Monday, October 27, 2014

Crimson Shadow: Dance with the Devil by Nathan Squiers

I've been a fan of both Nathan Squiers and the Crimson Shadow series since opening the first book. I mean really, what's not to like if you love a good fantasy story that walks the darker side of things. There's nothing fluffy about a Squiers novel (unless you count your friendly house-tiger). There's mayhem, there's action (oh yeah, covered under mayhem), angst, and all the other problems that go with being an arrogant mythos that goes around cleaning up all the problems that come knocking at his door.

In every book to date, Squiers has thrown curve ball after curve ball and this one is no different. What makes this book different from the previous books is the intensity of the writing. He dug deep for the pain, the conflict, the attitude... everything. In this book, Squiers has exceeded his personal best.

Prior to this, he wore the coat of bard in his storytelling. In Dance with the Devil, he has become the personification of Bard, rather than being a simple bard. What is the difference you may ask. I've said it before, but it's worth repeating, the intensity of the writing. Having not only the ability to dig deep, but the willingness to do so and then,  both shamelessly and without apology, put it out there for his readers his readers to bask in. And bask I did.

Squiers took me the entire gamut of emotions for which I wanted to both thank him and hunt him down to give him a swift kick depending on where I was in the book. Raise the curtains on a surprise guest and exit to grief. He gave me laughter in the most unexpected places. For our stalwart and reluctant hero, words of wisdom from a couple of unexpected people, one of whom was a complete stranger. A surprise gifting left me in tears, though not for the first time in this book. Even if you aren't one of those people who cry while reading a book, better keep some tissue handy anyway. You may discover you've become a secret crier.

Dance with the Devil is, in my humble opinion, his finest bit of writing that I have ever been privileged to read. He gave me not only everything I have come to expect from a book with his name on the cover, but things I never realized I wanted. At the risk of being redundant, he has surpassed all previous efforts. You WANT this book. And that, my dear, friend is the bottom line. He has raised the bar on what I now expect from him in future books. I have no doubt that he will deliver.

I was gifted an advance copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. 5 stars

This book is available from:
                                    Amazon US
                                    Amazon Canada
                                    Amazon UK
                                     Amazon AU