Death's Dancer by Jasmine Silvera is a fascinating science fiction novel about life and death and dealing with strange circumstances no one ever really expects.
Praise for Death's Dancer
"Sparks fly when a mighty sorcerer recruits a dancer to help unravel a supernatural mystery… A spirited, sexy paranormal romance."
- Kirkus Reviews
"DEATH’S DANCER weaves suspense and romance into a story as smart as it is sensual. Godsdancer Isela Vogel is anything but stereotypical, and like the Gods she dances for, those who move around her are rarely ordinary. When Isela is drawn into the circle of a powerful necromancer, author Jasmine Silvera deftly choreographs the action using lush depictions of Prague's storied scenery and deliciously dark humor. A thrilling debut."
- Camille Griep, Author of Letters to Zell and New Charity Blues
A Message from Jasmine Silvera
I grew up checking out every urban fantasy book in the library, re-reading my favorite comic books hundreds of times, and sneaking romance novels in between. When I sat down during NANOWRIMO to write, after two years of living in Prague, I suppose it’s only natural they all got mixed up in the resulting novel, Death’s Dancer.
Death’s Dancer is the first novel in a series revolving around the world ruled by necromancers, in which humans can command the power of gods through dance. It follows aging dancer Isela as she enters the supernatural world after being assigned to work with a powerful necromancer, Azrael. "Issy and Az" are more than a match for one another - as strong willed and stubborn as they come — and I wasn’t surprised by the sparks that flew between them. The sequel, Dancer’s Flame is forthcoming in October 2017.
For readers who love a little mystery with their magic and romance in the mix, this novel is for you.
An Interview with Isela Vogel
[Interviewer] I follow Headmaster Divya Sauvageau up the stairs from the foyer to the inner doors of the Praha Dance Academy in the capital city of Czechia. Sauvageau has run Europe’s premier dance school for over twenty years, from its early days after the end of the godswar. It is one of a few sanctioned facilities where goddancers are trained and perform under the careful supervision of the Allegiance of Necromancers. The building itself - and the renovation - was a gift from the Necromancer Azrael to the Academy as a symbol of his commitment to allowing mortals to maintain their ability to communicate with their gods.
Today I’ll meet one of the rising stars of this esoteric art: a recent graduate of the academy who is rapidly making a name for herself. Divya pauses before the door to a sun-lit practice studio. A pair of young dancers stretch and chat at the barre near the front of the room as the rest of a company class files out. I’ve followed dancing my journalistic career, but there is nothing like goddance and the dancers who perform it. The though their physical bodies are like most other professional dancers, there is something unusual about the way they occupy the space - it’s a bit discomfiting.
Headmaster Sauvageau clears her throat.
The pair look up and the casual intimacy of their interlude falls away. The male, statuesque and blonde, is Kyle Bradshaw, a familiar face from the performance posters for the Academy ballet, where he also performs.
“Headmaster,” he says in passing, before assessing me cooly with dark eyes.
When I turned back, the remaining dancer is pulling on leg warmers and sliding a water bottle back into her bag. She doesn’t smile, not exactly, but her eyes are amused. She shrugs into an oversized sweater and rises. She is compact and muscular, more than I expected, with a frame less delicate than a ballerina’s. But when she moves, something as simple as crossing to the chairs the headmaster’s escort procures, I’m caught staring.
“Miss Vogel,” Headmaster Sauvageau makes the introduction.
We sit. She accepts the presence of my recorder with a nod and waits, straight spine and slim elegant neck poised as a bird awaiting flight. She sits, neither preening with attention of an interview or made nervous by it, rather waiting in a place of stillness that makes me fumble for my pen and notepad. With quick math I determine she can’t be much older than 20, though her demeanor is that of one much more mature. I explain that this is just short Q&A to introduce her to the donors and future clients and she is free to skip any questions she didn’t care for. She nods again, and I feel I’ve been given permission to begin.
[Interviewer] What is your greatest fear?
[Isela Vogel -IV] That I won’t fulfill my potential.
[Interviewer] What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
[IV] I’ve never been a morning person.
[Interviewer] Which living person do you most admire?
[IV] Headmaster Savageau, is an enormous source of professional inspiration and admiration. She’s a mentor and a friend.
[Interviewer] What is your greatest extravagance?
[IV] I've been known to splurge on expensive red wine.
[Interviewer] What do you most dislike about your appearance?
[Interviewer's note: For a moment her glaze flickers downward and I am reminded of the ways in which she differs from traditional ballerinas. I think she will pass on this question, but she speaks. ]
[IV] I don’t spend a lot of time focusing on what i don’t have. My patrons are content with my results.
[Interviewer] Which talent would you most like to have?
[IV] Dancing can be hard on the body, to be able to heal myself from injury would come in handy.
[Interviewer] What do you consider your greatest achievement?
[IV] Graduating at the top of my class at PDA and beginning my professional career at the place I love.
[Interviewer] What is your most treasured possession?
[For the first time emotion reaches through the poise and a slight smile brightens her face]
[IV] I have a pair of Chuck Taylors - they are my oldest brother Mark’s when we left the US - eventually he outgrew them and they got handed down to my other brother Toby then to me. Sounds silly, but they remind me of home and family.
[Interviewer] Who are your heroes in real life?
[IV] My mom and dad. It was so brave of them to leave everything behind to bring our family here, to Prague, to start a new life.
[Interviewer]What is your motto?
[IV] "Om Bolo Sat Guru Maharaja Ki—JAI!” It’s an old sanskrit mantra my mom uses at the end of her classes. It means roughly “we honor our divine inner teacher.”
[Note from the Marketing Department] The rest of her answers are just as short; it’s not going to make very thrilling reading for our donors. Perhaps we should consider her for a photo series instead. She *is* remarkable when she moves. We predict big things for Vogel. Perhaps some media training is in order.
Just Who is Isela Vogel?
Isela Vogel is a dancer trained to channel the power of gods through dance for her patrons. Death's Dancer catches her years after this interview, facing the end of her career due to an injury.