Summary: Thren Felhorn is the greatest assassin of his time. Marshalling the thieves’ guilds under his control, he declares war against the Trifect, an allegiance of wealthy and powerful nobles.
Aaron Felhorn has been groomed since birth to be Thren’s heir. Sent to kill the daughter of a priest, Aaron instead risks his own life to protect her from the wrath of his guild. In doing so, he glimpses a world beyond poison, daggers, and the iron control of his father.
Guilds twist and turn, trading allegiances for survival. The Trifect weakens, its reputation broken, its money dwindling. The players take sides as the war nears its end, and Thren puts in motion a plan to execute hundreds.
Only Aaron can stop the massacre and protect those he loves…
Assassin or protector; every choice has its consequences.
I must say, I was surprised by A Dance of Cloaks. It didn’t take me where I expected to go, but it was a very intriguing book to read. The main protagonist (though I don’t really think there is a concrete main protagonist) is a young boy named Aaron, and the way he was introduced was enough of a shock to make me just about fall out of my seat. He, Thren, Kayla, Alyssa, and numerous other characters all have extremely conflicting ambitions and motivations, and all the tension kept me on the edge of my seat for the majority of the time.
I’ll confess that I wasn’t really invested until at least halfway into the story, which may have been partly due to my mood while reading, but by the time Delysia is introduced, I was fully on board. I didn’t even know who to root for, as every character had bad/not nice intentions that were entirely justified. No matter whose side I chose, there was a problem or some factor that made choosing that side conflicting. Even Aaron, sweet, not-entirely-heartless Aaron, had some seriously not-cool ideas/plans/desires.
That was probably what I loved most about A Dance of Cloaks. It felt very real and raw, nothing hidden or glossed over. There is torture, rape, violence, greed, cruelty, revenge, and all the worst aspects of the human character, and I appreciated that unflinching portrayal where no one is perfect or even truly understandable. And the negatives were, in my opinion, nicely balanced with the positives: Delysia’s influence on Aaron, Kayla’s kindness, Robert Haern’s wisdom, Alyssa’s determination to overcome those who would use her, Maynard’s love for his daughter.
This novel, while certainly not without flaws or weaknesses, tells a good story and builds a unique and intriguing world of thieves, kings, and the power struggle between them.
If you like A Game of Thrones, there’s a good possibility you’ll like this one.
Other books by the author: