A Dance of Fate
This novel follows on from the previous book, with of course a minor time skip. The last book ended on Liobhan and Dau going to tell Liobhan’s parents about Broccs decision. We join them again at the very end of their Swan Island training, having a display bout to determine which of them finishes the training as first or second pick. A formality that goes wrong in all the worst ways when Dau is injured by freak accident. What follows is the discovery of Dau’s background and all the horrible things that lie at the heart of his past.
I dove into this book right after finishing the first, eager to see what the next story would show. I was a little disappointed we didn’t get the see the visit with Liobhan’s parents but I can’t be too sad since it means we jump straight into the meat of this book. It is another gripping tale even when the focus is more on Dau overcoming the pain of the past as opposed to completing a specific task. We also get to see more of the Otherworld as Brocc now lives there. For Brocc, it seems like he is a bit caught between how he was raised and where he now finds himself. Which is not helped by the fact that the Fae Queen is not entirely sure how to be in a relationship either. These parts of the book were not as gripping as the rest of the story but it did provide some important hints and set up some things for the ending. This books’ theme almost seems to be miscommunication. Since there are many instances where if the characters spoke up about their thoughts maybe things would go a little better. But much like in real life people don’t share those inner most thoughts like that.
Again Marillier stuns with complex characters and realistic responses to the situations. We see more of Liobhan’s stubbornness to stick out hardship, even in a role where she needs to keep her head down. Dau’s injury was well handled – I thoroughly wanted to thump him upside the head for his stubbornness. But even feeling that I also understood that I probably wouldn’t have handled suddenly being blind with any more grace. It did make me glad that I live in a day and age where medicine is a little more reliable. All the potential hate I had towards Dau in the first book was well saved for Dau’s oldest brother. All I can say is damn there were some messed up things that happened there. But again there was a surprise by the Dau’s other brother. Once again reminding me that refreshingly complex characters seem to be a standard from this author.
An outstanding read and solid 5-stars, as I’ll want to read it again. The most disappointing part was reaching the end and realising I’d have to wait for the release of the third book.