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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic story. I can't wait for the next one in the series!
The 6th book in the Sebatian St.Cyr series was as good as I hoped it would be. I had been practically counting the days till March 1st, to obtain this book & read it and was worried whether the author will be able to keep up her great work. After all even good authors have their "off" books. But I loved this segment of the story too. Small SPOILER ahead: Sebastian St.Cyr,...
Published on March 4, 2011 by LoveMyBooks

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love the series but not this book
I've enjoyed reading the books in this series since the first was published but the plot of this one became so convoluted that I just couldn't enjoy it. There were so many characters that I stopped trying to keep track of all of them and just rushed to finish the book. I hope the author hasn't lost her way.
Published 23 months ago by Rica J. Polansky


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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic story. I can't wait for the next one in the series!, March 4, 2011
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The 6th book in the Sebatian St.Cyr series was as good as I hoped it would be. I had been practically counting the days till March 1st, to obtain this book & read it and was worried whether the author will be able to keep up her great work. After all even good authors have their "off" books. But I loved this segment of the story too. Small SPOILER ahead: Sebastian St.Cyr, Viscount Devlin continues his exciting life of solving murders and his complicated but very interesting relationship with Hero Jarvis does lead to their marriage at the end of the book. But what a story between the betrothal & the wedding.

The story starts when Sebastian's friend, surgeon Gibson accidentally stumbles upon the body of a man who was believed to have died of natural causes, but was murdered and the investigation of it leads Sebastian into a plot filled with international intrigue. I completely agree with a previous reviewer that the body count in the story did seem extremely high. Spoiler again: In fact many of the new characters Sebastian spoke to ended up murdered. Every chapter had me going," another one!". But it wasn't in the nature of a cheap blood and gore story and there was some relevance for all the murders in the plot. Hero did pull a Lara Croft towards the end of the story as a previous reviewer said. What a woman! A true mate for Sebastian. Their marriage seems to have started up really sweet, in the last chapter.

I am a Hero fan and would have no regrets seeing Kat Boleyn disappear from the story. But as it is petty to want to see her as part of the body count, I will be content as long as Sebastian falls out of love with her :-)I really like Paul Gibson the surgeon, so commited to his science and a great friend to Sebastian. Sir Lovejoy the magistrate is another endearing character that interests me. In fact other characters in the storyline such as Lord Jarvis, Earl of Hendon are all such multi faceted characters, though they play only short parts in this book. Usually after book 6 in a series it is hard for an author to keep up so many mysteries to reveal in future books about the same characters. But there is still so much more we want to know about them that is still to be unveiled.

Basically this is a great historical murder mystery based in England with great strong characters that stay in your mind for a long time. Riveting hero and a heroine who is even more riveting in that she is an unusual woman of her times. C.S. Harris has a true fan in me. And I do hope we won't have to wait tooooo long for the next book in the series. If you haven't read the other books in the series, I highly suggest reading them in order: "What angels fear", "When Gods Die", "Why Mermaids Sing", "Where serpents sleep" and "What remains of Heaven. Those who like historical mysteries, mixed with a little bit of romance, which are nicely written might like this series.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where Relationships Heat Up and the Body Count Rises, March 19, 2011
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I've been a devotee of C.S. Harris' Sebastian St. Cyr mysteries since the start of the series and found this book to be a very satisfying entry. I finished it in a day and it left me wishing that the next book would appear much sooner than currently scheduled!

Other reviewers have covered the complex plot in detail, so I will just say that there was an amazing amount of action and character development in this book. Usually after six books about the same protagonist, the reader comes to think they know just about everything there is to know about him, but Harris always has an intriguing revelation or two about St. Cyr and his family, and this book hints of even more to come.

It was good to find Sebastian and Hero reaching a point where hope for their future happiness as a couple seems realistic despite the inevitable complications that will arise with both their families, and I especially look forward to seeing how the author handles this. She has a real knack for bringing all the secondary and even peripheral characters to life, and I'm hoping that some of the new ones introduced here, such as Hero's younger cousin Sabrina Cox, will appear in subsequent books.

The body count was a bit of a surprise--if things keep up at this pace, Paul Gibson will never lack for dissection subjects as long as he knows the St. Cyrs! I had a good laugh over the scene where Sebastian, in full formal regalia, startles the second set of Resurrection men at 3 A.M. in the cemetery. They could have been justifiably wondering if they were being confronted by a noble vampire! The way things fell apart at the conclusion of the exhumation was entertaining too.

I didn't find the actions Hero took to escape her predicament to be out of place or out of character. She's a strong, capable, intelligent young woman with no illusions as to what would have happened if she hadn't fought back, not some milk and water miss who would cry "Oh!" as she fainted dead away and allowed her captors to do their worst.

I look forward to the continued adventures of Sebastian, Hero & Co.! Will Hero gain the Tiger's trust? Will Sebastian's relationship with Henton be restored? Will the couple find a balance in their relationships with Jarvis and Henton? Will more St. Cyr family members reveal themselves? I can hardly wait to find out!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too Many Bodies! But love that Hero!, March 2, 2011
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Clearly the fact that I've already read the latest installment in the Sebastian St. Cyr series means that I'm hooked on this series - I've bought it in hardback (no Kindle!) and read it in a day, even though I work fulltime and have a family! I adore these characters and the picture that Harris never fails to paint of this point in history. She even brings us a bit of Americana in Where Shadows Dance. But really, the body count in this one rivals a Quentin Tarantino movie and starts to stretch the limits of credibility. I realize that the streets of Regency London were rough, but honestly! Even our beloved Hero (and I don't mean St. Cyr, as beloved as I find him, but our emerging main female protagonist, Hero Jarvis) turns into a veritable Laura Croft at one point. I know she's tough, and I might be able to accept that as a tough broad she can defend herself, but...well, I won't spoil it for those who haven't read it yet, but Uma Thurmon in Kill Bill has nothing on Hero. I must also admit that the complex plot of international intrigue lost me at times. I always managed to catch up and in the end, got where Harris was going. I'm of a mixed opinion about the red herrings she throws about and who the "murderer" was, but it's a believable conclusion. Ultimately, I can't bring myself to give this a 5 star rating but can't give it a 3 either because in the end, the characters win out. If this was my first St. Cyr mystery, I'm not sure what my opinion would be. But it's not, and just like with the previous ones, I find myself mourning the fact that I'm going to have to wait an entire year before I see where our man Sebastian goes next. I adore his character, I adore Hero Jarvis (have since the first book when he kidnapped her!), I adore Tom the Tiger, I adore Gibson, etc. OK, I don't adore Kat Boleyn and have not since the first book. For all the poignant passion between her and St . Cyr she's rubbed me the wrong way and I don't think we've seen the last of her trouble. Yeah, I'm definitely in the Hero camp, but I appreciate the tension that Kat (and I'm sure her privateering husband) will play in future books. I do hope that Harris continues to develop what is clearly a promising partnership between Sebastian and Hero.
I wonder if the public's hunger for the next installment is part of the problem - I'm sure Harris is under pressure to turn out a new book once one is released. We might all be better served if a few extra months were allowed to polish and refine. Having said all this - the minute I can preorder the next installment, it's done!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still hooked on this. My favorite historical mystery series., March 11, 2011
By 
This is the sixth Sebastian St. Cyr mystery and I'm so glad the quality is as good as the first. What I especially appreciate is the historical context, as each mystery brings into it an aspect of life or politics in early 1800s England. Amazing to think that the first book took place in early 1811 and this sixth one in July of 1812. So much murder, mayhem and romantic turmoil in Sebastian's life in only 19 months or so.

The historical backdrop here is international intrigue, not just U.S./Great Britain (U.S declaration of war in June of 1812) but also Britain's complicated dealings with France, Russia, Sweden, etc. during the Napoleonic Wars, at about the time of France's invasion of Russia. This was more interesting to me than the actual murder mystery, which became a bit too convoluted.

We also have a continuation of the saga of Sebastian's romantic life with his longtime love Kat and with Lady Hero Jarvis, daughter of Sebastian's father's nemesis. The ending of this book satisfied the romance lover in me and I hope the romance continues in this vein.

The mystery and murders are particularly muddy and puzzling with so many possible villains. And the road to 'whodunit' was paved with a huge amount of dead bodies. This body count and the lack of remorse on anybody's (even the main characters) part to the taking of human life was a problem for me. Sebastian feels the injustice of murder but in the course of his detecting manages to commit quite a few of his own. Someone else surprised me with the ability to be violent without noticeable aftereffects.

However, Harris' writing is as good as ever, the main characters are continuing to evolve and, just in general, this series is extremely satisfying. Like all Sebastian's fans, I can't wait for the next book to come out.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great addition to the Sebastian St. Cry series, March 10, 2011
By 
J. Jones (Bella Vista, AR United States) - See all my reviews
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The Sebastian St. Cyr Mysteries are some of my favorites and I have been waiting for almost a year for Where Shadows Dance[Image] to be released. It was worth the wait. C.S. Harris has used the history of the time to write an outstanding mystery and I think Where Shadows Dance is one the best books of the series. England in 1812 is dealing with problems with France, Russia, Sweden, and the United States. The events during this time are the backdrop for the story in Where Shadows Dance.

Sebastian St. Cry's friend, physician Paul Gibson, has just received the body of Alexander Ross from the resurrection men. Hiring someone to dig up the newly dead is the only way for a physician to get bodies to study. Paul wanted Alexander Ross because he was a young man who died in his sleep from a heart attack. However, when he examined the body he found that Ross had not died from a heart attact but had been stabbed in the neck by a stiletto. That is when he called his friend Sebastian to investigate. Then a second body is found with the same type of wound. What follows are more deaths and more questions.

Sebastian is dealing with more than the mystery of these deaths. His relationship with Hero Jarvis is continuing to develop. Hero has agreed to become his wife and she joins in helping him gain information needed to solve the cases. While they work well together both hide information from the other and trust is a big issue between the two.

Where Shadows Dance is filled with both internal and external conflict and is a perfect blend of mystery and romance. The relationship between Sebastian and Hero is a subtle dance. C.S. Harris shows that less is more in portraying the attraction between the two. The last chapter is the book is perfect. It answers one question while leaving much to the imagination and setting the stage for future books.

You can read Where Shadows Dance as a stand-alone but don't. So much of the overall plot is woven in each of the books that there is much you would miss by only reading this book. Start with the first book and watch as conflict results from secrets both know and unknown. The books in order are:

What Angles Fear, When Gods Die, Why Mermaids Sing, Where Serpents Sleep, What Remains of Heaven,

The next book in the series, book 7 titled When Maidens Mourn, went to the publisher on March 1st and will be released in March 2012. Book 8 is also under contract and is scheduled to come out 8 months after book 7. I will be among the first to buy both.

I had a hard time getting this written. Every time I started to write I ended up rereading parts of the book and this was after I had read it twice. Now I need to buy the two books I do not own so I can re-read the entire series any time I want. That will have to hold me until the next book comes out.

Obsidian Mystery published Where Shadows Dance by C.S. Harris in 2011
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars super Regency mystery, March 5, 2011
In 1812 England, doctors are forbidden to dissect corpses. Conscientious physician Paul Gibson pays resurrection diggers to bring him the bodies of recently interred people. Paul has in his possession the remains of twentyish Alexander Ross, who allegedly died in his sleep from a heart attack. However, when he examines the body, he realizes the man was murdered by a stiletto stabbed through the base of his skull.

Unable to report his findings to the authorities who would arrest him and probably ignore the homicide as too much bother, he asks his friend Sebastian St. Cyr to investigate as he know Lord Devlin has a compulsion to solve mysteries. St. Cyr accepts the case and looks into the deceased's occupation at the Foreign Affairs office; where he was privy to state secrets that many would kill to know. Assuming that was the motive, St. Cyr feels a second similar homicide affirms his belief when the body of American Ezekiel Kincaid is found in a ditch. Fearing for the life of his feisty pregnant fiancée Hero Jarvis who St. Cyr believes knows the corpses' connection that he fails to find, he still uncovers viable suspects in the international world of politics where literally backstabbing is the norm.

Entertaining with details of various class lifestyles in Regency London, the latest St. Cyr mystery (see Where Serpents Sleep) is a super whodunit as potential killers seem to be in every ballroom. Enthralling as the hero chases suspects while seeking clues to identify the actual killer and in between arrange his wedding to his beloved frustrating Hero. The murder investigation is excellent as readers obtain insight into early nineteenth century politics that proves uglier than even our current American system enhanced by the romance between two independent personalities.

Harriet Klausner
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars International intrigue and murder . . .oh yeah, romance too!, March 2, 2011
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I am a big fan of these books,having faithfully followed them since the first one, What Angels Fear. Each successive installment has been very eagerly awaited, so yes, the moment this chapter appeared on my kindle, nothing else got done (although gainful employment annoyingly intruded!)I did like and would recommend this book, although with some reservations.
The plot, in short, centers around a body examined by anatomist Paul Gibson which is discovered to have been murdered by a stiletto wound through the back of the skull. Sebastian is called in, and embarks upon an investigation that yields multiple bodies and even more suspects. You can add to Sebastian's stress levels by including that many of these suspects are not English nationals, but make up a potpourri of foreign dignitaries and commoners alike, with power and international relations at stake. On the personal front, Hero Jarvis has elected to accept Sebastian's proposal-a development that provides our protagonist both relief and apprehension.
The murder investigation itself was interesting, since a great deal of the highly volatile political front of shifting old European power struggles and the emergence of the infant United States was explored. It reminded me somewhat of that board game Risk, a fascinating game although endlessly frustrating to me. I can understand the editorial review's use of the word "convoluted," although I felt that the mystery itself was wrapped up appropriately, and I could follow it with only a minimal amount of confusion. I wasn't sure that I cared for the amount of knowledge Hero displayed of some of the back room machinations- a plot device that probably wasn't necessary, but could be argued as advancing the story.
On the personal side, I felt that the developing romance was well written and quite lovely-that coming from someone who doesn't particularly care for most romance novels. Hero and Sebastian's compatibility, whether they realize it yet, is quite obvious. The final chapter of the book, to reuse vocabulary, was lovely. One thing I did not care for was a certain scene where Hero quite aptly lives up to her name and does a few things that frankly, although very admirable in my eyes, bothered me as being unrealistic. Her ability to recover from that episode was also a little too fast, though I suppose you can say that she is probably becoming used to it since she has started hangin' with Devlin. In another kind of novel, like maybe a modern spy thriller, I could accept it but not this one. I hope that we do not see a trend of this kind of action in future books- I admire the character of Hero as a strong, independent woman, but I guess that I want her to stay strong and independent in the framework of what time she lives in and what would be realistic behavior for that time. I don't know - to each his own, I may change my mind when I re-read the book. I will probably modify this review later!
Anyway, I do not think that fans of this book will be disappointed unless you are a big Kat fan and want to see her more. Personally, I really didn't care for her character much until this installment - she behaves with maturity and insight and I hope she hooks up with Sebastian's twin brother (you KNOW that is coming-remember the highwayman with yellow eyes mentioned in last book?)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent characters, so-so mystery, August 13, 2011
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mmh (Pittsburgh, PA) - See all my reviews
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Over the course of two weeks, I've read every book in the Sebastian St. Cyr series, and I am completely addicted. I highly recommend the series as a whole, as well as this latest installment, even though the character development is far more interesting than the mystery this time.

My favorite book in the series is number 4, Where Serpents Sleep, because the mystery and the character development are both superb. (The characters are personally implicated in the murder, which is a good move on the author's part and decidedly lacking from the sixth book.) Also, I was glad that Hero Jarvis, the daughter of Sebastian's enemy, was finally given a main role. While I like the rival character of Kat Boelyn, especially her past as a spy, many things about her character are cliched: her perfect beauty, her time as a prostitute, her success and sexual freedom as an actress, her exclusion from high society, her noble parentage. Her relationship with Sebastian falls short: while there's supposed to be a deep connection between them, we're never given convincing evidence of this. There are only endless bedroom scenes in which Sebastian fixates on her glorious auburn hair. Blah. And, if I had to read yet again that she won't marry Sebastian because she loves him so much, I would have gagged.

Hero, on the other hand, is an innovative and unexpected character--a proper lady, an intellectual, and a total badass. She, not Kat, can hold her own against a strong character like Sebastian. The author renders her with sophistication, showing her strengths and weaknesses and making her, in that way, a parallel character to Sebastian. I'm happy to see her replace Kat as the main female character in the series.

This, thankfully, comes across more strongly in Where Shadows Dance, in which the mystery takes second billing to the complexity of Sebastian and Hero's coming marriage. I'm not necessarily complaining about this, though, because I tend to read for character development more than plot anyway. I wasn't disappointed with how the author subtly draws them together, showing how, despite circumstances, they have come to respect and perhaps even love each other.

I look forward to future books in this series that portray Hero and Sebastian as a murder-solving team, and to further complications that will result from their powerful fathers and family secrets (Jarvis has a secret, too, that is mentioned in the third book but has not yet been disclosed). Also, of course, the birth of Hero and Sebastian's child and their growing affection for each other will make the next installment of this addictive series worthwhile--if only for the intriguing characters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another solid addition to the series, March 12, 2011
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I was eagerly awaiting the release of "Where Shadows Dance" and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. As a longtime fan of the series, I've become very invested in the characters and was extremely satisfied with what they got up to in this book. You could read this as a standalone, but starting from the beginning of the series would make it a much more rewarding experience. Little has changed in CS Harris' writing style, which remains as strong and enjoyable as it was in the first book. As one of the few (if not only) non-romance, Regency-era mystery novels being written today, I particularly appreciate all the historical detail that's peppered throughout.

My only complaint with this book (the reason it gets 4 stars instead of 5) - and it was the same for the previous "What Remains of Heaven" - is that the actual mystery-solving at the heart of the book feels rushed, especially in comparison to the way the first four books' mysteries were unraveled. The mysteries just don't seem as complex and immersive as they once were. It's almost as if the crime-solving is taking a back seat to the characters' relationships now. (Which is fine by me at the moment, since they're going the way I'd hoped they would.) In fairness, there is still a healthy chunk of running around picking up clues, interrogating people, fighting off baddies etc, though.

Overall, "Where Shadows Dance" held up to my expectations and advanced the overarching storylines to the point where - once again - I am dying for the next book to come out. March 2012 is a long way away.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Extraordinary thing about C.S. Harris, May 2, 2011
By 
WHERE SHADOWS DANCE is the sixth book in the Sebastian St. Cyr Regency mystery series, featuring Sebastian, Viscount Devlin, a veteran of the Penninsula wars with Napoleon which left him with a passion for justice and a perspective on the world very different from his peers. Hence his avocation of solving murders.

The author C.S. Harris is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate with a Ph.D in European history, so it is not surprising that her novels, set in Regency England, are full of the political and social issues of the time. WHERE SHADOWS DANCE involves the murder of a young man who works in the Foreign Office with ties to Russia (should England send troops to support the Czar in defending against Napoleon?), America (the year is 1812 and what are the upstart colonials planning for Canada?), Sweden (what would the Swedes take in compensation for the loss of Finland?), and, of course, England's longstanding enemies, Napoleon and France. Harris weaves in her history perfectly, multiplying the suspects and racheting up the stakes. This all works beautifully as St. Cyr is sometimes described by reviewers as a "Regency era James Bond." Each of the preceding books in the series has some other political or social angle which make the stories much more than just a whodunit.

Yet, this is not what makes this series extraordinary. The wonder of these books is the characters - the intriguing St. Cyr, of course, but also his family, his friends, his household, his enemies and, most especially, his loves. There are two women important in his life: Kat Boleyn, acclaimed actress - the beautiful and unsuitable love of his youth who, through the course of earlier books, has wound up in a marriage of convenience with a colorful privateer; and Hero Jarvis, the intelligent, crusading daughter of Sebastian's powerful enemy Lord Jarvis, a woman Sebastian kidnapped the first time he met her but now seeks to marry to protect her name and the life of their unborn child (how THAT came about is a pivotal point in book #4). The chemistry among these three characters has provoked passionate adherents to Team Kat and Team Hero across the blogasphere. Some of the comments on Harris's blog, by those demanding a "win" by Team Kat, have become downright vitriolic!

Harris has spent six books developing the lives of these fascinating characters, and, rather than let them fall into boring predictability, she has created a scenario which promises many more tensions and surpises to come. Ingenious mysteries, intriguing history and characters who inspire passions on the page AND in the readers - what more could we ask for? Only that this extraordinary series continue for years and years to come.
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Where Shadows Dance: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery
Where Shadows Dance: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery by C. S. Harris (Mass Market Paperback - March 6, 2012)
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