Classics Carnival: Review: Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Image from Fantastic Fiction

Image from Fantastic Fiction

Title: Dance of the Red Death
Series: Masque of the Red Death #2
Author: Bethany Griffin
Publisher: Indigo
Publication Date: 6 June 2013
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Author Website

Araby Worth’s city is being torn apart by death, disease, and corrupt forces wanting to claim it for their own. She has lost her home. Her best friend is dying. Her mother has been kidnapped. The boys who made her feel something again has betrayed her. And her father may be a murderer. But Araby has found herself. Despite the death and destruction all around her, she will fight for herself, for her friends, for her city. Her rebellion will take her, finally, to the mad prince’s palace, for the decadent –and sinister—masked ball. It could be a trap. It could be the end of them all. Or it could be the moment that Araby becomes the kind of hero she never dreamed she could be. The tragic, dark, and steamy conclusion to Bethany Griffin’s Masque of the Red Death saga.


Please bear in mind that this is Book 2 and therefore the review may contain spoilers for Book 1.

Dance of the Red Death picks up at the exact point Masque of the Red Death (review HERE) ended; while there is very little recapping I did find that the details of both the plot and the characters were easily recalled.

I have to admit to completely hating love triangles but the group dynamic within this story made the 2 love interests a necessary part of the plot. While Elliott appears to have Araby’s best interests at heart there is always the doubt planted at the back of your mind that she is but a pawn in his quest for power. Details of his upbringing may bring understanding of his character and actions but it did not produce empathy for him. At all times Elliott had his own agenda regardless of his endeavors towards Araby. At times it felt as if Elliott was a little unhinged and doubt as to his role as leader was a prominent thought at all times.

Will on the other hand, while his actions in Masque of the Red Death were deplorable, his motives were justified. His decision caused heartbreak for both himself and Araby. Yet their connection remains as much as Araby may wish it to disappear, I found myself hoping that Will would redeem himself and rekindle the romance with Araby.

It is Araby’s character development that really shines through in this sequel, gone is the spoiled little rich girl seeking oblivion replaced by a strong, independent young woman whose capacity for compassion draws people to her.

The world within Dance of the Red Death is frighteningly realistic nevertheless not without hope. Bethany Griffin captures the fear, the quest for survival and the disintegration of values brilliantly through powerfully descriptive writing. Dance of the Red Death provides a stunning conclusion to Araby’s story.


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  1. Avatar

    Seriously looking forward to getting stuck into this. The atmosphere of the first bok was fantastic.

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