Narrator: Ann Marie Lee, James Patrick Cronin, Karissa Vacker
Series: Dance of Thieves #1
Published by Listening Library
Published on 7 August 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Source: my local library
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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.
I will probably spell everyone’s name wrong since I listened to the audiobook and have pretty much imagined them spelt my way for the whole time I listened to this.
So I kinda low key loved this. I felt like I was in really good hands while I listened to this. The narrators were pleasant to listen to, the writing was strong and descriptive, and I found myself really liking the characters, enough to want to go on to the sequel. I even put the first book of the series this is spun from, Kiss of Deception, on hold at my library.
I felt like the characters of Kazi and Jase had really great backstories that turned them into the wonderful, kind, compassionate, yet kickass people they are. I loved their developing feelings for one another in a very slow kind of way, even if we only really saw any feelings developing from Kazi’s point of view (which was a thing I noticed about halfway through, that Jase doesn’t have many, if any, introverted scenes where he reflects on why he’s falling in love with Kazi). I love how they refuse to admit these feelings because it’s not instalove, but how they develop this kind of deep friendship based on mutual admiration that evolves into more. It was a nice romance, and I liked it.
I also really loved the secondary characters, especially Jase’s family and Kazi’s companions Wren and Sinove (sorry! I don’t know how it’s spelt!). I find watching romances develop between secondary characters adorable.
There were only two things I was a bit unsure about with this book: the first one was that I felt like I had missed a lot of the original story this one is spun from. It was told in a way as if, ‘Oh yes, of course you know who this characters is and what they’ve done, there’s no need to introduce them’ for basically everyone that wasn’t in the Ballenger sphere. However, that being said, I didn’t find this attitude off-putting – in fact, I found it kind of respectful, as if Pearson didn’t assume I didn’t know anything, but she also wasn’t quite assuming I was a fan who had read and memorised the previous books. Some people might be put off if they haven’t read the original series first, but not me. It only made me want to read it even more than I already do. Also, there was what I think might have been new world building, especially around the Ballengers, so I still found it really engaging.
The other thing that put me off was View Spoiler »the idea of two fiercely independent and liberal young people sexually attracted to each other forced together in circumstances where they literally cannot move more than a few steps away, with heaps of privacy and they didn’t have sex? Like at all? Even though it was kind of hinting that they did? BUT THEY DIDN’T. So that was weird. With literally nothing stopping them? Like maybe if they had talked about the risk of pregnancy and then decided not to go all the way, that would have been cool. Maybe it was a way to try to keep the sexual tension. I dunno. It was just weird. I assumed that they DID have sex, because I was being a grown up about it. But no. « Hide Spoiler
Overall I really enjoyed this audiobook and it’s made me want to read more of Pearson’s work. Even though it’s not magic-heavy fantasy, I think fantasy lovers and romance lovers will enjoy this book.