REVIEW Dance of Shadows, By Yelena Black


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 . . .


I came across this title at the public library and found the cover really eye catching.  i must confess that on this occasion I did not read the blurb , which is unusual for me as I like to have some idea of what the story is about.

The story unfolds quite slowly with Vanessa Alder starting her freshman year at the New York Ballet Academy , three years after his sister Margaret dissipated in her own freshman year.  Which is Vanessa’s main focus to attending the best Ballet school in the USA.  However,  Vanessa is more than she seems, strange things happen when she dances.

Vanessa is a very relate-able girl, I enjoyed how the author created a complete world in which you could, as a reader fully believe to be real.  I have no dance  back ground but I found it very easy to follow the story and enjoy this new world of ballet. It takes a while to get into the main theme of the story , which I really didn’t mind as it gently drew me into Vanessa’s world. At no point was I bored or confused by the direction the author was leading me .

It isn’t until the last quarter of the book that things really start to come together. Subtle hints are given through out the second half of the book, which I found built up the suspense. Having said that, most of the sinister characters are easy to spot;  But be prepared for some surprise twists. These really added an edge to the last part of the book. The pace increases and I found myself unable to put it down until I knew how things ended.

The ending was well written, I don’t want to spoil it for potential readers . All I will say is, it is worth the read and you might get more then you expected. Over all it is a really enjoyable young adult book with some fantastic characters and plot twists that just keep you turning  those pages.

Since completing the title I have looked online to purchase my own copy  and have discovered that it is quite an old title, you can however still get paper copies of the book; although it is sadly no longer available on kindle. There is another book in the series available as well.

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