Poison Dance is a novella set in the same world as a Livia Blackburne’s novel Midnight Thief. For all young adult fantasy fans eagerly waiting for Midnight Thief to be published in July 2014, Poison Dance is a perfect opportunity to get a sample of the world and characters they are going to meet.
Set in a medieval-like fantasy world, Poison Dance is a story about an assassin James and a dancer Thalia, who offers him help to escape from Assassin’s Guild if he trains her to kill a noble. While the training gets them to know each other better, slow-burning romance stats to develop, but Thalia’s inability to forget about vengeance might cost them their happiness…
For a novella, Poison Dance gives an an unexpected good back-story for James and Thalia so we can understand motives for their actions. Also, world building is very good, focused on just the facts we need to understand the story better. I rarely see novella that is this good, in fact many novels have less world building and characterisation.
One thing that adds to the medieval atmosphere in Poison Dance is use of some archaic words and sometimes strange building of sentences. Sadly, this effort was wasted on me, since I was only annoyed by it. I can not say for sure if this was the reason why I felt emotionally distanced from the characters or if it would have happened anyway.
How many pages does it take for an author to display his talent? For Livia Blackburne it only took about 50 pages or so. I can not wait to see if her debut novel Midnight Thief will have the same good characterisation, world-building and interesting characters.
BTW Poison Dance is currently FREE ebook for Kindle on Amazon, so it’s a perfect chance to grab it and check out what am I talking about.
Disclaimer: I was given a free eBook by the author in exchange for a honest review.
So, if you've been here long enough, you know about my complete obsession with love for the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. And because of that, I've been very scared hesitant to read other stories about assassins, for fear that I would only ever compare them to the ToG series, and they would of course never measure up.
Well, I managed to get past that to read Poison Dance, and I am so glad I did. It may only be a short story, but don't be fooled. It is a complex, intricate, complete story all on its own.
James is an assassin, just wanting to do his job without getting into the politics of the Guild. Then, he is approached by Thalia, a dancing girl with a huge and dangerous request.
This is what everyone looks for in a fantasy novel. Although it is short, it was very beautifully written. The building of the world, the Assassin's Guild, and everything that is going on is explained very well, without taking up so much of the already short story. The story is engaging from the start, and will keep you glued to the pages, wanting to know how it ends up and how it plays into Midnight Thief.
James is only a supporting character in Midnight Thief, which makes me sad because I want more of him, his story. BUT this also has made me even more excited for Midnight Thief when it comes out. You're telling me I have to wait until July??
So, basically, I loved this, and you need to read it. Now.
I received an ebook copy from the author in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way, except for that I need Midnight Thief even more now.