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.
In her arresting debut novel, Livia Blackburne creates a captivating world where intrigue prowls around every corner—and danger is a way of life.
The first part of this book was verrrrrrry boringgg. The main character was very tiring and there wasn’t much of a plot. Well, I should say there was a plot but it was a boring one. Let’s get down to it.
Meet Kyra, your typical oh-so-gifted main character in a very vague setting that we hardly know about. She is a seventeen year old thief in the country (city? town?) called Forge, where there are Red Shields and knights. So we can get that it’s a fantasy novel based on the presence of knights, but I’m still not sure on who exactly rules the whole place. There is a Palace Council, and the highest ranking offical we see is a Council member. But are the Council members the people who live in the palace? And is there a King or Queen or a head councilman or what? Anyway, the world isn’t very clear-cut and everything is just really vague.
Kyra is super talented at being a thief – so talented she never uses a weapon! So talented every single fucking person praises her and people who used to look down at her are sooo surprised when she uses her skills.
“She’d been different from the others. Younger, smaller, and darker, strange in the way she moved and hid in the shadows. The other children had given her a wide berth. They’d feared her, even though she was too small to pose a danger to anyone.”
Yes, so talented and so special, all the guys are like,
I have to admit though, the romance aspect in the story is quite well done. There’s a triangle, but one of the sides of the triangle is dotted because let’s be real you know that one of the guys is just there to increase the tension and provide plot. Otherwise, the relationship is quite steady throughout the book and not overwhelming. (However, there is the typical blushing, feeling warmth from skin, and the like.)
Tristam, from the blurb, is the oh-so-honorable male character that is originally against Kyra, as he is a knight working for the Palace (whatever that is). When she turns sides, however, they start working together and he’s a very sweet character, and he definitely cares for her, which you can tell by his actions.
James, the leader of the Assassin’s Guild that Kyra joins, was quite manipulative and did a lot of things that we never really get to understand. Why did he make an alliance with the Demon Riders, other than the fact he didn’t like the Palace people? He chose Kyra as a thief in the beginning, but never really explained why he needed her. Silly man, now all we know is that you like to lead little girls on (I’m pretty sure he’s quite older than her) and cause rebellions because you’re a sad man.
Speaking of Demon Riders, this was some random concept foisted on us throughout the book. They ride big cats, and they raid the
village city country that Kyra lives in.
“‘The villagers say the Demon Riders raise their cats like their own children, nursing them at their own breasts. They say that’s how the cats grow so big, and why the cats are so obedient to their masters.'”
That’s very interesting, even though I’m not sure where they came from (other than being kicked out of some other human settlement) and how their clans work. I mean, there’s quite a twist near the end of the story that I’m pretty sure most people saw coming, but we get to find out a little bit more about these Demon Riders that makes the story stand out a lot. It was probably the most the story had going, despite the lack of background for such majestic creatures.
This is how I saw them: (thanks Princess Mononoke)
One of the biggest problems for me in this book was Kyra. She has some good sides, (excluding her oh-so-wonderful talents at being a thief) such as caring for young children. But she also vacillated so much during the book. One minute she’s like “Oh! Imma join the Assassin’s Guild!” and the next minute she’s “Goddamn they’re making me do stuff I don’t want to do, guess I’ll pair up with the Palace” and the next, “I can’t believe I’d betray the person who helped me so much I mean I feel bad but I’m going to do it anyway lol.” This oscillation between parties make her seem really weak. She’s taking the easy way out and by doing so, leaves so much enemies in her wake. Like girl, get your fucking head in the game and either start doing things for yourself or stop jumping cliques.
While I really enjoyed the awesome Demon Riders and the brave, foolish knight character, our main heroine was just too tiring to read about. In addition, the limited world construction really puts a downer in things, as it never really got me interested in the world and just left me confused and scratching my head. Good thing the writing was simple and easy to read, or else I would never have gotten past the first hundred pages. I’m definitely going to read the sequel, if only just to see how the story ends and if the Demon Riders get their spotlight (and to see Kyra grow a pair).