Mini Review – A Dance of Lies

Hello, everyone! Today I’m bringing you my review of A Dance of Lies by Rebecca Crunden. I was excited to go back into this world and am even more excited to share my thoughts about this book. Although, I’m a little sad that there is only one more book left in the series!

A year into the Outlands and life has only become more dangerous and complex for Kitty and her friends. Not only are the Outcasts hunting them, but Charles and Ciara are adamant about returning to the Kingdom to help, forcing everyone to take a side. To make matters worse, the leader of the Outcasts, Quen, has an unrelenting fascination with Thom and Nate that soon reaches horrific heights.

As tensions mount and the group begins to splinter, Riddle comes to Kitty with an unexpected request. A secret. One that makes them inseparable.

Kitty soon finds herself spending more and more time away from Nate and Thom, learning to fight and increasingly drawn into the ways of the Radiants. But Kitty and Riddle’s new bond doesn’t come without complications, and a decision made by the two of them threatens more than Kitty’s relationship with Nate …

Well. Rebecca Crunden did it again against all the odds this time. At the end of book three, I assumed there would be love triangle mess in this book, and I was worried I wouldn’t like it because that is one of my least favorite tropes. I was right…there were so many triangles in this book I lost count, and it also had the dreaded miscommunication/lack of communication trope, as indicated by the title. There were lots of lies and omissions between the characters, which caused tons of drama. However, I was wrong about not liking it! The author did an exceptional job of writing the character dynamics, which was important since this was a much more stationary, character-driven book than the first three. I loved getting to see how much Kitty has grown into a fierce, independent woman, and I found her internal struggles over what that means for her and her relationship with Nate to be interesting and compelling. I also really liked the way the author handled the philosophical argument over whether one should always stay in the fight for a better future, especially if it means harm to you or those you love, or just live life and stay out of the struggle, if possible. I appreciated the care with which this author handled the mental health issues of the characters. Too often, fantasy and dystopian stories avoid the negative mental health effects of all the protagonist’s trauma, but not this story. It provided a vivid picture of living with the realities of PTSD and anxiety. I’m convinced now more than ever that Nate and Thom’s relationship is horribly unhealthy and developed the way it did as a coping mechanism to crippling anxiety, which isn’t surprising given the environment in which they grew up. The world-building was once again as exquitisite as ever. I loved getting a larger glimpse of the world and society of the Radiants. Despite being largely character-driven, the book also featured some great action scenes that had me on the edge of my seat. The ending was a bit shocking, although I’m not quite sure how things progressed to that point. It felt somewhat contrived, but I’m hopeful it will all come together in the last book since I’ve loved pretty much everything I’ve read by this author so far. Therefore, I rate the book 5 out of 5 stars.

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