Monday, July 7, 2014

Releases Tomorrow: Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne

Midnight Thief
by Livia Blackburne
Read: June 21 - 23, 2014
Published: July 8, 2014 by Disney-Hyperion
Source: NetGalley (THANK YOU, Disney)
Category: YA, fantasy, 

Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | The Book Depsitory

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.

Surprising, intense and very exciting, Midnight Thief is excellent! What I love about this story is how our understanding of the world and characters begins as narrow and clear cut, and slowly blossoms into something vastly complex and not straight forward at all. Even the cover, which I've always loved, has become more meaningful after I read the book. 

This book is narrated by two characters, Kyra and Tristam. Kyra grew up on the streets and has survived by stealing. She is the master at getting in and out of buildings undetected, making her an excellent thief. Because of this she has caught the notice of the leader of the Assassin's Guild, and he offers her a high paying job that is hard to resist. Tristam grew up in privilege, training to be a palace knight. But when his best friend is murdered by the mysterious Demon Riders, he is determined to destroy them. When these characters' paths cross, both of their lives change indefinitely. 

We are introduced to Kyra first, and through her we get to see how very complicated this society is. I especially loved watching her navigate between its different parts - the streets to the Guild and other places too. Although there are bad influences in this world (and many problems), I could see how different characters' perspectives were molded by how they'd been brought up or the way life had shaped them. Even when I strongly disagreed with their choices, I could also see that they weren't acting out of the sake of evil, but because of their loyalties or or a larger purpose they believed in.  It made me think a lot, and feel sympathy for many different sides of this world. 

I felt so much for Kyra as she figures out where she fits. What I appreciate most about her is that she always stays true to herself, and doesn't want to become something that she isn't. Some of the things she faces are so tough. I got very caught up in the emotions of the choices she makes and situations she encounters. In many scenes, I was tense and on the edge of my seat. But somehow she manages to survive and not lose herself at the same time. 

Tristam starts off just going along with the way life directs him. As someone born of privilege he has not ever had to think about his future path, and he is content to follow the rules and live his life. But through the Demon Rider attack on his friend, and his interactions with Kyra, we get to see him grow up a great deal. I especially enjoyed watching him struggle with what to do when his duty differs from what he believes is right. As the story develops, Tristam begins to see the world in more shades of grey than the black and white of his youth, mirroring the reader's own experience with this story. 

This book has many intriguing characters, but I must talk about the leader of the Assassin's Guild, James. I was first introduced to him in the prequel novella Poison Dance, so I had my radar out for him already when I started Midnight Thief. I encourage all of you to read the novella before starting this book. You can pick it up after as well, but I liked how my previous understanding of him colored my view of him and this story. After getting to know him in Midnight Thief, I can completely understand why author Livia Blackburne felt compelled to explore his backstory in Poison Dance. He is a character that grabbed me - and surprised me - in both the novel and novella. 

The romance in Midnight Thief is not at all the focus of the story, which is something that I appreciated, and also felt true to the characters. I personally prefer when a romance goes slowly and doesn't peak too soon in a series, and I think it was done well here. The book just hints at a relationship between Tristam and Kyra. I love the way that these two challenge and spark each other. I very much enjoyed watching trust and respect for each other develop out of the anger and suspicion of their first meeting. I think they become better versions of themselves because of their interactions. I don't know where this story is going, but I hope we get a chance to see more from them. 

As mentioned by other reviewers, Midnight Thief is a book that is hard to talk about in detail without spoiling the plot, so you should just go out and read it yourself. I hope you will be as surprised and excited by what you find in these pages as I was.

Love Triangle Factor: None - a slight progression. But the romance is subtle throughout.  According to THIS interview, the next book should not have a triangle. 
Cliffhanger Scale: Low. Part of a duet. 


  1. Wasn't it wonderful? I loved it too and I truly should read the Novella now... I heard from a few people already that it was such a great book and I actually wonder if I#d see Hames in a different light after reading this.

    Thank Goodness that there is no Love Triangle coming up, I guess there are bigger problems Kyra could face :)

  2. I haven't read this one yet but it sounds like I need to add it to my TBR. I want to meet Kyra! I love when a character grows but still remains true to who she is. Plus no triangle! Woo-hoo!

  3. I'm really excited to see such a strong review from you for this book, Lauren. This sounds like it's all kinds of awesome and I absolutely love the sound of Kyra. She seems like a YA heroine who I will easily be able to root for. I think I'm also going to like the romance in this book if it's slow and develops from friendship. I've been intrigued by the world ever since I saw the cover and read the blurb.
    Quick question, I know you said no love triangle in the future, but is James romantically interested in Kyra in any way?
    Lovely review, Lauren! I have this on hold at the library so as soon as it becomes available, I'm rushing to grab the ebook! :)

  4. Yay for duets and strong romances that don't overtake plot lines! I've heard a mix of opinions regarding this one, so I'm planning on waiting to see what the sequel brings before diving into this, but I'm glad you enjoyed it so much, Lauren! It's also a relief that we won't have a love triangle on our hands--phew! Fantastic review, as always, dear. :)

  5. I have always loved duets so i've had my eye on this one but i'm thrilled to hear you like it! I have Poison Dance on my kindle but i just havent sat down to read it yet! I'll have to binge resd Poison Dance & Midnight Thief sometime after my trip! Great review Lauren!

  6. I was so relieved when I read in that interview that there is no love triangle ahead. I've heard so many great things about this book and have really been looking forward to it. A love triangle in book 2 would have killed all that happiness. ;) Thanks for the great review!

  7. Yes for no love triangle ahead *fist pumps*

    I've been seeing a lot of positive reviews for this one so I cannot wait to dive in. I read the novella late last year and while I didn't love it, I LOVED the world the author had crafted which was why in spite of some of the problems I had with the novella, I was still curious about the novel!

    I am so so glad to see you enjoyed this, Lauren! :)

    Lovely review!! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

  8. I'm so excited to read this one! I read the novella "Poison Dance" a few months ago and it definitely whetted my appetite towards reading more set in this world. I'm not usually a fan of dual POVs, but it sounds like it could work well here.
    Glad you enjoyed this one so much, Lauren! I hope that I can say the same very soon!

  9. Oooh, yes, I forgot to talk about Tristam in my review of this book. I loved how he had his own internal struggles too. Obviously, the government is not without its own faults and flaws, and he realizes them, but at the same time, he feels obligated to follow what his job (and boss...) entails. I really hope that in the next book, he'll be able to act upon what he feels is right!

    Faye at The Social Potato

  10. I was *this* close to picking up Midnight Thief at BAM last night, but decided to wait for now. The lack of a romance is actually what's holding me back. I like a slow build, too, but it sounds almost nonexistent here, and I'm worried I'll start feeling itchy/bored. Lovely review, L! Very glad to know there's no LT planned in the next book. :)

  11. Amazing review sweetie :D I'm so glad you mostly loved this book. <3 I'm more excited to read it now, lol :) Just waiting for my hardcover to arrive. As I do have it via Netgalley.. but want to read a print copy :) YAY for the characters being awesome! They sound good. But aw. I do want a big romance.. hih. But I'm glad you liked that it was small. <3 Fingers crossed author is honest about there being no love triangle in book two. <3 (I remember one author told me there would be LESS of a love triangle in book two in her series. BUT NO. Main girl had sex with the wrong guy. Ugh. Made me so angry and not trusting authors that much anymore..) ANYWAY. Amazing review :D Thank you for sharing. <3

  12. So glad you enjoyed this, Lauren, especially knowing you were anticipating it as much as I was. I kind of wish I'd read the novella AFTER the full-length novel, just because I felt like I already knew James and expected him to act a certain way. I even expected him to be the love interest. I like that I was thrown by his character, but I also still want him to ultimately be redeemable. Great review...I'm super excited that this is a duology!

  13. I enjoyed this one, but I didn't love it. Part of that reason I think is because I did read the prequel and James doesn't seem to be the same character. It made me understand him less in this book, if that makes sense. And for some reason, I was put off by the whole demon cat thing. I did like it and it was a compelling read, but I did have issues with it. I did like the way things wrapped up. More story to tell, but a good stopping point and a complete story. Glad you liked it and great review, as always! ~Pam


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...