Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep was a great paranormal mystery! It is the first Black Blade series. Lila Merriweather has been on her own since her mother died four years ago. She tried the foster care system, but got tired of all the moving around and bad homes. Lila now lives in the basement of her local library (of course, no one in the library knows she lives there). Lila goes to normal high school during the day and does jobs for Mo Kaminsky at night and on weekends (as I am sure you can guess, Lila steals for a living. She is very good at it). Mo runs a pawnshop called the Razzle Dazzle (he is also a fence). Mo and Lila live in Cloudburst Falls, West Virginia which has a sign saying it is the most magical place in America. Tourists flock to the town to see the people with magick (this is how it is spelled in the book) and the monsters that live in the town. People who live there have different Talents. Lila has the power of soul sight. She has great eyesight (can see in the dark) and when she looks into someone’s eyes she can see and feel their emotions. Lila also has the power of transference (which is considered a major Talent). She can take magic from someone who uses it against her. The magic she receives makes her strong and powerful for a limited amount of time. When the magic goes through her it feels so cold it is burning (hence the title of the book).
Cloudburst Falls is runs by Families (like mob families). Each family owns a different section of town to run and control. Lila does her best to avoid the Families (you can tell if someone belongs to a Family by the bracelet they wear). Lila is at the Razzle Dazzle dropping off a ruby necklace she relieved from its owner the previous night and is waiting for her payment. While she waits two guys and a girl walk into the store. The girl is the body guard to Devon Sinclair. The Sinclair’s are the second highest family in town. Devon is heir to the Sinclair family which is led by his mother, Claudia. While the group is looking around the store, Lila notices a group of men outside the store and sure enough they barge in with their swords (guns are not allowed in the town). Lila does not really want to get involved, but when Devon looks her in the eye she can feel his emotions. That motivates Lila to help. She ends up saving Devon’s life, but she is not able to save his body guard. A few days later she gets a “request” to come to the Sinclair house. Claudia Sinclair wants to hire Lila to be Devon’s new bodyguard. Lila does not want to accept, but she is really not given a choice. Some is out to get Devon and he needs protection.
Who is after Devon and why do they want him? Lila will keep protecting Devon while trying to find out who is behind the attacks. I give the Cold Burn of Magic 4.25 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed this book immensely. I liked the different take on magic used in the books as well as the different monsters. One of my favorite characters is the pixie named Oscar. Pixie’s do household chores in exchange for a place to live, clothes, and food. Oscar is assigned to Lila. Oscar is very rude at first to Lila because he is upset over the death of the previous bodyguard (Ashley). Oscar slowly warms up to Lila and he is quite the character (he lives in a little trailer, loves country music, and has a turtle for a pet). I look forward to reading the next book in the series Dark Heart of Magic which will be out in November.
I received a complimentary copy of Cold Burn of Magic from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are strictly my own.
I hope everyone is having a wonderful Mother's Day! I just finished cooking and cleaning up a dinner for my mother. I am ready to put my feet up and relax. Have a great evening and Happy Reading!