68 pages 2 hours read

Mary E. Pearson

Dance of Thieves

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2018

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Symbols & Motifs

Ghosts

Ghosts are present from the first line of the novel: “The ghosts are still here” (1), which Kazi says when they are riding through the valley where the Great Battle took place. The ghosts operate both literally and metaphorically in the novel; they tell readers that Kazi has the magical gift of seeing ghosts and therefore a supernatural advantage, and they show how she and the country are haunted by the past. Ghosts and spirits are ever present in the story as Kazi’s guide in unclear moments. She isn’t scared of them because they are a guiding force and can’t hurt her, but they are also a painful reminder of the past and the trauma that still affects Kazi. The last time ghosts are seen in the novel is when Kazi tours the arena with Jase and senses them down a tunnel right before she discovers the Previzi drivers. After this, Kazi faces her past and doesn’t let it control her anymore, so the ghosts leave her alone because she has overcome what haunted her.

Death

Death is personified in the narrative as an emaciated specter of a man with bony hands who walks the streets and can be seen by people with a magical gift like Kazi.

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