Thursday, April 11, 2019

Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #1) by Mary E. Pearson

Narrated by Karissa Vacker, James Patrick
Cronin, and Ann Marie Lee
Synopsis (via Goodreads): 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.


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I absolutely loved this! It was my first book by Mary E. Pearson, and I had no idea it was tied to another trilogy (The Remnant Chronicles) that's set in the same world. Other reviewers have mentioned familiar characters, and a familiarity with the world, so I'm looking forward to reading it soon! However, I had no trouble reading this one without any prior knowledge of the world. Everything made total sense.

First of all, the narration for this was amazing! I requested a review copy of Vow of Thieves, but I honesty want to wait for the audiobook. It was that good! It really added another layer to the characters and the overall story.

Speaking of the characters, they're all beautifully complex and interesting. I was uncertain about Jase at the beginning, because he seemed like a bully, but we quickly learn what motivates him, and why his family is determined to present a united front. Their idea of territory is a little tricky, which does cause them some problems (if they can see it, it's theirs), but I enjoyed watching the Ballenger's compromise with Kazi and her friends.

The world they live in has a very rich history, and it was fun learning about new places. It's a vast world with very unique concepts, and despite being fictional, felt completely real.

Additionally, I loved the riddles Kazi was always sharing with Jase! They were clever and fun to figure out. Also, his stories about the Ballenger's and their origins, were equally fascinating. I think Jase and Kazi really complimented each other, and not just romantically. They challenged one another, and were both very dedicated to their roles in life.

Kazi had an interesting backstory, and I'm curious if we'll learn more about it in the next book. Kazi's life changed drastically after a sudden loss, but an unexpected kindness sent Kazi down a different path that altered her world forever. Both instances shaped the person she is today, and made her really good at what she does. Wren and Synove, the Ballenger siblings, and even the random people on the street were all wonderful. It's clear the author put a lot of thought and love into creating memorable characters. There were a few that I loved to hate, others I felt indifferent about, and those that left me feeling like there was more to their repective stories. I have a feeling not everyone is who they say they are.

There were a lot of twists that I didn't see coming, although the characters were equally surprised. I liked learning new information with them, instead of determining what would happen in advance. Their reactions felt like my reactions, and really intensified the entire experience.

I really, really recommend this one! It doesn't matter if you've read the other trilogy, because Dance of Thieves can easily stand on its own. The characters are fleshed-out, the story was captivating and engaging, and the history made me believe I was somewhere else. The story was detailed, but there was no wasted information. Everything the author said, we needed to know. We might not have known we needed it at the time, but things had a way of reappearing when I least expected them to.

Also, I just want to say that Synove's revenge was perfect.

The ending wasn't what I was expecting, but in the best possible way. I'm also really looking forward to the next book, because even though the first book had resolution, the author made sure to dangle something juicy at the very end. Is it August yet? I need Vow of Thieves in my life!

22 comments:

  1. I've been meaning to try Mary Pearson for a while, even since her earlier series. This just makes me want to read her stuff even more!

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    1. This was my first book by the author and I'm already in love with her writing! It was amazing, Greg. It was fantastical, but totally believable. And the characters were phenomenal as well! :)

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  2. I haven't read this one but the storyline sounds like one that I might enjoy. Thanks for the great review.

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  3. I read the first Remnant Chronicles book back in 2014 and wasn't wowed by it and chose not to continue the series. Fantasy just isn't my thing so it takes *a lot* to make me want to pick one up. I love that this one was such a big hit for you! It sounds like the world building was spot on and I love an ending that can take me by surprise. Do you think you'll go back and read the original trilogy now??

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    1. "...so I'm looking forward to reading it soon!" ;)

      I love fantasy! It's probably my favorite genre. Kelley Armstrong's Age of Legends series, the Kate Daniels and Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews -- amazing. I know you didn't care for the narrator when you listened to the first book in the Kate Daniels series, but the story is GOOD. What fantasy have you read and enjoyed?

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    2. Oops, I missed that line. LOL

      To be honest, out of the fantasy I've read (which, granted, isn't a whole lot) I've disliked more than I've liked. I loved the ACOTAR trilogy. And the two Folk of the Air book so far. The Crown's Game was okay. But those are really the only ones. One of these days I will probably recognize that fantasy is my genre and quit trying to force it.

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    3. Haha! No worries! I still need to read ACOTAR. I've heard AMAZING things about the series, but haven't gotten around to it. There's so much hype for that one! I am sooo ready for The Queen of Nothing -- eep! Did you mean to say fantasy isn't your genre? Because... if it secretly is, then you definitely shouldn't force it. Just let it happen! ;)

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    4. LOL Obviously I didn't proofread before clicking reply. :) Yeah, I meant that fantasy *isn't* my genre and I should just accept that finally.

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    5. Damn! I was hoping you were a secret fantasy junkie. ;) ;)

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  4. Eek, this books been on my TBR for a while!!

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    1. I hope you love it! Have you read the original trilogy?

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  5. ohhh your review makes me want to give this ARC another try! I DNFd it because it was moving to slow for my taste but I like to read those twists and that unexpected ending

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    1. It feels a little slow while the two of them are stuck together, but it's actually really important to the story! They have to trust each other, and they build a solid relationship trying to survive together. The author also skips forward through time a bit and doesn't make them linger any longer than necessary. Try it again! If not, I'll happily take your copy. ;) <3

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  6. Ahhh I'm glad to hear this was good and that you had read it before reading the other series! I had only read one of those but this one looked really great so I wanted to skip to this one, kind of haha. :) Great review!

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    1. You can totally skip! Same world, different characters. I really loved this one! <3

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  7. This is an author I've wanted to try. Wonderful review!

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    1. Thanks! I purchased this book after listening to the audio, and I also bought physical copies for her other trilogy that set in the same world. I'm really looking forward to reading it while I wait for Vow of Thieves to come out.

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  8. I read the first book (or two?) in the Remnant Chronicles and then just forgot about the series. I don’t read that much fantasy, but I did like the book that I read! (If I remember correctly)

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    1. That's what we have Goodreads for! Honestly, I don't know what I would do without it. It keeps track of my books, challenges, book groups... everything. I hope you try this one and love it! <3

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  9. I haven't read any of her books, but the covers are always lovely. šŸ‘⚡

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    1. I loved this one and cannot wait to read the other trilogy! You're right... the covers are lovely! I bought physical copies just the other day. :)

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― Marissa Meyer, Heartless