A Dance of Blades by David Dalglish

Book 2 of the Shadowdance Trilogy

“Veldaren aches for a purge, and I will be the one to deliver it. Cry out at me if you wish, but it will change nothing. The gold is spent, the orders are given. Let the blood flow.”
It’s been five years since Haern faked his death to escape the tyranny of his father. He has become the Watcher, a vicious killer who knows no limits, and whose hatred of the thief guilds is unrivaled. But when the son of Alyssa Gemcroft, one of the three leaders of the powerful Trifect, is believed murdered, the slaughter begins anew. Mercenaries flood the streets, with one goal in mind: find and kill the Watcher.
Peace or destruction; every war must have its end


It took me quite a while to get into this one, it just didn't appeal to me right away and I spent nearly the first half of the book, wondering who was who, unable to identify them as characters from the first book or remembering what exactly went on with them back then.

The book returns to Veldaren five years after the end of the first book and there are both new and old faces - and I really don't think we're properly introduced to any of them which was a real shame. Some characters, like Deathmask (*snort*) just seem too much, too overdone and is too much of a special unicorn. Otherwise Dalglish has portrayed relatively human and faulty people, but this guy excels at his work and no one can touch him.... come to think of it, just like MC Haern.

Haern's battle against the thief guilds and all evil is basically just him slaughtering at random and the big plot ... surprise (tadaa) of them wanting to make the thieves into the city's body guards instead was just downright dumb. Furthermore on reflection Haern is a very shallow paperthin main character in my opinion.

Over all I was disappointed by this book. Dalglish is quite good at action sequences but the rest of the book just drags it down.

348 pages / published in 2011
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011


  1. Hmmm it seems as if your earlier prediction that this one wasn't to your liking came true. Such a shame when the second books in a series that you liked is a bit of a disappointment. I'm one of those people who doesn't like too many new characters being introduced in future books unless they're very well done.


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