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review 2017-01-05 00:00
Bright Blaze of Magic (Black Blade)
Bright Blaze of Magic (Black Blade) - Jennifer Estep I quite liked this third book in the trilogy and the ending of the story arc started in Cold Burn of Magic. There is plenty of action and adventure going on. The book starts with a big fight seemingly spelling the doom for the Sinclair family but Victor Draconi did not factor Lila and her friends into the equation. Minor spolier alert! One thing I like with this book is that the baddies actually get what they deserve and not a simple quick kill either but a nice showdown where we get to see, or rather read about, his surprise just before the end. I know, I know... I am sucker for happy endings.

The book does not have very many plot twists. A few mishaps are thrown in the way of Lila but generally it is a pretty straightforward adventure leading us to the, not entirely unpredictable, conclusion of the trilogy's overall story arc. As I wrote there is plenty of action and adventure as well as a wee bit of romance. The book pretty much follows the same style as the other two books in the series.

The writing is good in the usual Jennifer Estep style. Although the plot felt a bit more straight lined in this book it was certainly good enough. I quite liked the world building in all three books and the magical and monster filled world that the author have created. It has to be said though that most of the monsters were rather friendly creatures, at least if you paid them their tribute. Something the bad guys were been known not to do of course.

Overall the Black Blade trilogy was an enjoyable and relaxing read bringing me back to the adventure stories I used to read or watch when I was younger. A quite pleasant experience.
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review 2016-08-29 03:28
Review of "Bright Blaze of Magic" (Black Blade, #3) by Jennifer Estep
Bright Blaze of Magic (Black Blade) - Jennifer Estep

Well, mini-review anyway.  

 

This wraps up the trilogy nicely, pretty much as expected.  Enjoyed the read well enough but it never really got out of the mafia/mob family turf war territory despite the supernatural / paranormal elements.

 

Helluva good cover though.  Perfect for this book even if not matching still-er, more shadings of covers on rest of series.

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text 2016-08-28 03:35
Just starting
Bright Blaze of Magic (Black Blade) - Jennifer Estep
The Boleyn Deceit - Laura Andersen

And two more came thru library waiting list.  

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review 2016-06-13 18:33
a decent conclusion to the series
Bright Blaze of Magic (Black Blade) - Jennifer Estep
***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

It seems like not that long ago when I was turning the last pages of the last book of Mythos Academy and here we are again, another series finished. More characters to say goodbye to. Sadness. Why yes, I am rambling… just a little bit.

So… even though I enjoyed the conclusion, I also think that the Black Blade series doesn’t hold it’s own against the Mythos Academy series. The last book does diverge itself a little bit more from Mythos Academy and doesn’t employ all the same tropes, but the conclusion also lacks an oomph in terms of the villain characterization.

What I mean by this is that the villain is cartoonishly evil.Victor has several trope-y villain monologues and reads more like a cardboard cutout than an actual character. There is no depth to him and I am still not sure what motivated Victor to want to take over all the families besides wanting all the money and control. Yes that is a thing real villains occasionally do but I also want a villain who I can sort of understand. Who isn’t just there as a deus ex machina.

The lack of characterization of the villain ended up bringing down the plot of the book for me. There seemed to be nothing substantial driving the plot forward. So while exciting things were happening, I really wasn’t as captivated by them since there seemed to be no real reason behind them. Sometimes the villain is just a big bad plot moving device but I have come to expect more from Estep.

The romance also fell short in this instalment. While I like the Devon and Lila as characters, their romance feels a little forced? I kept waiting to fall in love with them as a couple and it never happened. All of Estep’s previous series have had more time to develop the romance and I wonder if that plays a part. With only three books, this is the author's shortest series and I imagine there wasn't as much time to develop swoony slow burn romances which were possible in other series.

All that said, I did really enjoy being with these characters again. Lila is pretty kick ass, let’s be honest. I love how she takes control of situations and thinks everything through. She doesn’t halfass things.

There were also some awesome human-monster relationships in the last book that I loved. The monsters in this series are so adorable and I love the way Estep builds them into her world. We don’t get a lot of reasons about why they are there but their presence is essential to the novel and adds so much to the world this book is set in.

Human-human relationships (besides romance) are also exciting! I love Seleste and Lila’s relationship and Lila and Claudia’s relationship. They are, in a sense, mother figures for Lila since she lost her mother but at the same time, their interactions are less ‘parental’ and more familiar. I like that they don’t replace her mother but rather help to give her some guidance when Lila is in tough spots.

This series finale might not have been everything I wanted but it does conclude the series in a satisfying manner. I am happy for all the characters and hope they will have some snuggle time after all the troubles they have been through over the course of the past three books.

To recommend or not to recommend? I recommend the series because it is good brain candy and pretty darn enjoyable. Also, for those of you who haven’t started the series, it’ll be fun to binge read.

Note that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
 
 

 

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review 2016-05-16 20:07
#Audiobook Review: Bright Blaze of Magic by Jennifer Estep
Bright Blaze of Magic - Audible Studios,Brittany Pressley,Jennifer Estep

Bright Blaze of Magic is the third and final story in the wonderful young adult urban fantasy Black Blade trilogy. The book hits all the right marks needed for the successful conclusion of a series: bringing to end the overarching storylines and finishing on a positive note. The story begins shortly after the exciting conclusion of Dark Heart of Magic, with the younger Sinclairs: Lila, Devon, and Felix, breaking into the Draconi Mansion to steal Victor’s magic infused black blades. With the help of new ally Dia, things have gone as smoothly as possible over the past couple of weeks. However, time is up and Victor is ready to make his move against the rest of the Cloudburst Falls Families. 

 

Overall, I enjoyed the final adventure in the Black Blade series which brought to close the war between the families and filled in all the details of Victor’s backstory and his dastardly plans. I loved seeing how much Lila has grown over the course of the three books, going from loner to a valued and loved member of the Sinclair family. I also enjoyed seeing her make connections with the monsters around town and learning more about her mother and her own roots. While predictable in where the story would end, the whys and hows were interesting and kept me engrossed in the tale. 

 

With that said, I felt that this book was lacking the richness and fullness of the previous two titles. Bright Blaze of Magic focused pretty much solely on the battle between the Victor and the other Families. The book felt like one fight scene after another, with little else. In the previous books, there was a central mystery to be solved, but not so with Bright Blaze of Magic. This, coupled with the amount of repetitious thoughts, actions, and phrases, made the story drag at times, and I found my thoughts wandering as I listened. 

 

The narration by Ms. Pressley remained spot on and highly enjoyable. She gives the primary characters the vibrancy of their youthful years without making them come across young or immature. One difference for me this time around; I listened to the book at 1.5x instead of my usual 1.25x. I’m not sure if this is a shift in my own preferences or if there was something different about this recording versus the first two books. Ms. Pressley continued to impress, adding a lot of emotion into every scene. I felt like I was inside Lila’s head. The variety of voices for each character was enjoyable, and the narrator found perfect voices to match the characters’ personalities.

 

In the end, I enjoyed my journey with Lila Merriweather and time spent in Cloudburst Falls. Ms. Estep created a wonderful world that has the potential for future tales. The three book series is a pleasure to read and concluded in the right spot.

 

My Rating: B

Narration: A-

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