Friday, May 8, 2015

Review: Cold Burn of Magic

Black Blade #1
Jennifer Estep
Paranormal Young Adult
368 pages
Available Now
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.

Rating: 4/5

Find Jennifer:
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.


  1. Awesome that she has another good series going :)

  2. Ms. Estep has a knack for telling a good story. Enjoyed this book and looking forward to the rest of the series. Thanks for sharing Jenny!

  3. I honestly can't wait to get started on this! It sounds so, so good and people around Twitter have LOVED it :) Admittedly, I haven't read anything by Jennifer Estep before but I was sold on the cover, and when I read the synopsis, I was a total goner! I'm so glad you liked this :D

    Rhea @ Rhea's Neon Journal

  4. I'm so late, I need to read this one! I can't wait and I have it but I'm late with all my ebooks!!! my next read!

  5. I do plan to start this series from book one which will be easier than having to catch up with a series with many volumes!
    Great review Jenny!

  6. Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed this, Jenny. I had so much fun with this book. I really liked Lila and the subtle romance too. I can't wait to see where it leads to next.
    Lovely review!

  7. I'm really looking forward to reading this and finally diving into the world of Estep's writing! I'm so glad you enjoyed this, Jenny, since I know you're a big fan so your seal of approval means a lot! Wonderful review, dear!(:

  8. I agree her subtle romances are wonderful! I'm so happy you read and loved this!
    Have a great weekend Jenny!

  9. Yes! I know you're a fan of Ms. Estep Jenny, so I'm glad you enjoyed this as much as I did. I really liked Lila and Devon (hopefully we get some romance) and I adored Oscar too.
    Wonderful review :)

  10. I've never read from Estep yet. D: I love how this sounds! Lila sounds like my kind of girl--the kind who has realistic opinions on oneself. ;) The romance sounds really light, which I like. I may or not be a fan of romances with a lot of bumps in the road, so... ;) Lovely review, Jenny!

  11. This one kind of reminded me of Mythos Academy and I didn't feel it was as strong or entertaining as that series. But, this is just the first book so I'm hoping the sequel will be better now that the characters and world have been introduced.

  12. Lila sounds so fierce! I'm a fan of heroines the like of her. :D The storyline sounds good, too. Great review, Jenny!

  13. I really liked this one as well. I can't wait to see what Estep does with this series Happy weekend, Jenny.

  14. I'm glad you enjoyed this one as well. I had a lot of fun with this one. I loved seeing all the easter eggs here. :)

  15. A lovely and very complete review. A complex world populated by captivating fiends and memorable characters - what more can the humble reader wish for? :)

  16. I totally loved this Jenny and share my review later this week. It was my first Estep book but won't be my last..I almost didn't accept it since I have quite a few of her adult series and need to read them.

  17. I'm so excited to read this! So many bloggers have enjoyed it and I love Estep's other YA series, so I have a feeling I'm going to have a lot of fun with it. Can't wait to meet Lila and Devon!

  18. It might be a nice change to have a more subtle kind of romance going on. As well as that, I love the sound of such a realistic main character. Someone who is fierce and can hold her own, but also has her own problems as well. No one can be perfect. I have only heard of this book a few times but so far I am loving the sound of it.

  19. Really interesting characters and setting. World building is good and from the teaser of the next book I expect we will get a bit more detail in this world. Highly recommended for pretty much anyone other that a tad bit of angst which authors seem to find a requirement for YA novels. Yea, I WILL be getting the next one, this series is too good to pass up.