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 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 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. In her arresting debut novel, Livia Blackburne creates a captivating world where intrigue prowls around every corner-and danger is a way of life. Praise for Midnight Thief "Blackburne's fast-paced fantasy will please fans of Leigh Bardugo and Tamora Pierce."
-School Library Journal
-School Library Journal
- Hardback | 380 pages
- 147 x 216 x 31.75mm | 561g
- 21 Aug 2014
- Disney Publishing Worldwide
- New York, United States
A lifetime of thieving to make ends meet on the streets of Forge has left seventeen-year-old Kyra a bit morally flexible, so when she's approached by the leader of the Assassins Guild to put her sneaking skills to use fighting the "fatpurse" nobles, she accepts. Her first kill, however, sends her into a guilt-ridden tailspin and she flees. When she's eventually captured by the Palace Guard, she realizes (along with the help of a handsome young knight) that her activities with the Guild were actually assisting the advancement of the Demon Riders, a group of rebel barbarians responsible for brutal attacks in the countryside. Blackburne offers up a complex world where no one is entirely evil or good, and even those wrestling for power through less than civil means are inspired by noble intentions. Kyra is an appealing heroine, confident in her physical prowess but insecure in her identity, and teenagers in particular may relate to her increasing frustration as her attempts to establish her independence and her own beliefs are constantly thwarted by the powers that be. The romance between Kyra and Tristam, the knight, unfolds sweetly, but it's Kyra's journey toward self-discovery, especially as her childhood connection to the Demon Riders is revealed, that takes precedence. There are plenty of narrow escapes, thrilling chases, and tender kisses to accompany the more thoughtful elements here, too, and readers will be pleased with a satisfactory conclusion that leaves room for a sequel or two. KQG BCCB"
About Livia Blackburne
Livia Blackburne has a PhD in neuroscience from MIT, where she conducted research on the neural correlates of reading. She still blogs on the intersection of writing and brain science (liviablackburne.com). She lives in Los Angeles with her husband. This is her debut novel.
Our customer reviews
Livia Blackburne reached out to me a while ago and asked if I would review her prequel novella to Midnight Thief, Poison Dance (which I loved)! So when I read Midnight Thief I already had a bit of an introduction to some of the characters and world. I believe this enhanced my reading experience of Midnight Thief, because I already felt connected to this story. And while Midnight Thief is different than Poison Dance (it's more YA while Poison feels more NA) I loved it in its own way. Reasons to Read: 1. Family is more than blood: I appreciate stories where the main character has a supportive, loving family but I understand that the traditional approach to this isn't the reality for very many characters. I liked how Kyra (an orphan) makes up her own little family - it's far from perfect, but it's just right for Kyra. And it's so beautiful to see how these characters actively choose to love and care for one another. 2. A surprising plot: It doesn't too happen too often that I am truly shocked by a book, but Midnight Thief ended up completely catching me off guard. It's a very well-woven story which delicately hints at what may transpire in future events, but this is accomplished cleverly. Plus, the story developments just fit so well with the book and made so much sense! It was clearly a well-thought out story and carefully planned by Livia. 3. Flawed characters: The characters in Midnight Thief are far from perfect, and Kyra is no exception. She doesn't excel at everything, she has her own struggles that she has to work on. But I like that she focuses on doing her own thing, despite what others may think. She has some growing to do, and we can already see that taking place during Midnight Thief. As do many of the other characters. James is actually a perfect example of this - and it was very interesting for me to see what he is like in Midnight Thief, after reading about him in Poison Dance. While the romance wasn't the most exciting part of the book for me, I really liked how it was featured in Midnight Thief. It's very realistic and definitely doesn't overshadow the rest of the story. I'm hoping for a bit more world building in later books, because it's only briefly touched upon in Midnight Thief. It seemed to me that there was a reason for this, which had to do with some revelations towards the end of the book. ARC received from Hachette Book Group Canada for review; no other compensation was received.show moreby Brenna Staats
This book surprised me. I bought it because I thought I would like it. And then I got accepted on NetGalley about a month before release as well. But I didn't read it. I'm not sure why. I just didn't feel like it, despite thinking I would like it. But I'm glad I waited for my hardcover. As it was better to read, hih. Thing is, I had some issues with the beginning of this book. Which I will try to explain. But then. The last half of the book. I liked it so much. I found it to be exciting and amazing. Which is why I'm rating this book a four star. Thought about rating it with three stars, but then, I did love the last parts of the book. Sigh. I'm going to start with the beginning. I had issues with it. And I really thought I wouldn't like this book. I didn't manage to connect at all. And I was worried. I was worried because main character, Kyra, was spending time with this older man, James. And my god. I didn't like him at all. But she did. And it disgusted me a little. As he was probably above thirty. And she was maybe seventeen. And to me, it didn't feel right at all. Especially as there was nothing to like about James. He was not a good person. Not kind. Not handsome. Not a good man. Sigh. But it changed. The book changed. And I started liking it more. Which surprised me. I didn't think I would grow to care for it. But I did. And I'm so happy. Because I mostly loved Midnight Thief. I'm just trying to think of what to say. I won't talk more about the beginning. Just that I didn't like it much. And I'm not sure why. I just had issues with it. Sigh. But I'm glad I decided to stick with the book. Because it did get better. And I did start loving Kyra more. And Tristam. Sigh. And the plot. The story was very good in this book. Not so much in the beginning, but it got so much better. And I loved reading about everything. I grew to like the writing. Which pleased me, hih. As it doesn't happen that often. Midnight Thief is told from two different point of views. At first I thought it would bother me, but then I started loving them both. And wanted to read from them both. Which was a good thing. As Kyra and Tristam were amazing. Sigh. I adored Kyra. I loved reading about her past. And her present. How she grew up. Sniffs. Not all that awful, but still heartbreaking. I just wanted her to be happy. And I loved reading about her friends. Like Flick. Thought there might be romance, but, thankfully, none at all. Then there is Tristam. And hm. I just realized that we don't get to know all that much about him. Or wait. There might just not have been that much to know. But I still managed to love him. He was awesome to read about. And oh, how I wanted the romance between him and Kyra. It is a little bit. But not that much. But still enough to make my heart happy. I just need book two; because I have such high hopes for Tristam and Kyra.show moreby Carina Olsen
I had high expectations for this one, I think it's because the synopsis makes it sound just like my type of book---I mean, knights, thieves, assassins, demon riders, the fact that the main characters are "enemies who realize that their best chance at survival is to join forces", but sadly the whole thing turned out to be just a forgettable story about a girl, Kira, who can climb really tall buildings and is blackmailed into doing a bunch of stuff she doesn't want to. I struggled to read the first 100 pages or so, because it's like nothing happens and Kira is not interesting enough to make such a slow start worth it. Afterwards the story gets a tiny little bit more compelling, Kira starts working for the Assassin's Guild (against her will), and the whole time I was rooting for her to do the right thing, but yet again, I ended up disappointed. At some point, the story takes a turn to the weird road, and suddenly there's shapeshifters eating people, AH!! Look, I love stories about shapeshifters, LOVE IT, and I understand what the author was trying to do here, BUT after Kira is taken by the demon people, I felt like I was reading a different book altogether, and everything that happens during that part of the story made me seriously uncomfortable, and to be honest, sick, because when that guy gets eaten... *SHUDDERS* The romance: boring. Honestly, I just couldn't care if Kira and Tristam ended up together or not. The secondary characters: James is despicable, Idalee, Lettie and Bella are okay, and Flick is really the only character I liked, a shame he is only in a couple of scenes. Obviously I had lots of problems with this book, but the thing that bothered me the most was how Kira kept being forced to do things she didn't want to, and I mean, during *the whole book*, it's like she doesn't have a will of her own. I understand that she was trying to protect her friends, but still, I wish that for once she could have put herself first. Sure, it's great to do stuff for your friends, especially if they're helpless and you know you HAVE to do something or else, but if this means that you're gonna end up doing horrible things then maybe you need to take a step back and rethink your life choices. Can't recommend it. (I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley.)show moreby Carla *jen7waters*