Thursday, July 3, 2014

Review: THE MIDNIGHT THIEF by Livia Blackburne

Title: Midnight Thief
Author: Livia Blackburne
Publication date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: an ARC provided by the publisher for an honest review

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.

If you missed it a couple weeks ago, I interviewed Livia, pumping her for information and answers. And if you read it, you'd get the gist that I absolutely loved it. It's also her debut so I'm even more impressed with it. 

Reasons why I loved this: 

1. Characters. Was there a character I didn't like? Um, no. Although there were characters I didn't root for, that doesn't mean I didn't like them. They were diverse and contributed to the story in their own way. I instantly felt connected with Kyra, which deserves an award on its own considering it's third person. Third person POVs can be a hit or miss, but Midnight Thief hit a bullseye from the start. Have you ever read a book that involved a character you didn't mind if you never read about again because you felt like they just wasted space? For me, all the characters—Flick, Bella, the sisters, James, Tristam—made me love the story a little bit more.

2. Illegal doings. That sounds so wrong, but it's so true. There's thievery! Kyra is a thief and has been for most of her life just so that she can survive. Because of her natural talent to climb things, she's recruited by James to help the Assassin's Guild. More illegal doings! I hate to say it, but it makes fiction (and fantasy fiction) more exciting. 

3. FANTASY. Because of the obvious. 

In case you don't know the obvious, fantasy has been rockin' for me so far this year, especially this summer. Interesting new worlds, a whole new and exciting set of problems, great world building, and magical elements. I can't get enough of it and Midnight Thief definitely kept the fire going.

4. Hook, line, and sinker. We meet Kyra. We meet the people close to her. We follow her as she helps the Assassin's Guild. Something happens. She doubts. We care about Tristam. We care about Kyra. We go on an adventure! We meet new people. We discover things. We're left hungrily waiting for more. Livia needs to hurry up with that sequel, ya'll. 

5. The history. In my interview, I asked about how her background influences her writing and the names she chose for the book. I won't repeat what was said (you can click here to read it), but knowing the history behind her decisions and influences made me love the book even more. Then I found out that there is NO love triangle in the works and that made me appreciate her so much. 

Verdict: A book that made me stay up late to finish it and made me think about it a long time after would be considered a win for me. 


  1. "Illegal doings?" That sounds fun. :) It's hard to get me to like a fantasy book - the author has to be brilliant at world building - but everything you've said about this book is tempting. You may just wear me down on this one.

  2. As you know, I really enjoyed your interview with Livia Blackburne. I think you asked all the right questions while keeping the mood light and fun. I think this review mirrors what you did with the interview. They go very well together! Great job! Plus, you have me all kinds of excited for THIS BOOK! All the points you hit, make the Midnight Thief sound even better! I can't wait to check it out! :)

    Marlene @ The Flyleaf Review

  3. I'm so happy to hear even more great things about this book! I'm right there with you - how can we not love a fantasy/thief/assassin story?! That's a recipe for one awesome book. Thankfully the potential doesn't seem to go to waste. Also, thank GOODNESS there is no love triangle in the works. I was really worried there for a while.
    Excellent review, Summer!

  4. I'm so excited for this book! And that's interesting that third person POV is hit and miss for you. I tend to have a harder time finding first person narratives I like.

  5. This is the second positive review I've read of this book today, Summer. Nice to see you enjoyed it so much! Great review! :)

  6. Yay, I'm so glad you ended up loving this one, too, Summer! I forget...did you read the prequel first? If not, you should read it now -- it's FREE. I'm interested to see if it will change how you feel about certain characters. ;) I loved all of the illegal bits, too. That's always my favorite aspect of a fantasy novel.