Dancing with someone is an act of trust. Elegant and intimate; you’re close enough to kiss, close enough to feel your partner’s heartbeat. But for Vanessa, dance is deadly – and she must be very careful who she trusts . . .
Vanessa Adler attends an elite ballet school – the same one her older sister, Margaret, attended before she disappeared. Vanessa feels she can never live up to her sister’s shining reputation. But Vanessa, with her glorious red hair and fair skin, has a kind of power when she dances – she loses herself in the music, breathes different air, and the world around her turns to flames . . .
Soon she attracts the attention of three men: gorgeous Zep, mysterious Justin, and the great, enigmatic choreographer Josef Zhalkovsky. When Josef asks Vanessa to dance the lead in the Firebird, she has little idea of the danger that lies ahead – and the burning forces about to be unleashed . . .
Genre: romance, YA, demons, paranormal, couldn’t put down
Rating: 5 wings
‘Dance of Shadows’ has an exquisite cover, which initially enticed me to the book. It shows the central female character, Vanessa, playing The Firebird, the principal role in the end of term ballet. This role is shrouded in mystery, those girls cast in it having mysteriously disappeared, including Vanessa’s sister, but the school has never been investigated. Vanessa is at the New York Ballet School, less to follow her dream of being a dancer and more to find her sister.
I found that Yelena Black did not expect her reader to have prior knowledge of ballet, instead she creates a beautiful imagery with her words which allows the reader to see the dancer’s form and moves.
Vanessa’s friends were a stereotyped group of people – the homosexual, the rich girl, the country girl- yet I really enjoyed the way in which they interacted with each other. Their banter and humour deflected from the serious drama in the rest of the story, providing light relief. They were definitely a group of people I would want to be friends with!
Vanessa was a complicated character and I found it interesting how Yelena Black chose to reveal the depth of her personality. In class she wants to reach her potential and be perfect – but not be the centre of attention. In romance she wants to give her heart and be loved in return. With her friends she is protective and fun. With her enemies she turns the other cheek. Yet under this all she has something else . . . . . . .
I enjoyed the fact that Yelena Black added a ‘nearly there’ romance and a ‘could be’ love triangle – which signifies the fact that there are aspects of this story which are not as they seem. I was surprised by the twist in the plot and was unprepared for (but amazed by) the shocking ending!
Yelena Black’s ‘Dance of Shadows’ is a book that lulls its reader into a false sense of security and then she cleverly changes the direction of the plot without warning. She has constructed characters that the reader can connect with and I am so pleased that there appears as if there may be a sequel.
I definitely recommend this book!