A Dance of Cloaks by David Dalglish

Book 1 of the Shadowdance Trilogy.

Thren Felhorn is the greatest assassin of his time. Marshalling the thieves’ guilds under his control, he declares war against the Trifect, an allegiance of wealthy and powerful nobles.
Aaron Felhorn has been groomed since birth to be Thren’s heir. Sent to kill the daughter of a priest, Aaron instead risks his own life to protect her from the wrath of his guild. In doing so, he glimpses a world beyond poison, daggers, and the iron control of his father.
Guilds twist and turn, trading allegiances for survival. The Trifect weakens, its reputation broken, its money dwindling. The players take sides as the war nears its end, and Thren puts in motion a plan to execute hundreds.
Only Aaron can stop the massacre and protect those he loves…
Assassin or protector; every choice has its consequences.

It's a bit messy storyline and character-wise but it had me hooked from beginning to end.

There are an incredible amount of characters and story lines to keep track off and particularly in the first half of the book it doesn't always work. I was quite lost at times and just went with it, hoping that my memory would at some point flare back to life and remind me why this person was and why his or her doings were significant.

The war between the Trifect and the Thieves' Guilds is albeit interesting a bit of a mess. I don't feel like I ever got any real reason for what exactly was going on and why, and Thren's legendary skills are only mentioned never really shown. It was all just needed as a background story and setting for the main character Aaron, a young boy who has to either stand up to his father or watch everyone die.

Despite my complaints though I could not put it down. It is very well written and some of the characters I was really fond off, particularly Alyssa and Haern was dear to me and I couldn't help but fall for the faceless women.

All in all, you need a bit of patience to get started on it and pay good attention, but it's well worth the read in the end. Inspired by the likes of George RR Martin, Dalglish has made a fantastic and brutal world and population, and the story is both sinister and full of hope.

386 pages / published in 2010
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011


  1. This sounds like something I'd love to read. I love complex stories, too, even if they are sometimes confusing. Thanks for the review :)

  2. @BookGeek - My pleasure. Thanks for reading :)


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