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. . .
Release Date April 28, 2015
Black Blade #1
I am a huge fan of Jennifer Estep. I've never read any of her Young Adult books in the past, but when I saw the back cover copy for Cold Burn of Magic, I knew I had to read it. I was lucky enough to be given an ARC from the author with the promise of an honest review.
Lila Merriweather is such an awesome character. I'll be honest, her sarcastic side reminds me a bit of Gin Blanco from Estep's Elemental Assassin series. In fact, I imagine Gin was a little bit like Lila as a teen. Lila is very much a loner as Cold Burn of Magic begins. She does contract jobs for Mo, who owns a pawn shop, and Lila's magic talent helps her pull off her jobs. She lives in secret in the basement of the local library. Lila pretty much only wanted to keep her head down an avoid anything to do with any of the local Families. The Families in Cloudburst Falls control all who live in their town. Lila has managed to stay under the radar since her mother was murdered, but her fighting skills put her front and center when she steps in to save Devon Sinclair, of the Sinclair Family.
I really felt like Lila's character grew after becoming Devon's bodyguard. She had so much anger towards him because of her mother's murder and his inadvertent part of said murder, but she seemed to finally see both sides of the situation the more time she worked as a bodyguard. I totally got her love/hate feelings for Devon, though I did feel her attraction to him happened a little fast. I have to say Devon really did appear totally spoiled at the beginning of Cold Burn of Magic, but I ended up having respect for all he had gone through as a character. I had my suspensions as to who was behind all of Devon's trouble and while I did guess the right person, I had no idea how the character was able to pull off some of the attacks.
Estep gives her YA readers an awesome new series filled with magic, mystery, darkness and humor. I'm really excited to read the next book in the series and especially glad to have a series I can share with my niece, who is just starting to read YA books.