Welcome to Cloudburst Falls, West Virginia "the most
magical place in America", a sort of Southern Las Vegas
where tourists flock to gawk at the monsters, pixies and
magicks, people with magical Talents. Seventeen year-old
Lila Merriweather has Talents, one of which must remain
secret. After her mother died, orphaned Lila eventually
ended up a clandestine resident of a library basement.
She is admittedly a cheat, a liar and a thief, and that's
how she earns her keep: she steals from the rich
Families, those in power; Lila brings her loot at a
pawnshop, which is owned by her surrogate father and all-
around protector. Two Families are feuding for supremacy:
the Sinclairs and the Draconis. However, one day a chance
encounter with Devon Sinclair topples her whole
existence; who knew that saving another's life could
endanger your own?
COLD BURN OF MAGIC is the first book in the brand new
Black Blade YA fantasy series that has all the
making of a smashing success. Ms. Estep is known for her
creative world building and strong heroine, and the
author more than lives up to her enviable reputation.
Without exception, the characters are splendid, the
adolescent protagonists are totally believable, and their
camaraderie rings true. Lila is an epic heroine: snarky,
fearless; she definitely has an attitude but she has the
tools to justify it; she doesn't wimp out and she doesn't
make stupid decisions. The boys are justifiably in awe of
her; how cool is that! The secondary characters are just
as strong: I love those pixies, especially the
I love what the author does with the magical side of the
story: the Talents that some humans have are most
inventive, and provide some astounding plot twists that
had me nearly jumping up and down! To say COLD BURN OF
MAGIC is action-packed would be a major understatement:
the story is riveting from the opening paragraphs and it
never lets up. I don't know if I would want to live in
the often violent Cloudburst Falls, but I can't wait for
my next visit to the magical town! COLD BURN OF MAGIC is
all about Girl Power and I say hurrah to that!
It's not as
great as you'd think, living in a tourist town that's
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.
to keep out of it. I've got my mom's bloodiron sword and
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.
mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks
I'm going to end up just like her. . .