which also meant as the reader we get to experience that development too. The made the development of the relationships was more realistic as well; you can’t build trust in a few days and stories, or throw off old loyalties so easily, so the length of the book really allowed for proper character development.
Overall I really enjoyed this book and the characters. It was well written and held my attention throughout. I liked this book so much that I'm eager to read more by the author.


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