Narrator: Karissa Vacker, James Patrick Cronin, Ann Marie Lee
Series: Dance of Thieves #2
Published by Listening Library
Published on 6 August 2019
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: my local library
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Kazi and Jase have survived, stronger and more in love than ever. Their new life now lies before them―the Ballengers will be outlaws no longer, Tor's Watch will be a kingdom, and the two of them will meet all challenges side by side, together at last.
But an ominous warning mars their journey back, and in their rush to return to Tor's Watch, just outside the fortress walls, they are violently attacked and torn apart―and each is thrust into their own new hell.
Unsure whether the other is alive or dead, Kazi and Jase must keep their wits among their greatest enemies and unlikeliest allies. And all the while, Death watches and waits.
First and foremost the thing I loved most about this book is that rather than rehashing the same storytelling technique of having dual points of view telling the same story, Pearson split our couple up early on so that the dual points of view could work together to tell two different stories, which I really enjoyed.
The villain was genuinely scary. I loved how it was someone you would least expect to be a villain! But it was so well done, slow but determined to reveal the depths of this character’s madness and jealousy. I absolutely loved that Kazi was totally aware the villain wasn’t really into her, just wanted to possess something Jase loved. It felt so gothic, with a young girl trapped in close proximity to someone who may want to bone her, and I’m trash for a bit of gothic flare in my literature.
I loved how determined Kazi was, and how fiercely she loved, and I really love her and Jase together – not necessarily in proximity, because I loved the way Jase thought about Kazi and his own determination to get back to her. Despite only being teenagers, they’re both very mature in their relationship, and I really liked that. What I mean is that I love seeing them both in a book and both having their own stories, but also their thoughts revolving around the other while they try to save the day.
In the first book there was a lot of internal conflict, but in this book, the conflict was almost always external, which was a great juxtaposition and ensured the reader didn’t get bored with repetition. Both of the main characters were extraordinarily strong by themselves, and together they are even better, and both of them went through so much, both physically and emotionally, that it made the read very satisfying.
I do remember thinking quite distinctly about halfway through the book that the plot seemed to be building to a traditional climax so soon, but I was wrong. Everything kept escalating and just when I thought things couldn’t get worse for my beloveds, it did, but it was handled in such a believable way that I totally bought it.
One character I was totally not expecting to redeem themselves, and another I was totally not expecting to do a complete turnaround and become this terrifying, deadly, ruthless villain. I was so surprised and delighted by both of these characters journeys, they were written so well.
There was was literally nothing I did not like about this book. I loved the audiobook narrators, I loved the plot, the characterisation, the setting, the worldbuilding, the good guys, the bad guys, redemption arcs, falls from grace, emotional impacts, romance: it just had everything I ever wanted in a book, and that’s why I’m rating it 5 stars.