Monday, July 7, 2014

Review: Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne

Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne
Publisher- Disney-Hyperion
Released- July 8th 2014
Purchase- Chapters / B & N

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.
My Thoughts:
Wow! Now this was impressive!
Midnight Thief, is a brilliant medieval fantasy adventure that was such a blast to read. I love fantasy books, but for whatever reason I really have to be in a certain mood to get into them, so color me shocked when I opened this book just to catch the first chapter, only to be instantly hooked. I could not put this down.

I can't believe this is Livia Blackburne debut novel. I'm in love with the way she can write. For some reason I thought this was a historical fantasy, which is why I was hesitant to pick this up at first, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that the dialogue was smooth and easy to absorb. The pacing and the flow was pitched perfectly for feeling out the characters, learning the plot points and enjoying the world building. It was beautifully detailed without being dull or dragged out by the usual politics I find in fantasy books. This just had pure intrigue, suspense and amazingly witty well developed and likeable characters that had me completely invested from minute one. I also really loved the twist and turns Blackthorn took, especially when we are introduced to the Markvani clan. At first I wasn't sure if I liked the direction the story was going. On one hand the clan is a very intriguing group, but I'm not overly fond of their customs and means of survival. 'For the good of the clan' seems barbaric and vicious, but  then I realized that it's not any different how manipulative the Council or the Guild's actions were when they wanted something done. It seems that the running theme is motivated for selfish gain no matter who is caught in the crossfire. Still, my conflicts aside, I have to admit that Blackburne is a skilled writer. The storyline wasn't as cut and dry as I thought, it's unpredictable and it kept me on my toes and entertained throughout the entire length of the novel.

With any fantasy I read comes with a large cast of characters and Midnight Thief is no different. But I truly loved every single one of them. The good and the bad.
Kyra is an amazing put together protagonist. She's an orphan living on the streets of Forge who has a specific skill set for thieving for food and lodging, but she's also a thrill seeker and loves a good challenge as well, something that always gets her into trouble. So when she took up the offer to join the Assassins Guild for more coin then she can count, despite feeling like something was wrong, she still accepted.  Kyra isn't a perfect character but her remorse, revenge and redemption was extremely commendable. But a big part of me believes that her faults weren't entirely her own. Yes, she made a bad decision that became to costly, but the Guild, Counsel and even the Markvani  seem to have their own agenda where she is concerned and tended to use her emotions against her. This makes it very hard to know who to trust and where her true allegiances lie, which is one of the factors I'm looking forward to seeing play out in future books.
Tristam was the second perspective we got next to Kyra and I'm very thankful for that since we learn more about him and his emotional situation first hand. He's a palace Knight that is clever and skilled in combat and strategy. He joined the city guards to avenge his friend, Jack who was killed by the Demon Riders who ride on ferocious wildcats. He's a firm but fair character who was easy to admire and respect for his kindness and morals.
Flick was also an instant character that I loved. I adored his banter, good humor and brotherly protective nature. He's one of the rare characters that I can faithfully depend on. At one point I even cared for James. I was easily charmed and deceived by his convincing tactics. There are also three secondary characters that I really liked but didn't make it. It surprised me how affected I felt at each lost. A testament to fantastic writing. 

There is no real romance in this one, but there are strong suggestions of attraction between Kyra and another character. Those moments were light, but very sweet and I'm greatly looking forward to seeing that being explored.
As for the ending, it wraps up quite nicely, which I found refreshing since fantasy novels tend to leave us on evil cliff-hangers, this book left me content, but I still  anticipate the potential and promise of so much more.  

Bottom line, I couldn't have love a book more. It has everything I like in  my escape. Incredible storytelling, action packed adventure with an amazing cast of characters. This is my new favorite fantasy and I can't wait to read the next book in this richly riveting and heart pounding new series. Loved!

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  1. I am dying to read this book. I keep reading great reviews for it. I'm also glad to hear that there's no romance really in the first novel. I prefer when the author drags it out a bit. Great review!

    Amber @ Fall Into Books

  2. This was definitely a fun book. Hope you enjoy it!:-)