Read A Dance of Mirrors by David Dalglish Online


From USA Today bestselling author David DalglishOne has conquered a city. The other covets an entire nation. In book #3 of the Shadowdance series, Haern is the King's Watcher, protector against thieves and nobles who would fill the night with blood. Yet hundreds of miles away, an assassin known as the Wraith has begun slaughtering those in power, leaving the symbol of theFrom USA Today bestselling author David DalglishOne has conquered a city. The other covets an entire nation. In book #3 of the Shadowdance series, Haern is the King's Watcher, protector against thieves and nobles who would fill the night with blood. Yet hundreds of miles away, an assassin known as the Wraith has begun slaughtering those in power, leaving the symbol of the Watcher in mockery. When Haern travels south to confront this copycat, he finds a city ruled by the corrupt, the greedy and the dangerous. Rioters fill the streets, and the threat of war hangs over everything. To forge peace, Haern must confront the deadly Wraith, a killer who would shape the kingdom's future with the blade of his sword.Man or God; what happens when the lines are blurred?Fantasy author David Dalglish spins a tale of retribution and darkness, and an underworld reaching for ultimate power in the third novel of the Shadowdance series, previously released as A Dance of Death.ShadowdanceA Dance of CloaksA Dance of BladesA Dance of MirrorsA Dance of ShadowsA Dance of GhostsA Dance of ChaosSeraphimSkybornFirebornShadowborn...

Title : A Dance of Mirrors
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780316242455
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Dance of Mirrors Reviews

  • Jason
    2019-02-26 16:05

    5 StarsA Dance of Mirrors, book three and the conclusion to the Shadowdance trilogy is the best of the bunch. It is a fantastic conclusion and one hell of a ride…David Dalglish has created a series that can stand up with the greats. The Shadowdance Trilogy reminded me a great deal of Brent Weeks Night Angel series, one that I really loved, and all things considered this series is every bit as good as that one, maybe even better. "Along the rooftops ran the Watcher, cloaks trailing, sabers in hand.”The Shadowdance Trilogy is a political game of power and Kings a la The Game of Thrones. It takes a look into the gutters and sewers of two great cities where Thieves, mercenaries, and royalty (the Trifect) struggle for power, for riches, and of course for survival. The first two books took place in the home of the Watcher, the city Valdaren. This book our heroes go to the city of Angelport, a place that made Valdaren seem to be civilized and calm by comparison. The change in location and lack of home turf made the Watcher feel more real and more down to earth. The theme of this book is...there is always more. There is more to Haern than him simply being a legendary assassin. There is more to Wraith than a maniac killer. There are deeper plans in motion by Alyssa than what she is telling. The theme also means that there is always someone else that is more. A better fighter. A more giving person. A better cook. A more evil character. A person with even more selfish motives. Always someone else that is potentially better. This theme is the driving force behind this whole book. Our characters undergo many trials and tribulations that explore the theme.The Watcher is one fantastic main character. Haern will be tough to forget and is truly an awesome lead. We get to see how much more of a man he has become by the end of this book and series. He is a complex, deeply motivated, loyal, and focused swordsman and killer. I loved him.The Shadowdance series is more than just a game of power plays with assassins. The dark magic that is prevalent throughout the series is done with a subtle hand. The spell casting is rare but made all the more magical. It is one of the main reasons that makes this series better than the rest.I loved the action within. David Dalglish purposefully has created a character in the Watcher that is an homage to the dark Elf Drizzt Do'Urden. Funny thing is the writing of David Dalglish also seems to be a direct homage and similarity to the amazing R.A. Salvatore. Both of these men choreograph their actions scenes through their writing. It is incredible how detailed they get. Every swing of the sword, step, twist, turn, bend, and jump is spelled out in such a way that the reader gets to go along for the ride...It is freaking awesome. In case I didn't make myself clear Dalglish, like Salvatore, spell out their action in such a way that you feel like you are there. It is remarkable and not very common in the genre.Well, I loved this series. It is action at its finest. I cannot wait to read more about Haern and to explore the other works by David Dalglish. My highest recommendations!

  • Mihir
    2019-03-22 14:10

    Originally posted at Fantasy Book Critic. Overall Rating = 4 & 1/2 Stars ANALYSIS: As with the last couple of books in the Shadowdance series, this is a re-review and will highlight the things that have been changed or added to the book. The author mentioned that this volume underwent a lot of changes including the title (which wasn't the case with its predecessors) and also that he made it a little less depressing. Read on to see how strong this book still is.A Dance of Mirrors (previously titled A Dance Of Death) begins two years after the events where the Watcher ascended to his position and brokered a peace between the thief guilds and the Trifect. It’s a fragile peace however things are still kept in control by Haern and his ruthless vigilantism. This time around though things start to take a unholy turn in the coastal city of Angelport, wherein Laurie Keenan, the third lord of the Trifect resides. Someone called the Wraith is going around killing people and this time Laurie Keenan feels the Wraith's wrath and while the Wraith completes the kill and leaves the Watcher’s mark. Things take an uneven turn as Alyssa Gemcroft decides to investigate the matter and help her fellow Trifect member who’s been besieged in the city by the Merchants brethren and Lord Ingram who is the so-called ruler of the city. To add to this mix is the city’s continual fight with the Elves over the allocation of nearby forest land and all of it just becomes a powder keg ready to ignite with the arrival of the Watcher.In one of the teasers for last year’s film The Dark Knight Rises, there are a couple of scenes shown from the previous film and there’s a voice over by Liam Neeson repeating his words from the first film:“If you make yourself, more than just a man”“If you devote yourself to an ideal”“Then you become something else entirely … a legend, Mr. Wayne, a legend!”I think these lines are very crucial to the Batman persona and conveniently fit Haern’s psyche almost as well. Haern’s actions over the previous books have made him seem more than just a human being. The Thief guilds as well as the Trifect fear and respect him, his actions though scary, have established a peace of sorts in the city of Veldaren. However in Angelport someone has decided to ape him and take his methods a step further. That’s the question raised in this story. How do you stop someone who claims to be following your ideals and makes you out to be everything that you fought against? This question haunts Haern throughout the plot and makes for a great read as the author doesn't’t provide any clear cut answer but gives pointers for the readers to form their own opinions. I very much enjoyed this introspective look into Haern’s actions.Following the past two books, the author has increased the intrigue and machinations in this one, with there being at least four different parties who are involved and each scheming to get their own demands and objectives. Each faction is vicious and with way more means than Haern, Alyssa and Zusa who find themselves in a new city and without their regular means. This book takes a step in a new direction as it visibly shifts the locale to the city of Angelport, this was a very surprising move on the author’s part as with the last two books being set in Veldaren, it seemed sure that this tale would be set there as well however this is the first of the many surprises laced in the story along with the new cast of characters who are more treacherous, shady and powerful.The action sequences are a particular highlight of David’s writing and he doesn't disappoint in this one, choc-a-bloc with violence and action that is fast, brutal and has far reaching consequences. The best part of the story is that its pace never slackens and all the twists keep the reader guessing as to who and what is behind all the chaos. The book begins with a murder and from thereon it’s much more mayhem which claims further victims both intended and accidental. Zusa, Haern along with Alyssa go through a physical and emotional wringing of sorts and in this the author has to be lauded for never refusing to make his characters jump through hoops or even killing them off in quite drastic manners.This book’s theme could be that no matter how good you are, there’s always someone better and sometimes no matter what one does, shit happens! The world of Neldar is pretty dark to begin with but the city of Angelport stoops to a further low with its morass of misery, avarice and treachery. No one can be fully trusted and this is a lesson which the main characters learn a bit too late for their comfort. The story twists all the way to the climax and the reader will be strung along trying to figure who is the mastermind behind it all. I enjoyed how the author further streamlined the story and removed some of the bleakness as well.Plus with a slambang ending, the tale ends on a bittersweet note however it still has some faults. Readers will have to let go of their sensibilities when it comes to the main character’s physical institution as Haern does things which defy explanation but in the context of the story and the world, can certainly be overlooked. Lastly there are a couple of plot-threads which are left hanging in regards to Thren Felhorn and the guilds in Veldaren, but I’m hoping that those conflicts will be resolved in the remaining three books of this series.CONCLUSION: A Dance of Mirrors is a fascinating look at what happens when a harsh light is shined on vigilante actions. Overall this book is almost as good as the second and definitely better than the first. I heartily recommend the entire Shadowdance series to all lovers of dark, action packed fantasy stories. Just be warned that the author is a fan of George R.R. Martin and he follows his hero’s path of scalding the main characters like no other. A Dance of Mirrors is another fascinating look at the perilous life of the Watcher.

  • Lucinda
    2019-02-23 14:05

    This is the Third book in the ShadowDance series, and for me it was not bad...just not as good as the earlier two volumes. The fact that there is no overarching meta-story to these volumes is a big disappointment and has weakened my enjoyment; I began reading these thinking they were a trilogy and I was mistaken. The dangling plot threads from the prior books remain untethered and new ones are introduced. These books now remind me of the "installment" books of other fantasy/science fiction series (Dragonlance, Star Trek, Star Wars, et al) and, like those, there just isn't depth. Each book is not building on the previous one and, other then using some of the same characters, each book is a separate story.This book was originally released as A Dance of Death and I think that is a much better title for this story because there is so very much of it. Like the proverbial "red shirts" of Star Trek, almost every character introduced is going to die. Yes, these are wonderfully crafted deaths, each fight scene is very well written, but, I stopped becoming invested in the characters when I realized that everyone but the main ones were disposable. The Dance of Mirrors is supposed to refer to Haern meeting his "reflection" in the city of Angelport. Haern must deal with the Wraith, a vigilante who claims to be following Haern's own ideals but instead twists them into seemingly unfocused vengeance rather than vigilant justice. But, because this reflection is so brief and so shallow, it becomes disingenuous. The Wraith is NOT set upon the same purpose or course as Haern. It would have been a much stronger and more resonating examination of the motivations and psyche of Haern were he to meet a true vigilante trying to replicate "The Watcher" in another city plagued by violence, organized crime, corrupt officials, and incompetent government. *That* would be a mirror dance worth reading...The plot centers on Alyssa Gemcroft (Head of House Gemcroft), Zusa (the former "Faceless One" holy assassin and now Alyssa's protector), and Haern (the King's Watcher) travelling to a new city to help another Trifect House deal with a growing crisis of merchant princes and antagonized elves. Once again the political intrigue between desperate factions takes center stage. Dalglish is very good at creating a Machiavellian society ripe with betrayals, double-crosses, and misplaced loyalties. Unfortunately, this new city isn't Veldaren (the city of the previous two books and home to our "heroes"). As a reader, I really did not care about any of these people and I kept wanting Alyssa, Zusa, and Haern to just go home. This was not their city or their fight and it felt like Dalglish had to resort to cliche contrivances to get his characters to stay. For example: How do you get Haern, Velderan's vigilante legend to your city? Have a copy-cat leave Haern's mark at the scene of his crimes. How do you keep people from just leaving? Throw in a kidnapping.While I absolutely love the characters that Dalglish creates, the lack of cohesion in the plot (as it relates to what has gone before) and clarity in the theme (as it relates to the growth of these characters in light of the events that they experience) make these good - just not great. Knowing that there are now at least three more books planned in this series makes these even more like an episodic TV series (and even less like a cohesive multi-volume narrative).As I said at the start, these are good books - it's just that they are like popcorn and I was really hoping for steak...

  • Derrik Peterson
    2019-03-19 08:09

    This series keeps getting better and better. I thought this was the end of the trilogy but apparantly there is a fourth book being released this year or something. I really liked how the author took a good look at Haern and forced him to look at himself from an outside perspective. The title is very fitting in this regard as the Watcher takes on the Wraith who calls Haern a hypocrite for trying to stop him. This book was all about character building, especially for Haern and for us to see him grow up a little bit. Im excited to see how the author will finish things out with Haern's father and how his "love triangle" (and I use that very loosely as there is very little romance at all in this series) will pan out.

  • Jordan
    2019-03-10 09:05

    So this is the third book of the series that I've listen to in audiobook format. Definitely the weakest of these books that I have read so far. The plot seemed odd and disjointed and, honestly, a little too fantasy to mesh with the rest of the books. There was a little magic and sorcery in the second book but it was mostly just passively of knowledge. The inclusion of elves into the story was a little too much. All that being said, I will give the next book a shot. His first two books were actually quite fun reads in the narrator does a fantastic job.

  • Don Priest
    2019-02-27 14:04

    A mediocre entry into a fairly standard fantasy series. This time, Haern, Zusa, and Alyssa head to Angelport, another city important to members of the Trifect. The story suffers heavily from the change of location; the previous titles were deeply mired in Veldaren, and were strongly connected to each other. It was a tale of a city, and the man trying to save it, with unmatched skill and not a little hypocrisy. Moving to a completely new location, introducing a wide range of new characters, breaks away from that story. It's hard to care about much that happens this time around, without that background. Nothing that happens really seems to matter, certainly not to Haern. He's the same man at the end as he is at the beginning, wrestling with the same inner turmoil. It remains to be seen how the events of this title will play into the planned fourth, but it wouldn't surprise me to find that you could skip this entry entirely and not miss anything.

  • Ryan Mueller
    2019-03-24 12:50

    This is probably my favorite Dalglish book so far. It's still not quite a five-star read, but I really enjoyed. There was a lot of action, as I've come to expect from Dalglish.Rating: 8.5/10

  • Carol Forrester
    2019-03-06 14:51

    I like books that manage to surprise me. Books that manage to throw me face first into a conclusion that I really did not see coming. I'm not sure how Dalglish managed it but he did and I ended up closing the cover on this book and thinking that the ending was not what I expected at all.I really do love this series. There are moment when I wonder why Dalglish wrote something like he did, but I suppose that comes from critiquing my own fantasy writing so closely and trying not to make so called 'mistakes' when pulling together chapters. I wouldn't call Dalglish's writing flawless, but it is certainly face paced, gripping and very enjoyable. Lucky for me there is another book in the series yet to be released, so I don't have to give this up yet.Dalglish is fast becoming one of my favourite fantasy writers. He's realistic which I find refreshing. Events do not miraculously take place so that the good guys win and all the bad guys die, Dalglish has instead created a wonderfully real world. Everyone is a little bit corrupt it seems, and everyone is working for their own agenda. Even seemingly small characters are plotting bits and bobs, even if the result doesn't bear that much on the actual plot. Overall it is a wonderful book and an epic series. One I would certainly recommend, and as you see, take the time to write a review for.

  • Ashley
    2019-02-24 12:05

    In the third installment of the Shadowdance Saga, we join Haern and company as they travel cross-country in the hopes of preventing a war that could mean the end of everything they hold dear. In distant Angelport, famed Jewel of the Coast, the threat of war hangs above it's inhabitants like a dark and angry cloud, ready to break open at any moment. Skirmishes with the Elves have increased, and the Merchant Lords only compound the issue with their greed. Above all is a mysterious figure, known only as the Wraith who, using the symbol of the Watcher, is killing off high-ranking delegates from both sides of the table. With loyalties becoming more and more complex, Haern, Alyssa, and Zusa will have their hands full just keeping their heads above water as they not only try to save the city and stop the war to end all wars.

  • Nico
    2019-02-26 13:59

    German review on GosuReviewsAn equally great Shadowdance novel as the two before. Finally we get to see another city besides Veldaren. The action is as always superb and the new characters are a lot of fun. I'm a little worried though, that the confrontation with Thren is delayed too much, but we will see.Overall another excellent dark fantasy book to my taste!

  • Jason
    2019-03-18 08:05

    While the first book in the series was passable and the second decent, this one surpasses them by leaps and bounds. There's some actually decent political intrigue, and a mystery of who the Wraith is that's quite well done. This is weakened, though, by how disconnected the book feels from the first two, taking place as it does in a different city, with an almost entirely new group of people aside from the three main characters. Those three main character, though, as well as a few of the new characters are written with significantly more depth than previously, making them feel much more real.The biggest issue with the book is the completely, ridiculously over-the-top fights. The battles in the previous book were fairly absurd, and this book ramps it up massively, to the point where Haern and Zusa are apparently entirely superhuman. Mere soldiers pose little threat to them, even when it's 50 to 1. Sure, they'll get stabbed a few dozen times during the battle, but nothing a short nap won't fix. And then, even given their completely ludicrous fighting ability, they wind up battling a few opponents that are that much better than them. It winds up feeling at times like an MMO with severe balance issues.Even with that issue, though, I found the book quite enjoyable. The writing has improved greatly from the first book, leaving me hopeful things will continue to get even better.

  • Stephanie
    2019-03-06 13:03

    David Dalglish- A Dance of Mirrors378 pagesThis one was an interesting change of pace. Angelport is very different from Veldaren. While there were some similarities, the social climate was different. The power structure was also something new to get used to. So much more about the world was revealed, and I feel like I have a much better understanding of how everything works in Neldar. There is also a much greater introduction into the Elves.Haern comes further into himself and begins to more thoroughly understand what he wants to become. Alyssa showcases a lot more of who she is, and I find myself liking her a great deal. Zusa has a much more prominent role, and she is one of my favorites.While this book wasn't what I was expecting, I loved it just as much as the first two.Rating:♥♥♥♥♥For more reviews, click here!

  • Matteo Mazzoli
    2019-03-14 12:02

    Ho concluso il ciclo di Shadowdance con una convinzione ferrea: questa è una delle saghe più avvincenti che abbia letto negli ultimi tempi, non la migliore in assoluto forse, ma senza dubbio una di quelle che ti trascinano nel vortice di eventi e personaggi affascinanti, e che alla chiusura dell'ultima pagina ti fanno ripensare alla storia con affetto. Questo ultimo romanzo ha un pregio importante secondo me: andare ancora più a fondo nell'animo del Guardiano, che messo di fronte ad uno specchio che ne rivela i lati più oscuri, lo costringerà a fare i conti con se stesso, con ciò che è stato e che, suo malgrado, potrebbe diventare. Va letta, senza dubbio, ed è una lettura trasversale tra chi ama un fantasy più impegnato e chi qualcosa di più action. Davvero davvero consigliatissimo

  • Matteo Mazzoli
    2019-02-24 09:50

    Forse quello che mi ha coinvolto meno della saga, anche se dovrei giudicarlo dopo il sesto, essendo collegati a doppio filo. Comunque avvincente, con un Haern che forse come mai si è sentito frustrato dalla forza di un avversario incredibilmente imbattibile (almeno finora) come il Fantasma. Gli intrighi sono sempre convincenti, le trame di coloro che tessono i fili del destino degli uomini sono subdole e spesso brutali, ma umane, a loro modo, poiché i fini ultimi sono sempre e comunque la sopraffazione e l'appagamento del se. Sempre una lettura fluida, semplice ma mai banale, cosi come le sue trame. Davvero una saga fin qui splendida

  • Ben
    2019-03-02 14:54

    A decent book. The author addresses what I found this book was lacking, the relationship side of Haern. The action, plot and characters were all strong. The lack of the romance arc for Haern was a detriment, because it was a crucial piece of Haern's character development in the last book. Haern develops as a result of different stimuli in this book; however, I feel having some degree of Haern's romance arc would have filled the story out better. Perhaps I am hung up on this aspect a bit too much. Long review short, if you liked the previous two books, you will like this book (most likely).

  • MorteTorment(Unofficial World's Fastest Reader)
    2019-03-09 13:58

    Another great title in the Shadowdance series. Love how much Haern was was tested in this, and it's amazing who ends up barely survives. Loved how the main group of enemies this time were the elves(and not Dark Elves) who are sick of how greedy humankind is. They kind of have a point too, and ti was different seeing a villain who I could see their point of view for the first time in the series. Looking forward to more.

  • Adrielle
    2019-02-26 10:10

    I've seen a couple of reviews say this is the last in the series, yet there are more. Go figure.A solid installment but a bit liberal with the language. I actually found it off putting. There is a scent amount of character development that makes Haren more real and likeable. The thing that gets me is that the novel doesn't feel like moves the overall story line forward in any way.

  • Richard Eyres
    2019-03-07 14:01

    Third book in the series is a lot better than the other 2, with a fairly standard story and better characters. However, its just still too violent for my liking. I will look at getting the other books in the series - but only if they are on offer.

  • Rena
    2019-03-13 09:52

    Good continuation of the story. I liked the interactions of Haern and Zusa. They're really great together.

  • Caleb Hill
    2019-03-14 09:58

    “People lie. People exaggerate. They view the world through tainted glass, yet see themselves in a gilded mirror.”Whenever I need to take a break from the stress of picking a book (of which there is plenty, surprisingly) I tend to go after the pulpy serials that don’t tax the brain, yet provide oodles of entertainment. And what good book doesn’t do that?Well, let’s just say David Danglish’s third book in his Shadowdance series, A Dance of Mirrors, brought me out of my slump. It’s a rollicking good right with new characters and a new destination. Now, if only the general plot was different…Anyway, Haern the Watcher is back with his friend Zusa and her partner Alyssa. The Gemcroft lady is tasking these two badasses to escort her down south. See, this Wraith guy (a copycat using the Watcher’s symbol) just killed one of the Trifect’s children, of which Alyssa is a part of. This isn’t good. Add in an economic opposition in the Merchant Lords, elves ready to burn the city of Angelport to the ground, and monsters disguised as protagonists, and you have the makings of A Dance of Mirrors. Danglish loses some of the personal ties that we saw in the previous two, opting to investigate only because of his moral high ground. What he doesn’t understand is that he has no moral high ground. He’s a little delusional in the playing of this game, for about the entire novel. Still, Danglish creates believability in Haern’s actions and ideas, even making me rethink the evil (revenge) the Watcher has done throughout his city. Yes, his city. That’s important character development, people. Spoilers, and all that jive. Sorry.I can feel a bigger scope being produced with this book, something that tried to work itself in the previous two, yet failed. However, I feel that Danglish needs to scale down his plots when it comes to international problems and politics. He managed this somewhat, but the tapering elf/human clash destroyed any closeness when it came to a character story.What I’m getting at is that coupled with Danglish’s speed and prolific writing, it wouldn’t be a wrong move to make the tales smaller in scope, like say the 16-series detective novels you see riding bestseller shelves. There’s a reason these authors sell so much, and I believe Danglish has the same attributes: A somewhat intelligent plot with fast action and tension grabbing your throat. Sure, it’s cliché, but it’s riveting and fun. “Warrick felt only tired amusement at the attempted grand entrance.”There’s a vast market for Sword and Sorcery that’s untapped right now. Sure, we have big name authors like Michael Sulllivan and Scott Lynch that exist there, but they don’t have the same formula and speed Danglish does. I’m positive he could create something spectacular (and a lot of it) there.Besides all of the sharp action and intrigue, Danglish has improved on his characters. Least, he did with the two major villains. Ulrich Blackwater is one of the most fascinating antagonists Danglish has written, besides Thren and the main villain of this novel. He’s somehow made a man only wishing for money and security rather than a twisted destruction of his enemies. Yeah, that may come about through business, but it’s not his only goal. And it’s not his only option. It’s refreshing.But, the Wraith can stand toe to toe with Thren. Any day. Yep. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the reveal, motivation, and conclusion were all deftly done and surprising. More than that, we finally have a fun villain. Loved it. Making the man Haern’s mirror, from where the title gets its name, is great, too. Fun character exploration, I’ll say.Unfortunately, Danglish still doesn’t know what good dialogue is. And I think I know how to fix it. ADD CONTRACTIONS. People don’t speak proper English. We muddle our words. We leave off some. Learn this. Saying you’re trying to reenact the Old Stuff is not an excuse. Give us Grimdark with real dialogue.Rant over with.Oh. Wait. One more thing. I’m really not liking the “POV for plot’s sake” game. Killing off a character without them having a single chapter is ridiculous. It doesn’t create shock. It doesn’t create an attachment. Except for when Laurie Keenan’s wife went all Lady Macbeth on us. Yeah, that was rough.Okay, now I’m done.“In all of Angelport, he saw little kindness, little worth saving. Worse, he knew Veldaren was no different. He’d grown up there, and familiarity had blinded him.”Shadowdance’s third book in the series solidifies David Danglish’s standing as a writer to read when pure enjoyment is all that you need. Is that bad, per se? Not at all. Some depth peppered throughout or threads that don’t tail off into the abyss would be nice every once and a while, but it’s not enough to make me write off the writer. If anything, this book tells me to keep going with the guy, very much unlike the second. And that, I think, is its biggest strength.

  • Eric
    2019-02-28 15:05

    A good read but a bit predictable at the end.

  • Sean Goh
    2019-03-21 15:48

    The eerie mirror-image of Haern in this book makes for some powerful plot action, as attempting to stop a more skilled version of himself leads the Watcher to some serious self-reflection.___Children suffer through the actions of their parents and rulers.I must, I will fight it, until my dying breath. I will fight our failures, our weakness, our destruction. Whether I succeed or not, I will never sit by and watch this world burn. There is good in us, even if you cannot see it.

  • LeeAnn
    2019-02-21 14:08

    This book was darker, grittier, and just generally less palatable to me than previous. I'm not sure I really gained that much from reading this volume; I think I could have just skipped to #4. It was a let-down. The plot was a mess, there was very little character development, and many scenes were just too ugly for me.And elves?!?! Why are there ELVES?!? Please, spare me the addition of fake Tolkein.

  • Gareth Otton
    2019-03-08 09:14

    In relation to the other books in this series, A Dance of Mirrors was a bit of a disappointment and didn't live to the high standards of the other two Shadowdance books. However, I still turned every page as quickly as possible in order to read the next one and find out what was going on, so how can I possibly give this book anything less than four stars. In this novel a handful of the key characters including Haern leave Veldarn to go to Angelport and deal with a new threat that has arisen there. This in itself was a move I greatly appreciated for so often people get trapped into routines when writing fantasy and it is good that this author caught the possible trend to his writing before it began and changed up the formula a bit. This novel dealt Haern a number of new threats that he very nearly couldn't overcome. Whether in the form of a ruthless enemy willing to do the brutal things that Haern could not, the form of a killer called Wraith who might just be even more deadly than Haern himself or from first sightings of elves in this series, there was a lot more peril for our hero than in previous novels. I can honestly say that there was not a moment in this book that I was sure who would survive at the end and who would not and that is always a good thing. However, the one point where this book let me down was in one of the plot lines that really began to grate on my nerves. One of the plot lines with the elves can only work if the characters willfully ignore information that is right in front of their noses and that kind of writing always feels lazy to me and gets in the way of the story that is to follow. When there are at least three scenes that I can think of where this obvious misinformation becomes a blatant detriment to the story, it becomes a real frustration. Still it was not enough of a flaw to ruin this book for me and I am again eagerly looking forward to the next. I know that this book was originally intended to end a trilogy but there are rumors that there will be another so I can only keep my fingers crossed in hope. My only fear with more books will be that Haern and co become a replica of R.A. Salvatore's Drizzt Do'Urden and co and these books become repetitive and don't go anywhere. So far that trap has been hinted at but the author has not yet taken the bait so fingers crossed that the next book (if there is one) moves this story, the characters and their relationships, on nicely.Overall a good read and an enjoyable way to pass an evening.

  • Lanie
    2019-03-11 11:03

    I love me some antihero! Hearn is great. :) just love him, especially since we got to see some interesting inner struggles here as he fought against the wraith. Maybe Haern is starting to think that slaughtering nobles and gang leaders might not always solve anything? he's awesome though, really. Anti hero through and through, trying to protect his city, his friends and loved ones. But he goes about it in a seriously stab happy way that tends to have some pretty awful consequences if he decides to stab the wrong person. (Maybe this ducked sort of logic comes from having the seriously fucked up Thren as his dad?) but then he meets the Wraith & questions every thing. :D makes for fun & Gore filled times. so! "Dance of Mirrors" is the 3rd book in the "Shadowdance" series, and a great installment, though not my favorite. I missed Veldaren.This book has been rated r by the nerd association of Lanie for swearing violence and sexual content.Alright, so to make for a delightful fantasy novel, take1 city full of greedy corrupt backstabbing humans,A gang of Merchant Lords trying to take over everything.A nation of seriously pissed of elvesSome attempted drug trafficking.A weak lord of Angleport A couple members of the Trifect trying to keep peace while still serving themselves1 bad ass crazy man named "the wraith" imitating the Watcher, and trying to run everything from the shadows, but is really making everything worse.& finally, toss Haern, the King's Watcher into the mix. stir it all together with generous helpings of blood & gore, and you got yourself one hell of a read. :) It's a great book. (The whole thing reminds me of 1 of my favorite tv shows, "arrow") Good writing, amazing plot, a supercool fantasy world, and badass characters. What's not to love? :) the whole thing is just so intriguing, with the drug trafficking & political instability, watching my dear Hearn developing. & him & Zusa? I ship it!!!! XD also love how there's more of a mystery element to this book. Who is the Wraith? what does he REALLY want with al, this mayhem? Our talented author keeps you guessing until the very end. & it will surprise you. Highly recommended for fantasy lovers, but only for adults. No kids. He to get book 4 soon. :D

  • Connor Ferguson
    2019-03-03 08:45

    This is as far as I'm going to go with this series. The first two were just average to the point of being unmemorable, but the introduction of the Elves in this book drove my opinion of the series off a cliff. It wasn't JUST the Elves, but they were the final nail in the coffin. The characters were never terribly well-developed, but this showcased the worst of the issue: characters complaining about things when we don't even know why they should care, acting without motive, and the most forced and artificial romance subplot I've ever read. Most of the little justification we heard was weak as well; usually it had something to do with background characters who had nothing else to do with the story, and who the reader really knew nothing about. I thought the past books were saved by the action, but that wasn't up to its usual standards either. I admit that the removal of the "cloakdance" was a huge improvement in my eyes, but every fight scene tried so hard to be something special and plot-altering, yet was much the same as before, albeit less exciting: fights in alleys, fights on rooftops, and fights on manor grounds. Nothing stood out, and I stopped getting the impression as I read that the characters were really skilled. Despite all that, the Elves were still the worst. There was nothing original about them: they were immortal, beautiful, better than humans at everything (and arrogant because of it), worship nature, etc., etc. They were also incredibly hypocritical, bringing out the worst in everyone, denouncing them, and then doing the same immediately. What bothered me the most though was how they fought. Each of them could outmatch five humans easily, but were defenseless against the protagonists, and their attitude towards killing annoyed me to no end: they would cut down hundreds of humans without blinking, but any Elf that died in battle was the most heinous crime committed by humans, because apparently every Elf has known every other Elf for centuries, from the princess to the lowest soldier. The book may have had a couple good moments, but overall did much more wrong than it did right.

  • Marco Miodini
    2019-03-02 11:51

    Quest'ultima parte è stata come un fulmine a ciel sereno, e chi scrive, deve dire poco a tal proposito, eccetto che qui ci sono bellezze in grado di trafiggere come spade, e di pungere come il gielo dell'acciaio. Questo libro può spezzare il cuore. Tuttavia non c'è da avvere paura, poichè i lettori sapranno che queste sono buone notizie, buone oltre ogni misura. Infatti la storia del Guardiano Haern si approfondisce, avanza, evolvendosi su nuovi piani sociali, regole morali, sorprese, il confronto con il proprio "specchio", e mettendo in gioco anche i suoi nuovi legami sentimentali, con i quali il lettore non potrà fare a meno di simpatizzare (e probabilmente sperare in altri approfondimenti nei prossimi volumi). Infatti un apprezzamento speciale va fatto al personaggio di Zusa in queste due parti, che confode il confine di donna e senzavolto, rendendola cara al lettore quanto al protagonista. Insomma, come sempre la storia è bella, nulla da dire: coinvolge, sorprende, tieni il ritmo alto, mette in agitazione, sa essere adulta, memorabile, erotica, eroica, cruda, romantica, orribile, e tutto questo con una certa suspense e stile. Arrivato qui, mi sento di fare un plauso a David Daglish, autore fino a pochi mesi fa "sconosciuto", che scommette su un genere fantastico atipico, diverso dagli standard del nuovo fantasy. Quando ormai tutti parlano di re e cavalieri, lui parla dei suoi ladri e delle loro "ombre". Questo è Shadowdance: un'armonica danza di idee nuove ed esistenti che hanno il coraggio di andare controcorrente, creando qualcosa di raro e speciale. Per i prossimi futuri volumi mi aspetto molto.

  • Leo (Rahien Sorei)
    2019-03-10 11:15

    David Dalglish, I am so happy you returned to rework this series! I began and finished the first book of his Shadowdance with skepticism. But that has vanished as completely as the Watcher eluding pursuit on the rooftops of Veldaren. Dance of Mirrors was an excellent addition to the story arc, as it really helped the reader pinpoint what makes Haern different from any common killer. It also introduces a new race - elvses (yes, that's a LOTR reference, we loveses the Precious)! The interracial pressure and stigma is still there, but probably in the most murderous incarnation I've encountered in a while - and it's delightful!I'm trying doubly hard not to spoil anything here (I broke with that policy in a previous review, but it was just how it had to happen). So I'll have to be satisfied in saying that karma is a saucy bitch in Dalglish's capable hands for this book. There are both new and old characters that you learn to both love and hate. But you will enjoy not being able to put the book down in your eagerness to watch those characters get what's coming all the more because of it.I also have to mention Dalglish's author's note - bwahahaha - and that I enjoy his moments of sincerity and admissions that despite being a published author, he's still learning. It gives us struggling writers some hope, ha! And if he had left the ending the way he had originally penned it, I would have been quite inconsolable in my rage/grief.Long story made short, this is a cool book, an awesome addition to the series. Read it, you won't regret it.

  • Cassiopeia's Moon
    2019-03-18 08:02

    Dalglish really did it with this book! The characters, the speed, the intrigue... Everything just falls into place.Haern has conquered Veldaren and is now keeping the Trifect and the Thief Guilds under control. But down in the south, hundreds of miles away, someone has started to kill, leaving the mark of the Watcher behind him.This leads Haern (a.k.a. the Watcher) to the city of Angelport. There he finds himself trying to understand the rules of a new city, the peoples intentions and Wraith's intentions. Everything is way more complicated than in Veldaren. People are backstabbing each other, the Merchant Lords craving for power and money and the city is about to fall in to war with the elves.Together with Alyssa Gemcroft and the former faceless woman Zusa they battle the unknown, both with blades and words. But can a city that fallen be saved? Are the Wraith and Angelport the mirror images of the Watcher and Veldaren?I was hooked from the moment they arrived in Angelport. And as everything went downhill, I felt despair. So many times I thought they'd reached the bottom, and they just continued falling. Dalglish, thank you for this adventure. This was a journey I would never want to e without. To feel with the characters like this, that shows that they are well written, and there are way too few well written characters today. Thank you for giving me some fictional characters to care about!If you've read the first book and then stopped reading, start again. This book is worth it.

  • Jennifer
    2019-03-09 07:50

    That was amazing!First off the book starts with a lot of action and keep that style throughout the book, there were some small "relaxed" moments between the action. Thanks to that I had a chance to fall down and take in everything that happened because a lot of things happened all the time, everywhere.There were a lot of plot twists in this one, and they all added to the story. But there were some of the plot twists I didn't like, to me they felt wrong. But they were brilliant!One of the many things I liked about this book was the new element: the elves. I love elves, and I thought David did a really good job with the elves. And that ending! By the last couple of chapters I was gripping the book and couldn't put it down, I just had to know how it would all end. To me the ending was perfect, that was a twisting and creative ending. Haern: To me it seemed liked Haern was pushed back in this one. He just seemed so uncertain and seemed like he suddenly lacked any knowledge that would have been useful. Alyssa: Still the strong woman doing what she thinks is right.Zusa: She's still awesome and having some tricks in her sleeve. Also what's going on with that lady? Ulrich: Yet another character I didn't like at all, right from the start.Ingram scratched at his chin "Twenty still will," he said. "Two of my guards died, after all. I like to be a man of my word.""And I'll be a man of mine," the Watcher said. "Another body, and I will make you suffer."