#Review - Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep @Jennifer_Estep @KensingtonBooks

Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep
Series: Black Blade #2
Kensington Books
Publication Date: October 27, 2015
Date Read: November 4, 2015

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...

I liked this book but I didn't like it quite as much as I did the first book in the series.  My 4 star rating is probably a bit generous but it is really a fun read.  This book really has a lot going for it and the world that it is set in is amazing.  I just love the combination of magic, monsters, and the mob that this world is built upon.  This book picks up right where the first book in the series, Cold Burn of Magic, leaves off so I would recommend that this series be read in order.

Lila has assumed her role as bodyguard to the Sinclair family bruiser, Devon.  It is time for the annual Tournament of Blades competition.  This competition will consist of selected members from each family facing off against each other until the champion is named.  Lila doesn't know a whole lot about this tournament from her prior life as a thief but she may be the Sinclair family's best chance at winning.  When some unusual things start happening, Lila works to try to find out what is going on through the use of her magic and the skills that she has developed from her work as a thief.

The tournament was interesting and I liked that it allowed members from the different families to interact.  Some of the characters from the other families are actually pretty interesting and others are just ugly to their core.  The action during the tournament was exciting but not quite as exciting as the action that occurred outside of the tournament.  There were a few twists and turns in this story which I really loved.  Lila had grown as a character and seems a bit more sure of herself as she learns more about her parents' past.

The only thing that bothered me about this book was the romantic pieces.  I know that this is a YA novel and I am just an old lady but the romance felt so very young and was distracting at times.  I do appreciate that the story is not centered on a love triangle but Lila's indecision regarding her feelings for Devon are becoming old.  I kind of wanted to slap her so that she would either act on her feelings or stop thinking about it.  I am hoping that the next installment will have some forward momentum in terms of their relationship even if it means that they don't have one...I just want someone to make a decision and quit talking about it.

I would recommend this book to fans of Young Adult novels.   This story is set in an interesting and creative world and there is a lot of action to keep things exciting.  I have read several books by Jennifer Estep and plan to continue with this series when the next installment is released. 

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Kensington Books via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

  • Book #1: Cold Burn of Magic - My Review
  • Book #2: Dark Heart of Magic
  • Book #3: Bright Blaze of Magic - Coming April 2016
About the Author

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.

Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin adult urban fantasy series for Pocket. Books in the series are SPIDER'S BITE, WEB OF LIES, VENOM, TANGLED THREADS, SPIDER'S REVENGE, BY A THREAD, and WIDOW'S WEB. THREAD OF DEATH, an e-novella, is also available.


DEADLY STING, the eighth book, is set to be released on March 26, 2013.

Jennifer also writes the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington.

Books in the series are TOUCH OF FROST, KISS OF FROST, and DARK FROST. CRIMSON FROST, the fourth book, is set to be released on Dec. 24, 2012.

FIRST FROST, a prequel e-story to the series, is available as a download. HALLOWEEN FROST, an e-short story, is available in the ENTANGLED e-anthology.

Jennifer is also the author of the Bigtime paranormal romance series. Books in the superhero-themed series are KARMA GIRL, HOT MAMA, JINX, and NIGHTINGALE. A KARMA GIRL CHRISTMAS, an e-story, is also available.

Excerpts, free short stories, and more information on Jennifer's books can be found at http://www.jenniferestep.com.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook


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