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Shadowdance

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  330 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Paralyzed since birth, a young man named Innowen happens upon a sorceress along the road. She grants him the ability to walk, but there are two conditions: he can only walk between dusk and dawn and, to keep this ability to walk, he must dance each night. What at first seems harmless comes with a sinister price. Anyone who witnesses Innowen's dance is soon compelled to act ...more
Paperback, 539 pages
Published December 12th 1991 by White Wolf Games Studio
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Juxian
Feb 07, 2017 Juxian rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Okay, I was wondering how comes that the blurb of this book sounded so awesome but the rating was so low. Now I know :) I admit that, maybe, if I'd read it in 1999, I would've been ecstatic just because there were some m/m bits there. But now I am spoiled and I wanted a good story to go with my m/m.
The first 19% of the book were beautiful, though. So bright, and expressive, and memorable. All right, some things didn't make much sense, like (view spoiler)
...more
Amanda
Sep 20, 2011 Amanda rated it really liked it
Innowen is cursed. And blessed. And cursed.

Born crippled, one night his life is changed forever when his caretaker is bitten by a snake. The beautiful witch who comes to his calls for help not only saves his caretaker's life, but gives Innowen back the use of his legs, for a price. Every night he can walk -- but he must dance. Once the sun rises, his legs are useless once again.

But worse; if anyone sees Innowen dance, they are forced to enact their deepest, darkest desire. And that leads to trem
...more
Eve
Aug 28, 2012 Eve rated it liked it
I think I would have given this 4 stars if it had been half its length. Although this was very well written, and the idea of this story is fantistic, for me there was just not enough story to carry almost a thousand pages (on the epub version on nook). So, I got some enjoyment out of this book, but I guess my feeling is that for the amount of reading time I invested, I wanted a lot more enjoyment.

Innowen grew up crippled below the waist and in the primitive society he lives in, there are no whee
...more
Furio
Dec 02, 2012 Furio rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay, gay-fantasy
I have mixed impressions on this most peculiar book: the five-star rating is a homage to the writer's skill and originality.

Set in a pre-historical, probably mycenaean, Greece -a hypothesis supported by garments' descriptions, warfares' strategies and proper names-, this book stands out from the many historical novels available because of the supernatural touch in it.
The plot is not particularly interesting in itself: the main character, a crippled boy healed by a mysterious witch, is on a quest
...more
Andune
Shadowdance captivated me from the first paragraph of the book. The writing in this novel is exceptionally fluid and sensual (which I found quite compelling) and the descriptions are rich and innovative. At the same time I liked the air of darkness and mystery surrounding the story.

The story itself is a unique perspective from a crippled boy, Innowen, whom acquires the ability to walk and dance at night through the strange and malevolent workings of a woman known as a fearful witch. No gift as g
...more
Aynaarah
Terrible misleading - dance the world away...

Magical, promising, wish upon a whispering stone.. begging for help Innowen "saw the narrow road stretching before him and the trees on either side that loomed like mighty soldiers of an era before the Age of Man."

.. that must have been the Age of Demons, a never ending lesson about their kind.. and if the main purpose was to emphasize that deals with demons can't turn otherwise but sour.. the book deserves a better rating..

But aside the glorious begi
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'S just my opinion
Aug 06, 2015 'S just my opinion rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sheryl
Nov 10, 2014 Sheryl rated it did not like it
Shelves: kindle
I couldn't finish this book. Too much was about half naked men caressing each other, which wouldn't have been so bad if there was a decent story to go with it. For example, when the guy sweated, he didn't just sweat, the sweat "ran down his groin." Who ever says that?
Anne Monteith
This book had so much potential, but it falls flat due to weak dialogue and even weaker sexual scenes in the book, what should have taken a couple a days to read became a chore to finish. What started off to be a good story started dragging and all I wanted was for he book to be over and the ending left much to be desired.

1/5 STARS: **I want to thank the author and/or publisher for providing me with a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review; all opinions are mine.**
jes
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Benjamin
Nov 04, 2014 Benjamin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay-fantasy
Crippled from birth, abandoned to die but then rescued by a woodcutter, Innowen at the age of eighteen is given the power to walk by a beautiful witch, but only between sunset and dawn; the one condition being that he must dance every night. He also at this time acquires the nick-name Innocent.

Taken in and then adopted by Lord Minarik, uncle of the King, Innowen soon learns that his ability to walk will cost - whoever sees him dance must act out their darkest desire, with often tragic results. T
...more
Andrew Peters
The premise of the book - that a crippled, young man is cursed with the ability to dance at the cost of evoking shameful desires in anyone who sees him - is ambitious, in that I imagined a million ways that it could go down a melodramatic route, or a gay-stereotypical route, or just awful, unintended comedy. By and large, I thought that Bailey handled it well, and the gender-bending aspect of this fairytale-like story was refreshing and surprising. I liked the fact that in Innowen's "world," his ...more
Mat
Aug 18, 2015 Mat rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A.L. Davroe
Apr 09, 2012 A.L. Davroe rated it really liked it
This book wasn't quite what I expected, but I still enjoyed it. It had some squicky bits that I had to challenge myself to continue with (rape, incest, homo-erotic undertones) Clarification: I'm not against gay content, I'm just not used to reading it yet and when I picked up the book, I didn't realize it would have homosexual undertones so it kind of surprised me. That's more of a reflection on the fact that more books like this one need to exist. Anyway, besides the aspects that made me uncomf ...more
B.V.
Jun 01, 2015 B.V. rated it liked it
Overall I enjoyed this book, and found the language and descriptions very beautiful, often in a dark and haunting way. I do feel, however, that too much time was given to the imagery that could have been better invested in developing the character and their relationships. So many interesting characters and complex relationships are presented but never really seem to grow. Things are revealed to us about them, but the reader is never really given the chance to discover with the characters - which ...more
Crittermom
May 08, 2015 Crittermom rated it it was amazing
Robin Wyne Bailey's Shadow dance is epic fantasy at its finest. It is a pleasure to see this novel re-released in ebook form.

Innowen, born without use of his legs, yearns to walk and to dance. A chance encounter with the beautiful Witch of Shanalane grants him his dearest wish at a price. He may only walk from sunset to sunrise. In order to keep this ability, Innowen must dance each night, and anyone who witnesses his dancing is made to enact the darkest desires of his heart. The terrible cost o
...more
ambyr
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bevin
May 26, 2015 Bevin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Stop what you are doing and get this book! Then curl up and enjoy!

This book was marvelous! I was not sure I was going to be able to connect with the story but decided to give it a go and I was NOT disappointed. I have never read anything by Robin Bailey. I will certainly read more after this book. There are some uncomfortable scenes, topics and disturbing family dynamics (very disturbing). The writing was wonderful. The story was unique and woven together masterfully. If you enjoy fantasy or ev
...more
Elizabeth Spath
Aug 28, 2016 Elizabeth Spath rated it liked it
this book was stupid and it had nothing to do with the homosexual tendencies. 3 stars BECAUSE of the homosexual tendencies. because they weren't in love-men's relationships are complicated. but then rascal's hard on for innocent was going to be exploited? did not care enough about the bland characters to find out.
perhaps the crappiness comes from the overwhelming misogyny? though women do get in the way of the sweat covered muscular make bodies, the wind blown nipples and creamy froth on male th
...more
Darryn
Jul 14, 2015 Darryn rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

Having read other reviews of this book being beautifully written with a plot that was unique and dark, I was not disappointed. The revealing of dark desires I found particularly interesting and there was a sense of dread after learning a character had seen Innowen dance.

The imagery was so well described that I could literally see it in mind down to the details. The characters were believable and each had their own distinctive con
...more
Virginia
Aug 10, 2011 Virginia rated it really liked it
Creepy, disturbing, and engrossing is this fantastical look into the dark side of human nature. The characters in this book are great, but not one of them has much in the way of redeeming qualities, but you see your own foibles in them and realize how easy it is would be to fall given power or challenged with a disability. Its also a fantasy-laden treatise on lust and love and how these intertwine with power. Nice twists at the end in regard to who you think the bad guys/good guys are and about ...more
Golddragon
Aug 08, 2011 Golddragon rated it really liked it
Hard to find, but truly a gem. The setting was surprising, ancient greek/rome style with a fantasy twist; a violent, gritty world, where the whims of gods and witches are the rule and mortal creatures would do better not to attract their attention. There is passion, and imagery that tends to linger long after the book is read; the main revelation is rather anticipated, but what the main character uses it for makes keeping up with the story worth it. There could have been more between the lead (g ...more
Sumayyah
Feb 13, 2013 Sumayyah rated it really liked it
Innowen, dragging himself through town to find someone to save his guardian, has a meeting with a Witch that changes the course of his life. She saves his guardian from a deathly snakebite, and asks her God to heal him and let him walk. Innowen does gain the ability to walk - but only at night, and he must also dance. The terrible catch is that whomever sees him dance will act out their darkest desire.

Transitions could have been smoother, and more detailed back story on some of the characters w
...more
Azalea Moone
Sep 19, 2013 Azalea Moone rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt-fantasy
This was a random book find on the local Goodwill shelves, and I am happy to have picked it out. The author's writing, and Innowen's journey, is wonderfully breathtaking. Though there are some triggery events not for the faint of heart: (view spoiler) those really add to Innowen's challenge.
I didn't expect to be swept away by a slow growing gay romance, since the story's focus is more on plot and the MC, but by the end of the book, I was seriously wishing the autho
...more
Shamela
Dec 05, 2012 Shamela rated it liked it
Good Iron Age-ish fantasy read. Not a whole lot of action, lots of introspection, but the sparse bit of magic that informs the main character's choices provides enough reason for that introspection, and his attempts at self-knowledge and discovery. The M/M relationship is handled very thoughtfully. A bit on the explicit side, and a couple of the "action" scenes inspired a surprised but amused "...What, now?" from me. (Mind you, those are NOT the M/M scenes.)
Joanna
Jul 24, 2014 Joanna rated it it was ok
Not bad. There were some truly nifty ideas, but the whole thing feels like it could have been better with another pass of rewriting. The biggest issue is that there's a 5-year time skip in which the protagonist meets the companion who will mean more to him than any other, and the whole thing is just an accomplished feat when the story picks up after the skip. Almost if the author chickened out of writing an important and difficult part.
Jeremy
Sep 13, 2011 Jeremy rated it it was amazing
This book is absolutely amazing. It has the great parts of all good novels, and Robin Wayne Bailey isn't afraid to go places most authors wouldn't. I was VERY Impressed with this book.

On third reading, I find it to still be a good book, but I am not drawn to it as I was previously. It is a book that you want to read again until you are reading it. But it is still a wonderful book.
Neida
Apr 15, 2011 Neida rated it really liked it
Shelves: f-fantasy, a-owned
I rediscovered this book after many years and was excited to find out that it was just as enjoyable the second time around. It's a fun fantasy story with a dash of mystery. Razkili is a great character. Innowen got on my nerves at times but by the end you can't help but like him as well. The world building is decent and the consequences of magic original. Good book all around.
Dancce
Dec 06, 2011 Dancce rated it liked it
What a wonderful idea for a book, a wonderful, original, haunting concept. Only the execution fell a little short of the novel's potential. It was... boring, at times. Something was simply missing. What a pity. Truly.
Arthurianmaiden
I actually abandoned the book. It wasn't that bad and maybe one day I will continue it, but I couldn't feel anything for the characters. The plot had a great start so I may continue it one day to know more about what is going to happen.
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Robin Wayne Bailey is an American fantasy and science fiction author and is a past president (2005-2007) of SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Robin also served as SFWA's South-Central Regional Director for nine years and has hosted three of SFWA's annual Nebula Awards weekends; two of those Nebula events were held in his home town of Kansas City, Missouri.

Bailey was one of
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“There are no mistakes in life" he answered. "Just lessons. Make sure you learn from this one.” 5 likes
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