Book Review: Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

Dance of Thieves_FINAL 9.18

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“Gather close, my brothers and sisters. We have touched the stars, and the dust of possibility is ours.”

Kazi of Brightmist is a legendary former street thief and now an elite soldier in the queen’s service, on a mission to recover a dangerous fugitive. Jase Ballenger is a new ruler, steward of his family’s land and protector of his people. Each lives in a world of intrigue and complexities, and when a street brawl and kidnap leaves them in the wilderness with nothing but each other, they must make the best of it and survive. But where exactly is the line where making the best of it blurs into…something else entirely? Caught up in a whirl of starlight and wish-stalks, family politics and double-crossings, Jase and Kazi are faced with choices between what they’ve spent their whole lives dreaming of, and something they’re only just starting to realize they want.

I’ve never read The Remnant series, but this book had me wondering why. There are so many amazing things about Dance of Thieves, it would take up a whole new book to write about them all. I managed to narrow it down to a few key points listed for your viewing pleasure:

First of all, there is SO MUCH BADASS GIRL POWER. This book has it all: female assassins who can and will kick your ass in a back alley. A queen who can be simultaneously motherly and terrifying. A matriarch who somehow manages to keep family plots from going too far so no one actually kills each other. Women are the driving force, and it’s incredibly refreshing to see that womanhood take every form.  Girls get to be anything in this story, from dangerous to gentle to both, and everything in-between. This isn’t a girl-pitted-against-girl book. This is a book where women get to be unabashedly powerful. 

Kazi and Jase are all the best kinds of hilarious, adorable, and infuriating. The dual-perspective of the narration means that the reader sees every single miscommunication and double-cross coming from a mile away, and it’s like watching a car wreck in slow motion: you know EXACTLY what’s going to happen, and it’s so painful to watch but you can’t look away because you’re SO COMMITTED and you just need to see these dumb children fall in love and be together, dammit. Needless to say, Pearson is a master of angst; as soon as you throw this book down in frustration you’ll pick it back up again, just to see what happens next.

From the first page to the last, this story brims with plot twists and backstabbings – two of my favorite things! The story keeps you pretty well-informed about what all the characters are thinking so nothing is a surprise, so much as a pleasure to read and see it all play out. Dance of Thieves is packed with intricate betrayals and complex family secrets and politics, and the fact that the reader never gets lost is a tribute to the master of storytelling that is Mary E. Pearson. It made it so easy to get completely lost in the story, and had the added bonus of making a long book feel like a quick read. 500-plus page in two days? No problem! (Who needs sleep anyway.)

Also, can we talk about Kazi for a second? The street-rat-turned-soldier who has been through hell but will do absolutely anything to make a little kid smile?? Who has stolen a literal tiger because eff you, establishment??? Who kicked actual royal pushover Jase out of his room when she was his prisoner and made him sleep in the guest room???? I could go on for a while but you get the general idea: Kazi is my daughter and I would die for her. Pearson gives us a delightful protagonist who struggles through prejudice, PTSD, and loss, and who ultimately lets no one tell her story for her.

But by far, one of my favorite things about this book is the slow burn. GUYS, THE SLOW BURN. It ended me. It annihilated me and then brought me back to life just so I could cry a never-ending river of tears. This book is simultaneously the best and most frustrating romance I’ve read all year, and I’m already dying for the sequel.

Talk to me!

  • What always makes you pick a book up again, even when the angst is killing you?
  • Have you read The Remnant series? What did you think?
  • Spin-off series: yay or nay? Do you like new series in the same universe, or should the author come up with a new setting?

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

  1. Um, your review is powerful! Haha, I had been seeing Dance of Thieves all over my timeline but I think you’re the only one who had strongly influencing me now… I think. But nonetheless, you really are making me think about it hard. I can feel your enthusiasm over my screen.

    Liked by 1 person

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