About Jennifer Estep
Jennifer Estep is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance.
Her Elemental Assassin series follows the life and times of Gin “the Spider” Blanco, a barbecue restaurant owner who also happens to be an assassin with magical control over the elements of Ice and Stone.
The Mythos Academy series focuses on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it. She studies at Mythos Academy, a school for the descendants of ancient warriors.
Her Bigtime paranormal romance books feature sexy superheroes, evil ubervillains, and smart, sassy gals looking for love.
Estep’s new Black Blade series is about 17-year-old thief Lila Merriweather, who has a Talent for sight, along with the ability to take magic others used against her to boost her own powers. She tries not to get involved with the Families who control much of the town, but ends up in the middle of a potential turf war.
Book reviews by Suze
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Lila is on her own and is now permanently living in Cloudburst Falls, the most magical place in America. Her mother died four years ago, when she was thirteen. They moved from place to place, but came back every summer. Until one summer Lila became an orphan. Because foster care wasn't working she's secretly living in a library. She's a great thief and makes a living by stealing things and bringing them to a pawn shop. When she's there to collect some money a fight breaks out and Lila is an excellent fighter. Because the person who's being attacked needs her help she decides to help out, which is something she's never done before, with a reason. Her decision has life changing consequences.
Cloudburst Falls is divided among several rivalling families. The Draconis are the worst and it's no secret they want to rule the entire town. The Sinclairs are their main opponent. Coincidentally Lila has saved a very important member of the Sinclair family and now she has to choice, she's being hired as one of his guards. Devon is handsome, but he also has a good and pure heart. Lila can see inside people and knows what's really there. This helps her to discover who her enemies are and she needs it, because something bad is happening and she's the only one who can prevent it.
Cold Burn of Magic is a fantastic thrilling read. Lila is a strong and feisty heroine who isn't afraid to fight for what she believes in. She still misses her mother and that drives her to be the best person she can be, but it makes her careful with her heart. She doesn't easily let herself get attached to people. Being part of the Sinclair household is different, but it isn't all bad. It was great to read about the families and their different strengths and histories. I love Jennifer Estep's world building skills. It was easy to lose myself in the story.
Lila is a great fighter and I loved the combat scenes. Jennifer Estep writes vividly and I could clearly picture every punch, kick and trick. It was fun to see how Lila manages to get herself out of tricky situations over and over again. I loved this fantastic book, it's filled with plenty of great energy and activity.
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Lila has to enter an important tournament. Her boss has decided she's a worthy candidate to fight. Only that means Lila has to come out of the shadows she likes so much to take her place in the spotlight. She has no choice and what's even worse, she has to fight her friends. The tournament starts with sabotage and Lila wants to find out who's behind it all. Will she be able to make it to the end?
Meanwhile monsters are dying. They are being killed for no apparent reason. Lila loves monsters. Her mother has taught her how to interact with them and it hurts Lila that they are being brutally slaughtered. She tries to figure out who's responsible. Is there a connection between the murders and the tension between the candidates of the tournament? And why is Victor, the head of the Draconi family, so interested in their abilities? It's obvious that he's making plans and Lila has a tough choice to make, will she choose the greater good or herself?
Dark Heart of Magic is another action packed Black Blade book. I flew through the pages and couldn't wait to find out what would happen next. I love how Jennifer Estep builds up the suspense. There's hardly time to breathe, her stories are a whirlwind of fabulous moves and excellent fighting. Lila is a planner and she needs those skills more than ever. She has to fight against formidable opponents who have all kinds of magic they can use in combat. It was interesting to see what she would come up with to stay ahead of them. Her mind works in a fabulous way.
Devon becomes a very good friend. He's such a sweet guy. Lila also becomes close to several others and she discovers some important things about herself and her mother's past. Family is important to her and it was amazing to see how loyal she is. I enjoyed Dark Heart of Magic very much. I liked the idea of the tournament and the ending is both gripping and surprising.
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Lila and her family have to prepare for a war against Victor, the head of the Draconi family. He plans to take over and destroy the other families. Lila is an excellent thief and her skills help to prevent him from becoming too powerful. He's still a terrible force and he does something that surprises the other families completely. Lila is the only one who can save them all. Fortunately she isn't alone. She has her friends and she has Devon. Will that be enough to defeat this terrible evil?
Bright Blaze of Magic is a rollercoaster of fantastic action. I read the story in one sitting, I couldn't put it down. It's a brilliant page-turner filled with magic, powers, tricks and scheming. Lila is stronger than ever. She's ready to fight and to save as many people as she can. She's a kick-ass heroine. Devon is as wonderful as ever and he completes her. That was wonderful to see. She tries to open up and that makes her even more likable.
Victor has done so many awful things and whenever Lila sees him memories are threatening to overwhelm her. They are also feeding her strength and she's determined to do something about his violence and hunger for power. He's insatiable and does things that are to terrible for words. Lila wants this to end, but can she defeat him? He has more power than anybody can imagine and he's cunning. I loved Lila's bravery and her spirit, she doesn't hesitate to put herself in danger when it's needed to protect the important people in her life.
Jennifer Estep's sentences flow easily and her writing is imaginative and colorful. I really enjoyed her detailed descriptions of Lila's world. I like stories about magic and the Black Blade series is definitely one of my favorites. The main characters all have specific character traits that are making it easy to love and adore them. Because of their strong connection to each other the reader automatically feels close to them. I loved watching them plot and kept looking forward to their next moves. Every scene is exactly as it should be. The Black Blade books are filled with terrific energy. I highly recommend this series, it's absolutely brilliant.
Amazon paperback: http://amzn.to/1rgHrtF
Barnes & Noble (B&N): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bright-blaze-of-magic-jennifer-estep/1122454886?ean=9781617738289
Cold Burn of Magic: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22715908-cold-burn-of-magic
Dark Heart of Magic: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24402674-dark-heart-of-magic
One international winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift card. Three winners from the USA will receive a copy of Bright Blaze of Magic.