Dance of the Red Death

By Bethany Griffin

Source: Library

Series: Masque of the Red Death #2

Publication Date: June 11, 2013

Published by Greenwillow Books

My Rating: four-stars

Dance of the Red Death

Cover image and summary from Goodreads:

Bethany Griffin continues the journey of Araby Worth in Dance of the Red Death—the sequel to her teen novel Masque of the Red Death.

In Dance of the Red Death, Araby’s world is in shambles—betrayal, death, disease, and evil forces surround her. She has no one to trust. But she finds herself and discovers that she will fight for the people she loves, and for her city.

Her revenge will take place at the menacing masked ball, though it could destroy her and everyone she loves…or it could turn her into a hero.

With a nod to Edgar Allan Poe, Bethany Griffin concludes her tragic and mysterious Red Death series with a heroine that young adult readers will never forget.

This is the sequel to Masque of the Red Death, which I read earlier this year. This is the final book in the duology, and I was looking forward to some of my questions being answered and curious as to how Bethany Griffin would wrap up the story and resolve the love triangle between Araby, Elliott, and Will.

As in Masque of the Red Death, I loved the bleak, dark, grim atmosphere that Griffin has created. The story took some twists and turns, and again, it was never predictable.

While I was happy to see the characters from Masque of the Red Death return, I was pleased that Griffin was not hesitant to kill any of her characters off. This is a dark book, with many deaths, and when a character dies and it has an emotional effect on me, I take that as a sign that I’ve let myself fall into the story and care for its characters.

Araby takes a much more active role in this book. She’s no longer passive, willing to follow others and let them decide. This time, she wants to be involved, and to lead. I loved it. She also makes a proper decision where the love triangle is concerned. I discussed this via Twitter briefly with Kathy from A Glass of Wine. It was nice to see a character make a proper choice where  a love triangle is concerned, rather than have someone or some event decide for her. And while it looked like her decision could have gone either way throughout much of the novel, by the end she had made a decision and I was happy with it.

There were some excellent scenes in this book that had me flipping the pages as quickly as I could (hello, the ‘scavenger hunt’ in Prospero’s castle!!), and I learned more about Araby’s past and her parents’ pasts as well. I thought that two books was just right for this series – not stretched out into a trilogy like so many others these days – and Griffin managed to cover a lot of ground without anything feeling rushed.

The ending of the story was one that I found rather optimistic and uplifting, perfect for a book that was so bleak. I definitely recommend this book, and its predecessor.

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