Dance of Thieves
Author Mary E. Pearson
Publisher Henry Holt & Co. | 2018
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. (from Goodreads)
This review is spoiler-freeeeeee! 🙂
Oh, man. I went back and forth between three and four stars for this book because I consider it to be a 3.5, but in the end I bumped it down. I’ve been hesitant to read this series for a while, because though I loove the covers, I don’t think the synopsis ever interested me much. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood to read this whenever I tried. But I finally decided to take a chance on it, and I’m actually glad for it.
“I’m just saying, I know you don’t like me, and I don’t like you, but until we can be free of each other, I guess we’ll have to make the best of it.”
This actually started out pretty strong. It’s got royal enemies to lovers, two tropes I LOVE, plus kinda-not-really fake dating! The quote above demonstrates every perfect enemies to lovers scenario, and I was quickly invested in the story. I liked both Kazi and Jase and y’all know I’m a SUCKER for a dual-POV romance. There were some things I disliked- I didn’t care for the Ballenger journal entries because I didn’t understand the significance (if it was mentioned in the beginning, I missed it) and some of the politics of the kingdoms were difficult to discern. There was a lot of history to learn, too, which was a little annoying at times.
Towards the middle it started to drag, and by the end I was mostly skimming. There was just A LOT of long passages describing things and it made their last journey seem super long. I was definitely interested in the plot, overall, and was surprised by a couple of twists at the end. I really, REALLY wish we had spent more time with the queen at book’s end, because I would’ve liked to see more of her and Kazi’s relationship, and I do hope that she makes an appearance in the next one. I also thought that the ending seemed a little rushed after everything that had just gone down. It all seemed super abrupt and I wasn’t entirely pleased with how quickly decisions were made.
I will eventually check out the next book in the duology, but I’m not in too much of a hurry to get to it. I’m excited to finally tick the series off my list, though!
PS I think my novel-length review of QoN has finally given me some of my review mojo back! I’m hoping to be more active on here in December as I finish my HP re-read and close out the year! 🙂