Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep
Series: Black Blade #2
Published by K-Teen
Published on: October 27, 2015
Genres: Young Adult
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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...
The Tournament of Blades was the driving force behind DARK HEART OF MAGIC which was perfect because what better way to go full throttle on the action than with lots of fighting while also fleshing out all of the pertinent characters’ strengths and weaknesses by putting all of the Cloudburst Falls Families on display. Lila’s no longer a team of one, things are moving along with Devon, and Victor is THE villain to beat. Game. Set. Match.
Unlike the previous installment which was a little of both, this novel was centered around the mafia-style plotting rather than the monsters and magicks that comprise Jennifer Estep’s BLACK BLADE universe. I enjoyed the scheming a great deal; this author certainly excels at whodunnit story telling, and Talents were vital, but I did find myself longing for more of the world-building that was so strong in book 1, tree trolls notwithstanding.
Seleste was a welcomed addition to this trilogy’s cast, and Deah continued to surprise me at every turn. I was kind of disappointed with how Felix dealt with his love life dilemma, and Vance & Blake were just stupid bullies. The Tournament of Blades ended up being an excellent equalizer, and I liked that most of the baddies got their due. Well, except for Victor, but that’s what BRIGHT BLAZE OF MAGIC IS FOR—right?
I’m happy with the way Devon & Lila’s romance has progressed thus far; there’s no triangle which is a BIG plus in Young Adult, next to zero drama, and they are in an optimal spot going into the conclusion. I loved that Sinclair was a genuinely good guy, and that he won Merriweather over by simply being himself. The soulsight sessions between the two of them packed one heck of an emotional punch, and the last few pages definitely pulled on my heartstrings.
DARK HEART OF MAGIC is one of the better trilogy middle installments that I’ve read.
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I liked this one a little more than I did the first one, after for me the slow start once the tournament is there then all the good action happens. 🙂 I am curious to see what happens next.
Stormi recently posted…Blog Tour: Dark Heart of Magic
I really am loving this series, so much darn fun! Glad you are as well Carmel!
kindlemom1 recently posted…Release Day Review: Dead Girl Running by Ann M. Noser
I purchased the first one and it’s on my TBR. Glad the second book is equally strong. I’ll get to the books eventually.
Jen Twimom recently posted…Review: A Silver Wolf Christmas by Terry Spear
That poor girl is stabbing herself
blodeuedd recently posted…One wild winter’s eve – Anne Barton
Oh I enjoyed this one as well. In fact, twinsies! 🙂 This one has us perfectly set up for the next book which I want now. I also am glad the romance took the turn it did. I did enjoy that.
Melissa Bauer recently posted…Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep
OOoh nice! I need to read this one still! I passed on a review copy at the time and now that we’re a day from release day I am excited! Yet know that I will not get to it right away! Sigh…but glad to hear that this one doesn’t fall in middle book syndrome. And especially that we’re avoiding another love triangle. Need to start this one to get back into sync with this world. My memory of the first one is sketchy since I read it as an ARC months ago with several, several books read since then! LOL! Great review!
Jessica recently posted…PSA: YALLFest 2015!!!
I listened to the first one. I’m really excited to get to the second one.
Melanie recently posted…Review: Along Came a Spider by Kate SeRine (@mlsimmons, @KateSeRine)
Glad you enjoyed this one Carmel! Sounds like there was plenty of character growth and the romance picked up a bit. Bring on the final book to see if Victor gets what he deserves!
Naomi Hop recently posted…Reckless Abandon by Jeannine Colette ~ Release Day Review & Teaser Tuesday
Oh man, Carmel! This is the third very positive review I have read for this book so far today, and I want it! However, since I’ve never read an Estep book before, I know I have to start with the first in the series.
I’m happy you enjoyed this so much, and know that I’ll do my best to get to this as soon as possible.
Lexxie recently posted…Review: Walk Through Fire – Kristen Ashley
Great review! I do hope to read this series one day! But I am behind on all her other series, lol.
Aurian recently posted…Ellery Adams – Murder in the paperback parlor
No love triangle?? YES PLEASE!! And I adore whodunit stories so I think this trilogy should be in my TBR pile as soon as it is completed, so I can binge read it!
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