A Dance of Cloaks by David Dalglish

February 4, 2014
A Dance of Cloaks by David DalglishA Dance of Blades by David Dalglish
Published by Hachette Book Group on 2013-11-05
Genres: Epic, Fantasy
Pages: 480
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley, Purchased

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It's been five long years since the city learned to fear...In book #2 of the Shadowdance series, the war between the thief guilds and the powerful allegiance known as the Trifect has slowly dwindled. Now only the mysterious Haern is left to wage his private battle against the guilds in the guise of the Watcher - a vicious killer who knows no limits. But when the son of Alyssa Gemcroft, one of the three leaders of the Trifect, is believed murdered, the slaughter begins anew. Mercenaries flood the streets with one goal in mind: find and kill the Watcher. Peace or destruction; every war must have its end.Fantasy author David Dalglish spins a tale of retribution and darkness, and an underworld reaching for ultimate power. Chronological OrderA Dance of CloaksA Dance of BladesA Dance of MirrorsA Dance of ShadowsA Dance of GhostsA Dance of Chaos


Dance of Cloaks by David Dalglish is dark and bloody delve into the world of assassins. If you are one to enjoy the grimdark path that a book like this will take then definitely give it a shot. Personally, I really enjoyed it. It’s a book that sucked me in and kept me turning pages. I love unpredictability; I love books where any characters safety is not a sure thing. In this, Dance of Cloaks succeeds extraordinarily well. It is not as complex as Martin’s ASoIaF, nor are the characters quite as memorable. But let’s face it, for fans of Martin, that is a very high bar for a book to achieve. I would say this is on par with Brent Week’s Night Angel trilogy and would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed that series.

I first read this when it was self-published, and I was still fairly new to the genre. I have seen others complain that there is nothing new in this, that it is unoriginal. Well, I didn’t have that complaint. Maybe because everything in the genre was still fresh for me, maybe because the grimdark scene lines up better with my horror roots, I don’t really know (or care).

I enjoyed the characters, the city, the politics and the magic.  I may not have felt quite as attached to some of the characters as would be ideal, but overall, I enjoyed it enough to not care.

If you are squeamish, you probably shouldn’t read this book. If you are tired of assassins or thieves, don’t read this book. As for me, I’m not squeamish, I don’t like characters to be safe, and I am not tired of thieves or assassins even now, two years after I first read this book.


*disclaimer – I never use grimdark as a deragotory term. I quite enjoy all of the most predominant books that have been given this label



  • Nathan February 4, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    I am certainly a GRIMDARK reader. I also read this when self published, but didn’t like it as much as you. But it wasn’t a book that I felt completely wasted my time either.

    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader) February 5, 2014 at 9:20 am

      I can’t help but wonder if I read it for the first time now, if my reaction would be the same. It wasn’t perfect, I think there were a couple of parts that made me groan. But it was fun and entertained me, which ultimately was the point of reading it. I could also see why others might not rate it as high or enjoy it as much.

  • Mogsy February 6, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    I read this when self published as well. I am totally in agreement with you about not being as attached to the characters as would be ideal. I think it was meant to hit me harder when characters started dying left and right, but I felt very little for any of them so it probably didn’t have the same effect.

    And yeah I’m there with you about squeamish. I can read about all kinds of violence and torture in dark fantasy, but get really freaked out whenever anything happens to either the teeth or nails. And there was a lot of both, IIRC.