Review+Giveaway: Dance with Me by Judith Crow

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Dance with Me

A YA fantasy by Judith Crow
cover of Dance with Me by Judith Crow

Don’t tell anyone, but Kelli spends all her free time listening to folk music. Ok, it’s not what you’d expect from a popular fifteen-year-old, but that’s why she doesn’t want the whole world to know.

When Kelli follows the mysterious Tam Lane, she finds herself in a place where folk songs come to life. As she comes to terms with the world, she makes friends, uses her privilege to help others, and even falls in love.

But Kelli has forgotten the fates which await so many characters in the songs, and she soon finds herself surrounded by heartbreak. Determined to protect the people she has left, can Kelli change a fate which has been sung for centuries?

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They left the inn as the church clock began to chime midday and completed their journey in relative silence. As they neared Arlen Manor, Kelli began to feel a strange sensation of being watched, as though a hundred pairs of eyes were following her wherever she went. Looking carefully, she saw there were sculpted birds in many of the trees: great, black, hideous creatures with round eyes which stared unseeingly and followed her as she passed them by.

“They are crows,” William explained. “Centuries ago, before it was Arlen, the castle which stood here was called Corbie. That’s just another word for crow. According to family legend, when a disaster is about to befall the men of the family, the crows of Corbie Castle can be heard talking to one another.”

Kelli felt a shiver stalk down her spine, and she was grateful when they left the woods and moved up the long driveway to the house, which was a picture of gothic splendour in the late afternoon light. She immediately had the feeling that this was the place she had been meant to find, although she could not explain where the idea came from. Climbing down from the trap, Kelli followed William to the door, and stood behind him as he hammered his fist against it.

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This was an interesting take on a sort of historical but still fictional world. A world built completely on folk songs struck me both as neat and unfortunate. As the description says, folk songs end in a lot of tragedy, so this definitely wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It wasn’t all doom and gloom either, though. Lots of emotions and fascinating characters.

While the concept was cool, this didn’t hook me as much as I hoped. I liked Kelly (protagonist), but there were things about her situation I had a tough time believing. She adapted to her new world too quickly for me, and she didn’t seem surprised really. “Oh, no electricity? Okay,” was the vibe I got from pretty much the beginning, and it left me wondering. She also didn’t really miss her family or even seem to care if they noticed she was gone. Granted, her family wasn’t the cuddly type, but still. I loved the relationships she built with the people from folk songs. Again, though, it all felt a bit too fast.

The ending wrapped everything up nicely. It wasn’t necessarily surprising, but it felt right for the story. Overall, I enjoyed this, and it’s definitely worth a read.

About Judith Crow

Judith Crow author image

Judith was born in Orkney, grew up in Lincolnshire and now lives in the far north of Scotland. Her writing is inspired by the experiences of her life so far and she loves picking up on quirks and immortalising them in fiction.

Judith’s new book, Dance With Me, combines her love of folk music and creative writing, and finds her main character in a world where folk songs come to life. Her debut book, The Backwater, was a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2019.

When she isn’t writing, Judith is a primary school teacher who enjoys crafting and music, as well as being a generally doting spaniel owner.

Find her online:


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  1. Thanks for taking time to share your book with us and it's always a pleasure in our family to learn about a new one.

  2. Thank you for hosting this stop on the tour! I'm glad you enjoyed the book!



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