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…
"An adventurous ride you will never want to get off." --#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout on Cold Burn of Magic
About the Author
Jennifer is a member of Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and other writing groups. Jennifer's books have been featured in Cosmopolitan, Entertainment Weekly, Southern Living, and a variety of other publications.
To learn more about her, visit www.jenniferestep.com. You can also sign up for Jennifer's fan page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Goodreads.
Read an Excerpt
Bright Blaze of Magic
By JENNIFER ESTEP
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2016 Jennifer Estep
All rights reserved.
"You are the worst thief I have ever seen."
Felix Morales frowned, stopped walking, and dropped the black duffel bag he was carrying on the ground. I winced at the clank-clank of the items inside the bag banging together.
"Why would you say that?" he asked.
"Oh, I don't know," I sniped. "Maybe the fact that you're tromping through the woods like you are trying to kill every single blade of grass under your feet. Not to mention hacking through the bushes with your sword like we're on a jungle safari. And then of course, there's the talking. There is always the talking. It's a wonder you don't pass out from lack of oxygen."
His eyes narrowed. "And what is wrong with having a little light conversation while we hike through the woods?"
"Light conversation? You've been talking nonstop ever since we left the mansion."
I threw my hands up in the air. "So you actually have to stop talking and be quiet to be a thief! That's why!"
Felix gave me a mulish look and started to cross his arms over his chest — until he realized that he was still holding on to his sword, the one he'd been swinging around like a machete for the past twenty minutes. He glared at me, but he finally slid the weapon into the scabbard belted to his waist. Well, that would cut down on some of the noise. Now, if I just had some duct tape for his mouth....
Felix stabbed his finger at the guy standing with us, who was busy setting his own black duffel bag onto the ground, although with far less noise than Felix had made. "And why aren't you lecturing him about being quiet?"
"Because Devon can actually walk through the woods without cracking every single branch he steps on."
Felix snorted. "You're just saying that because the two of you have been sneaking around the mansion sucking face for the last two weeks."
I tensed, still not used to having a relationship with a guy, much less talking about it with that guy's best friend. But Devon Sinclair stepped up and slung his arm around my shoulder, pulling me close.
"And it's been the best two weeks of my life," he said, grinning at me.
With his black hair, bronze skin, and dark, soulful eyes, Felix was undeniably cute, but Devon was the one who made my heart race like a tree troll hopping from one branch to another. The setting sun filtering in through the leaves brought out the rich honey highlights in Devon's chocolate-brown hair, even as it cast his handsome face in shadows. But it was his eyes that always hypnotized me — eyes that were the same deep, dark evergreen as the forest around us.
I laid my head on his muscled shoulder and leaned into him, letting the heat of his body soak into my own and his sharp, tangy pine scent seep deep down into my lungs. So far, being with Devon had been a wonderful dream, and sometimes I had to remind myself that we were really — finally — together.
Who would have thought it? Not me, Lila Merriweather, the girl who'd been living on the streets for four years before I'd gone to work for the Sinclair Family earlier this summer. And I'd never expected to fall for Devon Sinclair himself, the Family bruiser and the son of Claudia Sinclair, head of the entire Family.
I might be a great thief, but I wasn't so great when it came to people, preferring to pick their pockets than to make friends with them. But Devon had steadfastly ignored and overcome all my defenses, just by being the kind, caring, genuine, loyal guy he was. I hadn't done a single thing in my life to deserve him, but now that he was mine, I was going to care for and protect him as best I could. Technically, being Devon's bodyguard was one of my jobs within the Family, but he watched out for me just as much as I did for him.
Don't get me wrong. It wasn't like I'd gone soft or anything. I still picked plenty of pockets on the streets of Cloudburst Falls, West Virginia, and I wasn't above snatching phones, cameras, and other shiny things from people who could afford to lose them. After all, a girl had to keep in practice. But now I did most of my thieving for the greater good and with a little mob muscle behind me. Like my job tonight. One that Felix was jeopardizing with his constant chattering and tromping around.
Felix rolled his eyes. "Enough with the lovey-dovey stuff already," he groused, grabbing his duffel bag and hoisting it onto his shoulder again, making more clank-clanks ring out. "I thought we had places to break into and stuff to steal tonight."
Instead of letting me go, Devon wrapped both arms around me and pulled me even closer. "And you're just jealous that Deah's not here, or you would be doing the same thing with her."
Felix huffed. "Please. I would already be kissing my girl and telling her how beautiful she is — and that's before I took her for a moonlit stroll. Totally working my romantic A game from start to finish, which I intend to do the second we sneak into the compound and meet up with her. So, if you'll excuse me, my lady awaits."
He snapped up his hand in a cheeky salute, then whirled around and started stomping through the woods again, making almost as much noise as he had before. He might have put away his sword so that he wasn't hacking through the bushes anymore, but he started muttering instead. Felix wasn't completely happy unless his mouth was going a hundred words a minute, even if he was only talking to himself.
I sighed. "I don't know whether to strangle him or admire his confidence."
"Relax, Lila." Devon turned so that he was facing me, his hands dropping to my waist. "Felix will quiet down once we actually get close to the mansion. He knows how important this is. We all do."
I nodded. "You always know just what to say to make me feel better."
He grinned. "That's part of being a good boyfriend, right?"
I looped my arms around his neck. "The best boyfriend."
Devon stared at me, his green eyes glimmering like dark emeralds. My gaze locked with his, and my soulsight — my magic — kicked in, letting me look into the depths of his heart and feel all of his warm happiness flooding my chest as if it was my own emotion. In a way, it was my own emotion since I felt the exact same thing whenever I looked at Devon, whenever I heard his voice, whenever I made him laugh or smile or brightened his day in any way.
I stood on my tiptoes and pressed my lips to his. Devon's arms tightened around me, and he kissed me back, our lips coming together time and time again, until I felt as though we were spinning around and around in dizzying circles, even though we were standing still.
"Any time you two lovebirds are ready!" Felix called out, his voice loud enough to make the rockmunks on the forest floor scurry into their stone dens.
Devon and I broke apart, both of us breathing hard and holding on to each other.
"Unfortunately, duty calls," he murmured in a husky voice. "To be continued later?"
I grinned. "You'd better believe it."
Devon and I caught up with Felix, and the three of us headed deeper into the woods.
The summer sun had set while Devon and I had been kissing, and darkness was quickly creeping over the land. We didn't dare use a flashlight, and Devon and Felix fell back, letting me take the lead, since I could still see everything around me as clearly as if it were noon. Not only could I use my rare soulsight magic to look into people and feel what they were feeling, but I also had the much more common and mundane Talent of being able to see everything around me in crystal clarity, no matter how dark it was.
And the place we were going was definitely dark — the Draconi Family compound, home of Victor Draconi, the most powerful person in Cloudburst Falls, the sworn enemy of the Sinclair Family.
And the monster who'd murdered my mom.
The longer we hiked, the darker it got, and the quieter the three of us became. Even Felix stopped talking, dropped his hand to his sword, and scanned the trees around us, though he couldn't see through the thick fog that was slowly sliding down from the top of Cloudburst Mountain and invading the forests below.
Every once in a while, I could hear the faint rush of water in the distance from one of the many waterfalls that tumbled down the mountain. The resulting clouds of mist always cloaked the top of the rugged peak, even during the hottest part of the day, but at night, after the sun had set, the fog grew thicker and thicker and sank lower and lower on the mountain.
But the white clouds did little to hide the eyes that stared at us.
Sapphire blue, ruby red, emerald green. The colors were the same as all the jewels I'd stolen over the years, but these were the bright, glowing orbs of the monsters that called the mountain home — tree trolls, rockmunks, copper crushers, and the like. Some more dangerous than others, but there were plenty of monsters lurking in the trees with enough teeth and claws to make meals out of all three of us.
I didn't mind the cool clouds of mist, the watching monsters, or the soft, shimmering sheen of dew that covered everything. It made for better cover for us.
Because if we were caught, we'd be executed on the spot.
Twenty minutes later, we reached the edge of the trees, crouched down, and peered at the structure before us. Technically, it was a mansion, although the gleaming white stone and architecture made it look more like a castle. Tall, skinny, diamond-paned windows. White trellises with red roses winding up through the slats. Towers topped with red flags bearing the Draconi Family crest of a snarling gold dragon. Everything about the castle made it seem as though it had been dropped on top of the mountain right out of a fairy tale. But there were no happy endings here — just danger, despair, and misery.
Devon, Felix, and I had been sneaking over here every night for the past two weeks on our thieves' errand, and we fell into our usual routine of watching the guards patrolling the grounds. It was almost full dark now, and Devon and Felix were both wearing black cloaks to help them blend into the shadows. I sported my mom's long, sapphire-blue trench coat, made out of spidersilk, which also helped me melt into the growing blackness.
The Draconi guards were dressed in black boots, pants, and shirts, along with blood-red cloaks and matching feathered cavalier hats, making them look like extras from a Three Musketeers movie. But they were much more dangerous than that. All of the guards had their hands on the swords belted to their hips, looking for intruders, as well as keeping an eye out for any monsters that might be creeping up on them. Many an inattentive guard had been snatched by a copper crusher and dragged into the forest, unlucky enough to be the oversize, venomous snake's dinner date.
"Are we good?" Felix asked, checking his phone. "It's almost time for us to meet Deah. You know how she worries if we're even one minute late."
With good reason. If she was caught helping the enemy, Deah would be executed right along with us, despite the fact that she was Victor's daughter.
Instead of answering him, I started counting the guards along the perimeter. One, two, three. ... It didn't take me long to realize that something was different tonight. Worry shot through me.
"Wait," I whispered. "There are more guards patrolling tonight."
Devon frowned and squinted at the compound. "How can you tell?"
"I can see them. Trust me. There are more guards."
"Can we still take our usual route into the mansion?" he asked in a tense voice, his hand dropping to the duffel bag sitting at his feet. "This is our last trip. If we can get in and out tonight, then we're done with this."
"Give me a second to work it out," I said.
Devon and Felix both fell silent, although they kept looking from me to the guards and back again. I focused on the guards, staring at first one, then another. It took me a minute to realize that Victor had only doubled the number of guards, pairing them up in teams of two. I wondered at the change and why he thought he needed so many men up here at the castle, instead of patrolling down on the Midway like usual. But Victor hadn't altered the guards' routes, which meant that we could still get into the mansion the same way as before.
"We're good," I said. "Text Deah and tell her that we're on our way in."
Felix nodded, his thumbs flying over the screen. A second later, his phone lit up with a message. "Deah says that the coast is clear on her end."
"Good," I said. "Follow me."
Keeping low, I left the woods behind and hopscotched my way across the lawn, hiding behind various trees and bushes and only moving when the guards' backs were turned. Devon and Felix followed along behind me, both of them being as quiet as possible and clutching the duffel bags to their chests to muffle any telltale clank-clanks.
Less than three minutes later, we were at one of the side patio doors. I reached up and gently turned the knob. Unlocked. How disappointing. It was no fun breaking into a mansion when your inside woman left a door unlocked for you.
But I opened the door and ushered Devon and Felix inside. I slipped in after them and locked the door behind me, just in case one of the guards decided to check it. Then I took the lead again, creeping from one hallway and staircase to the next.
The outside of the Draconi mansion might resemble a castle, but the furnishings inside were the real riches. Just about everything gleamed with bits of gold, from the chandeliers overhead to the gilt-edged mirrors on the walls to the trim on the tables and chairs. And Victor's snarling dragon crest was painted, carved, chiseled, embroidered, and stamped into practically everything, from the crown molding that ringed the ceilings, to the stained glass windows set into the walls, to the white flagstones underfoot.
All those dragons were creepy enough, but it seemed like every single one of the monsters turned its head, narrowed its eyes, and glared at Devon, Felix, and me as we crept past. I shivered. Sometimes, I would have been happy not to see so well with my sight magic.
We quickly made our way up some stairs to the Draconi greenlab. Once again, the glass doors were unlocked, and the three of us slipped inside and moved through the area, which was part chemistry lab, part greenhouse, where a variety of magical and other plants were grown and harvested. The long, sharp needles on the stitch-sting bushes quivered as we hurried past them, but we didn't get close enough for the evergreen plants to lash out and try to scratch us for disturbing them.
We made it to the opposite side of the greenlab, and I sidled up to the glass doors there and peered out into the hallway beyond. The lights were turned down low in this part of the mansion, creating more shadows than not. Just the way I liked it.
Since the coast was clear, I opened one of the glass doors and stepped out into the hallway —
I spotted a glint of metal out of the corner of my eye. Even as I turned toward it, a sword zoomed out of the shadows, heading straight for me.CHAPTER 2
The sword stopped an inch from my throat.
I froze, my eyes wide, my body tense, my hand curling around the hilt of my own sword, even though I knew that I wouldn't be fast enough to draw the weapon, much less defend myself with it, before I got skewered.
"You're late," a familiar voice growled.
Deah Draconi stepped out of the shadows, her sword still at my throat. I looked down at the weapon and the stars carved into the dull, ash-colored metal. A similar pattern adorned my own sword. Each of our weapons had been given to us by our respective mothers, and both were black blades, so named because the more blood you got on the blades, the blacker they became.
Deah was quite pretty with her golden hair and dark blue eyes the same color as my own — another sign of our Sterling Family blood, along with our black blades. She was wearing white shorts and sandals with a red T-shirt, but my gaze dropped to the gold cuff stamped with the Draconi dragon crest that gleamed on her right wrist. Deah might be helping us now, but part of me still wondered whose side she would choose in the end, when Victor finally tried to destroy all the other Families, starting with the Sinclairs.
"Why, hello, cousin," I drawled. "I didn't see you there. You're getting better at sneaking around. I approve. We might make a thief out of you yet."
Excerpted from Bright Blaze of Magic by JENNIFER ESTEP. Copyright © 2016 Jennifer Estep. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a great series. Every book has been fun and enternaining to read. I dont want to put Jennifers books down. Im 53 and ive read all her YA and adult books. Ive loved them all. Jeniffer has a creativity that benifits us all. She always has young and adult tough, secure, and independent smart woman as her heros but dont mind accepting help from others. A great outlook to give us girls and women. Thats my main reason i love her books. Get them all like me, you wont be dissapointed. Thanks Jennifer for your great writing and creativity. Keep it up!
I just wish it wouldn't have ended.
Each book is 5 stars! WHAT AN AWESOME SERIES.I wonder if there will be anymore.... I HOPE SO.
Awesome as always. Love all of your books and can't wait for the next one ?
Having read all her books, this one comes together nicely, evening bringing in some of the other series in various places. Now if Lila and Gin could just get together...
Awesome!!! I really loved the conclusion to this trilogy. Jennifer Estep has done an excellent job weaving a fantastic plot with a strong heroine and complex characters. I wish there was just a touch more romance in the trilogy, but the storyline was so compelling. The MC was strong, courageous, and a good person. The way the story concluded left me satisfied, even though one could always want more. Five glittery stars for The Bright Blaze of Magic and five glittery stars for the trilogy!
Love this series !
I have enjoyed this series and have found the adventures, pace, and writing truly entertaining. Jennifer Estep has created another wonderful world of magic and monsters.
Love this entire series, have read everything she's written!
I swear Lila probably has dealt with more in the last few weeks, then probably almost all her life. I enjoyed listening to Lila through the journey that she’s had to go through. She fights one of the worst evils, she has ever known. But she is reminded time and time again, that she can do it. She is basically the chosen one, the one that could get rid of Victor once and for awhile. That’s a lot to put on someone shoulders. Especially, at her age. There’s a reason i didn’t give it five stars. I do love this series and I feel for a YA. It’s really great for the genre, or anyone who loves a good YA. It’s exciting, thrilling, and nail biting. There were a few times I wanted to skip, so I could see what happens to Lila. It’s just that the writer, had a tendency to rehash the previous books. I get it, if it’s been like a couple years since the last was published. But I had just finished the second. I didn’t need six chapters of remembering who all the characters were, or what had happened. Britney Pressley, is an outstanding narrator! she really gave each character their own voice. You weren’t think about anything, but the story itself. It was really easy to get lost in the story, with her narration. Overall, I give this story Four Boundless Stars.
First off, What do you mean this is the last one? That can’t be right? Sigh. Fine. I guess I can go on. Now that’s out of the way, Bright Blaze of Magic is one of the best series ending books that I have ever read. Lila and company has so much ground to cover in this one last novel that I had some serious doubts if Estep could pull it off without concluding a key piece of the story. I am so glad that she proved me wrong. We last left Cloudburst Falls with a huge discovering, Victor Draconi is the horrific bad guy we all thought he was, and his level of depravity runs deep. We know that he has his sights set on the Sinclair family, but his intentions for all of the families will leave you shocked. Our brave Lila knows that she has to continue her mother’s work and shut him and his operation down once and for all, but it might require her life. She’s worked so hard to maintain anonymity over the years as she thieved away to survive, but this type of survival is of a completely different nature. She has to risk exposing her gifts to the one person she’s hidden them away from in order to succeed. Lila’s fight is far from easy and when the fate of the entire familial structure of Cloudburst Falls lays squarely at her feet, the task becomes even more daunting. Estep has created this wildly detailed and frightening YA world. Lila and all of the other characters are frankly some of the best developed that I have ever read. The action sequences and even the PG-13 romantic pieces of this story are absolutely brilliant. The romance was never the forefront of the story and for this series, it works. Just like the final scene of the series. Everything that Lila has endured, faced, and in some cases failed is nothing compared to the final showdown that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Even though I am sad to see this series go, I am happy with the way it ended. Estep carefully planned and teased this ending throughout the entire series and the execution shows how great of an author she truly is. The Black Blade series is one that I would highly recommend for all YA ages and even for some adults. It has a little bit of everything that will entertain all ages for hours to come.
Bright Blaze of Magic is book 3 in the Black Blade series. The series revolves around Lila Merriweather, a thief turned bodyguard for the Sinclair house. The book is set in Cloudburst Falls, which is full of magical beings and monsters. The magic users are broken up into different houses, and our leading lady is in one of the top houses (Sinclair house). There's always been a power struggle between the Sinclair family and the Draconi family (the other top house), but we finally see it come to a head in this installment. Victor Draconi, the leader of the Draconi family, is ready to take over the other houses and the town. He's quite power hungry and has plenty of magic to do as he wants. Lila knows of his plans and steals the very things he's counting on, the black blades full of stolen magic. The only issue is that Victor Draconi is still quite dangerous even without the blades. And now that things don't go according to plan, he will make everyone pay. I was honestly worried on how the book would turn out. I felt like Victor would wind up killing everyone that stood in his way, and boy there was a high body count already. That being said, this series is mainly about the fighting and plotting and such that goes into an Urban Fantasy book. We do have a tiny bit of romance tossed in, but it's definitely not the main focus of this book and it's very light. I was hoping there would be another few books in the series since I love it so much, but it looks like this is the last one. I'll hope JEstep wants to continue it at a later date. I think that UF fans will love this series and highly suggest it if you haven't read it yet!
Fantastic book in a great series! This is the third book in a series, and I'd encourage readers to read the previous books for best enjoyment. Lila Sterling is an orphaned teen in a magical world. She's got plenty of magic herself, including the ability to sense magical power and transfer power used against her into magic she can use for herself. These are rare Talents, and she could find herself fighting for her life if power-hungry demagogues, like Victor Draconi, could get his lethal hands upon her. See, Victor has already killed Lila's father and mother, and he's the brutal leader of one of the four Families (think magic mafia) that control the power and commerce in Cloudburst Fall, NC. Lila is employed by the Sinclair family as a bodyguard to Devon Sinclair, a beefy Bruiser, only son to Claudia Sinclair, head of the Family. Lila's mother had worked for the Sinclairs many years ago, and Lila feels safe in their world--except she'd discovered a cache of magic infused weapons that had been collected by Victor. These mark the capstone in Victor's plan to kill the other Families and seize all power in Cloudburst Falls, so Lila, Devon and Felix steal the majority of the weapons--with the help of Deah, Victor's daughter (and Lila's cousin)--and replace them with fakes. It's not long before all-out war is declared. It's a bloody business and many lives are lost. It sould have been a massacre if Victor's minions had the magic-infused weapons, however. Lila has the ability to end the siege, and bargain for the release of captives, using the very blades she stole from Victor. Oh, and win also a magic duel to end all battles. I love the tension in this book. So many life-or-death moments, and increasing suspense. It's a tough road for Lila, who wants to kill Victor, but needs to use her head, and plan the perfect revenge. When the time comes, she's still a girl, one fighting for her life--and those all whom she loves. She and Devon are a couple in the book series, and they have appropriate levels of affection, which are wholly clean. Expect Lila to be hurt, downtrodden, and nearly out of the game altogether, but to persevere against all expectations. The magical elements of this world are truly charming, with unique fauna that have deadly abilities. Who knew I'd love me some Lochness monster? Yes, even a tentacled beast of the deep had me going Aww! The end of this book marks a hard break in the series, with some small plot threads left open for use in another book--though I have no idea if a fourth book is forthcoming. ;) That said, I'd totally read on. Lila was one of my Fave Heroines of 2015, and she's a shoe-in to claim the title again in 2016. Between her thievery, her strength and her indomitable spirit, she's a gal who gets the job done. If the job is protection, theft and saving the day, that is...
Read from April 08 to 09, 2016 Book Info Paperback, 368 pages Expected publication: April 26th 2016 by Kensington ISBN 161773828X (ISBN13: 9781617738289) Edition Language English Series Black Blade #3 Other Editions (2) Source:Netgalley EARC Book Buy Links Amazon B&N BOOK SYNOPSIS "The characters are as fantastic as Estep fans have come to expect." – RT Book Reviews 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… "An adventurous ride you will never want to get off." --#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout on Cold Burn of Magic My Thoughts Lila Merriweather has a rough road to walk in this 3rd book, not that her path in the first two books was really any easier but in Bright Blaze of Magic she has more to lose than ever. Relationships have been formed, friends have been made and family ties found where she thought she was completely alone so Lila has to put out the greatest effort of her life to not only keep herself alive but those who she has claimed as well. Filled with action scenes that have come to expect when returning to Cloudburst Falls and the main characters that have enjoyed getting to know this third book reconfirmed my belief that the works of author Jennifer Estep will stay at the top of my must read list. Bright Blaze of Magic was fast, smoothly paced and addictive from beginning to end and whether it leads to more books are not the wrap up was well executed to my satisfaction. I only have one complaint, the book is finished and time with Lila and her friends was too short for me! [EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]
The most magical town in the country, or so the tourism says, is about to have one major magical war on its hands. Which family will survive and which family will fall, well we know the Draconi want it all. Its finally come to a head, Lila has found a home in the Sinclair family but the Draconi’s want to take it all away again. She’s uncovered their plot and did everything in her power to switch out the black blades but will it be enough? Just like Gin, Lila is discovering its pretty awesome having friends at your back. When faced with a foe with unsurmountable power, Devon, and friends as well as a pixie and a tortoise can really come in handy. This is another awesome, action packed adventure in the same world where magical families run a muck and love can bring you to your knees. I flat out love Estep’s imagination and am so glad she shares it with us. Bright Blaze of Magic has complex world building, well developed characters and an engrossing plot that kept me riveted to the pages. I received this ARC copy of Bright Blaze from Kensington Books in exchange for a honest review.
Lila finally gets her chance to take on Victor Draconi in an action packed ending to a fantastic trilogy. Lila has her hands full trying to save her family and fight off the Draconis. When Victor finally reveals his plan to take over or kill off all the other families and puts that plan in action Lila knows she has to put a stop to it once and for all even if it means giving up her own life to do it. There was a lot of death and killing in this one and at times it had me on their edge of my seat, especially terrified for Oscar and Tiny as their home is invaded. We also learn more about the Lochness under the bridge and that it's been there a long time watching and waiting. And we get a little romance with Lila and Devon, who have finally realized and admitted how much they love each other. I really hate to say goodbye to this series because I really looked forward to each one. A great ending to a great trilogy.
Bright Blaze of Magic delivers everything that I have come to expect from any book by Jennifer Estep, interesting characters, a little mystery, a little romance and a lot of action. While this one does have a conclusion to the current story arc it leaves plenty of room for more books to come. I just love books by Jennifer Estep she is such a talented writer she can write very diverse characters and worlds combined with a storyline that will have readers cheering for the "good guy". I really like that she has a few easter egg hints here and there that link this series with her others.
Jennifer Estep Bright Blaze of Magic is enchanting and full of thrills. Lila Merriweather is back in the third book of the Black Blade Series. Bright Blaze of Magic takes place after book two, Dark Heart of Magic. After discovering Victor Draconi is stocking up on black swords with magic stolen from the monsters; Lila, Devon Sinclair, and Felix Morales attempt the steal the blades and replace them with fakes with the help of Victor’s daughter, Deah. This urban fantasy takes place in the magical town of Cloudburst Falls, West Virginia. It is suitable for young adults. I LOVED this book. Jennifer Estep did a great job incorporating things from the previous books. It was full of excitement and unexpected twists. Her descriptions and imagination are compelling. Lila is a charming heroine. Her parents were murdered by Victor, and she became a thief to survive. Then in book one, she became part of the Sinclair family tasked as Devon’s bodyguard. She has grown a lot in the three books. She has interesting talents. She is strong. She cares about others, and is selfless. I love her compassion for the monsters, especially the Lochness. I like her relationship with Devon. I appreciate that he respects her and knows she can hold her own. The plot was well executed and full of non-stop action. It was mysterious and magical. I told my thirteen-year-old son, and his friends that they need to put this book on their to read list. I’m sure they will love it. I think people that enjoy the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson Series would enjoy these books. They have a lot of the same elements: likeable characters, magic, mystery, good versus evil, visions of the future, and humor among a few. The story had an amazing ending that felt well resolved. Complimentary copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Bright Blaze of Magic by Jennifer Estep is the 3rd book in her Black Blade series. Each book in this series just keeps getting better and better. I love this series by Estep, as it is non stop action, very exciting, tense and exhilarating. Lila Merriweather is a fantastic heroine that rivals Estep’s other fabulous heroine, Gin Blanco. What are the chances that an author can create two fantastic heroines in both of their series….Jennifer Estep does it. We return to Cloudburst Falls, the place where those with magic and monsters rule. In Bright Blaze of Magic, Lila not only has admitted her feelings for Devon, but she is now fully a member of the Sinclair Family. She has made amends with Deah, the daughter of the evil Victor Draconi, who in the last book, learns that she is her cousin. Deah will help Lila, Devon and Feliz enter the Draconi mansion to steal the dreaded black blades that is filled will stolen magic. Lila also works closely with Claudia, who is Devon’s mom and the leader of the Sinclair Family. Together they will double up protection to move the blades again to another area that even Devon won’t know. But when Victor Draconi attacks all the Cloudburst Falls families at an annual dinner, all hell breaks loose, with many members of all the other families being slaughtered. Claudia and most of the upper members of the Sinclair Family are captured, with only Lila, Devon and Felix escaping. It is a race against time to rescue Claudia and the others before Victor forces her to reveal where the blades are, and then kills her. Lila will work with Deah to find where they are hiding them, and together with Devon and Felix they devise a plan to rescue them. Will Claudia survive? Will Lila be able to fool the Draconi’s and rescue her friends? What follows is an awesome thrilling last half of the book that had us holding our breaths. I had to know what happens, and ended up staying up late to finish the book. I will not give any spoilers, but what happens was absolutely mind-boggling as we watched the evil Victor try to destroy Lila, as he had done years before to her mother. Lila must pull out every trick she has learned, and then some. This was a pulse pounding, tense, wildly exciting battle. Who will win this fight? I will say that Jennifer Estep has given us a fantastic fast paced story, which I finished in one day. I love Devon and Lila together. I love that Deah and Lila get closer, as a family. I got a kick out of the shirt both Lila and Deah were wearing mentioning the Pork Pit being the best barbeque (it is part of the Elemental Assassin series). LOL I cannot wait to see what else Jennifer Estep has in store for us. Lastly, this series is considered YA, but trust me when I say it is a wonderful read for all of you who love Urban Fantasy. If you have not started this series, I suggest you do so now.