Series: Midnight Thief #0.5
Publication Date: Lion Quill's Press
Publisher: September 24, 2013
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 54 (eBook)
Source: Free on Amazon
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.
I've got to begin by saying that this cover is such a bummer. I think that the cover of book one, Midnight Thief, is absolutely gorgeous and this is just so...not. I understand that this book isn't really published by Disney, but I wish they matched and were on the same level of beauty.
With that in mind, I'm actually a little thankful that I read this free novella after I read book one. I'm really bad like that. I have a habit of reading novellas after the book they're meant to come before. It's technically because I don't like paying for really short stories so I never seek them out and partly because, at times, novellas make me really anxious for the book and waiting for it becomes even harder and more agonizing. However, I would venture to say that if I read this book prior to book one, it would certainly whet my appetite and make me want to read more.
This is the back-story of James, one of the prominent characters in book one. It takes place during a time where the leader of the Assassin's Guild was murdered, so the new leader, Gerred, is taking over and doing things his way. Because James is such a great assassin, he poses a huge threat to Gerred and Gerred refuses to trust him. James can't trust Gerred in turn despite his lack of desire to attempt to take control of the Guild and a huge silent power struggle ensues. This is the story of how the leader of the Assassin's Guild in book one comes to be.
In the end, this book serves its purpose. It makes readers curious and it gives you back-story to an otherwise mysterious character. Does it change my original opinion on James? No, but it makes me understand why he is the way he is and why has done what he has done. The writing is very fast paced and there's not a ton of detail, so it's hard to really connect with the characters and become invested in their stories. But, hey, that's what the novel is for.
If you're questioning whether it is worth picking up Midnight Thief or not, I would give this novella a chance. Not only is it free, it explains the mysterious and illegal workings of Forge, so you get to know the world and a few of the characters you will encounter in book one. It'll help make your decision easier and hopefully whet your appetite for more.