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Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne ARC {4 Stars}

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 ARC {4 Stars}

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
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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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.

4 Stars

Strengths:

  • 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.

Weaknesses:

  •  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.

Summary:

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!

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya

 

 Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne

© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. I love thief fantasies too! I just finished Mistborn and it made me want to read more of them :)
    Katie @ Doing Dewey recently posted…Return to the Beach HouseMy Profile

  2. You’re right they are pretty reactive. But you know I like the fact that they are more or less just friends by the end of the book. I felt like that was more realistic. Maybe something will happen but I won’t be disappointed if it never does.
    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Review: Hollow World by Michael J. SullivanMy Profile

    • I loved the just friends thing! I’m curious about where things will go, but that ending for the relationship plotline was gold!

  3. Yay! All my reading canaries have given this book good reviews! And no major romance? *does little happy dance*
    Kel (Booked til Tuesday) recently posted…Top 10 Blogging ConfessionsMy Profile

    • I love that book canaries is a thing now, go Shae! Yeah, you’ll be suspicious I’m sure since it is duel pov, but I was pleasantly surprised that the romance didn’t take over the storyline.

  4. This wasn’t really on my radar before, but I love thief stories. They’re always so fun. And a turn into solid fantasy isn’t a big thing either.
    Sarah recently posted…Review: Next to YouMy Profile

    • Glad to be of service :D Midnight Thief is really a great mix of epic fantasy and thief stories. You should check out the prequel novella Poison Dance, it might still be free and it has assassin goodness ;-)

  5. Well, seeing that this one ends up more solidly on the fantasy end of the spectrum, of course, made me smile :D I didn’t think I could get more excited for this one at this point, but apprently I can! I love that it surprised you too with the direction it took – always a good thing! The lack of a major romance plot is another HUUUGE plus for me!! And, then you went and talked about exciting magical developments and I am literally bouncing in my seat (weee!)

    The reacting vs acting style is one I enjoy less too, so I’m curious how I’ll make out as far as the speed I’ll read this but I’m nonetheless excited to dig in. Thanks for another awesome review Anya ^^ so happy you enoyed this one!
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: Traitor’s BladeMy Profile

    • Haha, you think you’re bouncing now, just wait until you’re waiting for book two with me!

      I did still read Midnight Thief pretty fast, but I’m interested to hear what you think about the writing. It was one of those things that took me a while to pin down exactly what was going weird for me ;-)

  6. Only a little romance? So happy to hear that! The world, magic, and morals sound intriguing.

    Nice review! I’m excited for this book :)
    Lea @ YA Book Queen recently posted…Review: THE KISS OF DECEPTION by Mary E. PearsonMy Profile

    • Yey! I was also pleasantly surprised by how little romance was brought in given the dual povs. I hope you get to read it soon!

  7. I want to read this book even more after your review! Thanks for covering all the things I was wondering about.

  8. It’s actually quite interesting that you say there’s a moral grey area. Too often I think we are told what it right and wrong in books, but sometimes our morals can’t be applied to some crazy other world. By leaving it up to the reader to decide which side they think it falls on, makes for a somewhat personalized experience.

    I’m really excited for the magic because I feel like I haven’t read a book with a lot of magic since Harry Potter. Great review!
    Kate @ The Book Bee recently posted…REVIEW: Masquerade by Melissa de la CruzMy Profile

    • I absolutely love speculative fiction that emphasizes the greyness of all interactions since everyone convinces themselves they are doing the right thing and obviously they can’t all agree most of the time! Midnight Thief definitely has different magic than Harry Potter, but still awesome!

  9. I’m reading Poison Dance right now, and I’m loving it! Excited to see how characters overlap between this one and Midnight Thief…I need more James in my life! While I also love snarky banter and witty repartee, I’m happy to hear that you thought there was a good mix of the fantastical in there as well. Sometimes I think that YA fantasy novels underplay the actual fantasy element when they’re the first book in the series (i.e. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas).

    • Ugh yes! I was so confused with Throne of Glass since I went in expecting an epic fantasy and it definitely underplayed those elements to my disappointment. I’m really excited that Midnight Thief is starting a new epic fantasy series though since the two big ones I loved concluded this year ;-)

  10. This book now has my attention. After reading all your points about it I think I’ll have to check my library for future copies, especially since I liked how you mentioned that it changes more to fantasy :)

    • Yey! Had you heard of it previously but not been sure?

      • Actually I’d never heard of this book, but after commenting I kept seeing it all day lol. I think I’m like 30 some on the waiting list for it, and it’s on order.

        • Hehe, I’d say that the pub’s hope for a release day bash has succeeded then ;-). Once I allow myself back into a bookstore, this is one I’m going to buy a hardback of since it is soooo pretty :D

Trackbacks

  1. […] Daughter of Dusk (Amazon associate link), the sequel to Midnight Thief! I adored Midnight Thief (my review) and was lucky enough to beta read Daughter of Dusk and can’t recommend this duology enough […]

  2. Blogdom July, 2014 | The ToiBox of Words says:

    […] -From On Starships and Dragonwings, Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne ARC {4 Stars} […]

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