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A Dance of Blades

(Shadowdance #2)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  7,113 ratings  ·  164 reviews
From USA Today bestselling author David Dalglish
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
Paperback, 387 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Orbit (first published April 11th 2011)
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,113 ratings  ·  164 reviews

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Ashley Daviau
Jan 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
I was really hoping that this book would make me fall in love with this series. Sadly it ended up doing the opposite. I totally lost interest about halfway through this book. It was just long and drawn out and I just couldn't get into it. I didn't connect with any of the characters and couldn't bring myself to care about what happened to any of them. It was a struggle to make it to the end but miraculously I did. I kept hoping it would take a turn for the better and was left sorely disappointed. ...more
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2015
4.5 Stars

A Dance of Blades is the rare middle book in a trilogy in that it was better than the first. This book is better for the writing, the maturing characters, the plot line, the action, and the outcome. I loved this book and this series. Dalglish has done an amazing job at creating a fantasy world that centers on assassins. There is dark magic that is done subtly. There is tons of swordplay. The story hinges on politics and it is done in a manner that is easy to follow. Even though there
Mike (the Paladin)
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is the second in a series...however since the library didn't have the first and I'm too cheap to buy the book this is the first I've read.

It took me a while to get involved on the story (I don't know if that was due to an expectation that readers would already know the characters or not). I laid the book aside and had a little trouble finding the interest to pick it back up. I did however finally pick the nook back up and found that after the first quarter or so I was thoroughly interested.
May 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Full review over at Fantasy Book Critic

ANALYSIS: As with my re-review of A Dance Of Cloaks, I'm attempting to do a similar thing with this one as this book has changed the least with only some minor text changes. I read this book more than two years ago and since then have absolutely loved this series. The story begins nearly five years since the events shown in “A Dance of Cloaks”. The city of Veldaren is slowly recovering from the catastrophic night in which the Guilds decided to remove the
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
2.5 stars

This was an improvement from the previous book, but I can’t see myself spending money on the series (and apparently neither could my library) so unfortunately this will be as far as I read. I do have to say though, for a series that got its start through self publishing it’s not too bad. Could use some plot and character tweaking, but overall I kind of liked it.
Avery (ThePagemaster)
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
I cannot say much about this book, because it is a sequel, but all I can say is that this takes place five years after the events of the first book, A Dance of Cloaks. Alyssa Gemfort's son, Nathaniel, is kidnapped and, despite that being the main plot, Haren is still trying to fight off his demons--or demon that is being the son of the most famous and ruthless assassin in the land.

Overall, this was a strong sequel and did not fall flat, or act as a filler for the upcoming finale, like some
Robert Duperre
Jul 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 5 out of 5

Sequels are tough business, especially when the first book of a series is extremely well written. There’s a ton of pressure to put out something equally as good, and there’s a good chance readers could walk away disappointed because the author wasn’t up to the challenge.

After reading A Dance of Blades by David Dalglish, the sequel to last year’s A Dance of Cloaks, I can tell you with all certainty that this particular writer accomplished just what he set out to do.

Blades starts
David S Meanderings)
3.25 stars.

Thank you to Hachette Audio for the audiobook of A Dance of Blades in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this did not influence my thoughts or opinions on the novel.

We follow Haern again in this one for the majority of the story. I liked Haern’s development throughout the story and the way the people around him affected him in positive ways especially. When we start out this story Haern is a loner. Many of the people he cared about in his life are either dead or estranged from
May 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Dance of Blades by David Dalglish is the second book of the Shadowdance Trilogy. After completing A Dance of Cloak, I debated whether to continue with the second book in the series or start the Half-Orc series, which is also written by the same author. I then learned that the Half-Orc series takes place after the events of the Shadowdance Trilogy and so I thought it best to finish the latter first. A Dance of Blades is definitely a worthy sequel to the first and with only one more book to go, ...more
Having read the original self published story I have to say...the professional editors have taken out all the appeal for me. I'm having a lot of trouble finishing this second book and probably won't continue the series. SAGA PUDDING! Have the book publishers followed the music industry? Cranking out what THEY think a good fantasy should be while disregarding innovation?

I originally liked the story specifically for the character of The Watcher. He was a Batman like character with mad skills in
Nayan Patel
Sep 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was another good book in this series.

This book is set 5 years after the setting of the first book (Dance of cloaks).

What I liked was the world setting and the action sequences. The story is also rightly paced - its not as slow as say Robert Jordan's writing and neither does it suffer from the "lack of depth" when authors try to write a fast paced book.

Would have liked to know more about the "magick" system though. But considering that I am yet to read the next installment in this series, I
This was far better than the first one, although that isn't terribly high praise. It did keep me interested the entire way through. I still can't help comparing it to the Night Angel trilogy because they both have the well developed underworld and thieves guilds, which is maybe why it falls a little short for me. The Night Angel trilogy was so amazing that it would be difficult for anything else to hold up to the comparison.
Leo (Rahien Sorei)
Oh, boy! I do love it when I'm right! I finished Dalglish's first book filled with skepticism and my usual persnicketiness when confronted with a book I thought was good, but could have been better. Well, folks, I will gladly eat the words that doubted David's story. The second book reveals all!
Dance of Blades starts off with a bang and a knife to the gut - literally. Action packed and rife with the kind of murderous intrigue Dalglish had mentioned in his first Author's Note, Blades delivers
Paul Nelson
Another excellent novel, not quite as good as the first novel. The watcher is a really good character and there are also some good additions such as deathmask, ghost and the mage mercenary. Again the action sequences are good and the plot also, I think everyone would agree the story needed more of the watcher and his father thren's relationship. Thren only comes into it in the last couple of chapters and I guess he cannot die due to his story in the half orc series which I really would like to ...more
Ryan Mueller
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Once again, Dalglish wrote a book that is good but not great. I enjoy his books for the quick pacing and good action scenes, but I always feel like there's something missing that doesn't put him in the same category as authors like Brent Weeks. An enjoyable read, though.

Rating: 7/10
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Read this review (and others) at:

A Dance of Blades is the rare second book in the series that is just better than its predecessor. The first book felt like it just kind of stopped at the end. Things were really ramping up and then suddenly it was just over. That set-up makes A Dance of Blades feel more like a “part 2” than an independent novel. Granted, there is a time skip. This book picks up 5 years after A Dance of Cloaks. If things had picked up
LJ Waguespack
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
David Dalglish hits his stride, in book two of this expansive, encompassing series, and I am excited to continue. He expands characters, defines relationships, introduces new caharcters and does this all seamlessly. I found no second book slump here. The action is crisp, non stop, intense and final. He masterfully handles tragic, heart breaking loss and deftly addresses resurgance of others. There is much justice left to be administered, relationships to grow and intensify, as well as loss to be ...more
Darren Hagan
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
**4.5 stars**
Tony Kelly
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books-read
I liked the second book in the series much more than the first book. DoB focuses a lot more on some of the characters not really fleshed out in the first, in particular we see a much stronger Watcher as Thren was only marginally exposed. There are some underlying modern/political/ethical themes also running throughout the text such as the introduction of Ghost.

I am not sure what to think of a character called Deathmask. Without more knowledge of how magic works in the series or the significance
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This begins five years after the 1st book. It shows the growth of Haern, as well as many other characters. It is very much like the first book. It is fast paced and has a lot of action. The story line is moving well and I excited about the next book in the series.

I have recently discovered that he sold the rights of this series to a book publisher. So the third book that was named "A Dance of Death" has been renamed "A Dance of Mirrors". This was originally intended to be a trilogy. However, he
Aug 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Return once again to the dark streets of Veldaren, where money means loyalty and a knife in the back can change the course of history. It's now been five years since Thren Felhorn, criminal mastermind and leader of the Spider Guild, led his brethren in a bloody attack against the cities' ruling families. Ever since, the war between the Trifect and the Thieves Guilds has been increasing exponentially, the body count piling up and the streets and alleyways taking on a reddish hue. Haern, former ...more
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The second installment of David Dalglish's Shadowdance series has really rose the bar for my standards of sequels. This book was amazing. The way the author writes from so many points of view with seamless transitions is great. I always felt like i knew exactly what was going on and then I was thrown a curve ball and I couldn't put the book down again until I had answers. I haven't been able to get my hands onto the third book of this riveting series, but with how this one ended I'll be looking ...more
Jan 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Again a fantastic book by David Dalglish. The pacing was as excellent as in the first installment. Very good action/fighting scenes. The newly introduced characters were fun as well. What I read in other reviews is that they are from Dalglish other Half-Orc series, so I guess I have to check these out later.
I enjoyed this even a bit more than the first book and am excited to see what happens in book number 3.
This book reminded me of how much I love fantasy. There were characters I loved, those I hated, and those I rooted for despite knowing it couldn't end well. The characters all exist in a gray zone, and I loved seeing new depth in one of them in particular! It also reminded me of d&d. I recommend this book for those who love fantasy, intrigue, multiple POVs and thieves.
Jun 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The fight on the street increases. This is a very layered world with a lot of damaged characters. I must say that I like this better than 'A Dance of Cloaks'. However, it is too violent, even for me, in parts.
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic! I like how the characters developed. Reading the next one right away :)
May 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
still just as great as the first one, if not better.
there was great character development, and a lot of fighting action, it's was insane.
I think... I liked this book more than the first one. Which is unusal for myself whilst reading a series. I tend to cling to the first book and stubbornly refuse to beleive that following books are better.

The writing in A Dance of Blades seems more polished- it flowed better and although we don't see much of of Thorne (guild master of the spiders), hes always there in the background- his reputation still feared.

Haern's character has deepened. I believe this book gives him this by taking his
David Dalglish- Dance of Blades
391 pages

This book carried on the fantastic vibes from the first book. I really love how the characters are separate yet unified, and dangerous but lovable. There are still some lingering questions about the setup of the world, but they are overall irrelevant for now. It’s more just curiosity on my part. The level of change and growth in a lot of the characters was astounding. While five years had gone by, Dalglish did a really good job of moving them forward in a
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Other books in the series

Shadowdance (6 books)
  • A Dance of Cloaks (Shadowdance, #1)
  • A Dance of Mirrors (Shadowdance, #3)
  • A Dance of Shadows (Shadowdance, #4)
  • A Dance of Ghosts (Shadowdance, #5)
  • A Dance of Chaos (Shadowdance, #6)
“The Watcher!” someone cried. “The Watcher is here!” 1 likes
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