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 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.
Three Stars: A book that starts out strong, and finishes weak.
Kyra melts into the shadows, she is on a mission to find a valuable ruby even though the task is exceedingly dangerous. To her dismay, the ruby is nowhere to be found in the wealthy man's chambers, and Kyra must return to the man who hired her empty handed. A long night's work for no pay out. Kyra is surprised to discover that James is willing to pay her anyway. Later, Kyra learns that there never was a ruby and James was only testing her. Soon James returns with a dangerous but lucrative offer. Kyra can become a part of the Assassin's Guild, an elite group determined to take down the wealthy or continue to try and make ends meet as a thief. Before long, Kyra finds herself in way over her head and everyone she loves is in danger. Will Kyra be able to save herself and her friends?
What I Liked:
- This book opens strongly. I was immediately drawn in by Kyra's skill as a thief and I liked watching her in action. There is plenty of danger, adventure and mystery in the first half that kept me engaged.
- This is a fantasy book set in the typical medieval times. So you can expect knights, peasants, horses and all that. I appreciated that the world building was straight forward and easy to understand. There aren't any foreign languages or vast worlds to absorb. It takes place in a city and the surrounding woods. Easy and simple to understand.
- While most readers might be a bit disappointed that there isn't a romance, I was rather pleased to find that this didn't delve into that all too familiar territory. I was even worried at one point that a love triangle might be in the works, but thankfully, that didn't happen. A foundation is laid out for the possibility of a relationship, but as far as this book goes there are only a few sparks and nothing further. So if you are looking for romance, this won't be the book for you.
- Surprisingly, there wasn't a cliffhanger either. Everything wraps up and new threads are set up for the next book, but nothing was left hanging. How often do you find a book in the YA that is the first in the series that doesn't have a romance or a cliffhanger?
And The Not So Much:
- While I loved the first half of the book, the second part fell off the tracks for me. There is a big reveal and at that point the story changes dramatically, to the point where it almost feels like a different book. I thought the second half paled in comparison to the first part.
- Kyra is a hard character for me to gage. In the beginning, she comes across as a sympathetic character. She had a hard life as an orphan, nearly starving on the streets until she made a friend. Kyra becomes an effective and efficient thief who is just getting by when she meets James and joins the Assassin's Guild. At this point, Kyra becomes wishy washy and her loyalty wavers. By the end of the book, I wasn't sure how I felt about her. She wasn't a character whom I connected with, and she ended up just being the vehicle for the story. I think my biggest issues with her were her questionable decisions. If you don't want to kill people, then why join up with assassins?
- I felt like other than Kyra, James and Tristam, the rest of the characters were underdeveloped, especially when it comes to the Demon Riders. I knew so little about these Demon Riders, and in the end, I didn't like them. Kyra's friend, Flick, starts off as a seemingly important character and then he fades out. I was expecting more from him and I was curious as to how he and Tristam knew one another? Overall, I struggled to connect with any of the characters in the book.
- While on one hand I appreciated that the book didn't mire down in extensive detail with the world building, I thought that some parts were weak. The author uses the familiar setting of the wealthy controlling the city while the rest of the peasants are barely scraping by causing a rift between the classes. Yet, there is little discussion on the whole societal set up. There is a king, some knights and a council and the rest is left to you to decide. Then you have the demon riders, shapeshifters who are raiding the country side and terrorizing the humans, but once again, there is little explanation on the why, and you only get a glimpse of their lifestyle.
- There is a lot of turmoil and loyalties shift a few times in the book. It got to the point, where this caused me not to like any of the characters except for Tristam, and even then I didn't like that he was willing to put a loyal friend's life in danger. All the turmoil left me feeling detached.
The Midnight Thief is by no means a bad book, it just wasn't a read that I was able to fully connect with due to the limited world building and the lack of character development along with shifting alliances. I felt the first half of the book started out strong and solid, but then the story faltered once the paranormal portion enters the picture. If you are a fan of fantasy books, you will likely enjoy this. I liked it but I wanted to love it. Still I will keep an open mind regarding the sequel.
"Sometimes, when you look more closely at your enemies, they start looking less like enemies."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.