I love me some corrupt kingdoms. I’m not saying, if I suddenly found myself transported into a fantasy novel (a la Kid in King Arthur’s Court) I’d want to live in one. I wouldn’t last long, I have zero survival skills. But I take a perverse glee in reading about them.
And the city of Forge in Livia Blackburne’s Midnight Thief is delightfully disreputable.
Midnight Thief is the story of Kyra, an uncommonly skilled thief who is invited to join the Assassin’s Guild as a spy in the Palace. It’s also the story of Tristam, a young knight set on getting justice for his best friend’s murder by a marauding clan Demon Riders terrorizing the city. But his investigation keeps getting thwarted by a certain thief…until they are forced to join forces.
So, for those of you playing at home, we’ve got: corrupt kingdom, huge gap between the wealthy and the poor, orphaned thieves, assassin’s guilds, murder, a hunger for justice, spying, star-crossed romance, and GIANT DEMON CATS BEING RIDDEN LIKE HORSES.
Good, now we’re all on the same page.
What Intrigued Me: Once again, I judged a book by it’s cover. But look at it! It’s so pretty and creepy! You’ve got the panther door knocker with the glowing eyes, the eerie blue stoney/metaly backgroundy thing. What is that? Is it a door? I kind of want to know what’s behind it but also really don’t want to know what’s behind it OH GOD DON’T OPEN THE DOOR!
What Hooked Me: A young rogue named Flick. 1) His name is Flick, the same as one of my favorite animated ants. 2) He is a noble’s illegitimate son, which are always more fun than the legitimate ones (except for you, Edmund. You know what you did). 3)He is a charm monster. A monster of charm. You cannot escape. Bow down now to your charming overlords.
What Made Me Fall In Love: The interweaving storyline.
Sorry, yes, pretentious, I know. Let’s ignore me and go back to when I was talking about charming boys.
But I love stories where separate plots weave together into a complex tapestry. They’re like puzzles (yes, I know, still pretentious). I have yet to develop the patience to write a story with interweaving narratives like that, as I keep getting distracted by shiny things like a cat.
But Blackburne does a great job of switching just when things are getting interesting so that you can’t stop reading. It’d be maddening if it wasn’t so much fun.
And if I didn’t have Flick to be such a charm monster…
Midnight Thief is available now through Amazon and at your local magical bookstore (let’s be real, all bookstores are magical). Buy a copy, don’t steal it, because that’s, you know, illegal.