But his deadliest challenge does not come from other warriors, or even the sundered Council of Elders. For on the first night of the Challenges, a mysterious and deadly pillar of white light scorches the night sky—instantly changing everything for the People of the Plains.
Now a warrior-priestess, Snowfall, stands before Simus, who dares to speak of peace, of reconciliation. Her knives are sharp, her tattoos alluring, and her cool grey eyes can look through Simus and see…everything.
Now Simus and Snowfall must solve the mystery of the pillar of white light, and protect their people from all the destruction and chaos it brings. Snowfall fights for her place beside Simus, despite resistance from friend and foe.
The warrior-priests have abused their power for many years. Can Simus face the challenge of trusting Snowfall with his honor? And perhaps . . . with his heart?
Simus first caught my eye in the original books and in this story, he is fighting to become a Warlord himself. He's as arrogant and bull headed as ever but his mission to help connect his people with those of Xy means everything. The Warrior Priests are divided and unfortunately, as this book begins, they have betrayed the lands that home them. A terrible pulse of light changes their world, releasing the magics that for so long have been abused. Yet a trainee Warrior Priest is sent to get close to Simus and Snowfall has her work cut out getting the Warriors to trust one such as her. The factions within the camps fight to prove themselves and many distrust the new ways Simus is pushing for. Something about Snowfall calls to Simus but as much as he wants to pursue her, it's the trials that take up his time and Simus must reign in his exuberance and focus on what's happening around him.
I loved coming back to this world and although I missed Keir (who was totally the bee’s knees!) I thought Simus made a very convincing hero. He's loud, loves life, impulsive, and yet decisive when called for. Snowfall is completely his opposite. She is controlled, disciplined, cool, and very calm under pressure but there's a strength to her I really wanted to see more of. I think that's partly why I feel a tad let down as the romance between them felt rushed and honestly, Snowfall felt pushed aside and ignored as a character for a large portion of WarDance. Yet I understand Ms Vaughan has penned a fantasy story and not just a romance, although after the passion between Kier and Lara in the original trilogy, I was hoping for something similar.
WarDance continues the arc the author has created as those of the Plains who always raid are now facing a dilemma as new possibilities raise their heads. Following the old ways has always been a given but times are changing and blind prejudice might see the Firelanders losing everything they have. What has been released could be catastrophic and it's clear only cooperation will save these courageous yet blinkered people.
This amazing world continues to build and I'm particularly enjoying watching the side characters that pop up and am wondering just how their actions will impact the overall story. Hopefully I've given few spoilers as it’s a book that truly is spellbinding and there's now so much more to look forward to. I implore you though, if you haven't already started this series, go back to the beginning as it’s such an incredible body of work and you definitely won't regret it.
This is a voluntary review of a copy gifted to me and my comments are my honest opinion.