Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade #1)
by Jennifer Estep
Release Date: April 28th 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
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'm a great fan of Jennifer Estep's adult series, Elemental Assassin featuring Gin. I've also had the first in her YA Mythos Academy series on my wishlist since it first came out but something about Cold Burn of Magic really appealed to me so it became the first YA book by Estep that I read.
Cold Burn of Magic is the story of Lila, an orphan, making her way in the town of Cloudburst Falls where she lives in the basement of the local library and earns money working for Mo, the owner of the pawn shop who was also a friend of her mother's. What's different about is the town is it's magical, there are monsters, fairies and trolls under the bridge. What's different about some of the town's inhabitants is that they have Talents, whether they be of Speed, Sight or Strength but there are also rare Talents and our protagonist is (un)lucky enough to have one. The town is run by the Families, akin to the Mob almost but with magic. Lila doesn't belong to any Family but becomes embroiled in one after saving the only son of one of the most prominent Families in town.
Thanks to her Talents, her knowledge and her fighting skills Lila becomes bodyguard to Devon, the Sinclair heir and quickly realizes that it's not as simple as she thinks keeping someone alive, especially when you don't know why they are after him in the first place. Moved into the palatial surroundings of the Sinclair mansion Lila has to adapt - fast, if she wants to stay alive, especially as it was thanks to the Sinclairs that her mom was killed.
Lila is a great heroine, one of my favorites in fact! She's strong, smart and knows the right thing to do for her - even if that means ignoring the pull between herself and Devon. Devon is interesting in his own right. Most of the Family members think he is Talentless and this is why he needs to be protected but this is not necessarily the case. Aside from our main couple there are great supporting characters in Mo (a lot like Fletcher from the Assassin books), Felix (Devon's best friend) and Oscar the beer swilling, redneck pixie who quite possibly made the book for me.
Cold Burn of Magic is a page turner, I read it in one sitting because I wanted to know exactly what was happening and how it was all going to end! There are surprises along the way - a possible ally in the last place you would expect, a traitor you would never have thought of - and the struggle Lila has following in her mom's footsteps. Jennifer Estep has created another intriguing, likeable main character in Lila and I cannot wait to find out what happens next in Dark Heart of Magic.
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Jennifer Estep is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance.
Her Elemental Assassin series follows the life and times of Gin “the Spider” Blanco, a barbecue restaurant owner who also happens to be an assassin with magical control over the elements of Ice and Stone.
The Mythos Academy series focuses on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it. She studies at Mythos Academy, a school for the descendants of ancient warriors.
Her Bigtime paranormal romance books feature sexy superheroes, evil ubervillains, and smart, sassy gals looking for love.
Estep’s new Black Blade series is about 17-year-old thief Lila Merriweather, who has a Talent for sight, along with the ability to take magic others used against her to boost her own powers. She tries not to get involved with the Families who control much of the town, but ends up in the middle of a potential turf war.