Black Blade #1
Paranormal Young Adult
Source: From author for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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. . .
Cold Burn of Magic is everything we’ve come to expect from Ms. Estep; a heroine strong mentally and physically but at the same time riddled with soft spots emotionally who’s surrounded by a cast of characters full of personality and humor. While the first several chapters are heavy on the description and light on the dialog as we’re given our first glimpses of how this world of magic, mobsters and monsters works, once Lila is conscripted for service by the infamous Sinclair Family, the pages start flying by and we find ourselves thoroughly rooting for our thief-turned-bodyguard.
Lila is a skilled fighter, her prowess with a sword only exceeded by her supernatural Talents, but though she’s rightfully confident in her abilities, she’s not so naïve as to think herself unbeatable. She’s not someone who seeks out conflict or throws herself smack dab in the middle of it to our never-ending frustration, instead she’s as careful and methodical as she can be in any given situation, sometimes coming out on top and other times finding herself bruised and bloody. She can be harsh with her words at times, but ultimately it’s a characteristic that makes her easier to relate to given how capable we all are of lashing out when hurt or angry.
There’s a very subtle romance between Lila and Devon, the young man she’s tasked with protecting, and it’s the kind of relationship Ms. Estep does so well – one with just as many sharp edges as soft corners. The journey to happiness is clearly going to be a long one for the two of them, a dance that moves them both forward and back as they deal with the hands life has dealt them, but it will undoubtedly be as memorable as those we’ve shared with Gin and Owen and Gwen and Logan before them. Overall, Cold Burn of Magic is a highly entertaining start to Ms. Estep's new series, leaving us with the promise of both darkness and light to come in future books.
This book was sent to me by the author free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.