The Underworld rules the city of Veldaren. Thieves, smugglers, assassins . . . they fear only one man.
Thren Felhorn is the greatest assassin of his time. All the thieves' guilds of the city are under his unflinching control. If he has his way, death will soon spill out from the shadows and into the streets.
Aaron is Thren's son, trained to be heir to his father's criminal empire. He's cold, ruthless - everything an assassin should be. But when Aaron risks his life to protect a priest's daughter from his own guild, he glimpses a world beyond poison, daggers and the iron rule of his father.
Assassin or protector; every choice has its consequences.
Fantasy author David Dalglish spins a tale of retribution and darkness, and an underworld reaching for ultimate power.
The first volume of Dalglish's Shadowdance trilogy, a "frenetic masterpiece" with "growing pains" (to quote the author's modest afterword) that achieved self-published success, has been substantially revised for this edition, but its core remains a winning combination of A Game of Thrones, sword-and-sorcery RPGs, and vivid description. Aaron, the son of master thief Thren Felhorn, is an unprepossessing introvert who catches his father's attention by stabbing an intruder at age eight. Five years later, Aaron is learning the thieving trade in Veldaren, a city defined by internal war between the thieves' guilds and the merchants' guilds, with the weak, paranoid king a pawn on the board. The point of view shifts continually, encompassing bit players and major characters from every angle of the struggle, and Dalglish handles his cast of thousands with aplomb. Despite the inevitable quasi-medieval setting, saucy dagger-wielding maidens, and very convenient magic, this is a fun read. Dalglish puts familiar pieces together with a freshness and pleasure that are contagious.
Lots of action but clunky storyline. Strange character arcs too.