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A Dance of Cloaks (Shadowdance 1) Paperback – October 8, 2013


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A Dance of Cloaks (Shadowdance 1) + A Dance of Blades (Shadowdance 2) + A Dance of Mirrors (Shadowdance 3)
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Product Details

  • Series: Shadowdance (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (October 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031624239X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316242394
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The first volume of Dalglish&'s Shadowdance trilogy, a frenetic masterpiece with growing pains (to quote the author&'s modest afterword) that achieved self-published success, has been substantially revised for this edition, but its core remains a winning combination of A Game of Thrones, sword-and-sorcery RPGs, and vivid description. Aaron, the son of master thief Thren Felhorn, is an unprepossessing introvert who catches his father&'s attention by stabbing an intruder—at age eight. Five years later, Aaron is learning the thieving trade in Veldaren, a city defined by internal war between the thieves&' guilds and the merchants&' guilds, with the weak, paranoid king a pawn on the board. The point of view shifts continually, encompassing bit players and major characters from every angle of the struggle, and Dalglish handles his cast of thousands with aplomb. Despite the inevitable quasi-medieval setting, saucy dagger-wielding maidens, and very convenient magic, this is a fun read. Dalglish puts familiar pieces together with a freshness and pleasure that are contagious. Agent: Michael Carr, Veritas Literary Agency. (Oct.)

Review

"Dalglish concocts a heady cocktail of energy, breakneck pace and excitement."—Sam Sykes, author of Tome of the Undergates

"Fast, furious, and fabulous."—Michael J. Sullivan, author of Theft of Swords

"[A] winning combination of A Game of Thrones, sword-and-sorcery RPGs, and vivid description...Dalglish puts familiar pieces together with a freshness and pleasure that are contagious."—Publishers Weekly

"Strong characterization as well as detailed action...a believable tale of a young man's coming-of-age and the difficult decisions he must make. His saga should appeal to fans of R.A. Salvatore and Richard Lee Byers."—Library Journal

More About the Author

David Dalglish graduated from Missouri Southern State University in 2006 with a degree in Mathematics. When trying to be productive, and stave off returning to working fast food, he writes and self-publishes various fantasy novels, of which he's sold hundreds of thousands of copies.

He also has a lovely wife and two beautiful daughters, with all three being far better than he deserves.

Customer Reviews

The entire book is very well written with a perfect plot pace.
Jennifer
It is a fantastic book, easily my favourite of David's books that I've read so far, and worth reading by anyone who loves fantasy.
Amazon Customer
I read this book in only a few days, I could not put it down I cannot wait to start the 2nd in the series!
Clifford Wears

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Kyrie on September 28, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A Dance of Cloaks is the fourth book I've read by David Dalglish. While I liked his other books a lot, I felt with them that there was something missing to make them 5-star books. That's not the case with A Dance of Cloaks. In this book, he's come into his own and A Dance of Cloaks is an exciting read. I've always said that Dalglish writes some of the best fight scenes I've ever read, and that doesn't change in this book. Added to the mix is plenty of intrigue and a large cast of characters, including some old favorites. The theme of redemption is still laced throughout the book.

If you've read and liked Dalglish's Half-Orc series, you've really got to read this - you'll learn a good bit about the politics of the world and also find out how Haern got his start as well as the Eschatons. A Dance of Cloaks stands fully on its own, though -- don't worry if you haven't read Dalglish's other books; you don't need to in order to dive right in. If you enjoy fantasy, I can't recommend this book enough.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful By L.C. Evans VINE VOICE on August 29, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
In A Dance of Cloaks David Dalglish has created a dark world where life is easily lost and swords and daggers rule. I don't normally read fantasy, but decided to broaden my horizons with this book. I'm glad I did. I don't want to post any spoilers, so I'll simply say the main plot was between a father and son. Thren Felhorn would stop at nothing to bend his son to his will and make him into a heartless assassin and the next ruler of the thieves guilds. Sub-plots involved a variety of other characters vying for money or power. There are also two very different religions struggling to win the people to their respective beliefs.

The action scenes--and there are many--are so well-written that I could easily imagine myself observing as if from a nearby vantage point. But not too nearby--the vivid battle and torture descriptions are not for the squeamish.

The main characters are portrayed with depth and feeling and each is given a story that we follow throughout the book. I especially liked that the women were strong characters and some of them could fight as well as or better than the men.

All the action and conflict lead to a climactic event when Thren Felhorn, ruler of the thieves, attempts to wipe out the opposition and finally take control of everything. Some of the characters live and some die violently, but loose ends are tied up in a dramatic battle that overtakes the city.

Highly recommended.
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54 of 69 people found the following review helpful By McBeardsalot on March 22, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So... some background. I'd been away from fantasy for awhile, until I picked up Name of the Wind. It was fantastic, and I devoured it. Then I picked up Lies of Locke Lamora, and I was pretty unimpressed by the first few chapters, but then it grew on me and I loved it. I read its sequel Red Seas under Red Skies next, and loved it just about as much.

When I picked up Dance of Cloaks, I felt the same way about it at first as I did about Lies of Locke Lamora, and I really hoped it would grow on me too. Unfortunately it just never really rang true with me. The plot is difficult to follow for the first few chapters, since every couple of pages tends to introduce a new character. These characters tend to have a great deal of similarity... they're all more or less violent, vengeful, and skilled at some form of combat. Once you have the characters and plotlines sorted out, it's difficult to sympathize with any of them, even (what I believe to be) the main character. The ending was sudden, and I felt like very little had actually been accomplished.

On the positive side, it's not a mentally difficult read. The world and social structure it creates are both fascinating and detailed. It also doesn't have the pretentiousness of a great many of the books that I've read. I genuinely believe that there's a lot of potential here, but it just didn't quite hit the right note for me.

In short, is it a match for Name of the Wind or Lies of Locke Lamora? Not quite, in my mind. Is it better than most similar books out there? Yes indeed.
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32 of 42 people found the following review helpful By JOA on October 27, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
Rating: 5 out of 5

It's nice when you find an author whose work you adore. When this happens, you gleefully anticipate each coming release, and dive into every volume without the "I hope this doesn't suck" feeling that can come about when opening a virtual unknown.

Luckily for me, I've found a couple new favorites over the last few months. At the top of that list is David Dalglish, he of the half-orc series I've been raving about on this site (and others) since I first opened "Weight of Blood". Now from mister Dalglish, comes "A Dance of Cloaks", a prequel of sorts to his best-selling series. (Which, by the way, you need not read in order to enjoy this tome. It works perfectly as a stand-alone.)

This novel is in many ways a wondrous oddity - as most of the author's books are. It is set in a fantasy world, and yet the story it tells is real world appropriate. In fact, I would hasten to call this a fantasy novel at all. A more befitting description would go as follows:

"A Dance of Cloaks is what would you get if Mario Puzo #1) knew how to write, and #2) constructed The Godfather to take place in a land of swords, spears, and magic rather than New York and Sicily."

The plot follows a standard gangland trope: young child, son of powerful mafia (in this case, thief guild) boss is groomed to take over a position he's not sure he wants; inner turmoil, scheming, and conflict ensue. In this case, the son is Aaron Felhorn, whose father, Thren, is the legendary (and brutal) leader of the Spider Guild.

Again, as with gangland tales, there is a war going between the different Thief Guilds and the Trifect (this world's version of the corporate elite).
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