Cold Burn of Magic (review)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep
Title: Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade #1)
Author: Jennifer Estep
Release Date: April 28th, 2015
Genre: Paranormal - Magic
Age Group: YA
Source: NetGalley
“There Be Monsters Here. . .

It's not as great as you'd think, living in a tourist town that's known as "the most magical place in America." Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power.

I try to keep out of it. I've got my mom's bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick.

But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend's pawn shop, and I have to make a call--get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn't. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I'm stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I'm going to end up just like her. . .”

RELATED: Dark Heart of Magic (Black Blade #2) | Crimson Frost (Mythos Academy #4) | Midnight Frost (Mythos Academy #5) | Killer Frost (Mythos Academy #6)

My Review

*Received a copy for an honest review.*

All I needed to know about Cold Burn of Magic to want to read it, was that it was written by Jennifer Estep.

I loved one of her series, and really want to read another. There was no question if I wanted to read this one or not. So I was ecstatic to have been approved for an eARC via NetGalley.

Cold Burn of Magic was urban fantasy blended with historical fantasy. The book was set in our world, so we got all the cool modern technology: cars, computers, phones, etc. But in this particular city, Cloudburst Falls, a place where the tourists came to see magic and monsters, there old ways were prevalent. Instead of guns, guards wore swords and daggers. It was a really fun and cool blend.

The story itself followed Lila Merriweather, a young girl with a penchant for stealing and a knack for fighting. And I loved her. Thanks to her Talents - Sight, superior vision, including the ability to see a person's emotion, and Transference, a rare ability to absorb the magic of others and use it against them - and her determination and confidence, she was no weak woman. Most of all, Lila was a survivor, and you couldn't help but be envious of how she kept going even when it looked like she was in a gilded cage.  

Adding in a whole other layer of danger and intrigue was the whole Mafia vibe. It was like this book didn't know what genre it wanted to be, so it sought to claim them all. And, somehow, it managed to succeed. Cloudburst Falls was ruled over by the Families. But instead of money and connections, the real power behind these groups was the magic in their blood. The rest just came along naturally.

There were two main Families in Cold Burn of Magic: the Sinclairs, to which our love interest Devon belonged and the Draconis, the biggest baddies in the land.

I really liked Devon. He was the good, noble boy, yet he was more than capable of taking care of himself if he needed too. His loyalty to his Family was inspiring. At first I thought he was a bit naïve, but as we got to know him better, it was obvious how his drive to protect his people dictated his actions. As the Bruiser in his family, he is the "tough guy" who goes around settling issues that arise. When we saw him fight or train, it was obvious he is capable of fulfilling all those negative connotations that arose when you hear the word 'Bruiser.' But he wasn't that kind of man, he was a perfect combination of boy next door and the bad boy.

I ship it.

The romance aspect of the book was cute, and natural. There may have been initial attraction at first glance, but Lila focused on her situation and on Mo, the man who looked after her in his own fashion. Most sensible considering her life was on the line several times. I really hate it when books become so focused on the romance side of things that we forget out characters are in mortal danger and making out is not their priority at the moment. So I really have to give it to Jennifer Estep for once again not falling into that trap. Though I definitely think she is going to break our hearts before she lets this duo get their Happy Ever After, if they get one.

It took a few pages for me to get into this story, mainly because I was expecting one sort of vibe and we got another. But once I got all the basics of the world down, I truly loved it. Things kept happening, and death stalked our heroes, forcing me to finish this book in once sitting. I just had to know what was going to happen next.

Words To Live By

All of them.

Seriously, this was one of those books that I kept writing down quotation after quotation because I kept finding more and more that I could connect with.

"My mom had been big on that. On paying the tolls, following the old traditions, and giving every creature -mortal, magick, and monster- the respect it deserved. Especially the ones that could eat you in one gulp."
"That I'd been hurt so badly, I thought I would never truly recover from it. Because if someone mattered to you, if you cared about them, if you loved them, then you might as well start winding down a clock to the second when your heart would be shattered when they were taken from you."
"Be good, Lila. Or be really good at being bad. I'll leave it up to you which one it is."
"If there was one thing I didn't want, it was his pity. Sometimes, I thought pity was the most heartless things in the world. All it did was make people feel superior to you, happy, safe, and smug in the knowledge that someone had it worse than they did."
"All that really mattered was having a roof over your head, a warm, dry place to sleep, and enough food to fill your stomach on a daily basis. Life really was that simple. Everything else was just static."


If you are looking to start a new YA series that involves magic, kickass heroines, swoonworthy boys, interesting three dimensional side characters, and a plot that leaves you wanting more, then I highly recommend you pick this book up.


  1. This sounds really awesome!! I've never read anything by Jennifer Estep but based on this review, she sounds like an author I could get into. I'm with you on the romance aspect. I NEED at least a little romance in a book to enjoy it, but I hate it when romance completely takes over and it becomes either nauseating or completely unbelievable. Unless it's -just- a romance... then I guess it's okay. Anyway, fantastic review! Thanks for sharing and introducing me to a new author :)

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

    1. Based on what I've seen on your blog, she is definitely an author you'd probably enjoy reading.

      Even my romance novels I'll read, I want them to have plot outside of the falling in love bits. I think it makes them a bit more real. No one walks around solely to fall in love, other things happen in life so I want them to happen in the books I read.

      Hope you get to read one of her books and fall in love with it!

      Thank you for stopping by.

  2. This one sounds like a fantastic paranormal new series to start, and for once I'm finding about it on the first installment and not when I have to catch up with 8 previous books or something!
    Great review!

    1. That's normally my luck. "Oh here is this great new's just number 20 in the series. But you can catch up fast right?"

      Hope you get a chance to read and enjoy the series!

      Thank you for stopping by.

  3. Did you change your blog theme? I came across it and I'm thinking.. something is different xD It looks wonderful though. I haven't read this book, although I have read much praise about it. I like the sound of Devon though, I had to read your review again when you mentioned "Bruiser." I thought that was his name, silly mistake. Glad you could ship the romance though, I would read the book just for that - wonderful review! <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

    1. I did. XD Thank you. I wanted something simple and more professional looking. It's not 100% what I wanted, but I'm moving in the right direction at least. Devon was great. He was a kind soul, but also capable of kicking butt without being that bad boy type of guy. For a girl who favors bad boys in books (me) I loved that combo very much. I haven't read a lot of YA books with romance in them that I could ship lately. Too many of them seem to cross some lines for me or were just plan aggravating/weird for me to root for. So this was a welcomed change.

      Thank you for stopping by.

  4. I am totally going to add this because of the natural romance!

    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

    1. You should! I hate books where they are making out by like chapter two. This one was wonderfully realistic and totally shippable.

      Thank you for stopping by.

  5. I love all the quotes you shared. I grabbed this one since reviews have been so positive and will read it next week. Lovely review!

    1. I went a little crazy with the quotations. You should see my clipping file on my kindle for this book. Just a little crazy. XD I really hope you love this book!

      Thank you for stopping by.


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