Booked til Tuesday

Life, Law & Libros

Poison Dance by Livia Blackburne (3 stars)

Poison Dance is a prequel novella to Livia Blackburne's debut YA novel, Midnight Thief, due out in July this year. It's short and, as a result, skipped over scenes/information I would have liked to see; but it's a novella, so...I guess short is kind of required?

This copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Poison Dance by Livia Blackburne
Series: Midnight Thief #0.5
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Published on September 24, 2013
Published by Lion's Quill Press
Final Rating: 3 stars

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.

What I liked:
  • The world, or at least the little glimpse I got. I know there's a palace, corrupt nobles, an Assassin's Guild, trade caravans and taverns full of dancing wenches and drunken brawls. Sounds like a good start to a fantasy world to me. :)
  • On the whole, I liked the characters well enough. James, Bacchus, Rand a little more so than Thalia (for reasons stated below), and I would be happy to read more about them.

What I didn't like:
  • Thalia, or at least her "plan." I did not understand her reasoning for throwing herself into a horrible situation with "scouting" in mind. You may not get another shot. Make sure you're fully prepared (with several backup plans) the first time. Thus, all the pain and suffering she went through? I couldn't feel bad for her. It seemed self-inflicted. :P

Final Thoughts:
It's a quick read, but I enjoyed it well enough, and it definitely has me looking forward to the novel, which is the point. :) (On a side note, yay third person point-of-view narration!)


  1. the novel just arrived in the mail so I'll totally have to read this asap!

    1. You got Midnight Thief already? Lucky!

  2. On a side note though (I'm not really happy with the trend of YA genre short stories coming out unless they are free or up on say as free shorts as well.) so hopefully this one doesn't cost $$ or I'll likely skip it.

    1. I know what you mean. With a few exceptions, these are appetizers/advertising for your novel. You want people to read it, not run away from the price.

      I got this one straight from the author, but I just checked and it looks like it's free on the Kindle. :D

  3. Wahhh, I really liked this novella! I was actually the first to read it (perks of knowing the author), and I was super impressed. Now that I have the actual book, I'm itching to see how the novella gives us context. I dislike novellas in general - I think they're a waste of time, effort, money, etc., but I thought this was really represented what a novella should be like! Also, it's free :D

    Anyway. I ramble. Excellent review, Kel!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. You know the author? That's awesome! I'm definitely itching to read Midnight Thief now.

      And I know exactly what you mean. Free novellas, yes. Expensive novellas, no. :)

  4. I really want The Midnight thief BADLY so this is just a natural want as well.Love assasin hate girls who rush into danger without thinking. Cant wait to see what i think of it :-)

    1. I know what you mean! I'm pretty excited for Midnight Thief. I'm pretty sure this novella is free on Amazon, so happy reading and I hope you like it! :)