Friday, March 4, 2016

Review: Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Dark Heart of Magic
(Black Blade #2)
Jennifer Estep
Release: October 27, 2015
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Something Wicked This Way Comes...

As a thief, I stick to the shadows as much as possible. But when the head of the Sinclair Family picks me to compete in the Tournament of Blades, there's no escaping the spotlight—or the danger.

Even though he's my competition, Devon Sinclair thinks I have the best shot at winning what's supposed to be a friendly contest. But when the competitors start having mysterious "accidents," it looks like someone will do anything to win—no matter who they hurt.

As if I didn't have enough to worry about, mobster Victor Draconi is plotting against Devon and the rest of my friends, and someone's going around Cloudburst Falls murdering monsters. One thing's for sure. Sometimes, humans can be more monstrous than anything else...

Review by Rose Red:

Dark Heart of Magic is packed to the brim with action and excitement and was the perfect sequel to Cold Burn of Magic. The action and the figthing was in perfect balance with the magical mafia plot! Have I mentioned how much I love the magical mob and the monsters in this series? I really do love the concept! I especially love the monsters! The loch ness under the bridge and the tree trolls are what make Cloudburst Falls Cloudburst Falls. Heck! I even love the giant snake monsters and I normally hate snakes.

This book was a bit different than the first book in the series, as this was centered on the Tournament of Blades, a magic competition that pits each of the Families against each other to see who's the best of the best. While the monsters aren't as involved in this story as I wanted them to be, all of our main characters experience significant growth and development. Everything seems to come together in some mind-blowing twists by the end of the book.

The Tournament of Blades was a very interesting competition, and it made for a great change of pace from the previous book. The Tournament shifted the focus from the previous book and we learn a lot more about the magical families that rule Cloudburst Falls. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story, how the world became more complex because of it. The mystery ended up being more of a fun whodunit that I was thinking it would be and it just made the story even more enjoyable! I had my suspicions throughout the book as to who was behind everything, and even though one of my picks ended up being correct, I was still surprised by how everything went down. The entire ending of this novel was brilliant in my opinion. It was packed with twists and turns which were balanced out by a couple very sweet moments.

As much as I loved the Tournament and the monsters in this book, my favorite part was watching all of the characters evolve and grow in their own unique ways. Each character is snarky and tough in their own ways and I absolutely love that. And because it was a Jennifer Estep book, there were so many moments where the characters had me cracking up with their one-liners and the shenanigans they got in to. In the YA genre these characters feel like a breath of fresh air. They feel new and unique even though there are some facets of them that are common to the genre. I love the actiony bits of the series but the characters (and the monsters) are what keep me coming back. There are some developments in the romance department, and I am very happy with how the relationship has been handled so far. It's a naturally developing relationship with no insta-love in sight. Plus, there's no love triangle. These two things make me love this series even more than I already do!

Dark Heart of Magic was everything I wanted it to be and more! This was a great sequel, I enjoyed it as much as I did Cold Burn of Magic. It was filled with mystery, great one liners, humor, friendship, action, and danger, and was just as fun and adventurous as the first book. The world, the characters, the action, and the monsters work together in the best way possible and make this one of the best YA series I've read in the last couple of years. The wait for the next book in the series might kill me. I can't wait to see what happens next!

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley

  4.5 / 5 Stars

My reviews of other books in this series:
Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep


  1. Great review. I agree with everything you said. I've been loving this series. I'm really excited for the next book. Luckily, we don't have to wait too much longer.

    1. I'm so excited for the next book! I've had it pre-ordered for forever!


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