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September 26, 2013 / minusbar

Book Review: A Dance of Cloaks, by David Dalglish

Book Review: “A Dance of Cloaks” by David Dalglish

A Dance of Cloaks, by David Dalglish is what all assassin tales should strive to be. This is a novel filled with wonderful characters, dark settings, and relentlessly brutal action. The prologue is about all you’ll need to read to know if this book is for you. I know that after those first few pages I was ravenously hungry for more.

At the risk of sounding like a fanboy, I can honestly say that there was not a single character in this novel that I did not enjoy. Thren Fellhorn, who plays both a lead and an antagonist, is an intriguingly dark and entertaining character. I liked that he was cool and calculating, yet also surprisingly vulnerable when issues concerned his son or individuals in his inner circle of trust. Aaron, the son, prodigy and protagonist of the story is an especially interesting character. At the root, this book was his coming of age story. He evolves from a boy to a man, and he’s forced to confront realizations about those around him. Through these revelations, he’s then forced to decide whether to follow the path that has been laid out for him, or to become his own person.  There are many other characters that I could gladly go on and on about, but it would be a disservice to prospective readers to tell too much. Suffice to say, these are characters that you will grow to love and hate, or even love to hate.

I am pleasantly surprised to say Dalglish has accomplished crafting a dark fantasy without over emphasizing rape. There are strong females filling the pages (Kayla and the Faceless women, to name a few) who would be more than happy to stick a dagger in anyone who gets any ideas. Basically, the women in his book aren’t just fillers and love interests. They’re bad-asses and play just as important a role as any of their male counterparts. It’s nice to see that these ladies are not just victims, but are instead intriguing and fully fleshed out characters.

Now it would be remiss of me to talk about this book and neglect to mention the political and religious systems that Dalglish has created. There’s a king, the thieves guilds, the entitled and inordinately rich and the worshippers of Karak and Ashhur. All of these groups seem to have their own agenda, and it’s clear from early on that almost all of them are getting ready to collide at an event held every two years called the Kensgold.

This is an extremely fun book with great characters. Honestly, I am kicking myself for having not read more books by this author. If the sequel is half as good as A Dance of Cloaks, it’ll still be a great read. David, consider me sold as a lifelong fan.

This book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.


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