Title: Poison Dance (Midnight Thief #0.5)
Author: Livie Blackburne
Publisher: Lion's Quill Press
Acquired Via: Author
Release Date: September 12, 2013
James is skilled, efficient, and deadly, a hired blade navigating the shifting alliances of a deteriorating Assassin’s Guild. Then he meets Thalia, an alluring but troubled dancing girl who offers him a way out—if he’ll help her kill a powerful nobleman. With the Guild falling apart, it just might be worth the risk. But when you live, breathe, and love in a world that’s forever flirting with death, the slightest misstep can be poison. Poison Dance is approximately 14,000 words, or 54 printed pages.
I received this novella from the author herself after I added her debut novel, The Midnight Thief, to my to-read shelf on Goodreads. I wanted to read The Midnight Thief because I love a good fantasy story about assassins. I usually don’t read novellas unless I know that the author added something in the novella I might need to know for an upcoming book. But, I agreed to read this novella because I figured I could get a good idea about her writing before picking up The Midnight Thief. I’m so glad that I was given the opportunity to read Poison Dance, because I really enjoyed the novella and now I can’t wait to see what Blackburne has in store for us with The Midnight Thief.
The author described Poison Dance as darker and heavier on the romance than in The Midnight Thief and stated that The Midnight Thief would be more YA than Poison Dance. I was surprised at how dark and gritty the ending of the novel was, and I loved the darker grittier story of Poison Dance, so I’m interested in seeing how much different The Midnight Thief will be.
Even though the novella is only 54 pages, Blackburne really packed a story in those 54 pages! I was honestly surprised at how well written and engrossing this novella was. The descriptions and dialogue felt true to the time period. For the novella to be so short, I felt that Blackburne gave us enough to be thoroughly interested in the world. I really felt like I got to know the characters, and I can’t wait to learn more about James in The Midnight Thief. (Although I’ve learned that James is only a side character in The Midnight Thief and not the main character. I kind of wish he was the main character, but can’t wait to see who else Blackburne creates!) I did think that Blackburne skimmed over some interesting parts (although apparently there is a deleted scene concerning this), but considering this is just a novella, I wasn’t overly bothered by it.
All in all, this was a great introduction into the world of The Midnight Thief. I really hope that Blackburne continues the great writing, great characters, and expounds on the world building in her full debut.
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.