A Dance with Fate

Ace: Berkley. (Warrior Bards, Bk. 2). Sept. 2020. 512p. ISBN 9780451492807. pap. $17. FANTASY
When young warrior Dau is blinded by his comrade Liobhan in an exhibition bout, the pair are forced to leave their training retreat at Swan Island to return Dau to the care of his family. Dau must confront his abusive brothers and withdrawn father, and face demons from his past as he copes with his new disability. Meanwhile, as penance for causing Dau’s injury, Liobhan must endure a sentence as an indentured servant in the dysfunctional and dangerous household. As the pair uncover evidence of a conspiracy, they’re forced to search for allies they can trust.
VERDICT Marillier’s (“Blackthorn and Grim” series) latest novel in the “Warrior Bards” series (after The Harp of Kings), set in a fantasy world inspired by mythic Ireland, is a brisk and engaging read with vivid characters and a satisfying conclusion that makes this work as a standalone. Recommended for fans of Katharine Kerr’s “Deverry” books or Patrick Rothfuss’s “Kingkiller Chronicles” series.

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