Cold Burn of Magic: Black Blade #1 by Jennifer Estep

Cold Burn of Magic: Black Blade #1 by Jennifer Estep

I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve had this title in my ‘to review’ pile since mid-April last year. *sigh* Blogger Shame is correct. I just got overly ambitious and had more ‘eyes larger than stomach’ moments and now it’s time to just fix the issues.  The first in a new YA Paranormal series, Black Blade from Jennifer Estep, this is also the first I’ve read by this author.  But, enough about me.. let’s find out all about …

Cold Burn of Magic

It’s been a while since I went into a paranormal story that wasn’t promoted as romance, and with my first introduction to Jennifer Estep’s work, I was curious to see where things would go.

Now, other readers more familiar with her work may find that the romance was missing: I didn’t. I truly enjoyed Lila and her story, juggling her life in high school with her talents and work as a bodyguard, while keeping her need to avenge her mother’s murder in control.  She’s got a singularly strong voice,  is aware of her strengths and weaknesses, and isn’t afraid to make amends or her missteps.  She is young, but so very likable and clear in her focus with some solidly developed quirks that just made me smile.

World building in this story was prevalent, it’s the first in the series and to be expected, but the detail and clarity with which Estep delivered history, interactions, feuds, mythos and powers flowed neatly without feeling like an info-dump, and each element seemed to clearly present or tie to a particular person or personality trait, making it all feel seamless and natural.

Secondary characters are fully-fleshed out and have all their own good and bad traits, much is still on the ‘honeymoon’ phase for readers, so little nuggets of more are dropped as hints, some of which do manage to forewarn upcoming events.  For me, the only less than cleverly presented element was the mystery of ‘who did it”.  I’m not a reader who spends the whole time ferreting out the “culprit’ in a mystery: while I balance all of the clues (real and not) I just want the author to tell their story as they see fit, reveal information and present a solution that makes sense. Here, the clues were more blatant, the red flags started waving and dancing early and often: but here’s the important thing: It did not matter. The story was strong enough in characters, action, magic and charm to not let the early solution for me ruin the reveal and conclusion.  I’m thrilled I finally sat down and read this story, and think if you want a less romance-heavy story with some charming characters and great world building – this is the story for you.


Cold Burn of Magic: Black Blade #1 by Jennifer Estep

Title: Cold Burn of Magic
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Black Blade #1
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult
Published by: Kensington
ISBN: 1617738247
Published on: 28 April, 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 323
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 56 minutes
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One Flame

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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. . .

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.


About Jennifer Estep

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

Jennifer has worked as a features writer and page designer for a daily newspaper and has more than 10 years of journalism experience. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and other writing groups.

Jennifer’s books have been featured in Cosmopolitan, Entertainment Weekly, Southern Living, and a variety of other publications.


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