The Dance Between


Loved it! 😍

Following the human invasion to retake their castle, best friends Sevi and Lily are separated. Sevi must brave the world outside - alone.

The Dance Between is a lyrical epic fantasy about a boy who finds himself ripped from the life he knew into a world of strangers and uncertainty. Sevi cannot tell you where he came from, or who his family is, but he can tell you that life in the tunnels with his best friend, Lily, is what he calls home. Sure, the Cut is dark. They scavenge for food, fight off a cranky firedrake insistent on sleeping in their bedroom, and are constantly on alert for danger, but their life has a rhythmic familiarity. Then, one day a flying ship is seen in the sky. Soon enough, Sevi and Lily find themselves helping the human prisoner it carried escape through their precious tunnels. When the human they rescued comes back with an army in order to retake the castle from the Fablings – Fae-like beings – Sevi and Lily are ripped apart. The humans caring for Sevi after the fact seem courteous enough, but his guard remains on high alert. Is this truly his chance to leave the Cut and join the world Outside, or can he embrace both his old identity and his new life in a way that lets him reunite with the most important person in his life?

The Dance Between is an epic fantasy of the likes of the Shannara books. Our protagonist is a mysterious young boy who has a murky past. The only things he is sure of are that Lily has saved his life over and over again, and that without her his life is meaningless. In Sevi we see an adventure of life and death, both literal and figurative. He survives an invasion from the human army following the rescue of the human prisoner but wakes up not knowing whether his best friend made it out alive. He has seen how the Fablings dealt with the castle’s true owners and witnessed the cruelty and viciousness of greed and the lust for power. At the same time, though, Sevi’s transition from his life in the tunnels to the world beyond is reminiscent of the boy leaving the comforts and innocence of childhood beyond in order to embark into the wider, wondrous, but also perilous world outside.

The “death” of innocence as a child grows is something fantasy has a unique way of showcasing. The Dance Between may contain Fae creatures, flying airships, dragons and magic, but it also still holds everything which makes humanity so precious (and dangerous): love, sorrow, growth, loss, etc. The book was a little slow going at first, and I kept feeling like I was waiting for that first shoe to drop that would really kickstart the main plot. Once I finally got there, though, the pacing of the book really found consistency. I also was a bit disoriented in the first few chapters, as it felt like I kept reading references to aspects of Sevi’s world that I should have already been familiar with, but that I had not actually experienced yet. For example, the exact nature of the Fablings was not made 100% clear to me until after Sevi had been with the humans for some weeks.

Overall, The Dance Between is a wonderfully built epic fantasy and I would recommend it to any fans of the genre. Though the protagonist is a teenage boy, the book can be enjoyed by those of any adult age, as well.  

Reviewed by

Megan has been an avid reader and writer since she was little. A paralegal by day, Megan obtained dual bachelor's degrees in Creative Writing and English, as well as a Master's in Public History. She has several fiction and non-fiction publications of her own. She loves dogs, books...and naps!

Chapter 1

About the author

An avid reader from an early age, Christopher is a self-taught writer with a deep, abounding love for storytelling across all media. Influenced by his past love for poetry, he endeavors to instill a sense of poetic narration in his style along with the beauty and wonder inherent to the craft. view profile

Published on September 01, 2023

200000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Fantasy

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