Apr 21, 2015

ARC Review--Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep

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. . .

I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review, I was in no way compensated for this review. 

Jennifer Estep launches a brand new series that was utterly fantastic! The Black Blade series begins with Cold Burn of Magic and we enter a world quite like our own, except here, there are monsters. And not all monsters coming baring claws and fangs! Some are very human indeed.

This was quite a whirlwind of read! I loved every minute of it! It was such the perfect balance of real world coupled with fantasy! There are monsters hiding in the dark corner of the city, a lochness hiding under the bridge, but as long as you pay the tolls, you're safe. And Lila always pays the tolls.

Lila lives in the most populated supernatural city. People from all over flock to the city to see the sights and creatures inhabiting it. Which makes pickpocketing even easier with such easy targets. Lila is an orphan who lives in the basement of her favorite library. She gets buy fine enough, does the occasional thief job for her "mentor" Mo. She's not without her own Talents either. Having a Talent makes things easier, but not always, as we are about to learn.

When Lila makes the "mistake" of rescuing a guy around her age from an attempted kidnapping, Lila soon finds herself employed by his Family. Family being a sort of magical mob. There are several Families in the city, and the Sinclairs are definitely well-known, but nowhere near as powerful as the Draconis. But working for the enemy is not something Lila ever imagined doing, for years ago, they were the ones that played a part in her mother's murder. And she's been hating the Sinclairs for years for it.

She's hired to protect Devon Sinclair, the very boy who she rescued. Seems someone has it out for him and his mother wants the best to protect him. Though his past protectors have died on the job, Lila is in it for the money. Plus, Devon is pretty easy on the eyes.

This was a great first in the series kind of read! There's a lot of world-building and back-story to learn about, but that makes understanding Lila all the more easier and enjoyable. We see her and get to know what drives her and that's an important feature for a reader and the heroine!

I couldn't get over how much I loved this world! It's truly the perfect blend of our world and magic/paranormal goodness that I can never get enough of! Sometimes worlds can be like our world, but different because of the inclusion of paranormal beings. There might have been changing events in history. Here, it seems for the most part, that the world is unchanged by the inclusion of paranormals. Granted, people are flocking to this city to see the paranormal people, but other than that, it still feels like our world!

The tension in this book was high! So many secrets are meant to be uncovered and I felt like we learned a great deal of them. Though things are nowhere near happy at the end, there's no cliffhanger, but there's still plenty of danger and action on the rise! 

The romance was by far the best! In that, it was definitely a budding, slow growing kind. I mean, this is a slow burning type too! The heroine isn't all over her hero. In fact, she hates him a little bit. Blames him for her mom's death. But the tension between these two is so thick, it's delicious! I cannot wait to see what happens between them in the future!

There was a little bit of mystery in this one too, and I have to admit, while I saw a bit of it coming, I was still blown away by the details! Which that itself is always an amazing feat! Just when you think you have the mystery solved, there are some new details that get added in! Ones that I truly didn't see coming and made the mystery all the more juicer! 

The Black Blade series is definitely one I am going to be eagerly following! The characters were incredible! The world-building was amazing! The plot and pacing were perfect and I am so looking forward to reading more adventures in this world! Makes me very happy that the second book releases later this year! A highly recommended read for Paranormal YA fans! Cold Burn of Magic was pure gold!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

Cold Burn of Magic releases April 28, 2015


  1. Don't know this one but you have me intrigued.

  2. I love this one as well. How awesome is the Romeo & Juliet element and it's not the MCs!! I want to know more about Lila's background, there's more to her (I think) than just being the daughter of the bestie

  3. Awesome to hear you loved it! I'm hearing good things about this new series. :) Thank you!

  4. I did a fast read of your review because I haven't read the book yet (I'm sooooooooooo late) but it's awesome to see that you had a great time with it because now I'm really curious to start it!


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