Title: Blade Dancer
Author: K. M. Tolan
Publisher: Champagne Books
Release Date: February 2008
Reviewer: Katherine Petersen
While her people considered their recent battle against a “servant race” victorious, Mikial felt she acquitted herself poorly. Her mentor died to save her, and she’d hid as the enemies withdrew. The fact that the servant race had far more powerful weapons than her people had ever seen didn’t console her. She saw a chance to salvage her self-esteem by piloting an air vehicle, created from forbidden technology, to determine if more enemies threatened their borders. Rather than receiving accolades for her initiative, Mikial is exiled to a far-flung outpost to serve as a scout.
But Mikial continually struggles between what she believes is right and her dictated duty and strikes out on an adventure that will not only shatter many of her people’s teachings but also show her that there are many gray areas between black and white. She will make both unlikely friends and enemies, test long-standing friendships, find love and develop an inner strength that would never have been possible without her experiences.
K.M. Tolan delivers a terrific fantasy tale in Blade Dancer. He has a keen talent for both world-building and complex character development, so readers often see multiple facets of situations. He touches on the broad themes of prejudice, change and the reasons for war. Will societies repeat actions of their predecessors or do something different based on past consequences?
Blade Dancer is also a coming-of-age story as Mikial makes up her own mind, is rejected by many, experiences love for the first time and must discern whom she can trust. Tolan has written a complex plot rife with danger, violence, heartbreak and love. With vivid descriptions and a brilliant imagination, Tolan will mesmerize readers with this story and leave them begging for more. Luckily, more is on the way with Rogue Dancer due out soon.