Review: Bright Blaze of Magic (Black Blade #3) by Jennifer Estep

Bright Blaze of MagicTitle: Bright Blaze of Magic
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Black Blade #3
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Links:

Blurb:
Bad Things Always Come In Threes…

As a thief, I’m good at three things: hiding in the shadows, getting in and out unseen, and uncovering secrets. I put these skills to work for the Sinclair Family, one of the magical mobs that run the tourist town of Cloudburst Falls.

Everyone knows Victor Draconi wants to take over all the other Families–and kill every last Sinclair. What they don’t know is that I’m on to him, and no way will I let the man who murdered my mom get away with hurting all the other people I care about. Especially when I’ve got places to break into, stuff to steal, and Devon Sinclair fighting right by my side…

My Review:
Enthralling, engrossing read that had me riveted from page one.

I am almost embarrassed to admit that this is my first Jennifer Estep book. It sure as hell won’t be the last. When I got approved for this on Netgalley I fully intended on reading the first two books in the series, but I just didn’t have time. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to follow the story but major kudos to the author for skillfully blending reminders of what had happened previously, along with detailed explanations of the setting and plot which ensured I seamlessly picked up on the story. That said, I really want to read them now! I want to see how Devon and Lila’s relationship developed from their first encounter.

I adore the world building. Wow, so imaginative and creative, and totally immersive. So many different magical creatures. I also loved the sword-fighting battles and duel to the death.

I loved Lila and Devon, and indeed Felix and Deah too. Lila was a fantastic heroine. Gutsy, brave, very kick-ass, but she had a strong moral and emotional compass too. Well-rounded characterization overall. Devon was swoon-worthy in the extreme. I loved how he let Lila lead, and let her protect him. He was secure enough in his masculinity to allow her take center stage. It was so refreshing.

The romance was a little light for me, but that’s just personal preference. I love the romance arc to occupy a bigger chunk of the plot.

The story surrounding the family conflict was well written and there were plenty of action scenes and life-threatening moments that propelled the plot forward.

The writing was superb, pacing consistent for the most part (were a few scenes I felt dragged and/or were overly detailed that I skimmed) and the worldbuilding was complex but solidly developed.

All in all, this was a fantastic read, and I look forward to checking out more of this author’s work in the future.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This review will appear on my blog in due course.

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