Thank you NetGalley and Kensington for providing an e-Arc in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: April 26th, 2016
Synopsis: 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 by my side…
I’m always anxious when I come to the last book in a series or trilogy. I’ve been burned too many times by disappointing finales. But with a brilliant writer such as Jennifer Estep, I needn’t have worried because Bright Blaze of Magic is a nearly perfect conclusion to the Black Blade trilogy.
First of all there’s the characters. Lila is everything you want to see in a heroine. She’s courageous, intelligent, stubborn, compassionate, and devoted to her family and friends. She even has an addiction to bacon which I can totally relate to. Her actions and personality have remained consistent throughout the books and I didn’t think I could love her any more until this last book. The romance between her and Devon is so incredibly sweet. It’s developed over the course of the three books so it’s not a case of insta-love thank God! There’s also very little angst or drama between them. Instead these are two people who love, support and respect each other. The rest of the characters are also richly drawn with Felix and Deah being my favorites. Deah actually gives Lila a run for her money as she continues to be torn between loyalty to her father Victor (who’s the villain of the story) and her love for Felix, as well as the growing realization of how truly evil Victor really is. Her story is every bit as compelling as Lila’s. And finally, there’s Victor Draconi who is one of the nastiest antagonists I’ve ever read. He’s arrogant, cold-hearted, and completely merciless, yet in an odd way I find I’m going to miss him as well. I think that’s a testament to how talented a writer Estep is. As in the first two books, the world-building is just fantastic. What I really appreciate is how Estep is able to further bring to life the magic and grittiness of the town of Cloudburst Falls without slowing the pace down one iota. Even with monsters like enormous snakes called coppercrushers, I’d still like to live there. The plot is nearly perfect except for one glitch. There’s a scene where Victor puts his diabolical plan into motion. Everyone knows what his plan is and that the implementation of it is imminent, yet somehow no one is prepared. No one arms themselves so it’s basically a massacre. They all know how power-hungry Victor is, so for him to catch them unawares just isn’t believable.
Otherwise, Bright Blaze of Magic is a wonderful ending to a fantastic trilogy where everything just clicks. I’m torn between feeling like this:
I know all you bookworms will understand. It’s always difficult saying goodbye to a world and it’s characters that you’ve grown so fond of. I would recommend The Black Blades trilogy to, well, everyone. It’s a fine example of why YA fiction is so popular not just with teens but adults.