Review: Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep

22715908Cold Burn of Magic
(Black Blade, #1)
By: Jennifer Estep
Publisher: Kensington
Published:April 28, 2015
Genre: YA Fantasy


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. . .


1thoughtsLila’s mother passed away four years ago leaving Lila pretty much on her own. She currently lives in a basement of a library and uses thievery to pay for food. She pretty much keeps to herself and doesn’t stick out. So, when a group of kids comes into the pawn show where she gets money for the items she’s stolen, and ends up witnessing an attack on them, she makes the the quick decision to help them out. Thus, leading her to being the new bodyguard for the son of one of the “Families”.

I liked the idea of this book. The fact that instead of a typical mob family who gained their power by brute force and illegal activity, these families are factions of people with magical powers. Lila has always tried to stay away from them. After all, the whole reason why her mother died was because she stuck her neck out and saved a member of one of the Families when they were under attack. So needless to say, Lila isn’t looking to befall the same fate. However, when she makes that split decision to lend a helping hand, she finds herself in the exact situation that her mother found herself in.

Even though I liked the idea of the story, it didn’t work out for me in the end. I found myself bored throughout the book. In the beginning, Lila is described as this bad-ass thief. However, when she sees Devon she has this insta-love for him and can’t stop gushing about how she’s attracted to him when she should hate him. Not to mention the few times she was in a fight, she didn’t do too well. I just felt like the characters and their relationships with each other were lacking. I didn’t feel connected to them at all.


1favepartWhen Lila moves into the Family house, she ends up with a personal pixie to see to her needs. He lives in a run down trailer on a table in her room and he’s rather brash. His front “yard” is littered with beer cans, he blasts country music, and he’s very short with Lila about everything. However, under it all he’s just a guy who’s come to care for his charges (Devon’s bodyguards) only to have them killed one after the other. So he tries to distance himself from them so that he isn’t so hurt when they die. Oscar was by far the best character of the whole book.


8 Thoughts on “Review: Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep

  1. A www shucks, sorry it didn’t work out. I loved this one though, it’s like a YA version of elemental assassin

    • I’ve tried her Mythos series and didn’t care for it either. I did read Spider’s Bite and really enjoyed it though. I think I’m just not a fan of her YA stuff.

  2. Oh that is a neat set up but eh…if you were bored and coupled with the insta that might be a pass. I have some of her others on my shelf but just haven’t tried her yet. Hope the next you try works a bit better!

    • I read the first book in her adult series and enjoyed it. I’ve also read her other YA series and didn’t care for it. So, I’m thinking I’m just not a fan of her YA stuff. :\

  3. I’ve read good and bad reviews about this novels, so I guess I’ll just wait some more before I read it 😉

  4. Awww, that sucks. I do hate when badass heroines turn out mushy.

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