A Dance of Cloaks (Shadowdance)
by David Dalglish
Cover Artist: Michael Frost and Gene Mollica
Review by Steve Sawicki
Orbit Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780316242394
Date: 08 October 2013 List Price $16.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Aaron is the son of the greatest thief/assassin currently alive. Most of the thieves guilds have aligned under his control and Aaron is being groomed to take his place. To do so, Thren Fellhorn believes that his son must suffer and understand that everyone and everything is against him. Thren has the boy kill his brother and then begin training. Every time the boy gets close to someone Thren has that someone killed, usually in the boy's presence.
Then Aaron does the unthinkable, protects the young daughter of a priest. Not once but three times. This is the final break between father and son and on a night when power is destined to shift hands from the controlling elite to Thren Fellhorn, a new adversary appears, Thren's own son.
This is an interesting premise and it should be noted that the book is compared to a role playing game. That comparison is quite accurate in that the sequence of events is somewhat chaotic but in a controlled fashion. David Dalglish does a pretty credible job for a self published author. And by self published I do not mean someone trying to get one book out on Amazon. Dalglish has like a dozen books he's written all set within the same fantasy universe. He managed to cut a deal with Orbit and three of those books underwent heavy rewriting (and editing I would assume). So, while it looks like a first author Dalglish does have dozens of novels he's practiced on to date.
I enjoyed the book and am definitely looking forward to the next one. The pacing is very fast and the story flows from one event to another, each one further establishing a character or a part of the world the book is set in. It's a fairly complex place with a lot of grey areas that appear to be places of future exploration. Definitely worth picking up if you've been looking for a fantasy series to sink your teeth into. Recommended.