“Daughter of Dusk” is about power — from the different types of power the protagonist Kyra finds deep within herself to the power that the Demon Riders possess. Yet, I think the most powerful part of the entire book is the way all these sorts of power culminate in a breathtakingly beautiful journey for the reader. I found myself in awe of Kyra’s growth, in awe of her strength and power throughout the entirety of “Daughter of Dusk.” To put it simply, “Daughter of Dusk” is a wonderful, powerful novel. (I swear I won’t overuse “powerful” in the next paragraph!)
Kyra can’t help but feel like a monster. She knows the truth about her bloodlines, and because she does not want to be hunted like the rest of her Demon Rider kin, she is forced to keep her identity a secret. Tristam and the imprisoned assassin James are among the few who know about her heritage, but when Tristam reveals a heartbreaking secret he has been harboring, Kyra is unsure of his trustworthiness. As for James, Kyra fears that he will give her up to save himself. As tensions rise within Forge’s Council and the vicious Demon Rider attacks continue, Kyra knows she must do something to save her city. But is knowing one’s responsibility enough to guarantee a change?
Unlike “The Midnight Thief,” “Daughter of Dusk” is much more urgent and brutal. The stakes are higher and Kyra is forced to choose between unsavory options and more unsavory options. As a result, the Kyra in “Daughter of Dusk” is much more mature and self-aware than the Kyra in “The Midnight Thief.” She’s so smart and strong, yet she is also so, so human. There’s a sort of jadedness and understated elegance in her personality that was not there before, yet she still has the vulnerabilities that make her believable and undeniably human.
As much as I like Kyra and the understated romance arc (thank god for the author not including an overblown love triangle!), there are also aspects of “Daughter of Dusk” that are not as strong. Many elements of the plot are predictable, and while I don’t mind knowing half of the story before I’ve read the first 50 pages, I know that Livia Blackburne is capable is so much more. Additionally, the ending was rushed and somewhat generic: everything was resolved and tied up with pretty pink bows. I wish it was a little more open-ended.
All in all, Livia Blackburne has penned an intriguing and powerfully written novel.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Publisher: Disney Hyperion (August 4th, 2015)
Length: 384 pages (Hardcover)
ISBN #: 9781484722084