A Dance of Cloaks (Shadowdance #1)

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A city torn by 3 factions: a self-proclaimed King of Thieves, the 3 Merchant Princes and the effete, corrupt and useless “real” King.

Thiefman wants the Merchant Princes gone, for some reason or other and is waging all out underworld war on them. To further his aim, he is training his son to be the ultimate emotionless killer and he’s doing a great job of that.

The son decides that he doesn’t want to follow his father’s plans and tries to strike out on his own. But he’s only 13.

The Merchant Princes want the Thiefman gone, as he is strangling their businesses. They too are waging war, but lesser merchants are nibbling at their borders, intriguing to bring them down and become the next set of Merchant Princes.

Finally, the King. Playing all sides against the other for fear of losing his throne, his crown and ultimately his head.


My Thoughts:

This reminded me a lot of Brent Weeks’ Night Angel trilogy, with everything kind of happening in one city but spreading out a little.

Sadly, only Aaron, the son of the Thiefman, is halfway likeable. There were 1 or 2 minor characters who weren’t bad either [and they both die], but other than that, everyone was a backstabbing, traitorous, greedy and vicious son of a gun.

It was all about grabbing power but with no one of good character to cheer for. I am opposed to this type of writing on so many levels that it is really hard to enjoy it. Dalglish has another series, the Half Orc series, that I’m going to try. If it is less gloomy I’ll probably return to this series and continue on. But if it is in the same vein, then I’ll be done.

Life is tough enough and heroes few and far between for me to immerse myself in the hopeless, abject despair of fallen humanity.


Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Author: David Dalglish

A Dance of Cloaks

Shadowdance #1