(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by Disney-Hyperion on August 4th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
After learning the truth about her bloodlines, Kyra can't help but feel like a monster. Though she's formed a tentative alliance with the Palace, Kyra must keep her identity a secret or risk being hunted like the rest of her Demon Rider kin. Tristam and the imprisoned assassin James are among the few who know about her heritage, but when Tristam reveals a heartbreaking secret of his own, Kyra's not sure she can trust him. And with James's fate in the hands of the palace, Kyra fears that he will give her away to save himself.As tensions rise within Forge's Council, and vicious Demon Rider attacks continue in surrounding villages, Kyra knows she must do something to save her city. But she walks a dangerous line between opposing armies: will she be able to use her link to the Demon Riders for good, or will her Makvani blood prove to be deadly?In this spellbinding sequel to Midnight Thief, Kyra and Tristam face their biggest battle yet as they grapple with changing allegiances, shocking deceit, and vengeful opponents.Praise for Midnight Thief Indies Introduce New Voices selection for Summer/Fall 2014 "Blackburne's fast-paced fantasy will please fans of Leigh Bardugo and Tamora Pierce." -School Library Journal "[A] dark, morally complex adventure." -Kirkus Reviews "Put this in the hands of fans of Suzanne Collins and Veronica Roth." -VOYA "Blackburne's high fantasy is expansive, with entertaining characters and a well-constructed world." -Booklist
Last year I happened upon a book called Midnight Thief and if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, definitely do so. As soon as I saw the galley of book two, Daughter of Dusk, I had to request it. I won’t spend a ton of time on the back story here but if you haven’t had a chance to read book one yet, you might want to hold on reading the rest of this review as Daughter of Dusk picks up shortly after book one ends.
Kyra is in a bit of an odd spot. She knows more about her heritage and the few people she trusts (Tristam and Flick) and one she doesn’t (James) know about her secret, but because of the choices she made, she isn’t accepted by the Makvani.
In addition to that, Kyra is now working for the Defense Minister, Malikel to hunt down the members of the Assassin’s Guild. Because of her ability to hunt and climb, she is an invaluable resource to the group but not everyone thinks she belongs. She is still looked at as a thief and a gutter rat by the group and it makes things tough for her. Trying to keep a balance as well as not give away her secret is taking its toll on Kyra.
The Demon Riders are continuing to raid villages which is also creating a lot of fear amongst the Council and as a result, the head councilman, Willem, is using that to his advantage. In his bid to get rid of Malikel and eventually take over leadership of Forge, he is using the Demon Rider attacks to institute some changes. The first thing is conscription which has direct impact on Kyra because one of the first people pulled into the training is Flick.
Things definitely move quickly in this book and there are a lot of things all tying back to Kyra that create so many conflicts. Not only is there the threat of Willem and the Demon Riders, but there is also the continued conflict between the wallhuggers and the rest of Forge that impacts Kyra when Idalee is beaten. Kyra already has a fear of what she is but when things happen that put her on the edge, she lets go and does something that puts her in danger and reveals her secret.
Along with all of that going on, Kyra also has to figure out what her relationship with Tristam really is. Despite the fact that he was demoted, he still has a family that he has to answer to and when the Demon Rider attacks force Tristam to consider something he never really thought would be an issue, he and Kyra have to face the reality of their situation. He is from a royal family and she is still a gutter rat.
As characters go, Kyra is still one of my favorites. She is tough and smart but she is also fiercely loyal. She will do anything to protect the people she cares about and she stands up for the things she believes in. Kyra’s interactions with James were very interesting and it provided more insight into him as a character, not just Kyra. I loved seeing Kyra recognize as the story moved along, just what he meant and his intent behind his actions.
Of course, Flick, Idalee, and Lettie are great as secondary characters. In addition to them, we learn more about the Makvani and where Kyra comes from. We also find out who really is the “bad guy” in this book and I thought Blackburne did a wonderful job of linking all of these characters together with the different avenues this story took.
I will mention here that while James is still a character in this book, we don’t see much of him. Since he was turned over to the palace by Kyra, he is locked up and the only times we get to see him is when Kyra breaks into his prison cell to talk. These interactions were interesting and revealed a lot, not only about James but also about Kyra and I thought the way things were wrapped up with these two said a lot about them as characters.
Overall, this was a wonderful conclusion to this series. It has a great mix of action, magic, deception, and of course there are some swoony bits. If you are looking for something in the fantasy genre and if you haven’t started this series yet, definitely consider it. Hopefully this review doesn’t sound too rambling and if it does, ignore the detail and just know that you should read the series.
Thank you to NetGalley and Disney for the review copy!