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Poison Dance by Livia Blackburne {4.5 Stars}

Poison Dance by Livia Blackburne is a prequel novella to her upcoming novel Midnight Thief. It tells the story of a certain Assassin’s Guild member that I’m hoping we come to know in Midnight Thief and convinces me further that I need Midnight Thief IMMEDIATELY. Poison Dance manages to pack world-building, character development, feels, and “OMG what just happened??” all into one little novella; I’m impressed! Also I don’t normally read novellas, so hopefully that tells you something >.>.

Note: I received Poison Dance from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Poison Dance by Livia Blackburne {4.5 Stars}

Poison Dance by Livia Blackburne (Midnight Thief #0.5)
Published by Author on Sept. 24th, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 86 pages
How I got my copy: Author
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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James is skilled, efficient, and deadly, a hired blade navigating the shifting alliances of a deteriorating Assassin’s Guild. Then he meets Thalia, an alluring but troubled dancing girl who offers him a way out—if he’ll help her kill a powerful nobleman. With the Guild falling apart, it just might be worth the risk. But when you live, breathe, and love in a world that’s forever flirting with death, the slightest misstep can be poison.

4.5 Stars


  • I generally avoid novellas because I crave a nice full plot. However, Poison Dance did not disappoint me, since it was able to pack in an awesome plot.
  • James! Gah, there better be plenty of James in Midnight Thief is all I’m saying.
  • The writing of Poison Dance is quite high quality. It’s actually small/indie published (depending on your definitions), but I didn’t find a single typo or awkward phrase, so I doubt you would have even realized if I hadn’t told you ;-).
  • I’m so excited to go into Midnight Thief with a little bit more of the backstory of what I’m guessing is a secondary character. From Midnight Thief’s description, James is around but isn’t an MC, but I’m going to be reading his appearances in a whole new light knowing what I know now about him *pets*.


  •  The romance of Poison Dance felt a little bit rushed to me, but it is a novella. There is the mention that several weeks go by, so it’s not really as rushed as it feels to the reader. It is also a pretty darn complicated romance due to everything that is going on in Thalia’s life, so I’m not 100% sure exactly what happened with James and Thalia (it fades to black, hehe), but… it’s complicated. This leads into my next point…
  • More please? This is what novellas always do to me! I always wish that they could be stretched into longer stories so that I can find out more about what is going on in everyone’s heads. Basically, I need Midnight Thief please. *puppy eyes*


Poison Dance was an excellent introduction to Blackburne’s writing and the world of Midnight Thief. Previously I was interested (assassins!), but Midnight Thief was one of many fantasies on the list. Now, Midnight Thief is one of my top priorities for summer books and I’m quite sure I will devour it in a day or two. Go read Poison Dance, you’ll thank me ;-).

4.5 Stars
Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

– Anya


 Poison Dance by Livia Blackburne

© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. I read an enjoyed this too. I can’t wait until Midnight Thief! I want it NOW. I wanted a lot more from this too…mostly why I don’t love novelllas. I totally agree with you here…made me want more, well done writing but it did feel a tad rushed. I can’t wait to read more set in this world.

    • Yup, I generally just don’t read novellas at all, but this one did a great job selling me on Midnight Thief (as if I wasn’t already, haha)

  2. This novella got me so excited for Midnight Thief! I *believe* James is going to be a supporting character in it, which makes me think: if she did such a good job providing a background to a non MC in just a novella, how great will the actual book be? Can’t wait.
    Mogsy recently posted…Book Review: Only The Good Die Young by Chris Marie GreenMy Profile

    • Exactly! I agree about James’ role given the description of Midnight Thief and I’m sooooo pumped! I was getting teary reading Poison Dance and it wasn’t even 100 pages, what is she going to do to my feelings with a full book???

  3. This novella looks pretty interesting. I don’t generally read many, but I enjoy them occasionally as break between long books (stares at GRR Martin). It’s great to hear that it’s high quality even though it’s indie (or small-pubbed, whatever).

    • Haha, exactly! I’m also using novellas to boost my reading goal since after reading a 1,000 page book, I feel like I’m allowed to sneak in a short one and even it out ;-)

  4. This does look pretty cool…but I’m currently on a no prequel-novellas kick, at least until after I’ve read the full book. Although, if this one isn’t about any main characters in Midnight Thief…>.>
    Kel recently posted…Discussion: Reevaluating Book RatingsMy Profile

    • It’s not! I think it’s about a secondary character, so I’m excited about knowing this background going in ;-)


  1. […] 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 […]

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