Friday, January 23, 2015

Review: Midnight Thief - Livia Blackburne

Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne
Series: Midnight Thief #1
Genre: YA, fantasy
Published on July 8, 2014
Published by Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 376
Read From: 1.16.15 - 1.17.15

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 she is 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 the 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 remarkable 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 they loyalties are tested to the breaking point, they learn a startling secret about Kyra's past that threatens to reshape both their lives.


Cover Blurb: Yes or No? I do love the cover. Atmospheric, simple, magical, awesome. Love it!

Characters: I almost feel like I should just cut and paste my friend Hazel West's review, because our assessment of this novel is pretty much exact. Kyra is the sort of strong female protagonist I love to root for. Having grown up on the streets, she's tough, quick, smart, and very good at her job: thievery. But she isn't proud, and she'll accept help when she needs it from her friends. James, the leader of the Assassins Guild, was a very interesting character. Having read the prequel novella Poison Dance, I know something of his backstory, and it definitely cast him in a different light than if I read Midnight Thief not knowing anything about his past. I still didn't trust him and silently urged Kyra to refuse his help, but I felt perhaps a bit more sympathetic for him regardless. Tristam - oh, I loved Tristam. He was so awesome! And I loved Tristam's two friends (??) - both very minor characters, but I loved them so, so much. Some of the best characters were, in fact, the minor ones. And that's a sign of a good writer.

The Romance: I'm not going to say who Kyra falls for, because it's enough of a spoiler that I don't want to give it away. But it is Reading Hedgehog approved. The romance isn't a very big part of the plot, and is in fact mostly in the background. But I loved it.

Plot: Once again, I give you the above synopsis. I'm sorry; I'm just not feeling very inspired with my reviews right now. Ever read a book that was so good that you just consumed it at a rate that left you totally blank on what happened? That's where I'm at with Midnight Thief. I know I loved the plot; it was exciting and fast-paced. There was intrigue and secrets and backstabbing and friendships in unexpected quarters and political maneuvers and raiding mercenaries and the hints of war and magic. Kyra's world is very well thought-out and immersive. There's so much to this world; you can feel it in the writing. And I can't wait to learn more about it!

Believability: Not applicable.

Writing Style: Third person, past tense. I did really, really like the Author's style. It's detailed without being over-the-top or movie-ish.

Content: None.

Conclusion: I saw the twist coming; I very much did. But it was also done very well and logical that Kyra couldn't figure it out sooner. Midnight Thief is a terrific beginning to a very promising new series. It's got wonderful characters, a strong plot, and even stronger world building. This Author also isn't afraid to take risks with her characters, in that you really can't know whether or not they'll survive their ordeals. I cannot wait for the sequel!

Recommended Audience: Girl-and-guy read, fifteen-and-up, fans of high fantasy! 


  1. I can't believe I STILL haven't read this. Gah! But great review! :)

    1. It's so good, Kel! Especially knowing James's backstory.


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