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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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Profile Image for Hilary - San Francisco
  • 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).

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-03-19

Can’t Do It

I loved the first book, but can’t get through this one. I find it so BORING!!!!!! From the narrators voice, to the tone/pace of the book, the story line, etc... I keep putting the book down, trying to pick it back up again, and putting it back down. I have no interest to finish the rest of the book; I’m done.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Chris Atkins
  • 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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-06-21

Good

The thing I had the biggest problem with was the announcer during the tournament. Reminded to much of the wrestling announcers during Royal Rumbles.

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Profile Image for Patrick Smith
  • Patrick Smith
  • 18-05-21

Outstanding!

Suspense, romance, and exciting! The story is wonderful and the narration is excellent!! I can't wait to start the next installment!

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  • Shoe Monger
  • 02-04-21

Lila finding herself

In book 2 Lila is subtlety embraced by the Sinclair family more and more and doesn't notice - Ms Estep takes us on a journey with Lila coming to realize that being alone has it's perks but having a family has its perks also.

Inconvenient and poorly timed accidents happen and no one can prove the rival Draconi family are behind it - but everyone knows. Sometimes keeping your friends close and enemies closer isn't always a good idea, especially for a self proclaimed thief like Lila.

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Profile Image for Carole Wooten
  • Carole Wooten
  • 02-12-20

Magic, Monsters, and the Mob

I enjoyed this book even more during this re-read than I did the first time around. It is amazing that I can forget the entire plot of a book that I have read in just a few years but apparently I can so I almost felt like I was reading this book for the first time. Once I started listening to this book, I didn't want to stop because I was really curious about how things would work out. I am so glad that I decided to revisit this series in audio.

This is the second book in the Black Blade series which really should be read in order since this book builds on the events from the previous installment. There are a lot of things going on and Lila, Devon, Felix, and the rest of the characters are keeping their eyes open for anyone looking to harm the Sinclair Family. The annual tournament that the families participate in is about to begin and Lila is chosen to participate and represent the Sinclair Family. Of course, there are few other things going on that they will need to deal with while the tournament plays out.

I grew to like the characters even more with this book. I have really enjoyed learning more about the characters and there were some pretty big revelations in this book. While I didn't remember what really happened in the story, I did find that there was one character that I never fully trusted so I did wonder if I might have subconsciously known that this character wasn't what they appeared to be. I found the story to be really exciting and the mystery did keep me guessing.

Brittany Pressley continues to do an excellent job with the narration of this series. I had no problem listening to her performance for hours at a time. I thought that she brought a lot of excitement to the story in her reading and I loved all of her character voices. I feel like I enjoyed this book even more because of her narration.

I would recommend this book to others. This is such a fun series that is filled with quite a bit of excitement. I cannot wait to dive into the final book in the trilogy.

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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

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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 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Randall R Spear
  • Randall R Spear
  • 16-03-16

I want More

Would you listen to Dark Heart of Magic again? Why?

If for no other reason than to capture all the nuances you miss the first time around.

What did you like best about this story?

Its mix of humor and action.

Have you listened to any of Brittany Pressley’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Not sure I have, but will search what she has done for more.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, and fortunately I usually can.