A Dance of Blades, Paperback

A Dance of Blades Paperback

Part of the Shadowdance series

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


It's been five long years since the city learned to fear...The war between the thief guilds and the powerful allegiance known as the Trifect has slowly dwindled.

Now only the mysterious Haern is left to wage his private battle against the guilds in the guise of the Watcher - a vicious killer who knows no limits.

But when the son of Alyssa Gemcroft, one of the three leaders of the 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. Fantasy author David Dalglish spins a tale of retribution and darkness, and an underworld reaching for ultimate power.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416 pages, map
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Fantasy
  • ISBN: 9780356502793



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A Dance of Blades begins five years after the events of A Dance of Cloaks. Valderan is still recovering from the night Thren led the thief guilds in the ill-fated attack on the Trifect. The thief guilds still survive although much weakened. Although the Trifect did much better, it still doesn’t have the strength to completely wipe out the guilds so, although the war between the two is much weaker, it still continues . Haern, once Thren’s son Aaron and now known as the Watcher is waging his own personal war against the guilds although no matter how many thieves he kills, there always seem to be more to take their place. His identity is a secret and he has convinced each guild that he is a member of one of the others causing more disarray. Alyssa Gemcroft has taken over her family’s fortune with the aid of Zusa one of the Faceless. When it is falsely reported that Alyssa’s son, Nathanial, has been killed by the Watcher, she is consumed by grief and a need for revenge. She spends her fortune to hire mercenaries to destroy the guilds and, in the process, the Watcher.Like in the first book, it is full of non-stop action and fascinating characters. And there are lots of characters both old and new with different POV but they are so well-drawn that it is easy to keep track of who’s who. This book definitely belongs to Haern and Alyssa but there are plenty of new characters for the reader to love and/or hate. One in particular deserves a mention – the Ghost, a mercenary and a giant of a man who may be the only person capable of killing Haern. We also get to see more of the world outside of Valderan as well as a greater emphasis on magic. Fortunately, at least from my perspective, despite this increase of magic, this is still more sword than sorcery and continues the gritty realism of the first.A Dance with Blades is a terrific sequel to A Dance with Cloaks and author David Dagliesh is fast becoming one of my favourite fantasy writers. The action and characters of this series are top-notch and I am really looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

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