by Jennifer Estep
Series: Black Blade #1
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
There Be Monsters Here. . .It's not as great as you'd think, living in a tourist town that's known as "the most magical place in America." Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power. I try to keep out of it. I've got my mom's bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick. But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend's pawn shop, and I have to make a call--get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn't. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I'm stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I'm going to end up just like her. . .
Did you ever start a book and know within moments that you were going to become swept up in the characters and world? This is exactly what happened with Cold Burn of Magic, the first in Jenifer Estep’s new Black Blade urban fantasy series. I devoured this tale, found a new author to love and added another urban fantasy to my must read list.
I went into this blind concerning Estep even though, I have book one and two of the Elemental series gracing my bookshelf as well as the first book in the Mythos Academy series on audio. What I do know is that she is wildly popular and has loyal fans who read both her adult and young adult series. I love seeing action packed, fleshed out urban fantasy series in the young adult genre and Estep’s writing style allows the reader to slip in and connect.
Five Caffeinated reasons to drop what you are doing and read Cold Burn of Magic
- Our protagonist, Lila Merriweather is a kick-ass, orphaned thief who makes her home in the basement of a library in a town filled with magic. The story takes place in Cloudburst Falls, West Virginia where tourists come from all around to see pixies, Fae and monsters. Rich families who are constantly feuding run the town. Estep brought the world to life in vivid three-D imagery from the troll on the bridge to the pixies preparing meals.
- The characters were unique from zany Mo to the cold and manipulative mother of Devon. Lila is a colorful heroine who I quickly warmed up to. Lila is young and has some baggage but she is also street smart and in some ways wise beyond her seventeen years. Fiercely loyal she has several talents. She is content attending high school by day and thieving by night but she unwittingly finds herself involved in protecting one of the “royal” families’ sons after intervening in a deadly fight. A certain grumpy pixie about stole my heart and the attention to detail with this secondary character was amazing.
- The story Estep weaves is magical, filled with action and growth for Lila. I would love to see this made into a Disney movie. I can just see the Sinclair mansion on the big screen. Weapons, spider spun jackets and rare talents amped my enjoyment of the world. I have a feeling with the right narrator this would be an amazing listen on audio. Estep weaves in several storylines from the feuding families to Lila’s own past. She satisfied my need to know while leaving room for more details as the story progresses. Villains, a mysterious stranger and betrayal added danger.
- While there are hints of a budding romance, Estep did not bog this tale down with unnecessary drama, insta-love or triangles. Instead, she hinted at a slow-burning romance. This added a few swoony moments and left us with the possibility of a future romance. I l found it to be refreshing. The tale wraps up nicely, giving us closure but also an idea of what is to come leaving the reader satisfied.
- Others suggest a similarity to Estep’s other series but as a newbie, I cannot say. However I will tell you I found it to be fresh and exciting. I am eager to read the Mythos and Elemental series to explore their similarities. The next Black Blade novel, Dark Heart of Magic is coming in October of 2015 and I for one will be waiting.