Goodreads Rating: 3.70
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.
This was a great book that actually grew on my the more I read it. In the beginning, I would have rated this about a 2.5; there was nothing necessarily bad about it but nothing was wow-ing me. But by the end, I was pleasantly surprised at a number of occurrences and ended up really liking the story and the characters :)
So because I've had the pleasure of having "Throne of Glass" by Sarah J. Maas as my first book to talk about assassins, guilds and thieves in a fantasy/medieval-like setting, I find myself comparing similar characters to Celaena. Now I realize Kyra is a thief and Celaena is an assassin, Celaena still reins supreme and could absolutely kick Kyra's butt if needed. HOWEVER! Kyra has her perks. I actually think Celaena and Kyra would be great friends :) Kyra is a very caring person who looks out for her loved ones but is also very ambitious and gets caught up in trying to prove herself to others. Many people see her as the weak, frail, little girl but I saw someone who has hardened through hardship without being completely heartless. Kyra makes mistakes, sometimes a lot, and she isn't my favorite heroine, but she's an interesting character that I did enjoy. I really loved her relationships with her "family" and Pashla especially :)
Tristam is the same. He didn't 100% wow me, but I did enjoy him. He is the honorable knight who tries to do right by his friends, soldiers and city. Overall, the typical, all-around good guy. A knight mixing with a thief though? Well, let's just say that's interesting. To put it simply, I loved his relationship with Kyra from beginning to end :)
James... is an interesting antagonist. I really liked that he is the kind of "villain" who was trying to do good. A person motivated by the wrong-doings in his city, does what he does to try and change it for the better. "You can't change a river's course with a shovel. You need an earthquake." I feel that quote describes him pretty well.
I really enjoyed the premise of this story. Thief joins an assassins guild to try and strike back against the city officials to try and make lives in the city better. We add in some Demon Riders, barbarians riding on the backs of large cats, and we spice it up a bit. We now see Kyra struggling to stay who she is in the Assassins Guild (side note: many people are upset that she didn't like killing but joined an assassins guild... she joined for the sake of people she cared for and was told she wouldn't be killing anyone and that she would be lending her skills... just felt the need to point that out). Things begin to go wrong in a hurry and finds herself, with the help of Tristam, helping to stop the raids happening throughout the city by the Demon Riders. Toward the end, I really enjoyed the Demon Riders, and when you read the book, you will find out why ;) Along the way, we find conspiracy and secrets around every corner and most of which, I didn't see coming.
For those of you that like romance, there is some here but not as "in your face" as other YA books. That's one thing I liked is the romance is a side note. A little "huh he's kind of attractive" and then moving on with the story. Not, "he makes my tummy feel funny" mentioned every couple pages just to remind the reader that that the main character has feelings for another character. I got the idea that Kyra was attracted to another character, but it wasn't vomit inducing.
The ending wasn't an "omg" worthy cliffhanger. The story ended for the most part. It left you with enough questions and a path for the sequel but it doesn't make me want to be like "I neeeeeed to read the next book to see what happens." And that's fine :)
The Court's Decision: