Review: Poison Dance by Livia Blackburne

Review: Poison Dance by Livia BlackburnePoison Dance by Livia Blackburne
Series: Midnight Thief #0.5
Published by Lion's Quill Press on September 24, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Short Stories
Pages: 86
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
AmazonThe Book Depository

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. Poison dance is approximately 14,000 words, or 54 printed pages.

As you probably know, I’m not much for novellas, but I will read them if I can get them for free one way or another. In this case, I was actually offered a review copy ages ago but I was indecisive until it was too late to respond. Then I was getting ready to start Midnight Thief and my brain was all “what about that thing?” so I went to look it up on Amazon. Lo and behold, it was available for free, so away I went. All told, Poison Dance is very much a novella and not super heavy on the plot, but it was intriguing enough that I’m pretty excited for Midnight Thief now.

Poison Dance follows James, an assassin, through the turbulent time after the death of the leader of the assassin’s guild. James is a really skilled assassin, so the new guy in power totally doesn’t trust James not to overthrow him. Much as James keeps trying to insist that he doesn’t want to be in power, Gerred insists on not trusting him. I feel like the main point of the novella is setting up the politics for the world in the series and, not having studied the blurb in detail, I’ll be curious to see which characters appear in Midnight Thief.

The characters in the novella are interesting, but the pace is fast enough and the text brief enough I didn’t have time to really emotionally attach. Still, it’s all good enough that I could see myself loving a full novel of this world. Blackburne’s world is most definitely promising, full of assassins and shady characters. Plus, I love how dark this novella gets. I like my fantasy nice and dark, and I get the feeling I might get that from Blackburne. Oh, also, there’s sex in it (fade to black, but still).

The epilogue is hilarious in just how damn much happens in there. It definitely felt like half the story was just thrown into that. Like, okay, it’s a novella, but that was some awesome stuff that just got skimmed over. The rest of the story was building to something and then it basically fast forwards through of all of that to give you a state of the union down the road.

The novella did what it was meant to in that it whet my appetite for the book to follow. Basically, I liked this, but I’m mostly wishing there were more of it and OH HEY there is a book.

Favorite Quote:

“I’ve no interest in being guildleader,” he finally said. “It’s like fighting to rule a privy. Ending up on top just puts you first to be pissed on.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif i want some more vampire

2 responses to “Review: Poison Dance by Livia Blackburne”

  1. fakesteph says:

    Hmmm… I’ve only read one novella, and I liked it, but I’m not sure I really see myself reading more.
    fakesteph recently posted…Threats of Sky and Sea by Jennifer EllisionMy Profile

  2. I felt the same way about this; I enjoyed it, but wasn’t crazy over it. It made me really excited for Midnight Thief though, and I actually preordered that (something I NEVER do!)
    Kayla @ The Thousand Lives recently posted…Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini TaylorMy Profile

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