Monday, August 5, 2019

Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #2) by Mary E. Pearson

Synopsis (via Goodreads): 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.

𑁋

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

I absolutely loved this book! Vow of Thieves made me furious at times, and pretty much every other emotion a person can feasibly feel, but it was well worth it in the end. I wasn't mad at the book itself, but at some of the characters and their impulsive decisions. However, I also understood their reasons and perspectives, which made it harder to stay mad at them. There were a few characters that I loved to hate, and will continue to wish pain and death upon forever and ever. 

Speaking of the characters... they are so wonderfully written! The family dynamics are complicated, and the author really emphasizes that not all families are related by blood. Additionally, people can always surprise you, and it's nice to give them the benefit of the doubt. It's hard to trust others, especially when lives are literally on the line, but Kazi and Jase seem to be able to judge people fairly well. The characters themselves were really fleshed out, and I felt like I'd known them for years. Mary E. Pearson knows how to build characters and worlds, and despite the brutality, it's a world I wouldn't mind living in. As long as I can stay at Tor's Watch!

I enjoyed the subtle magic that was woven into the book, and how it always felt just out of reach. It's there, but it doesn't play a prominent role within the story. It gives the book a dash of fantasy that I greedily devoured. Also, it's been awhile since I read the first book, but there were subtle references to the more important aspects that I may have forgotten. The reminders gently nudged my brain in the right direction, and I was happy for those little tidbits. I never felt lost or confused as I continued the story.

I really enjoyed learning more about the Ballenger history, and where their family originated. They've endured a lot over the years, but not nearly as much as the first Ballenger. He was only a child, yet he managed to build a family out of survivors. They lived and breathed together, fought and died together, and that same tenacious spirit has been passed on for generations. Jase and the others will go on and on about family and secrecy, but Greyson Ballenger wasn't bound to his family in the traditional sense. I think the current Ballenger's forgot that from time to time, and it was nice seeing them learning and growing as a group. 

Kazi is amazing. She's strong, intelligent, and fiercely protective. She always puts others before herself, and she's even willing to help the people that want to kill her. Kazi sacrificed herself again and again for the people she cared about, thinking their lives were more important than her own. Fortunately for her, she had people in her life that thought she was worth saving and protecting. Jase, Wren, and Synové would gladly give their lives for their friend. I don't think I could have endured what Kazi did and remained sane at the end. The girl just doesn't give up, and she never gives in. She's confident in herself and her abilities, and clings to hope even when it's painful.

There were a few twists that I was not expecting, but really complimented the overall story. Once certain things are revealed, it makes you question everything you've read previously as the pieces slowly click into place. I never would have expected this story to end up exactly where it did, and I love when a book can keep me on my toes until the very last page. 

Vow of Thieves only took me a day to read, and I would have gladly kept turning the pages. However, I do think the ending was perfection, and really captured what the rest of the book had been about. We're left with hope and understanding, and also the knowledge that the world is complicated. People even more so... I cannot wait to see what Pearson comes up with next!

16 comments:

  1. I wasn't the biggest fan of Pearson's debut series, but this one is so intriguing that I actually want to give her another try! I love that it made you feel so much for all of the characters. It shows how invested you were in the book.
    Great review, Lindsi!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't read that one! I read Courting Darkness, which is a spinoff of that series, but didn't enjoy it as much as this duology! It was good, but this one was better. :)

      Delete
  2. This author seems to be hit or miss for me but this one definitely sounds like it might be worth it to try! Great review. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't read her other books (only Courting Darkness, which is a spinoff of another series), but really loved this one! The characters and world-building were phenomenal! :)

      Delete
  3. yay it's great to have a good sequel liqye that. I haven't tried this author but I should try book 1!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really enjoyed this duology! I haven't read her other series, but I did start Courting Darkness, which is a spinoff. :)

      Delete
  4. This sounds like a great book! I love when I'm able to understand the characters' motivations even if I don't agree with the decisions they make. It's a big plus that family plays a large role. I haven't read book #1, but you made me want to jump into this series!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was fantastic! Both Dance of Thieves and Vow of Thieves were incredible books. It's easily one of my favorite duologies! Right? I can disagree with a character's choices, but it helps when I understand where they're coming from. I thought the author did a wonderful job of showing how families can love unconditionally, but not always be happy with each other. Let me know what you think if you decide to read this one! :)

      Delete
  5. Okay you have just completely reminded me of why I NEED to start this series ASAP. I loved Mary's Remnant series, and I honestly have no good reason for not having started this one! I am getting ahead on my review books, so I am thinking around next month I'll get a chance and I am absolutely starting it, especially now that you loved the sequel so much!! Great review, glad this was awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I still need to read the Remnant series! I have the first and third book, and I'm waiting on the second one to arrive. I found it on Thrift Books for a steal! I'm getting ahead on my review books just so I can re-read ACOTAR, haha! ;) I hope you love this when you start it! You won't have to wait between books, which is a bonus. <3

      Delete
  6. Ooh this one sounds really good! I haven't read this author but have heard great things! I'm glad you were able to enjoy it and that the ending was perfect!
    Genesis @ Whispering Chapters

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is my first series by the author (with the exception of Courting Darkness), but I plan on reading her others! This one might remain my favorite though... it was just that good. ;)

      Delete
  7. So many people love this author and the original series. I kind of gave up on it after reading Kiss of Deception because it didn't really work for me. Make me wonder if I quit too soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't read the original series, although I own both Grave Mercy and Kiss of Deception, haha. I'll get to them eventually! I have read Courting Darkness, which I believe is a spinoff from Grave Mercy. It was good! This is still my favorite though. :)

      Delete
  8. That gorgeous cover caught my eye and it sounds like the story is just as beautiful! I guess the books need to be read in order? Two for the TBR then :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! They definitely need to be read in order. A LOT happens in the first book, so you wouldn't understand the setting, or the relationships without reading them order. :)

      Delete

Click the "Notify me" box if you want to be notified when someone responds!

“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless