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Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Dark Heart of Magic

by Jennifer Estep

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
A good book that could have been better if more monsters and magicks. and less family (think "mafia") plotting. Somewhat as expected (middle book of series) because there's more backstory on people, developing relationships and eventually even the discovery of exactly what big bad villain is plotting. Way more people are let in on her "secret" including by her personally -- which was weird because she and others have been spending so time hiding it.

And early on a really weird mention of Devon's supposedly deceased Daddy being in Lawrence's sword as if the first book had already revealed that. Could be my old lady memory, but all I remember first book saying about his Daddy was that he was dead. No mention of being reincarnated as/into Lawrence's sword. That's one status update I wish goodreads hadn't destroyed because I quoted the exact passage *shrugs* ( )
1 vote Spurts | Jul 8, 2016 |
Estep's Dark Heart of Magic is yet another exciting read in her Black Blade series. I have to say that I haven't read an Estep book that I haven't absolutely loved, and this book is no different. Lila finds herself volunteered for the Tournament of Blades representing the Sinclair family, and as she faces the challenges of the tournament Lila also is trying to solve two mysteries (who is killing magical monsters and what is Victor Draconi up to). These mysteries keep Lila on her toes as she tries to win the tournament despite the different obstacles thrown her way.
Dark Heart of Magic is a fast paced adventure that captures the reader's interest from the very beginning and never lets go. I love how Estep combines action, adventure, suspense, drama, and mystery keeping the reader engaged anxious to see what happens next. Lila is very well developed in this second book building upon what happened in book one by letting Lila allow the other characters in whereas before she tried to keep them at arm's length. I liked how Lila is becoming more of a member of the Sinclair family and becoming stronger for it. Overall Dark Heart of Magic is an amazing read that I would most definitely recommend both to young adults as well as adults because Estep is such a great storyteller. I am looking forward to checking out Lila's next adventure.

Received a copy of Dark Heart of Magic through NetGalley for an honest review. ( )
  Sable677 | Apr 24, 2016 |
Read for Review (Gift from author)
Overall Rating: 4.50
Story Rating: 4.50
Character Rating: 4.50

Read It Rate It Thoughts: Dark Heart of Magic took everything I loved about Cold Burn of Magic and turned it up a notch. I felt that Lila is getting more comfortable being part of a team and watching that is a wonderful. I think though just like in Elemental Assassin series, that it is the characters around Lila that make the book shine. Jennifer is the best at writing a supporting cast. None of them are one-dimensional, they all have layers that are important to the story. Even the bad guys are layered and that always adds to the story. Especially in Dark Heart of Magic. I won't give anything away but that last 1/3 made me gasp more than once. The culmination of the games and finding answers made me go "WHAT" and really want the next book now. This was so very good and delivered on every level.

Part of my Read It, Rate It, File It, DONE! Reviews ( )
  thehistorychic | Nov 29, 2015 |
I liked this book but I didn't like it quite as much as I did the first book in the series. My 4 star rating is probably a bit generous but it is really a fun read. This book really has a lot going for it and the world that it is set in is amazing. I just love the combination of magic, monsters, and the mob that this world is built upon. This book picks up right where the first book in the series, Cold Burn of Magic, leaves off so I would recommend that this series be read in order.

Lila has assumed her role as bodyguard to the Sinclair family bruiser, Devon. It is time for the annual Tournament of Blades competition. This competition will consist of selected members from each family facing off against each other until the champion is named. Lila doesn't know a whole lot about this tournament from her prior life as a thief but she may be the Sinclair family's best chance at winning. When some unusual things start happening, Lila works to try to find out what is going on through the use of her magic and the skills that she has developed from her work as a thief.

The tournament was interesting and I liked that it allowed members from the different families to interact. Some of the characters from the other families are actually pretty interesting and others are just ugly to their core. The action during the tournament was exciting but not quite as exciting as the action that occurred outside of the tournament. There were a few twists and turns in this story which I really loved. Lila had grown as a character and seems a bit more sure of herself as she learns more about her parents' past.

The only thing that bothered me about this book was the romantic pieces. I know that this is a YA novel and I am just an old lady but the romance felt so very young and was distracting at times. I do appreciate that the story is not centered on a love triangle but Lila's indecision regarding her feelings for Devon are becoming old. I kind of wanted to slap her so that she would either act on her feelings or stop thinking about it. I am hoping that the next installment will have some forward momentum in terms of their relationship even if it means that they don't have one...I just want someone to make a decision and quit talking about it.

I would recommend this book to fans of Young Adult novels. This story is set in an interesting and creative world and there is a lot of action to keep things exciting. I have read several books by Jennifer Estep and plan to continue with this series when the next installment is released.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Kensington Books via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life. http://carolesrandomlife.blogspot.com ( )
  Carolesrandomlife | Nov 7, 2015 |
I really enjoyed book one, COLD BURN OF MAGIC, but DARK HEART OF MAGIC is my fave of the series so far. The characters were stronger, the mystery was intriguing and I really loved the Tournament of Blades aspect and the way it played out.

Lila continues to grow as a character as well as a member of the Sinclair Family. She continues to try and stay in the background as she plans to leave at some point, but the more I see her step into her roll, the more I feel like that is just not in the cards for her. I really enjoyed her detective skills in DARK HEART OF MAGIC. The Tournament of Blades is supposed to be a fun way to entertain the tourists, but someone is determined to get ahead no matter what they have to do or who they have to hurt and kill. Lila definitely has her hands full searching for the culprit.

Some things I feel I can't NOT mention. The Deah twist was a bit of a shocker, but I am actually glad for it. It's one more person that I am positive will be a huge help to Lila when the time comes to finally take down Victor Draconi. The events of DARK HEART OF MAGIC proved that they can work well together. On the romance front. It's in no way in the forefront of the story, but I think the Lila/Devon fans will be excited to see the progression in their relationship. Lila tried really hard to keep him at arms length and squash her feelings for him, but she comes to her senses in the end. I absolutely LOVED that the Pork Pit was mentioned in DARK HEART OF MAGIC. It's so fun when series cross paths with other series, especially when you enjoy both.

There is only one book left for the Black Blade Series and I'm excited to see what Estep does with book three, BRIGHT BLAZE OF MAGIC. Victor is going down!

* This book was provided free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  STACYatUFI | Nov 3, 2015 |
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Appointed by the Sinclairs to compete in the Tournament of Blades, a young contender struggles with growing feelings for Devon Sinclair while outmaneuvering a dangerous adversary and protecting her loved ones from a mobster.

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