The Midnight Thief- Livia Blackburne

Synopsis: 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 defences 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.

 

Violence

An assassin’s guild seeks out Kyra for her thieving skills, offering her work. Although she’s being trained by an assassin (still adamant she won’t kill another human being), she ends up doing what she’s taught and slitting a man’s throat. When the cat within her wakes up, she’s filled with bloodlust and struggles to hold on to her humanity. When she engages in a battle, one-on-one, she transforms into a cat and forces herself just to knock the man unconscious, not to kill him.

Other characters are held at gunpoint, killed by, engaging in battles with soldiers, assassins or the Demon Riders.  They sustain injuries and a character dies from a fire. Another is kicked by a horse. Someone is poisoned by a blade that cut their arm, characters are hit and two cats fight to the death.

The cats kill and injure people; holds a man’s arm in their mouth (attached to the body).

Mention of someone jumping off a cliff, past raids and battles and if the assassin’s killed certain people or not.

 

Romance

Insinuations are made to Kyra about one of her relationships, to which she remarks, “I’m no alehouse wh*re!” She almost kisses one character and does kiss another. Kyra is warned by the former about the relationships between nobles and normal people.

A character’s mother had been the mistress of a noble.  A character’s previous lover had died. A drunk man kisses the barmaid.

Rumours circulate that the Demon Riders nursed the young cats themselves. Talk of mistresses and Trystam is adamant he will never have one and that he’ll be faithful to his wife.

 

Alcohol/Substance

Some of the book takes place in a tavern; flagons of ale, barmaids and drunks set the scene. Characters drug the dogs. Blades are poisoned (amongst other things) and Kyra is threatened into service by withholding the antidote.

 

Authority/Other

The poor sometimes steal to make ends meet. There’s talk of slavery, a mention of gambling and the grumblings of the poor about the misuse of the nobles, who take and do not govern well.

 

Language

B*stard son, demon riders and wh*re make their way into the dialogue.

 

Religion

n/a.

 

Overall feel: A fantasy with no spellcasting. An assassin with a rebellion. A knight with a need for revenge. A woman with the power to shift into a cat… and a girl caught up in it all.

The book is exciting with action, intrigue and enough twists to keep you wondering which side is right. Delving into whether killing is right or wrong, the revenge that a knight will not take because he won’t stand for murder and the guilt a girl is left with after accidentally slitting a man’s throat.

With violence present throughout the book and described, as well as a few references to mistresses and drunks, Midnight Thief will be better for older audiences.

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