Review: Dance of Fire by Yelena Black

This book is the sequel to Dance of Shadows, so if you haven’t read that yet, there will most likely be spoilers for that in this review. I suggest you go read that first if you haven’t already!

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Release Date: March 12, 2015
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781408829981
Pages: 336
Goodreads | Book Depository

Goodreads Summary:

All dancers dream of the chance to try out for the Royal Court Ballet Company. Only two dancers from the elite New York Ballet Academy will have this honour. Vanessa is one of them. She dances with grace and elegance, and a fury that is unmatched. Justin – strong, sexy and caring – will be her partner. But the thrill of travelling to London for this once-in-a-lifetime competition is shrouded by their past and the demands of an ancient organisation. The Lyric Elite needs them to win the contest and to infiltrate the Royal Court Ballet in order to seek out a dark society of Necrodancers. Vanessa will dance like she has never danced before, but not for them. Vanessa is there to find her missing sister, Margaret, and she won’t let anything get in the way of that … Fierce rivals, dark forces and hidden motives weave together in a gripping thriller for fans of Black Swan and Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments.


I quite enjoyed Dance of Fire! There were quite a few intense scenes throughout the book that made it quite suspenseful, but the ending was rather anti-climatic. The pacing was a little slow in the middle, but it did pick itself up again towards the end. I’m not sure that I think that this lived up to the claim of a “gripping thriller for fans of Black Swan and the Mortal Instruments” – It still could’ve been more thrilling.

There’s the introduction of quite a few characters in this book. I really liked seeing all these new characters, and return of some of the old ones. I really liked Maisie, who is a sweet girl that seems oblivious to everything going on but is an extremely talented dancer. I also liked Svetya’s fierceness. She just goes around doing whatever she wants without a care in the world.

However, there were some new characters I wasn’t convinced by. I thought Zep’s character took a turn for the worse, especially in the middle of the end, but he is redeemed. Enzo was also quite shady – the revelation about Margaret was foreshadowed, but it was only towards the end that I linked it. However, I do think having Enzo as the main suspect was a bit forced, as

I also thought that some of the dialogue didn’t flow that well, especially between Vanessa and her mother. The exchanges were awkwardly worded, and it took a few attempts to understand what they were trying to say.

There were new dance moves introduced that were pretty cool. Although there was only one significant one, it did play a significant role in the story. I did think that worldbuilding was one aspect that was lacking in the story. There was more of a focus on the plot and how that played out as opposed to the worldbuilding. I do think that a tiny bit more worldbuilding would’ve been nice, as there were some aspects that could’ve been explained better.

Overall, while I had a few minor issues with this book, I really did enjoy this sequel. I still do prefer the first book, but it was a still a solid sequel.

Rating: ★★★.5


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