Book Reviews, YA book reviews

A Dance with Fate (Warrior Bards #2) by Juliet Marillier – ARC Review


My Rating ~ Five Stars

RELEASE DATE:  28 July 2020

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Macmillan Australia




An accident. A forfeit of freedom. A descent into danger.

Liobhan, the young warrior and bard, has lost her brother to the Otherworld. Even more determined to gain a place as an elite fighter, she returns to Swan Island to continue her training. But Liobhan is devastated when her comrade Dau is injured and loses his sight in their final display bout. Blamed by Dau’s family for the accident, she agrees to go to his home, Oakhill, as a bond servant for one year.

But Oakhill is a place of dark secrets. The menacing and enigmatic Crow Folk still threaten both worlds and while Brocc battles them in the Otherworld, Dau must battle his own demon – despair.

When Liobhan and Dau begin to expose the evil at the core of Oakhill, they place themselves in mortal danger. For their enemy wields great power and will stop at nothing to get his way. It will take all the skills of a Swan Island warrior and a touch of the uncanny to give them any hope of survival . . .




Thank you to Macmillan Australia for providing me with a copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review!


A Dance with Fate is book 2 in the Warrior Bards series and therefore my review could contain spoilers for book 1, The Harp of Kings.


I’m just going to start by saying, I love these books with my whole heart.  A Harp of Kings was a surprise favourite of mine last year and A Dance with Fate more than lived up to it as a sequel!
With Brocc in the Otherworld and Liobhan and Dau at Swan Island, we were treated to two different storylines (although there was much more focus on Liobhan and Dau’s more interesting journey).  Dau is injured, while sparring with Liobhan, and finds  himself blinded.  His cruel brother and father come seeking retribution and to take Dau home, so, knowing Dau would never be safe at the family home, Liobhan agrees to offer herself as a bond servant to Dau’s family for a year.  This was a story of survival and battles faced – for Dau inside his own misery at his hopes and dreams being dashed and for Liobhan, a fight to keep both herself and Dau out of harm’s way.  Dau’s brother is just as cruel and terrible as the stories he told Liobhan in A Harp of Kings and he manages to perform more truly terrible acts in A Dance with Fate.  In my review of the first book, I mentioned I had to skip over a particularly awful animal cruelty scene and having that scene play a major role in this book was difficult for me, but I loved this story so much, it only threw further fuel on the fire of the hatred I already had for one of the characters.  Juliet Marillier is an exceptional writer who crafts scenes inside the readers mind that are incredibly vivid, so acts of cruelty stay with you all the more.
Dau wasn’t the most likeable character for most of the first book but I really loved him by the end of this one.  Liobhan was just as wonderful and strong as she always has been.  Brocc was still as lovely as ever but there seems to be something not quite right about his wife Eirne. There’s a particular plotline at the end of the book that has me equal parts intrigued and concerned for the future of my favourite characters and their world!  This is one of those series I want to gently (or not so gently) push on people. 😄  I absolutely can not wait for the next book.  I need more time with these characters.



Image from my Instagram account

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