Novella Review: Poison Dance (Midnight Thief 0.5) by Livia Blackburne

Author: Livia Blackburne
Series: Midnight Thief 0.5
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Lion's Quill Press
Publication Date: September 24, 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.

I love when a Novella can completely surprise me by feeling like a full length novel. Poison Dance follows an Assassin named James. His leader has been killed, his new boss doesn't trust him and then there's Thalia the beautiful dancing girl who is more than she appears to be. What's an Assassin to do?

What I loved about this Prequel Novella was how it set the world of Midnight Thief for the reader while still telling a tale all its own. I loved learning about James and how his Assassins guild is run. We get to see for a brief moment that being an Assassin doesn't just involve looking for your next kill but it also involves helping those who've been wronged and sometimes falling for the right girl under the wrong circumstances. The amount of details packed into this Novella is impressive and surely is a credit to the fantastic writing by its Author.

Another thing I liked was that it didn't shy away from the Violence. Being an Assassin is a messy job and it involves unpleasant things obviously such as murder. While the story is never gory it also doesn't shy away from showing the deaths of the damned. 

My only small issue with Poison Dance was the ending. I wanted to see a particular character bite the dust. Instead we only hear about his demise through the whispers of the townspeople narrating. Due to this the ending felt a bit rushed and a bit unsatisfying. Yes, the story wrapped all the events up nicely but I could've personally used more details in the process while it was achieving this. 

Final Thoughts
If you like Video games like Assassins Creed or book series such as His Fair Assassin then I highly suggest picking this one up and giving it a go. Poison Dance is a great introduction to the series and one that has certainly wet my appetite for Midnight Thief even more. With that being said, I will be rating Poison Dance by Livia Blackburne ★★★★.

*Copy reviewed received from Author. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in an which way  for providing them

Want to learn more about this Novella or the Author who wrote it? Click below!
Livia Blackburne:
Goodreads Page

Want to learn more about Midnight Thief? Click Here!


  1. I don't read novellas often but I do like prequels. I find they can offer a lot more as they can be long and meaningful and not just fruitless gaps between 2 books that weren't really necessary. Glad you liked it, love!


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