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Dark Heart of Magic

(Black Blade #2)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  4,191 ratings  ·  418 reviews
"Jennifer Estep is a genius!" --Simply Nerdy

Something Wicked This Way Comes . . .

As a thief, I stick to the shadows as much as possible. But when the head of the Sinclair Family picks me to compete in the Tournament of Blades, there's no escaping the spotlight--or the danger.

Even though he's my competition, Devon Sinclair thinks I have the best shot at winning what's supp
Paperback, 321 pages
Published October 27th 2015 by Kensington
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mith The third book (according to edelweiss) will be released April 26, 2016. It's called Bright Blaze of Magic.
The cover and synopsis is on the edelweiss …more
The third book (according to edelweiss) will be released April 26, 2016. It's called Bright Blaze of Magic.
The cover and synopsis is on the edelweiss website too! Here you go:

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,191 ratings  ·  418 reviews

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Carole (Carole's Random Life)
Audiobook Review

I enjoyed this book even more during this re-read than I did the first time around. It is amazing that I can forget the entire plot of a book that I have read in just a few years but apparently I can so I almost felt like I was reading this book for the first time. Once I started listening to this book, I didn't want to stop because I was really curious about how things would work out. I am so glad that I decided to revisit this series in audio.

This is the second book in the Blac
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

Note: some spoilers for the first book, Cold Burn of Magic.

In Dark Heart of Magic, the second book in Jennifer Estep’s BLACK BLADE teen urban fantasy series, the adventures of seventeen year old Lila Merriweather ― orphan, ex-homeless person and pickpocket, current bodyguard, and swordfighter extraordinaire ― continue. In a world that contains both normal mortals and magicks, humans endowed with different magical powers, Lila has two extraordinar
Carmel (Rabid Reads)
Jan 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads.

The Tournament of Blades was the driving force behind DARK HEART OF MAGIC which was perfect because what better way to go full throttle on the action than with lots of fighting while also fleshing out all of the pertinent characters’ strengths and weaknesses by putting all of the Cloudburst Falls Families on display. Lila’s no longer a team of one, things are moving along with Devon, and Victor is THE villain to beat. Game. Set. Match.

Unlike the previous installment whic
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Jul 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
After falling in love once again with Estep's writing in Cold Burn of Magic, (okay okay I was a huge fan before but you get the idea!), Dark Heart of Magic was one of my most anticipated reads for fall of 2015.

As I picked it up and started reading, it didn't take me long to remember exactly why that was the case.

Estep has a way with words, not to mention characters. Her heroines are always tough, fierce, feisty, and full of sarcasm, some of my most favorite traits in a protagonist. Add in her un
Mar 10, 2015 marked it as to-read


The sad thing about reading a book early is that YOU ALSO HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE NEXT BOOK EVEN LONGER THAN USUAL. (Unless you get an ARC again which I would love to have by the way LOL)

I mean...

So yeah. I will patiently wait for this. And I do mean patiently.

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Marta Cox
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-reviews, netgalley
This is the second book in the Black Blade series and we catch up with Lila as she continues to work as a magical bodyguard for Devon the son of the Sinclair family. This does have a YA feel to it but nevertheless the author continues to pull this reader in. Most of the action happens as the four revered families enter contestants in a tournament designed to entertain both humans and those with magic alike. It's pretty clear right from the start though that someone is determined to win no matter ...more
May 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I'm still not madly in love with this series, but I do think it's decent and definitely readable, as is this installment in particular.

Lila is a great protagonist, even when she's often too blind to see the obvious when it comes to what's happening around her; Devon is a very likeable love interest, and there's quite a bit of character development going on, especially for the secondary characters. A fairly riveting story, too, though I like the overarching plot more than the individual mysteries
Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey)
Quick review:

Cover: Fits
Rating: 3.5
Overall: Disappointed
Characters: Okay
Plot: Girl trying to make it on her own
Page Turner: Maybe
Series Cont.? Probably
Recommend: Not Sure
Book Boyfriend: Devon

SUMMARY (50 words or less)
I have to say there is promise in this series but aggravating to read. I like UF and not every story needs romance. So if you don’t want romance, don’t add it in as a afterthought. I think this story would have been 10 times better without it.

For a full review and yummy pic, se
Once again, I’m thrilled by the newest addition of the Black Blade series, Dark Heart of Magic, a young adult spin off that takes place in the marvelous world of Estep's Elemental Assassin series.

Lila is now caught up in the Sinclair family, serving as Devon’s body guard.

A magical tournament is about to take place, pitting the 4 revered families in the ultimate battle for power and bragging rights. Lila is chosen by the Sinclair’s matriarch to be one of their representatives in these magical du
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

The Black Blade series started out as Elemental Assassin lite, a young adult version of the series Jennifer Estep is first known for. I liked it well enough at the time, but saw it merely as a reprise of sorts, a nice way to pass the time, but a book I could have easily done without. The same does not apply to the sequel. Jennifer Estep truly stepped up her game and gave us a book that stands out.

We reunite with Lila only days after she’s become Devon Sinclair’s personal bodyguard. Their wor
Initial Thoughts: Ms Estep is a wonderful storyteller. I know that I can always count on her stories to keep me entertained.

The Review: Dark Heart of Magic is the second book in Jennifer Estep's Black Blade series. For those familiar with the author's Elemental Assassin series, this series is a companion series, written for a young adult audience. The world is similar, though I think that there are more monsters in this one, and the power struggles are with magical mafia-like families.

In this
**I received this book for free from Jennifer Estep in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*Genre* Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
*Rating* 4.0

*My Thoughts*

Dark Heart of Magic is the second installment in the Black Blade trilogy by author Jennifer Estep. Welcome to Cloudburst Falls, West Virginia home to magicks, monsters, and powerful families that control everything. Cloudburst has accepted the label as the most magical place on th
In Cold Burn of Magic Lila found herself reluctantly pulled into service with one of the ruling crime families of Cloudburst Falls. Now in book two, Dark Heart of Magic her quiet life as a thief slipping by under the radar is well and truly over. She has been entered into the Tournament of Blades which pits the best of each family against each other.

But in the shadows a vicious sadist has been attacking and brutally murdering the monsters that make the woods around Cloudburst Falls home, and Vi
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dark Heart of magic is book two in the Black Blade trilogy & it turned out to be a pretty fun ride. The book is filled with action & character growth. We also see some of our favorite characters make some romantic progress & deal with some difficult truths. Jennifer Estep continues to make headway unfolding the story in the most interesting ways. I've high hopes for the conclusion Bright Blaze of Magic out April 2016 & reccomend the trilogy to YA book readers.
I rate this book a 4

I read the kin
4.5 stars

This was a great sequel, I enjoyed it even more than the first one. The ending was brilliant, even though i'm not a massive fan of cliff hangers and I'm now very excited to read the next book in the series.

In this installment the Families of Cloudburst Falls took part in a tournament in which contestants fight with their skills and magic. I love books with magical competitions so this one was right up my alley. It wasn't as deadly as the tri-wizard tournament but I enjoyed it all the sa
Jul 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review was originally posted at The Book Nympho

Jennifer Estep doing what she does best . . . writing strong and sassy heroines that have a taste for vengeance, justice and yummy food.

Dark Heart of Magic takes place a couple of weeks after Cold Burn of Magic and Lila finds herself part of the Sinclair family. Which is really weird for her since she has lived on the streets for the last 4 years with only one friend, Mo. Now she's living in a mansion with other people and pixies. There are ru
Steffi au Penguinbooks
“Sometimes, humans were more monstrous than anything else.”

Wow, what a page turner! I thought the first book was really good. I love it when authors surprise me with an even better book!

Dark Heart of Magic had a perfect mixture of romance, the tournament, funny moments and of course, the myterious ones with a new villain. I really appreciate the fact that the romance wasn't the main point of this book. Actually, after 200 pages I was even asking myself if JE would write more about the romance
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lila is back, and has been selected to participate in the Tournament of Blades, where the best of best from each family compete for the honor of the best warrior among the families. Lovely, Lila hates to be in the spotlight, but it seems she can’t get out of this. Will everything be on the up and up or will Victor Draconi stack the deck in his favor? Accidents are happening, competitors are being hurt and investigations are being swept under the rug. Time for Lila to do what she does best; becom ...more
Rashika (is tired)
Actual Rating 3.5

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

I cannot believe it’s only been 6(ish) months since Cold Burn of Magic came out. It feels like I’ve been waiting for Dark Heart of Magic forever. Jennifer Estep’s books are the best brain candy ever. Diving back into any of her worlds is like munching on your favorite chocolate. Her books are comforting, gooey, easy to chew and make you feel all warm inside (can you tell I am craving chocolate?) On top of that, they ha
May 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
While Dark Heart of Magic got off to a slower start than its predecessor Estep once again impressed. Character growth, ARC development and a murder mystery surrounded by the Tournament of Blades made for an interesting tale. The world Estep has created is filled with mythical creatures and despite the danger, I would gladly pack my bags for a visit.

Cloudburst Falls is preparing for the Tournament of Blades, a competition between the families where they battle it out on the field. Lila Merriweath
Stephanie  G
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The head of the Sinclair family has chosen Lila to compete in the Tournament of Blades and there’s no escaping the spotlight or the danger in this thrilling book of the Black Blade series.

Expectation builds as dangerous plots, murders and Tournament excitement fill every page with intrigue and action, with the spine tingling tension building as the danger escalates and Lila continues to use her skills as a thief to discover Victor Draconi’s evil intentions and well that’s not to mention all the
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just as good as the first book, if not even better! Definitely will read the sequel.
Sep 14, 2015 rated it liked it
This is the second book in the Black Blade series by Estep. Previous to this I had read the first twelve books in Estep’s Elemental Assassin series (which just got too repetitive so I stopped reading it). I also read Estep’s Mythos Academy series which was pretty good. This series continues to feel like a YA rewrite of the Elemental Assassins series. I felt that way about the first book too, but was hoping that this book would really expand the world and result in a more unique series. Pretty mu ...more
Oct 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars actually...
The loss of the .5 because it was pretty predictable....

“Never thank someone for something you’ve earned by being smarter than everyone else,”

This book was really entertaining! I love Esteps books and have been waiting for this one for ages, and I've finally managed to read it (even though exams are on :))

The plot of this book was that the Tornament of the Blades was being held, and members from any Family were allowed to participate. Lila, the protagonist, is part of the Si
nick (the infinite limits of love)


If you're looking for an author who consistently writes entertaining mindless stories, Jennifer Estep is an author you should check out. It's no secret that I have somewhat moved away from YA paranormal books, but her books are just too much fun to miss out on. I enjoyed the first book in this series, Cold Burn of Magic, tremendously, so when I saw the audiobook, I decided to snag myself a copy. Here are my overall thoughts of this sequel:

What I Liked:
- Our heroine, Lila, is as always a ri
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Mon avis en Français

My ENglish review

I really enjoyed the ideas and the history of the first volume and I was eager to dive me in on to this one to see what the author would bring us again. I admit that I’m really not disappointed by this second volume!

We find our beloved Lila, now serving the St. Clair family, and the girl has to manage a large number of consequences. Indeed, her feelings and those of Devon get in their way and our young thief does not think that a possible relationship coul
For more reviews, vist Bookgathere.

~ Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion

Dark Heart Of Magic was pure awesomeness! It had the right amount of drama, action and sweetness. I absolutely loved it and I don’t say that lightly.

I was skeptical if I could love this one more than the first book in the series, Cold Burn Of Magic. I could! Even more! CBOM pulled me into this series and Dark Heart Of Magic countinued to make me enjoy every single page.

I know, I know. This book might
Douglas Meeks
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As a general rule I don't care for YA that much but this series has managed to cross that gap for me and become a real 5 Star story that just happens to have main characters that are around the 19-21 age.

Most of this installment into this series is taken up with the Tournament of Blades which is treated as something of dire importance which requires the reader to treat it that way a bit. While it is not earth shattering important it does provide a action filled backdrop to develop a story that m
Sep 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: galleys-arcs, re-read
This is the second book in the Young Adult Black Blade series. I loved the first book and have already read it several times and this book jacks up the action and the mystery another notch. Very exciting, very mystery driven and yes we finally get some romance...granted it is at the end of the book, but there is hope!

In this book Lila has been asked to participate in an annual competition –a sword fight complete with the cheesy outfits she hates so much. To add to the stresses of being in the c
Iris Hunter (InstagramREADS)
Mar 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
*received* ARC

Jennifer Estep is an amazing author, and her Black Blade series is a great new read. For those who appreciate a little steam with their swordplay will not be disappointed. With the gripping action scenes and romance …Now the long and highly anticipating wait for book three!
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Jennifer Estep is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. She has written more than 40 books, along with numerous novellas and stories.

In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys hanging out with friends and family, doing yoga, and reading fantasy and romance books. She also watches way too much TV and lo

Other books in the series

Black Blade (3 books)
  • Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade, #1)
  • Bright Blaze of Magic (Black Blade, #3)

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