Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne is not your ordinary fantasy about a thief. For one thing, Kyra is not an ordinary thief, and for another, strange things are afoot in her world these days. Midnight Thief was one of my most anticipated reads for 2014 after I read Poison Dance, the prequel novella. I thought I knew what I was getting into, but I was wonderfully surprised and now must patiently wait for book two to be announced…. ;-)
Note: I received Midnight Thief from the publisher for review consideration. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne (Midnight Thief #1)
Published by Disney Hyperion on July 8th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 368 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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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.
- Now, I really like thief fantasies, so I was completely prepared for a snarky and banter-filled story with some fantasy elements, but not the main focus on the fantasy aspects of the world. Midnight Thief is not your typical thief fantasy, however! I was wonderfully surprised with the direction the plot took. Even though it started with snarky banter between Kyra and her thieving friends, Midnight Thief ends up much more solidly on the fantasy end of the spectrum. It ended up being a nice mix of the typical thief tropes and a more epic fantasy type of world; what a wonderful combination!
- Midnight Thief breaks the mold of young adult books these days by not having a major romance plot line. A little bit of a crush is hinted at here and there, but it never became the central focus of the story. There is, however, potential for a really darn adorable romance to develop in future books, yey!
- Without giving anything away, Midnight Thief has some awesome magic and I’m bouncing in anticipation of how it will develop in the series. There is also a really awesome world hinted at in Midnight Thief, even though Kyra doesn’t stray much outside of her home city. There are definitely some adventures ahead for this series and I’m so so excited to discover Kyra’s world with her.
- Midnight Thief had a refreshing amount of moral ambiguity throughout the plot. While there was certainly a main villain, you probably won’t be able to guess immediately who that villain is. Kyra and Tristam have to deal with some pretty difficult decisions as they realize their world is much less black and white than they thought.
- If you have read Poison Dance, you’ll run into familiar characters but in a much different way than you might think. I love how Poison Dance and Midnight Thief interact as stories since they portray two very different perspectives on what is going on in the city.
- I had a bit of a struggle connecting with Kyra and Tristam while reading Midnight Thief. I like to end up feeling like the main characters are friends by the end of a book, and I still feel like Kyra is this girl that is so cool and I want to be friends with, but I’m not cool enough for her ;-). She isn’t an unlikeable character by any means, but for some reason that connection just didn’t quite form.
- A lot of the plot of Midnight Thief is driven by Kyra and Tristam’s reactions to situations instead of active plans on their part. This is a plot style that I’m not particularly a fan of, since it makes the characters seem much less purposeful. I have hope for book two though given how things ended, hehe.
- Because of the above two points, Midnight Thief dragged more than I expected. It isn’t overly long, but I found myself less compelled to read just one more page than I normally expect with fantasy. Some of this is also because of the reactionary nature of the plot; I just didn’t know where things were going, so I didn’t have anything to look forward to plotwise.
Midnight Thief ended up being different than I expected in the best way. It is great to see young adult fantasy that branches out of the traditional fantasy tropes and I’m very excited to see where the series goes. I love the moral grey area that Kyra and Tristam have to traverse in Midnight Thief since it really revealed who they are as characters. The world of Midnight Thief promises to be truly epic, and I need book two now please!
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne
© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.