Another Day of Something Wicked Rises for all of you. Today, I am excited to be hosting Jennifer Estep once again. I always appreciate Jennifer as she is always willing to do blog interviews for me. Jennifer is here today with her latest book in her exciting new Black Blade Series. This is a fantastic YA Urban Fantasy series that delivers all you love in a good UF. It has magic, monsters, danger and the magical mafia families. What's not to like? If you haven't tried on of Ms. Estep's books, now is the perfect time to settle in with this latest series. I could go on and on, but time is short, so let's reacquaint ourselves with Jennifer Estep:
Jennifer Estep is a New York Times bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. Jennifer is the New York Times bestselling author of the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series; the Black Blade young adult urban fantasy; the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series; and the Bigtime paranormal romance series.
Visit Jennifer on her website,blog, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.
And here is my interview:
Hi Jennifer, I am so excited to have you back here at Rainy Day Ramblings once again with the latest book in your Black Blade Series: Dark Heart of Magic. Can you quickly tell readers about your new series and the latest installment?
JE: Thanks for hosting me on your blog again. I appreciate it.
Dark Heart of Magic is book #2 in my Black Blade young adult urban fantasy series. The series focuses on Lila Merriweather, a 17-year-old thief who lives in Cloudburst Falls, West Virginia, a town dubbed “the most magical place in America.” Tourists come from around the world to tour all the magic-themed shops and attractions, as well as see monsters like tree trolls, copper crushers, and more in their natural habitats.
Lila has a Talent for sight, along with transference magic — in other words, magic makes her stronger. To survive, she does odd jobs for her pawnbroker friend. Lila also does her best to stay off the grid and avoid the Families — or mobs — who control much of the town. But when she saves a member of the Sinclair Family during an attack, Lila finds herself caught in the middle of a brewing war between the Sinclairs and the Draconis, the most powerful Family in town.
In Dark Heart of Magic, Lila is picked to compete in the annual Tournament of Blades, and she quickly discovers that one of the competitors will do anything to win – including hurting people. So there’s a lot of action, adventure, magic, and danger in the book, along with a little romance.
The characters in your book possess magical talents. If you could have your choice of magical talents, what would you pick and why?
JE: I think it would be cool to be able to teleport and go anywhere that I wanted to in an instant. I also think that it would be cool to be super-strong and super-fast.
Cloudburst Falls is populated by all kinds of monsters from a Lochness Monster, to trolls and many others. What is your favorite type of monster?
JE: I really like mythology, so I tend to like mythological monsters/creatures, like the Fenrir wolves and gryphons that were in my Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series. But I also like my lochness and other monsters in my Black Blade series. It’s always fun for me to try to put my own spin on monsters/creatures.
I always enjoy your female heroines. They tend to be ﬁerce, courageous and resourceful. Do you have a favorite amongst your heroines?
JE: Thanks! I appreciate that. I try to give each one of my heroines her own unique personality and skills, and there are things that I like about all of them. But if I had to pick just one, Gin Blanco from my Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series is probably my favorite heroine that I’ve written. She’s just such a great combination of strength, loyalty, and vulnerability.
And I have to ask, do you have a favorite hero?
JE: My favorite hero that I’ve written would probably be Logan Quinn from my Mythos Academy series. Logan’s been through a lot, and he’s determined to protect the people that he cares about no matter what, which makes him a really fierce fighter and a really great, loyal friend.
Do you have any traditions that you enjoy during the Halloween season?
JE: I don’t do a lot for Halloween, except eat too much candy. LOL. But fall is my favorite season. I enjoy the changing leaves, the cooler temperatures, football, and all the apple, cranberry, and pumpkin foods that come out this time of year.
What can readers look forward to from you in 2016?
JE: Bright Blaze of Magic, book #3 in my Black Blade series, will be out on April 26.
Bitter Bite, book #14 in my Elemental Assassin series, will be out on Feb. 23.
I have some other books/projects in the works too, and I hope to share more information on those soon.
Thanks so much Jennifer for taking time out of your busy writing schedule to participate in Something Wicked once again. Best of luck with your latest release. I am sure we will see you back in 2016.
JE: Thanks! I appreciate that. Happy reading, everyone! ☺
A huge thanks to Jennifer for stopping by today. She never comes empty handed. Today, Jennifer is offering up a chance to win a paperback copy of Dark Heart of Magic to one lucky reader. To enter read the Contest Policies and fill out the Rafflecopter. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Good luck!
Here is my review:
Dark Heart of Magic(Black Blade #2) by Jennifer Estep
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...
Paperback, 368 pages
Four stars: Another addictive, action packed installment.
Lila wolfs down another helping of bacon. She is adjusting to her new life as one of the Sinclair guards. The extra plates of bacon certainly are a nice benefit. Still despite her new comfortable surroundings, Lila is wary. She knows that trouble is afoot, and she is certain that Victor Draconi is plotting something terrible. So when Lila, Devon and Felix find some dead tree trolls, Lila suspects something foul. Then things get worse while Lila and Devon are competing in the Tournament of Blades. A mysterious accident has Lila wondering if someone is out to kill. Can Lila figure out who is murdering the monsters and sabotaging the tournament before it is too late?
What I Liked:
- I have said this before, but it bears repeating. Jennifer Estep delivers quick, action packed, terrific character driven stories with plenty of paranormal, magic and danger. There is something that is so addictive about her books. I can't help but get drawn in. If you like good story telling and magical books, you need to try one of her series. I am now a big fan of her Black Blade Series, and I am eagerly awaiting the next installment.
- Lila's character has improved by leaps and bounds. I wasn't completely sold on her in the first book as she was a loner, selfish and only cared about herself. In this book, she has made friends, and she is quick to put herself in danger to protect the Sinclair family, especially Devon. I like that she is courageous, quick witted and that she doesn't back down. I am enjoying the new and improved Lila, and I am looking forward to continuing to see her grow.
- The plot thickens with this latest installment. Lila continues to dig, hoping to uncover the treachery that Victor Draconi is about to unleash. While trying to learn his treacherous secrets, Lila uncovers from startling truths about herself. Things build and build until there is no doubt now that big trouble is in store for Lila and friends. I enjoyed the reveals and the twists, and big developments, and I am anxious to see what happens next.
- There are two romances in this book. One has a bit of Romeo and Juliet flair, as two characters from opposing families fall in love, but are forced to hide their relationship. I was surprised at how invested I was in this relationship, and I can't help but cheer for the star crossed pair. The other one centers around Lila. I appreciate that this relationship has taken it's time to blossom, and that it is based on friendship and trust. I am liking the way things are going, and I can't wait for more.
- This book has plenty of action and danger. I especially liked the Tournament of Blades, a competition between members of the magical families. The tournament presented plenty of battles where competitors dueled using magic, wits and brawn. It was a lot of fun, not to mention there was added danger courtesy of a saboteur. I loved the action in this one.
- I like that the book concluded in a good spot. The main story lines are resolved, and the villain is unmasked, while the main overall story arc is further developed. There isn't a cliffhanger per say, but the book leaves off with a tantalizing thread for the next book, leaving me itching for more.
And The Not So Much:
- I was easily able to guess who was behind sabotaging the Tournament of Blades, it was rather obvious. I wished that it had been more of a surprise.
- I loved the monsters in the first book, but this book didn't have as many monsters. There are only some tree trolls and a mention of the Lochness. I am hoping next time out, there will be more monsters.
Dark Heart of Magic was a solid second installment in what promises to be another thrilling YA series from Jennifer Estep. I loved the danger and action, the characters and the monsters along with the magic. I am very much enjoying this series, and I recommend it for anyone who likes YA Urban Fantasy. I am eagerly awaiting book three. Don't miss this series.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
Don't miss the first book in the series:
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