Title: Cold Burn of Magic
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Black Blade #1
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Kensington Teen
Pub Date: April 28, 2015
My Copy: Courtesy of NetGalley and Kensington Teen
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. . .
This was a great start to what looks like a promising series. I fell in love with each and every character in this book. Lila is what you would call a scrapper, someone who is just trying to survive and live her life.
Lila is really spunky and has a wonderfully charming personality. This made me just love her right away as a character. She is a thief who does this to make her money so she can eat, plus I find it interesting that she is attending a normal school with ordinary teenagers. There are families that have magic and they live in a different place than the ordinary people do that. I also like how she lives two lives in a way. No one really knows who she is until something happens that changes her life in ways she can never expect.
I really like how she tries to avoid any interaction with the families at all, but things can never work out the way our heroine wants them to. She gets into some situations that make things a little harder for me. Lila doesn’t want to interact with the families that control things. So of course her interactions make things more intense for her as one thing happens when she is in Mo’s shop, the guy who arranges and pawns the things that she steals. She gets involved in a fight and saves someone who is she unaware of who this person really is, Devon Sinclair. Devon is part of the Sinclair’s and heir apparent to this very powerful family.
Of course things happen that she never expects. Her magical abilities are ones that she tries to keep hidden. Devon’s mother makes Lila a deal that Lila accepts because really she has no choice. I like how Lila tries to get out of it, but learns that the families have problems as well. Lila is also now involved in the family as a bodyguard that really didn’t want to deal with. Plus Lila and Devon get to know one another. There is an attraction between the two of them, but Lila knows better than to pursue. We learn that Devon has a rare magical gift as well. He has compulsion, and she has the ability of transference and can also sense when someone is not telling the truth.
We also learn that there are a lot of complications in this world. People are dating people that they shouldn’t because of their families and what that might cause if things end badly between certain couples. I also love how we get a flashback of what happened to Lila’s mother and why Lila’s mother was murdered. It explains why Lila is untrusting of the families in a way because she feels like it was their fault that she got killed and by the head of the Sinclair family rival and this has always made her scared in a way. I really found myself wanting this book to never end.
I love how many crazy twists and turns this book took. Some people don’t believe in certain creatures in the book. There is a scene where we find out who is trying to kill him and the reason why is shocking and not surprising. Lila manages to beat the villian, Grant (who is the family’s broker) due to a monster that no one thinks is still down there and we find out the monster actually does exist because of Lila’s crazy act to get both Devon and her out alive. Grant’s motive was a little far-fetched, but you could understand it in a way. I thought that Lila is one of the most resourceful characters that I’ve read in a very long time. What
Through Devon’s mother, we also learn about another piece of Lila’s past in a way that even Lila didn’t know. Her mother was friends with Devon’s mother when they were younger. This was a big thing. She also was looking for Lila for a long time. Devon’s mother also tells Lila that she knows about her transference magic. It’s a very rare ability. Being part of the family would mean that she would be protected. Plus her and Devon have abilities that others would covet and try to use for their own nefarious purposes. So she agrees to become a member of the Sinclair family, but she has conditions of her own, which Devon’s mother agrees to. I really enjoyed this book.
I’m looking forward to reading more of this series.