Dark Heart of Magic (Black Blade, #2) by Jennifer Estep
Published by Kensington on October 27th 2015
"Jennifer Estep is a genius!" --Simply Nerdy
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...
Last March I devoured Jennifer Estep’s Cold Burn of Magic, the first, in what I knew then, would be an awesome new series. I have to admit though, I was pretty confident that Lila Merriweather and her adventures would become a new favorite of mine due to the fact that I’m a huge fan of Estep’s Mythos Academy series. Estep knows how to write smooth story lines with kick-ass heroines that you can’t get enough of therefore, book two, Dark Heart of Magic was on the top of my to-read list. When I got my hands on a copy I stopped reading my current book (sorry – Scorpion Rules) so I could see what zany feats Lila was up to in the latest installment. I was not disappointed!
Lila lives in a magical tourist trap. Her town is inhabited by all kinds of magical creatures including trolls, pixies, and the lochness monster. A few powerful magic-wielding families(read: mobs) run and make profit from the various attractions. In Cold Burn of Magic we learned that Lila’s mother Serena was killed by Victor Draconis, the head of most feared family in town. Victor, who for a while has been trying to eradicate the other families so he could reign supreme, feared Serena and her strong magical abilities. In Dark Heart of Magic we see Lila continue to work towards her ultimate goal of making Victor pay for what he did to her mother. But Dark Heart of Magic isn’t all about revenge. There’s also some romance…
Lila’s feelings for Devon, which developed in book one, continue to intensify in book two. Lila sees how good, strong and kind Devon is, yet she’s torn because she has plans to ditch town once the Draconis problem has been removed and she doesn’t want to get too attached to Devon. I applauded Lila for sticking to her guns but I also felt sorry for her. There’s so many people in her life now who care about her like Oscar, Devon, Mo, and Felix, but she still keeps them at an arm’s length. In this latest installment Lila really comes to realize how important family is and that the possibility of losing someone doesn’t mean you should have never been close to them in the first place. You’ve got to live life to the fullest while you can because you never know how short it will be, especially in Lila’s town.
Although Victor Draconis is the overall problem in this series, Estep doesn’t rely on just him to be the villain. There’s other dangers lurking in town and it’s up to Lila to figure out what’s going on before the body count begins to rise.
I love this series. It reads quick and keeps you hooked. This is the first book in a long time that had me staying up late to finish. I just didn’t want to put it down because the ending was smashing! Figuratively and literally. Hah!