Author: Livia Blackburne
Series: Midnight Thief, #1
Growing up on the streets has equipped Kyra with a lot of skills, the most useful of which is thievery. Kyra is a master thief who makes a living using her superior skills of stealth and agility to steal. When she is approached by James, the leader of the Assassins Guild, and offered a cozy fee for her particular skills, she is reluctant. But the responsibility she feels for a pair of orphans living on the streets and the lack of money coming her way persuades her to reconsider.
Tristam and the other knights of Forge are dealing with the Demon Riders, a warrior people who are raiding the city with the help of their beastly cats. But this isn’t the only thing he has to worry about when the security of the Ministry of Defense is continuously compromised by a skilled thief. Tristam is determined to catch the culprit and when the two eventually cross paths they’ll discover that working together may be the only way to protect the city.
Her spirits lifted as she climbed. This was what she could do, and do well. Kyra was aware of her audience and, after the day’s frustrations, couldn’t resist showing off a little. Her swings were higher than usual, and her final jump from the stonework to the window perhaps more dramatic than it needed to be.”
Livia Blackburne’s Midnight Thief really surprised me. I’ve been seeing quite a few negative reviews, so I was a little reluctant to pick this one up. My favorite part about this book is that no one is who they appear to be and as the story unfolds, the true character of these individuals is revealed. Kyra, though she is young, has spent her whole life on the streets and has proven how resilient and resourceful she can be. When she joins the Assassins Guild, she must prove herself once again. But this group also pushes Kyra to a point where she must decide how much she is willing to give in order to satisfy the expectations it has of her. Another wrinkle that plays an important role in Kyra’s journey is the mystery of her own past and though we learn a lot about where Kyra comes from, we don’t learn everything and I’m really looking forward to seeing how this mystery unravels further.
Tristam never expected to work for the Ministry of Defense. Unlike a lot of his comrades, Tristam comes from a life of privilege but when he witnesses the death of his closest friend, Tristam is determined to stop the Demon Riders from taking any more lives. Tristam’s greatest fault is his idealistic view of reality. He believes he is on the good side and anyone working against the Ministry is on the wrong side. When he meets Kyra, he assumes the worst about her, but eventual begins to see the cracks in his own worldview. Tristam and Kyra live in very different worlds and it was refreshing to read a book where the two leads have their own separate responsibilities and struggles, and it never felt like Blackburne was forcing these two lives to collide.
There were a couple of characters that I never could get a good handle on in this book. Kyra’s best friend Flint functions as her protective older brother, but I never saw enough of him to understand exactly who he is. This also goes for the character James, whom Kyra feels herself drawn to. Most of the time the two of them were together, I couldn’t really figure out if he was genuinely interested in her or not. Pashla, one of the Demon Riders, is my favorite secondary character who we get to meet later in the book. Though ferocious, there is a part of her that is more gentle than the other riders and she understands Kyra better than anyone else. Overall, I really enjoyed Midnight Thief and plan to pick up its sequel.