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Dancing on Knives - Kate Forsyth

Paperback Published: 2nd June 2014
ISBN: 9780857983466
Number Of Pages: 304

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A haunting story of a damaged family, dangerous secrets and the sea

At twenty, Sara is tormented by an inexplicable terror so profound she has been unable to leave her home in five years. Like the mermaid in the fairy tale her grandmother once told her, Sara feels that she is Dancing on Knives, unable to speak.

Then one stormy night, her father - the famous artist Augusto Sanchez - does not come home. His body is found dangling from a cliff face. Astonishingly, he is still alive.

The mystery of his fall can only be solved by the revelation of long-held family secrets and by Sara's realisation that strength can be found in the most unlikely places.

At once a suspenseful murder mystery and a lyrical love story, Dancing on Knives resonates with the entrancing - and dangerous - music and stories of the sea.

About the Author

Kate Forsyth is the internationally bestselling author of more than twenty books, including The Witches of Eileanan and Rhiannon's Ride series for adults, and The Puzzle Ring, The Gypsy Crown, and The Starthorn Tree for children. She has won or been nominated for numerous awards. Her books have been published in 13 different countries, including Japan, Poland, Spain and Turkey, and Kate is currently undertaking a doctorate in fairytale retellings at the University of Technology/ Her recent novels include Bitter Greens a retelling of Rapunzel and The Wild Girl, the story of how the Grimm brothers collected their folk tales.


Good, but not amazing


I have always liked Kate Forsyth's books, and the idea of her having reworked this story many times before appealed to me. However, I had - and still do - mixed feelings about Dancing on Knives. While it sprinkles hints of The Little Mermaid throughout in a subtle and masterful way, I found the story itself to be not as interesting. While The Wild Girl deals with very dark themes, I felt that Dancing on Knives was just...depressing. It dragged at times, and not much happened. However, I liked the ending, which was a blend of positivity and negativity - a nice, real close. Sara's change over the course of the novel was both interesting and liberating and made the ending all the more enjoyable. On the whole, I would recommend Dancing on Knives, as it is another addition to Kate Forsyth's admirable works, and deserves to be read, despite whatever qualms I had about it.

Sydney, AU


Interesting ... something different!


Really a 3.5 out of 5 ... once again the quality of writing is superb. This was Kate Forsyth's first novel I believe, and after a couple of reworks was released as Dancing on Knives. The story is bleak, don't expect a happy go lucky tale, if there's one thing I admired about the book it was the ability to drag the reader into the depths of despair. I was depressed reading it! The only reason it scored a middle of the range mark, is simply because I couldn't engage with the characters, I didn't feel for them and at times was quite frustrated with the whole Sanchez family! But you can't take away from Kate's writing and storytelling skills...she's one of the best.



Dancing on Knives

3.0 2


"A surprising combination of family drama, murder mystery and love story. Lyrical and exhilarating. Sara’s journey is striking as she faces her fears and moves on; she is a heroine of the modern order." - Johanna de Wever, Australian Book Review

"Family saga, fable and whodunit all rolled into a vivid and lyrical whole." - Elizabeth Knox

ISBN: 9780857983466
ISBN-10: 0857983466
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 2nd June 2014
Publisher: Random House Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.6  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.41
Edition Number: 1

Kate Forsyth

About the Author

Kate Forsyth is the bestselling and award-winning author of more than twenty books, ranging from picture books to poetry to novels for both children and adults.

Her most recent book for adults is The Beast’s Garden, a retelling of Grimms’ Beauty and The Beast set in Nazi Germany. She has also written Bitter Greens, a retelling of the Rapunzel fairytale interwoven with the dramatic, true life story of the woman who first told the tale, the 17th century French writer, Charlotte-Rose de la Force. Her most recent book for children is The Starkin Crown, a heroic fantasy adventure set in the magical world of Estelliana, a place of wild magic and terrifying monsters.

Since The Witches of Eileanan was named a Best First Novel of 1998 by Locus Magazine, Kate has won or been nominated for numerous awards, including a CYBIL Award in the US. She's also the only author to win five Aurealis awards in a single year, for her Chain of Charms series – beginning with The Gypsy Crown - which tells of the adventures of two Romany children in the time of the English Civil War. Book 5 of the series, The Lightning Bolt, was also a CBCA Notable Book.

Kate's books have been published in 17 countries around the world, including the UK, the US, Russia, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Poland and Slovenia. She completed a doctorate in fairytale retellings at the University of Technology, as well as a BA in Literature and a MA in Creative Writing.

Kate is a direct descendant of Charlotte Waring, the author of the first book for children ever published in Australia, A Mother's Offering to her Children. She lives by the sea in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, three children, a rambunctious Rhodesian Ridgeback, a bad-tempered black cat, and many thousands of books.

Visit Kate Forsyth's Booktopia Author Page

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