Dance of Thieves
By Mary E. Pearson
Published August 7, 2018 by Henry Holt and Co.
When I heard that Mary Pearson was writing a new trilogy set in the world of the Remnant Chronicles, I was excited but also a little worried. I love the original trilogy so much, and I wasn’t sure a new one would live up to its predecessor. But I needn’t have worried. Dance of Thieves is a worthy successor.
It’s not strictly necessary to have read the previous trilogy before you read Dance of Thieves, but I think you’ll enjoy the new book more if you’ve read the original books. We’re introduced to two new characters, Kazi and Jase. Kazi is a former street thief, who’s reformed and become a member of the Queen of Venda’s guards. Jase has just become the head of the Ballenger clan, a band of outlaws who run a large territory that’s mostly outside the authority of the other kingdoms. Kazi is on a mission to find a missing war criminal who may be hiding out somewhere in the Ballenger’s domain.
When Kazi and Jase meet, it doesn’t go well. She publicly humiliates him, not realizing he’s the head of the family, and they end up being kidnapped. The first third of the book is basically the two of them alone on a long journey. This is a trope I love: two people who can’t stand each forced into an uneasy alliance. It works really well here, and we see a lot of character development through their interactions.
I liked Kazi right from the start. She’s had a rough life, she’s tough, and she’s anxious to prove herself to the queen. I wasn’t sure about Jase at first. He comes across as a cocky jerk at first, but as we learn more about him, I liked him much better.
Their relationship is an interesting one. They’re forced to trust each other when they’re on their own in the wilderness, and they grow closer, but when they’re back in Jase’s territory, there’s a lot of tension. Each of them has secrets they can’t share with the other, and they build up walls, even as they’re developing feelings. Their cat and mouse game is highly entertaining.
I loved getting to explore a new part of this world. The Ballenger’s domain and the kingdom of Eislandia are new places. Also, just as in the original trilogy, there are bits and pieces of the early history of the Remnants, and we see briefly how the Ballengers fit into the history of Gaudrel and the other kingdoms. I love the backstory of the kingdoms and it’s interesting to get a new perspective on the history.
This is the first book in a two-book series. The end has some closure, but also opens up a lot of other issues, so I’ll be anxiously awaiting the second book.
I received an ARC from Amazon Vine.