This story is my homage to the medieval fantasies I grew up reading. Most notably, Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness, which I’ve read and reread countless times. Unlike the Lioness Alanna, Kyra is a thief instead of a knight, and the challenges she faces are different. But I hope I’ve captured the same spirit, vulnerability, and courage that drew me to my favorite girl-power fantasies from my childhood.
Growing up on Forge’s streets has taught Kyra how to stretch a coin. And when that’s not enough, her uncanny ability to scale walls and bypass guards helps her take what she needs. But when the leader of the Assassins Guild offers Kyra a lucrative job, she hesitates. She knows how to get by on her own, and she’s not sure she wants to play by his rules. But he’s persistent—and darkly attractive—and Kyra can’t quite resist his pull.
Tristam of Brancel is a young Palace knight on a mission. After his best friend is brutally murdered by Demon Riders, a clan of vicious warriors who ride bloodthirsty wildcats, Tristam vows to take them down. But as his investigation deepens, he finds his efforts thwarted by a talented thief, one who sneaks past Palace defenses with uncanny ease.
When a fateful raid throws Kyra and Tristam together, the two enemies realize that their best chance at survival — and vengeance — might be to join forces. And as their loyalties are tested to the breaking point, they learn a startling secret about Kyra’s past that threatens to reshape both their lives. In her arresting debut novel, Livia Blackburne creates a captivating world where intrigue prowls around every corner — and danger is a way of life.
New York Times Bestseller
2014 Indies Introduce New Voices Pick
2015 YALSA Teens’ Top Ten Nominee
2015 Tome Society It List
2016-2017 Truman Award Third Place Winner