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Summary

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....

©2015 Jennifer Estep (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Hilary - San Francisco
  • 25-01-16

Slow and predictable

Any additional comments?

As I recognise that authors are people and that book preferences are by nature subjective, I will start with the good.

Set in a town dominated by magic and magic monsters, the first two books in the series follow Lila, a former thief and hard luck kid with a mysterious past. Lila makes her way back into the magical society her mother left and starts to uncover her past. Teaming up with the good guys from her adopted clan (her new "besties") she fights the bad guys and is generally a tough chick with the skills and magic to beat anyone and anything. I love a fighting, tough-girl heroine with a sword and as such, the story line (despite being an old tried one) had some promise.

However, in my opinion the promise is let down by the extremely slow pace of the book (I ended up skipping huge chunks cause I just could not be bothered), the predicable plot twists and an dominating, annoying, internal teenage monologue.

The incepted romance in particular is a killer for me. The romantic male lead is such a one dimensional "good guy" he could not be more boring. I could not find it in me to care either way if they got together or not. Added to the general ho-hum of the chemistry between the protagonists, Lila's constant, repeated "I must resist this pull between us, because am afraid to get my heart broken again" monologues caused me to hit the fast forward button more times than I could count.

Like the romantic lead, the baddies and the goodies were in general, so one dimensional I could not find it in me to care one way or another what happened to them.

I got this book (book two in the series) as I am stuck in bed with an injury and I could not be bothered searching for something new, but having soldiered through to the end, I wish I hadn't wasted a credit on it. I listened to the first few books in Elemental Assassin some years ago, and I remember them being better reads (listens).

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • T. L. Jacob
  • 29-03-16

Great YA read.

I liked the story overall. Good character development as well. I purchased this book for the author not realizing it was YA. I was still quite entertained. I think many YA readers would love this series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lynnz
  • 26-07-18

Couldn't put it down

This second book was just as exciting as the first book. When I finished the first book, I immediately turned around and bought the second. The first was so good and so was the continuation of Lilah's story. The Magic that each one possesses was very interesting. The tournament was exciting. I love a strong woman and Lilah is one very strong woman. The dynamics of the families kept me on the edge of my seat as I listened. The narrator did an excellent job with the characters and their personalities. Love this Series.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Carrie
  • 03-12-17

Worthwhile

Estep always writes a good story. Lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing. Good character development and growth.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Karen Kennedy
  • 21-08-16

Bought it as soon as I finished Book 1!!

Love the characters and couldn't wait to get this book after the first one. It didn't disappoint!! I loved it and was hoping for several more in this series. Will read more from her.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-05-16

a magical follow up to cold burn of magic

Good concepts with good narration with a cloak and daggers feel to it with a splash of mystery

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-05-16

Author hit a home run.

Great book, good character development, good plot, and excellent narration. Thank you for the fun ride.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Yelena
  • 20-04-16

Great book

Great new YA series. This book is as good as first book in the series. Although was somewhat predictable without much of the plot twister. However family drama, evolving relationship between Main characters keeps you glued to the book. Can't wait for the next book.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Chris Atkins
  • 31-03-16

A rehash of book 1.

Would you try another book from Jennifer Estep and/or Brittany Pressley?

Yes, I really enjoy Brittany Pressley's narration. I hope this book isn't indicative of Jennifer's other books.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

The ending was obvious and expected. It was too close to book 1's ending.

What does Brittany Pressley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Her voices are fantastic. She adds depth to the characters that are only available in audio book format.

Could you see Dark Heart of Magic being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jeff
  • 31-03-16

Excellent

Jennifer Estep did it again excellent story great narration I can't say enough about this particular series