Review: Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Posted June 15, 2015 by Lola in Contemporary, Fantasy, Review / 18 Comments


cold burn of magicCold Burn of magic (Black Blade #1)
By Jennifer Estep

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. . .

My Review:
I love Jennifer Estep her books, she’s one of my favourite authors so I had expected this book would be good, I just hadn’t expected it would be this good. I fell completely in love with this series and pre-ordered the next book before I even finished this book. Cold Burn of Magic is the first book in Jennifer her new Young Adult series. It’s about a tourist town famous for it’s magic and magical creatures and the main character is a thief. Which makes for a great setting.

So yeah it’s about a tourist town and the main character is a thief, but there is so much more going on. The mob families and their power struggles and how Lila somehow get’s dragged into this. And there is magic and talents and unique creatures like tree trolls, the lochness and pixies. As soon as I started reading I got sucked into the story and the world and I did not want to put this down. The pace was done really well and every time I told myself I would read just one more chapter and it was several chapters later before I put the book down. There is a sub plot that gets resolved in this book, but there is more going on and plots that are started in this book that I hope to learn more about in the next book.

So while the story was great, what really made the book shine were the characters. Lila is a great main character and I like how the author can make her a thief, but instead of a nasty character she’s still likeable although she does something that would be considered bad or wrong. But there is a reason behind it all and backstory and I could understand why she did the things she did. She also has a snarky sort of humour and isn’t afraid to talk back. I liked her. Then there are the side characters, from Felix to Devon and Oscar. Oscar is probably one of my favourite side character, even though he plays a tiny part, he’s awesome. He’s a beer drinking grumpy pixie who at the same time cares too much. Devon was also great, he’s the son of one of the mob families bosses, but she’s such a good and noble guy. he also has a secret and carries and heavy burden of guilt. Then there is Felix who can’t stop talking and who’s Devon’s best friend and quickly befriend Lila as well. And Mo, who’s Lila’s only friend at the start of the book. he’s a quikry character who own a pawnshop and walks around in Hawaiian shirts. I grew to care about most the characters very quickly, this book has such an amazing cast of characters and it was fun reading about them.

There is some romance, but it’s really subtly. It’s slow building, but also really powerful and I was routing from them from the start. I think they make a great couple, but the slow build fitted them and how they slowly got to know each other better and where there for each other. There are some really sweet scenes between them and I kept hoping more would happen, but at the same time I love the slow pace and waiting for that moment there will be more.

Then there was the world building which really took me by surprise. Most of the book takes place in one town, but there’s a whole lot of story and world building packed into that one town. There are monsters and mob families and the normal humans. Then there is magic or Talents as they are called. Which was an unique spin on the magic system and I loved it! The town really comes alive and it already felt like home after one book. And the Lochness is cool, I just loved how there were all these tiny little things that hinted to the monsters and how Lila had learned to know how to get around them and get pay their fees. The world building was really amazing and done subtle as well. And I can’t wait to learn more about this world.

To conclude: I loved this book, from the story, the characters to the world building and the slow building romance. It was all done so well and once I started I just wanted to keep reading. The characters really make this story shine and I liked all the characters, it’s an amazing cast of quirky characters who are easy to like. There is a slow building romance as a sub plot, it was done really well! The world building was done really well and I got a good idea of what this town looked like and it already feels like home after one book. The world and magic system is pretty original and unique and I loved it! I can’t wait for the next book!


You can add Cold Burn of Magic to your to-read list on Goodreads

You can buy Cold Burn of Magic here:
The Bookdepository

Other Books by this author that I read and reviewed on the blog:
– Jennifer Estep – Crimson Frost (Mythos Academy #4) – 4 stars
– Jennifer Estep – Spartan Frost (Mythos Academy #4.5) – 4 stars
– Jennifer Estep – Midnight Frost (Mythos Academy #5) – 4 stars
– Jennifer Estep – Killer Frost (Mythos Academy #6) – 4 stars

Do you like anti-hero main characters?Why or why not and what’s the best book with an anti-hero you’ve read?


18 responses to “Review: Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep

    • I really liked the main character and the side characters! It was such a fun book and the worldbuilding was really well done and original. Can’t wait to read the next book in this series!

    • Jennifer Estep is one of my favourite authors and I enjoyed all the books I read by her so far. I also enjoyed her other YA series, but this one is even better. I hope you give this series a try! I am eagerly awaiting the release of the second book already.

    • I am sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy it as much as I did, but I am happy you are curious enough to give the second book a try. I didn’t found it boring at all. The action was well done indeed and I really enjoyed the characters.

    • I have read the first 5 or 6 Elemental Assassin books and loved them, I really need to catch up on that series soon. And it has a bit of a similar feel to this series indeed. The author often mentions her other series like they al take place in the same world. I think Lila mentioned a vacation in Ashland in this book.

      I am not aware my blog has a comment timer, but it might be part of my firewall to keep spammers out. Did you get an error message of some sort?

  1. The cover is gorgeous! I’ve heard of Jennifer Estep, but I have never read her books before. But now you make me want to! This sounds like a very awesome book, and I can’t believe I’ve never heard nor read it at all πŸ™ πŸ™ Love the world-building and the overall plot! πŸ™‚ I’ll now be heading off to the bookstore *runs to the bookstore*
    Jillian @ Jillian’s Books recently posted…What Do You Think of Translated Books?My Profile

    • I would definitely recommend Jennifer Estep, so far I have really enjoyed all of her books that I read. I hope you give one of her series a try! Everything was just so well done and I loved every aspect of this book!

  2. Whoa! It’s a rather ringing endorsement to say that you love Estep and knew this book would be good, but that you didn’t expect it to be *this* good. I’ve heard good things about Estep but have yet to read her. I think I’ll make it a mission of mine to read her before year-end. I’m glad you enjoyed Cold Burn of Magic so much, Lola. πŸ™‚
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…Berk Reviews ~ The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet ~ Erin DionneMy Profile

    • I expected this book to be good, but it was even better than I expected, so that was a nice surprise. I like that idea of trying to read a book by Estep before the end of the year, I think you will like her books. I have also read her Mythos Academy and part of her Elemental Assassin series and really enjoyed those as well.

    • Yes it’s so awesome when a book turns out better than expected. Reading a new book by one of my favourite authors always makes me excited, but also a bit scared it isn’t as good as I hope. When it’s even better than I hoped, that’s the best.

    • Yay! I hope you read it soon, so I have someone to talk about the book with. Lila is a bit like Gin in the anti-hero aspect and with a sad past. I agree that Jennifer Estep is very good at writing anti-hero’s and in my opinion that’s pretty hard to do, to make the characters both do technically bad things, but still have them be likable.
      I can’t wait till the second book is released!
      Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #131My Profile

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.