Three years ago, Vanessa Adler's sister Margaret disappeared from the prestigious New York Ballet Academy. Her family was told that Margaret cracked under the high pressure of life as a prima ballerina. But Vanessa, now a freshman at NYBE, doesn't believe that. Although she's the most talented dancer in her class—with a strange ability to fall into a trance-like state when her steps are completely perfect—Vanessa hasn't enrolled at the elite boarding school to study ballet. Instead, she intends to track down the truth about how her sister vanished . . . and where Margaret might be now.
Vanessa immediately makes friends and almost as quickly finds herself drawn to two upperclass boys: the sensual but mysterious Zep and the disturbingly astute Justin. But events take a sinister turn when freshman orientation includes a creepy nighttime ritual, and when Vanessa discovers something distinctly disquieting about a subterranean practice room. When Vanessa is cast in the same lead role her sister was scheduled for just before Margaret's disappearance, she and her friends fear that their time to discover the ballet academy's secrets may be running out. But as they learn more about the school in general—and one unnerving, arrhythmic dance in particular—they find themselves embroiled in a plot beyond anything they could have suspected.
Inspired by the traditions of Gothic horror, Yelena Black's debut novel crackles with spooky imagery and thrilling suspense. Her detailed descriptions of ballet technique, set against the backdrop of autumn in New York City, transport the reader into Vanessa's world. Fans of classical ballet, dark romances and mysteries set at boarding schools won't want to miss Dance of Shadows . . . or its two upcoming sequels.