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Monday, July 7, 2014

Review: Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne


Title: Midnight Thief
Author: Livia Blackburne
Series: Midnight Thief, book 1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (July 8th)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“Growing up on Forge’s streets has taught Kyra how to stretch a coin. And when that’s not enough, her uncanny ability to scale walls and bypass guards helps her take what she needs.

But when the leader of the Assassins Guild offers Kyra a lucrative job, she hesitates. She knows how to get by on her own, and she’s not sure she wants to play by his rules. But he’s persistent—and darkly attractive—and Kyra can’t quite resist his pull.

Tristam of Brancel is a young Palace knight on a mission. After his best friend is brutally murdered by Demon Riders, a clan of vicious warriors who ride bloodthirsty wildcats, Tristam vows to take them down. But as his investigation deepens, he finds his efforts thwarted by a talented thief, one who sneaks past Palace defenses with uncanny ease.

When a fateful raid throws Kyra and Tristam together, the two enemies realize that their best chance at survival—and vengeance—might be to join forces. And as their loyalties are tested to the breaking point, they learn a startling secret about Kyra’s past that threatens to reshape both their lives.”
Midnight Thief is the first book in the Midnight Thief series by Livia Blackburne.

Kyra hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up in the streets of Forge hasn’t been a nice experience. Luckily for her she is very agile and has a remarkable ability to climb walls and disappear in the shadows. Ability she uses to steal; but Kyra is a thief with integrity, she only steals from people with money and never takes anything from somebody in need. With the money she makes she takes care of herself, and tries to help other street kids, especially a pair of sisters she is very close to, but there is never enough money.
When the leader of the Assassins Guild, James, approaches her with a permanent job offer; Kyra is reluctant to accept, but the money is good, enough for her and to help the little sisters.
Kyra accepts the offer, but makes it clear to James that she’s a thief and not an assassin and will never be one. James accepts her conditions and starts to train her in self-defense while giving her some jobs. Kyra is happy to prove her worth and enjoying her assignments, but soon she realizes her cooperation with the Assassins Guild has very serious consequences for the people of Forge.
Tristam of Brancel is a knight; his job is to patrol the outskirts of Forge. A job he used to enjoy very much, until an encounter with the Demon Riders, a clan of vicious warriors who ride on wildcats. The Demon Riders used to attack farms far from Forge, but now they are getting bolder and are coming closer to the city’s border.
Tristan will do anything in his power to end the Demon Riders attacks. When he crosses paths with Kyra he knows she might be the answer he has been looking for, the only problem is convincing the young thief to trust him.

There was something I really liked about Midnight Thief and that was that in this book there was not good and bad nor black and white, but many shades of grey. I think even the title makes that clear, because this book makes you root for a thief.

I really liked Kyra. She knows what she does is not legal, but she does what needs to be done to survive. Still, she has integrity and there are lines she won’t cross… or thought to never cross…  What? You need to read the book to know what I’m talking about; I don’t want to give spoilers away.
Life has given her a kind of adoptive family and she goes the extra mile to protect them and provide for them. I really loved to see her interactions with her friend, Flick, her adoptive aunt, Bella, and the little sisters, Idalee and Lettie.
Kyra grows a lot in this installment, she is pulled into some very complicated situations and needs to make very difficult decisions, decisions that will not only affect her, but those she cares for.

We don’t meet Tristam until well into the pages, but when we do it’s impossible not to like him. He is not your normal noble; he has values and honor, and as well as Kyra he will do anything to protect those he vow as a knight to protect; even going against official orders.

Another thing I really liked about this book is that romance doesn’t play a big role on the story. There is a hint to an attraction, but is just that, nothing else. There is also not a love triangle and the angst that is usually the main character in many YA books doesn’t exist on this story. Thank you Ms. Blackburne.

The story is engaging and with many twists and turns that will keep you glued to the pages wanting to know more, and as I said before there is not good or bad, so it’s difficult to pick sides. It is also difficult to hate the “villain” (I’m using the term lightly) because at the end, even that person does what he/she does because he/she wants a better future for the people of Forge.

I really enjoyed reading Midnight Thief and I’m sure fans of YA Fantasy will enjoy it too.
Midnight Thief is the first book in a series, but it has a stand-alone feeling. It doesn’t end in a cliffhanger (Thanks again Ms. Blackburne), but with a satisfying completion that answers many questions, and leaves us wanting for more of this new world Ms. Blackburne has created.

I’m looking forward to reading next book in the series, there is not title or date yet, but I’ll be stalking following Ms. Blackburne closely to learn more about future books to come.

There is a prequel to Midnight Thief. Poison Dance is the story of James, the leader of the Assassins Guild and it is currently free on Amazon.
Poison Dance has a more mature feel than Midnight Thief because it follows an adult instead of a teen. Even though it is not necessary, I would recommend you to read Poison Dance before reading Midnight Thief to better understand James’s actions.

My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws

Other books in the series
Poison Dance
Midnight Thief (July 8th)

Other reviews Goodreads

9 comments:

  1. LUCKY. I really wanted an ARC of this, but Disney hates me, so that didn't happen, LOL. (<-----laughing on the outside, crying on the inside.) I'll have to come back and read this after I've read the book myself, but I'm trying to go into it as blindly as possible. BUT you clearly loved it, and we love the same things, so I am hopeful!

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure you are going to like it... and don't feel bad, Disney doesn't hate you. :)

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  2. I'm with Jessica! Curse you Disney!!!

    I read Poison Dance a while back, liked it and it reminds me of Throne of Glass. Have you read that series? If yes are they similar if not then you should!

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    1. I love Throne of Glass.... I'm dying to get my hands on Heir of Fire but Bloomsbury hates me... Although they love Jessica...
      If you liked Poison Dance you will like this one, the tone is more YA than PD but it's really good. I can't wait to know what you think of James in this book... I need to talk about him with somebody!

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  3. I saw the cover for this book and though I'd like to read it. Now I know I WANT IT!
    Thank you for the wonderful review :)

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    1. The cover is lovely, it was one of the reasons I requested it... Yes, sometimes I'm a cover whore.
      I don't know if there is going to be an audiobook, but if there is I'm sure I'll be good.

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  4. I agree - I also loved that romance wasn't a big important factor in this book. Glad you enjoyed it as much as I did. I did some lineart fanart of the cover when I read it. Can't wait to see more from this world but also loved that it felt like a complete story. And not just the opener

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