Because I absolutely loved MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH, DANCE OF THE RED DEATH had some big shoes to fill. I knew this book was going to focus more on the revolution and wasn't sure I could love it as much as I had loved book 1. But once it really got going, it really had me in its grip and I could not stop reading. I stayed up until 5 am to finish it last night and it was worth every wink of missed sleep.
The grandeur of the theatrical climax was so perfectly done, like a play on a stage. This book had it all IMO, family, friendship, courage, life, and death, of course. So much death.
And the romance. Ah, the romance. The romance was understated compared to the first book (as it should be, secondary to everything else Araby was facing), but still such a strong storyline. I am a sucker for the romance, I admit. The love triangle is very well done and as a reader I really bounced back and forth between her affection for Elliot and Will.
Araby is a great main character. She is a tough and strong female protagonist, strong-willed and with an incredibly amount of intelligence, courage, and self control. She lives and loves in a city where she is fighting to keep from losing everything, and is very heroic in her own right. She has no problem falling in love, as long as it doesn't get in her way of everything she needs to accomplish.
Read this book (but read MASQUE first), but plan on losing sleep to finish it!:)