Title: Midnight Thief
Author: Livia Blackburne
Growing up on Forge’s streets had 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 won, and she’s not sure she wants to play by his rules. But he is 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 the 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 defensed with remarkable ease.
When a fateful raid throws Kyra and Trisam together, the two enemies realize 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.
In her arresting debut novel, Livia Blackburne creates a captivating world where intrigue prowls around every corner- and danger is a way of life.
Why I liked it:
While it does have a few YA fiction trends, it doesn’t read like the run of the mill YA fantasy. Kyra’s path isn’t immediately evident in the first third of the book which is really nice. It’s good to know that there can still be a few plot twists in YA fantasy reading. I still enjoyed the Assassins Guild, the historical feeling of the setting, the class system, and the rough and tough young woman. Kyra is searching for a place to fit in, but she doesn’t let it weigh her down. She recognizes her talents and uses them to her advantage, and she doesn’t let her confusing feelings for the male characters get in the way of her journey. I feel it’s so important to stress in YA literature that romance is okay but conforming to a guy is not. There is plenty of action, some great secrets that are revealed, and a theme about letting go of the past to try and embrace the present.
Why I didn’t like it:
This is not a story with a love triangle (I actually really like that, but I needed to say that to make a point). Kyra understands the difference between physical attraction and love, and let’s face it, we’re all attracted to multiple people. Having said that, the chemistry between her and James is far more interesting than the chemistry between her and Tristam. It is a two-book series, and the relationship does grow more in the second book, but Tristam is kind of boring. I do understand the contrast he makes against the darker characters, but there’s not even enough internal conflict inside him to make him all that interesting in this first book.
Who will like it
I feel like readers of the Shadow and Bone series by Leigh Bardugo might like it. The development of the romantic relationships are almost unbearable in Bardugo’s series, but the idea of a female character torn by the fact that she’s been led horribly astray by someone she trusted is a big theme in both books.