Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #1)by Mary E. Pearson Published 07 Aug 2018
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|Publisher||Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)|
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A new novel in the New York Times–bestselling Remnant Chronicles universe, in which a reformed thief and the young leader of an outlaw dynasty lock wits in a battle that may cost them their lives—and their hearts.
When the patriarch of the Ballenger empire dies, his son, Jase, becomes its new leader. Even nearby kingdoms bow to the strength of this outlaw family, who have always governed by their own rules. But a new era looms on the horizon, set in motion by a young queen, which makes her the target of the dynasty's resentment and anger.
At the same time, Kazi, a legendary former street thief, is sent by the queen to investigate transgressions against the new settlements. When Kazi arrives in the forbidding land of the Ballengers, she learns that there is more to Jase than she thought. As unexpected events spiral out of their control, bringing them intimately together, they continue to play a cat and mouse game of false moves and motives in order to fulfill their own secret missions.
"Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #1)" Reviews
I am SO HAPPY to have this chance to return to one of my favorite YA fantasy worlds and get a seriously awesome story. I was worried that maybe I'd have a hard time getting totally into a different plot in the same world (kind of like with Flamecaster after the Seven Realms series) but the author approached it SO well. There are mentions of "the queen" and events from the Remnant Chronicles, but it's held at a distance so you care just as much about the current characters by the time you do see some old familiar faces.
The basic idea here is that Kazi was the best street thief in Venda and is now one of Lia's Rahtan. She gets abducted by labor hunters and ends up in the wilderness chained to Jase, the ruling son of an outlaw family that wants to be recognized as their own nation. Jase brings Kazi back to his family as a prisoner, but that's secretly where she wants to be for her own mission/agenda anyways. They pretend to be a couple but totally using each other BUT are totally actually not faking it at the same aaaand a whole complicated plot unfolds.
The story's told through the dual POVs of Kazi & Jase, which makes some of the urgent situations even more intense because only the reader can see the full picture and what's going down. I love those kinds of stories where you're so invested that it's like
Anyways, I loved all of the characters! The first 50 pages or so were hard for me to get into for some reason. I couldn't pin everyone down or find a footing to get invested in. But I ended up loving everything by the end! The worldbuilding is great and adds another rich layer to the world I already loved.
This story feels more like a separate series than a continuation of the Remnant Chronicles, but I would recommend reading that trilogy first if you don't want to have anything spoiled. The villain here is a figure who escaped from the events in the previous stories and some side characters will matter a lot more, too. But you can also pick this up first and be totally fine (like the people who read Six of Crows before Shadow and Bone).
Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC.
I absolutely love Mary's writing. Just like with the Kiss of Deception, Dance of Thieves sucked me right in from the get go! Also if you read the last trilogy, there is a glimpse of a few of the people from it! So I was fangirling about that!!
My favorite aspect of this book was the bond between Kazi and Jase—they were a bucket full of cuteness. Or course being on opposite sides of things caused disagreement and secrets, but it made the story more addicting. Kazi made me frustrated at times, but I understood how she worked because of the way she grew up. However, I also loved her for how she was. Although, Jase was my favorite!
The side characters were great and the world building was excellent. I seriously can't wait to read the next book and see what happens. I can already tell some serious stuff is going to go down!
Review on my blog: https://literarydust.wordpress.com/20...
I can’t even begin to explain how much I’ve missed this world and our old characters. I think it might be time for a reread soon!
Although The Remnant Chronicles has a special place in my heart and will probably never be replaced as my favorite Mary Pearson series, Dance of Thieves did not disappoint. It was great to see more of this world beyond just Morrighan, Dalbreck, and Venda.
Every character in this spin-off has already captured my heart. Kazi, Wren, and Synové? BAD ASS FEMALE CHARACTERS. Period. I want to be them. That is all. Jase and the Ballengers? PRECIOUS. All of them. Protect them at all costs.
And the romance? Mary Pearson knows how to write good romance, no doubt about it, and I ship literally everyone in this book. I really enjoyed the cat-and-mouse game between Kazi and Jase to a certain extent. I did get annoyed at some points where I just wish they’d stop lying to each other. But I’m used to it by now since lack of communication always seems to be an issue with the characters of the Remnant Chronicles universe considering how I’ve had this same problem before with Lia, Rafe, and the rest of the gang. 😅
There were some parts where I did feel the story drag on and I had to put the book aside for a bit but I don’t think I was ever bored. There was always something new to learn about in this world and I was absolutely fascinated by the Ballenger history and how their “kingdom” began.
And of course, it was a pleasure seeing and reading about the familiar faces of The Remnant Chronicles. It was great to see how Lia’s reign as Queen was going and how the rest of our favorites were faring. I desperately wanted to know how my ship was doing after the events of The Beauty of Darkness since we didn’t get too much of an epilogue. But there was definitely some closure after reading this book.
Dance of Thieves really lives up to its name along with the Remnant Chronicles hype. If you loved the Kiss of Deception books, I don’t think you will be disappointed. I was feeling super nostalgic the whole time reading this book and I’m so grateful to Mary Pearson for bringing us back! I already can’t wait for the next book especially with that ENDING. 😰
I have a soft spot for Mary E. Pearson's books. She's a master at worldbuilding and angst, and her other series sent me over the roof with feels. Naturally, I was eager to get my hands on this new series set in the same world!
In short, I loved it, but I will say it was long and took me a while to get my bearing. Since it's been a while since I've read her other books, I had a hard time figuring out where I was in the world. To be honest, I'm still not entirely sure where the new country/land is - but I imagine the final book will have a map! I also had a hard time remembering the ending of the series (who ended up ruling where) so I suggest doing a quick once-over of the finale if you're coming from the other books.
While this book starts off with an entirely new cast, I was delighted to see old characters on the side. As far as the new (main) characters - this is told in a dual POV. The first is Kazi, a member of the queen's Rhatan, and Jase, a leader struggling for power in a new land we've never seen before. The beginning felt mostly like backstory on the two main characters, so it lagged a bit for me personally, but when Kazi and Jase collide, things really take off!
As always, Pearson writes characters with depth and heart, and you'll find yourself falling for both Jase and Kazi. When they meet, they hate each other -the makings of a perfectly good story. Basically, the queen sends Kazi to a semi-contested land (basically one family rules it, but the borders are unclear). They believe the captain who betrayed Morrighan is hiding there under the protection of said family. So, Kazi is supposed to fish him out and bring him back to the queen for justice. However, when Kazi runs into Jase, they have a... skirmish of sorts that I wont spoil... and both end up being kidnapped and hauled away by a slave trader.
That's all I'll say about the plot. Be prepared - the book is looooong. But that means plenty of room for betrayal on multiple levels, and angst like you wouldn't believe. I did wish the pace was a bit snappier but I can't deny the richness of the world and the details put into the characters. And as always, I loved Mary's writing!
If you're a fan of the Remnant Chronicles, definitely give this one a go!
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"This was more than an unexpected turn. It was an unchecked slide into hell."
4.5 stars!!! As always, I think that it’s important to point out that Mary E. Pearson is the most underrated author in YA fantasy. And for the life of me, I can’t understand why that is! Her world-building, character development, and plot progression abilities are superb! This was supposed to be a buddy read with Diana, but she went POOF, so...¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I’d also like to make note that although this is technically a separate series from the Remnant Chronicles, as is the case with the Grisha trilogy and the Six of Crows duology, it would be beneficial to read the Remnant Chronicles first (hence, why I’m glad that I re-read the Kiss of Deception and finally finished the remainder of the trilogy beforehand). Thus, you shan’t be spoiled about the past events that are referenced in this book. Also, you’ll have a connection to the familiar faces (Lia, Rafe, etc.) that pop up all over this book…much to my sheer delight!!! It’s very strange seeing Lia (aka one of the absolute best YA protagonists) referred to as “the Queen” and “Her Majesty”, having watched her grow and mature over the course of the Remnant Chronicles. But I love it!!! <3
This book is over 500 pages, but I flew through it SO QUICKLY. I would’ve finished it in one sitting, rather than two, had I not also been reading other books simultaneously, ugh. Mary E. Pearson’s writing just hooks you in! Once she gets her claws into you, you shan’t want to stop reading!!! Unlike the Remnant Chronicles, Dance of Thieves is told from only two POV’s, not three. I’m, personally, a fan of multiple POV’s in this world because the plot gets SO INTENSE that it really helps you to get more invested in the story as you see every angle of the characters’ decision-making. And it helps that the male characters in this world are SO swoon-worthy!!! ;)
If you’re not a fan of romance-heavy books, it might interest you to know that unlike the Remnant Chronicles, which were very political-heavy books, a great deal of the plot in this novel is dependent upon the romance. This would’ve been a full 5-star read for me, had it not been for the teeny-weeny amount of instalove in the beginning. As the novel progressed, I did come to love the romance between Kazi and Jase, but initially, their feelings for each other were a bit too sudden and not entirely believable. But not to worry! Like me, I think that you’ll be fully shipping them by the book’s conclusion! :D They were so cute and sweet as a couple, disagreed over everything, and held many secrets from one another, but that only made the story infinitely more addicting! And also, you’ll be reeling from the cliffhanger during the last two pages (I seriously thought that for once I’d have a nice and neat ending), so fair warning. Why must you do this to us, Mary E. Pearson???! How am I to wait an ENTIRE YEAR???! Sniffle, sniffle… :(
As for the plot, the gist of it is that Kazi, a former street thief (known by the name of Ten because she still has all of her fingers, having never been caught by the Komizar for her thievery) and a current member of Queen Lia of Venda’s Rahtan is sent to locate General Illarium, who is responsible for the deaths of Lia’s father and brother, and has reportedly sought refuge in Hell’s Mouth. This area, although unrecognised as such, is under the control of the Ballenger family, as the capital of the unofficial “First Kingdom.” Jase, the new Patrei of the Ballenger family, finds himself literally abducted and shackled to Kazi by labour traders, and the plot takes off from there! Jase brings Kazi back to his family as a prisoner, but Kazi isn’t completely opposed to her current situation though, because that’s exactly where she needs to be, in order to conduct her own secret mission for Queen Lia. Betrayals and secrets run amok in this novel and I was riveted from beginning to end!
I’d highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys high fantasy worlds, great romance, addictive plots, secret missions, and thieving characters. Mary E. Pearson’s latest book is not one that you want to miss! :D
We were alone, we had each other, and we had a whole wilderness ahead of us.
Dance of Thieves was a wish come true. I absolutely loved The Remnant Chronicles, so I was more than happy to read a novel set in the same universe. You can call it capitalism, but I'll read anything that has something to do with my beloved Lia and Rafe. Their special cameo was so satisfying that it almost made me forget about the one and only problem that I had with this book: instalove.
Fellow fans of Mary E. Pearson were probably surprised, too. After all, the romantic relationships in The Remnant Chronicles didn't have any trace of frivolity (or impossibility). In other words, Kazi and Jase's love story was a far cry Lia and Rafe's. I knew that I had to avoid making comparisons, but I couldn't help it since the characters came from the same human brain and lived in the same fictional world. The author set the bar so high, so how could I settle for less? xD
To be fair, Kazi and Jase's interactions were outstanding in that they made me feel many emotions like happiness, frustration, and surprise. Their banter was often the highlight of the story, and I couldn't get enough of it. I just wished that they hadn't kept so many secrets from each other. They would've spared themselves from a lot of stress! It was funny how their fights effectively demonstrated that open communication could be a matter of life and death sometimes.
Moreover, I loved how the author emphasized the importance of personal history. Most of the time, Kazi's and Jase's actions were a result of their respective pasts. Kazi was robbed of her childhood after her mother was taken by a slave trader. Jase, on the other hand, wanted to make up for not being able to save his younger siblings from a deadly fever. Their obsession with the past was saddening, but it was a significant contributor to their character development. By overcoming their traumatic experiences, Kazi and Jase were able to move forward and create a promising future together.
In the end, I genuinely enjoyed Dance of Thieves. It had a character-driven story that taught me valuable things about life (i.e. human relationships). If you enjoyed The Remnant Chronicles, you can look forward to another series about the beauty of exposing royal conspiracies and finding love in the process.