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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 . . . . . . .
So I'll begin with where/how I came to have an ARC of this book. I received my lovely ARC from Bloomsbury in exchange for my own honest review, and to schedule my post as part of the blog tour.
So now to the cover. . . . in one word?. . . .Magical! The girl on the cover is Vanessa Adler, the younger sister of Margaret Adler who disappeared from the New York Ballet Academy. The grey, chalky, smokiness around the dancer on the cover, represent the "chalk" figures on a wall in a basement practice room. I really can't say anymore on that as you need to read the book. I do admit to falling in love with the cover of my ARC! So seeing the cover with the book title and authors name as pictured above is great. I would definitely be attracted to the cover and would certainly pick it up from a shelf in a bookstore.
The book does start off at a fairly slow pace, Vanessa is going to ballet school more to find out exactly what happened to her sister Margaret there. Initially everything seems fine until things take a sinister turn when she is cast to be "The Firebird", the lead female dancers role in the schools production of the same name. Josef and Hilda have made the decision to add a once deleted dance back into the production. The "La Dance Du Feu" is an extremely difficult, intricate dance with an irregular beat and is so complicated very few dances can actually finish the dance. There is certainly something more to the dance than it being difficult but what?
The competition for the role of "The Firebird" is extremely intense, so when Vanessa is chosen for the part she is subject to much gossip and bitchiness, both behind her back and to her face. Vanessa being chosen is very rare, there has only ever been one other freshman chosen for this role and that was her sister Margaret. Will Vanessa learn what happened to Margaret by taking the role, or will she too be pulled into the sinister goings on around the whole dance production.
It's so difficult not to go further into the plot, but I am determined not to give away too much. Vanessa has to decide who she can and cannot trust. Will she make the right decisions, and what will happen if she makes the wrong choices?
I really did enjoy this book, so much that I seriously did not want to put it down. The La Danse Du Feu had me intrigued, so hooked me and held me tight right until the end. The book has left me really wanting the next installment. There are still so many questions unanswered. This book has mystery, intrigue, danger, conspiracy as well as the beauty of the dancing described within it.
So did I enjoy the book? Yes after a fairly slow paced start the book picked up pace. It's difficult to describe, where you think the pace is slow it is really slowly drawing you in without you being really aware of it. Which is the sign of a fantastic book to me. So would I recommend? I would yes, and I would say you don't need ballet knowledge though those with the knowledge may enjoy the book even more. Would I read a Bk#2? Yes please. I'd read Bk#2 now if I could! Would I read more books by Yelena Black? Yes I did enjoy the writing style so I would definitely give any other books by her a go.
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