ARC Review: Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep

ARC Review: Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep
Dark Heart of Magic
Black Blade #2
by Jennifer Estep

Genres: Action, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication date: October 27th, 2015
by K-Teen

Format: ARC

PURCHASE:

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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...

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

I cannot believe it’s only been 6(ish) months since Cold Burn of Magic came out. It feels like I’ve been waiting for Dark Heart of Magic forever. Jennifer Estep’s books are the best brain candy ever. Diving back into any of her worlds is like munching on your favorite chocolate. Her books are comforting, gooey, easy to chew and make you feel all warm inside (can you tell I am craving chocolate?) On top of that, they happen to be quick reads.

So was Dark Heart of Magic as good as Cold Burn of Magic? That’s a hard question. I prefer book 1 but Dark Heart of Magic was by no means a sequel that suffered from second book syndrome (SBS.) Just like in the first book, there is a mystery that will grab your attention and make you want to figure out what is happening. There is a main character that continues to be awesome (seriously, Lila rocks), a love interest that is swoony (but I still think he is no Logan) and great secondary characters. Also there are secrets. THE GOOD KIND THOUGH. Who doesn’t like to find out secrets about other people?

In my review for Cold Burn of Magic, I talked about how the world of this book was set aside from the one of Mythos Academy but I also mentioned parallels. The parallels became more evident in this book and I also starting seeing parallels to Estep’s adult series. Sometimes, I wish I wouldn’t notice things because once I started making all these connections, it disheartened me a little.

That and the fact that there wasn’t enough diversity were pretty much my only issues with the book.

Moving on… Lila continues to shine as a character (not surprising given how awesome Estep’s female leads tend to be.) The one issue some readers might have with her is her struggle to get into a relationship with Devon. I understand her hesitation though because it’s a decision she needs to make herself. She has been on her own for so long and it’s not like she’s just going to change overnight. She needs time. She also happens to be a clever young lady who can kick ass and as an ex thief, can sneak into places and get out of them without getting caught (and without requiring someone to rescue her!)

Devon on the other hand still hasn’t completely won me over. I like him, I DO, but I keep thinking of Logan and then I think of all the potential Devon has and I cannot help but want more. I think this could partially be because Devon is not sharing the spotlight with Lila. I am not sure I would want that to happen anyway but if there were more scenes with him in it, it would make me happier ;)

Does the ship sail in the book though? That is a question that you will have to find an answer to yourself. I will say though that even though Lila isn’t ready to be in a relationship yet, I love that Devon respects that instead of pushing her and telling her what he thinks she needs.

Things get very interesting in this book because we finally find out what Victor Draconi has up his sleeve and trust me when I say it isn’t pleasant.  We also find out a bunch of family secrets and I am REALLY excited to see how those will play out in Bright Blaze of Magic.

Overall, this book was a really fun read and a great follow up to Cold Burn to Magic. I am excited to see what awaits us in the finale AND READY FOR IT TO BE HERE. Can Devon and Lila GET ON IT ALREADY?

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
World-building
Romance
Overall: 3.8
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Rashika

Rashika is a mysterious creature who likes to hide in the shadows. It's impossible to get to know her but if you must know, she is a huge bookworm. She also happens to have a huge sweet tooth so you can always lure her over the dark side by offering her something sweet (or bribing her with books).

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  1. says

    I loved the first book in this series, so I can’t wait till my copy of th second book arrives! I am glad to hear there is no second book syndrome, although it would be hard for this book to exceed how good book 1 was. Lila is an aweosme character and I am looking forward to see more of her. Great Review!
    Lola recently posted…Review: Pane and Suffering by Cheryl HollonMy Profile

  2. says

    You are such a tease Rashika! I thought you were gonna spoil about the ship but ugggggh I WANT TO READ THIS SO BAD SOON! I KNEW I WAS GONNA REGRET READING YOUR REVIEW. NOW I’M DESPERATE TO HAVE MY HANDS ON THIS BOOK NOW. WHYYYYYYYYYYY T.T
    I just requested this at netgalley and I hope I get approved, OR ELSE, IT’LL BE A DEADLY WEEK OF WAITING FOR THIS TO BE RELEASED. OHMYGAAAAD.

    *sorry if I seem desperate(because I am lol) but seriously I’m so excited AAAAH*
    Ella recently posted…TTT #7: I’m Just Not That Into YouMy Profile

  3. says

    For some reason I haven’t felt inclined to pick up this series yet, but I do like the parallels that you mentioned and the setting. Lila sounds like a super strong character, I mean an ex-thief could definitely do a lot of things! I also sense a bit of a love triangle from what you say, hopefully the ship DOES end up sailing. But hey, yay for a slow burn I guess?
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Co-Blogging at Happy Indulgence: Your Questions AnsweredMy Profile