Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep
(The Black Blade, Book 2)
Read: September 2015
Format: ARC Ebook (Kindle)
My Book Rating: 5/5 Stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy YA
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
When I requested to read and review Dark Heart of Magic from NetGalley, I didn’t realize it was the second book in a series. I actually didn’t realize until partway through the book!
I do recommend starting with book one, because I’m pretty sure this one is full of book one spoilers. Even without starting at the beginning this was highly enjoyable and I was not lost.
Lila is a thief and makes no excuses for it. She’s a strong female lead and absolutely entertaining to read about. Lila also a person of magic in a very unique town. Set at the base of Cloudburst Mountain, Cloudburst Falls is full of magic and monsters, and the ruling families (mobs) have taken full advantage, turning their little town into a tourist trap. People come from all over to see the monsters that live in the parks, petting zoos, forests, and on the mountain.
Lila works for the Sinclair Family as bodyguard to their leaders son, Devon. There’s obvious chemistry between the two, but Lila is all business. She’s doing her job as a means to an end — revenge on the Draconis family, those responsible for the murder of her mother.
Trying to blend in and stay invisible (she’s a thief, remember?) becomes very difficult, however, when Lila is entered into the summer Tournament of Blades, an annual battle of magic among the families, and fodder for the tourists. And, it seems as though someone is out to get Lila.
There’s magic and mystery, action and romance. And, though I figured out who was behind it all before the characters did, I enjoyed every second. So much so, that soon after, I one-clicked book one for my Kindle!
As a fan of The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, I think other fans of that series will love Jennifer Estep’s series. While in TMI the magic is kept hidden from the normal humans, in DHoM the magic is flaunted and used as a source of income. The magic system is pretty cool as well, with everyone who has magic having some variation of strength, speed or senses as well as some level of power – minor, moderate, or major. Some powers are more rare and desired than others. Some are more of a curse than a blessing as well, we learn in this story.
The end of the book was a satisfying conclusion to this story arc, yet it left me thirsting for more of Lila, Devon, and the rest of their crew.
Dark Heart of Magic is available from Kensington Books on October 27, 2015. Until then, you can check out book one, Cold Burn of Magic. (Book three, Bright Blaze of Magic will be available May 2016.)
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