Dark Heart of Magic (Black Blade #2) by Jennifer Estep

Dark Heart of Magic (Black Blade #2) by Jennifer EstepSeries: Black Blade #2
on 2015-10-27
Pages: 368
AmazonNarrator: Brittany Pressley
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...
four-half-stars

Definitely one of the best YA series I’ve read this year. The author stepped up her game and took this sequel to the next level. Normally, I would prefer some more romance in sequels, but this story is just strong enough with a romance being up front and center. There were enough subplots that it didn’t even occur to me that Devon and Lila weren’t making moves on each other.

In this book, the Sinclair family was still trying to figure out what was going with Victor Draconi as they knew he was planning something sinister. They decide that the tournament will make them appear as though they weren’t worried, while trying to gather Intel on the Draconi plot. We got to know more about the connection between the Draconi and the Merriweather family thanks to competition pitting the ruling houses against each other: The Tournament of Blades. But a dastardly alliance was being formed and the other families are definitely in trouble.

Lila was still strong and she still loved her bacon. Boy, she is as serious about bacon as Gin is about her chickory coffee. I like that Lila wanted to focus on her job and her own plans, instead of making the easier choice of pursing a relationship with Devon. . But it was clear that she grappled with her feelings for Devon. But Lila and Devon were not the main subject of this book. The mystery was centered on the killing of monsters and people, for an unknown purpose. I had two suspects off the bat and was glad to know I was right about one of them. I enjoyed the sorting out of the mystery as well as a revelation pertaining to Lila’s family. I might be in the minority, but I don’t trust Celeste (Devon’s mother) and Moe. They have too many secrets and know things about people that they have chosen not to tell Lila. It’s as though they are deciding what they think is important for her know. The lack of knowledge affects Lila’s choices so I feel like they are limiting her option for her revenge. Still, Lila is a likable character and she has some maturity and growth from book 1. She is definitely fitting in with the Sinclairs and she is making smarter decisions now.

I enjoy Estep’s pace in storytelling. It’s a face paced, action packed story. I finished the book in two days because it was that enjoyable. The author did a great job of setting up book 3 and I can’t wait for Bright Blaze of Magic.

*Special thanks to Kensington Books via Netgalley for the e-arc, which was given in exchange for an honest review

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