A Dance of Cloaks, Shadowdance #1 by David Dalglish
David Dalglish’s A Dance of Cloaks is the opening of another series that explores the dark underworld of a fantasy city and attempts to make heroes of the usual bad guys. While on the one hand this gives license for the characters to perform all manner of atrocities, it also looks at the internal conflict they face and the dreams of redemption harboured by some. It’s the story of Aaron Felhorn, a young man with an impressive set of skills and a conscience not really suited to the life his crimelord father wants for him.
The book’s prologue sets a bloody tone, with the viciousness of father and son showing through from the start, and at times it’s easy to forget how young Aaron is. The action builds and the pages turn quickly as Aaron takes on older, more experienced opponents and these fight scenes are well written, helping to make this an enjoyable novel. With a few tweaks here and there, this could be a cracking opening book for the series. It’s a good read, but in a market saturated with books of thieves and assassins, there’s just not enough about this one to set it above the others.
Dominish rating: 71%