68 pages 2 hours read

Mary E. Pearson

Dance of Thieves

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2018

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Political Unrest

Throughout the novel, Pearson explores how political unrest among the kingdoms affects both communities and individuals. Political unrest disrupts life and safety in Hell’s Mouth in the wake of Karsen’s death, and Jase feels both the personal desire to protect his family's legacy and a moral obligation to his people. Similarly, the Rahtan’s mission to capture Illarion is motivated both by Queen Lia's personal vendetta and her desire to prevent future war. These two political aims work in tandem to divide Jase and Kazi’s loyalty and provide the framework of the plot.

The power vacuum created by the death of Jase’s father is immediately evident when Jase is captured by labor hunters in Hell’s Mouth. The Ballengers protect Hell’s Mouth and have never had problems with labor hunters because of their ruthless reputation. When Jase and Kazi make it back to civilization, Jase finds out the labor hunters are being paid to create unrest in Hell’s Mouth and tries to figure out who is doing it. The Vendan settlement is another piece of political unrest in the region. The Queen of Venda worked out the settlement with the King of Eislandia after the war, but they were placed near a Ballenger memorial, deepening the insult of their being positioned on unrecognized Ballenger land.