Dance of the Red Death
by Bethany Griffin
Everything is on fire.
Araby Worth’s city is being torn apart by death, disease, and corrupt forces wanting to claim it for their own. She has lost her home. Her best friend is dying. Her mother has been kidnapped. The boys who made her feel something again has betrayed her. And her father may be a murderer.
But Araby has found herself.
Despite the death and destruction all around her, she will fight for herself, for her friends, for her city. Her rebellion will take her, finally, to the mad prince’s palace, for the decadent –and sinister—masked ball. It could be a trap. It could be the end of them all. Or it could be the moment that Araby becomes the kind of hero she never dreamed she could be.
The tragic, dark, and steamy conclusion to Bethany Griffin’s Masque of the Red Death saga.
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: June 11, 2013
The sequel to Masque of the Red Death is an engaging and satisfying conclusion to Araby's story. Even if you haven't read the first, there's enough explanation in this one to bring a reader up to speed quickly, without dwelling too much on the first novel. We join Araby, Elliott, April, Will, and Kent, as they try to navigate their way to the swamp without being discovered. April has been infected, Araby has been betrayed by Will, and no one is sure what their next steps should be.
Araby is determined to return to the city to find her father and demand answers that might be able to safe April, while Elliott wants to assemble an army to take over and become leader. The mistrust between Elliott and Will is clear from the start, although they find themselves working together to achieve their goals. I found Araby to be a bit difficult to read. I thought that she trusted too easily at times, but then was overly cautious and suspicious at others. I wasn't entirely convinced of the budding romance between her and Elliott, and thought that Araby often ignored clues to his personality that were more than slightly obvious.
I did like that she became more self-sufficient and determined than she had been before, and wasn't afraid to stand up for herself. She was making decisions based on the outcome she wanted, and wasn't afraid to use all the skills at her disposal to protect herself and those she cares about. While there is a romantic element to the story, she doesn't allow herself to get so lost in her emotions that she's unable to think for herself.
Rating: A Good Read
This book has action and strategy and suspense with a dash of romance thrown in for good measure. Many loose ends are tied up, but there is still enough left open that the author could revisit the story in the future is she desires. A good read.
I received a complimentary copy of this title from Edelweiss & the publisher in return for an honest review.