I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep
Series: Black Blade #1
Published by K-Teen on April 28th 2015
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
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There Be Monsters Here. . .
It's not as great as you'd think, living in a tourist town that's known 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.
I try to keep out of it. I've got my mom's bloodiron sword and my 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. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I'm going to end up just like her. . .
Welcome back to The Book Nympho. We are glad to have you here today to talk about your new Young Adult series.
I love that you are not afraid to write heroines that seems to be unlikeable or should be unlikeable and then turn them into reluctant heroes. This time around instead of an assassin we have a thief. What made you go this route with Lila Merriweather?
I knew that I wanted to make Lila a bit of an anti-hero, just like Gin is in my Elemental Assassin series. I always like reading about thief characters in fantasy and other books, so making Lila a sassy, snarky thief seemed like the way to go.
Plus, making Lila a thief means that she has a lot of different skills – sneaking around, lock picking, climbing – that let me add a lot of action and adventure to the book. Fight scenes are one of my favorite things to write, and Lila’s character, skills, and magic fit in well with that.
So far, I’m really enjoying writing about Lila, and I hope that readers enjoy getting to know her in COLD BURN OF MAGIC.
While COLD BURN OF MAGIC is Young Adult it has a bit of a grittier feel to it than your Mythos Academy series. Was this something you set out to do or did it just happen as you were writing?
As I wrote the book, I realized that Lila was definitely much more street smart, savvy, and cynical than Gwen was. Plus, Lila’s backstory, the warring mob Families, and the overall world building of my magical town of Cloudburst Falls were all things that were grittier than my Mythos Academy series.
So overall, COLD BURN OF MAGIC just turned out a bit darker than my other series. But I like the darker tone of the book, and I hope that readers do too.
While your heroines are always fun to read, sometimes the secondary characters can take center stage. I found myself laughing as I pictured Mo in my head, well really the way he dresses. Where did the idea for Mo’s wardrobe come from?
As for Mo, I knew that I wanted him to run a pawnshop and be this big, boisterous character. So I thought about what he could wear that could be a good reflection of his personality, and I came up with the idea of Mo’s colorful Hawaiian shirts. And since the book takes place in the summer, I also gave him a straw hat and some flip-flops to sort of round out his bright but casual look. I’ve had a lot of fun coming up with Mo’s shirts and all the crazy colors and patterns on them.
For the audio listeners, are there plans for COLD BURN OF MAGIC to be released on audio? And if so do you know who the narrator will be?
In the world of social media, if you had to pitch the Black Blade series to new readers with only 140 characters what would you say?
I would probably pitch it as something like this:
Thanks for stopping by today to talk about Lila and the Black Blade series. I look forward to seeing where Lila takes us next.
UPDATE (10/12/15): I revisited Cold Burn of Magic on audio. I really enjoyed listening to Brittany Pressley narrate the story. Her voice and delivery for Lelia was spot on! Exactly how I heard her in my head when I was reading it a few months ago. If you haven’t read CBoM I can now highly recommend it on audio as well.
Most of you know I don’t read many YA books but when a few of my favorite adult authors also write YA like Jennifer Estep I’m game to give it a try. I mean I love her adult urban fantasy series, Elemental Assassin and her pervious YA series, Mythos Academy series. Well Cold Burn of Magic was no different!
Where’s the most magical place in America? According to Jennifer Estep it’s Cloudburst Falls, West Virginia the town that Cold Burn of Magic takes place. We follow the life of seventeen-year-old Lila Merriweather. She’s an anti-heroine much like Gin Blanco (EA series). We shouldn’t like her or root for her, she’s a thief and no stranger to blood.
Blood didn’t usually bother me. I’d killed people before. Folks who’d attached me during my jobs for Mo. Others who’d come after me just because they’d wanted to, thinking that a lone girl would be an easy target. Monsters who’d slithered out of dark alleys, determined to make a meal out of me. Oh no, blood didn’t bother me . . .
But gosh darn it, she’s just so kick ass and snarky that I feel in love with her. She reminds me of a younger Gin Blanco so how could I not like her?!
There Be Monsters Here. . .
Yeah there be monsters in Cold Burn of Magic, Estep introduces us to trolls, pixies, a lochness monster that lives under a bridge and you better pay it’s toll when crossing it’s bridge!
And let’s not forget the magicks, they have talents in the form of the senses for example, the heroine, Lila has a Sight talent. She can look into a person’s eyes and know what they are feeling deep in their souls, she calls it her soul sight.
Lila also swings a mean sword (Estep is great at bring us strong heroines with an affinity for knives and magic). And another parallel to Gin Blanco is that Lila is an orphan (really, Estep could write for Disney, all the parents are dead in her books LOL) prefers to work alone. But Lila finds herself becoming a member of a small group and I think over time they will become her family. One of the new people in her life is Oscar the grouchy, cowboy boot wearing, redneck pixie. He make me think of him as Jenks’ (from the Hollows series by Kim Harrison) country cousin without the dirty mouth.
I highly recommend
Cold Burn of Magic is an action package adventure, minus the usual YA angst, that adult readers can get behind, especially fans of Estep’s Elemental Assassin series. So if you like magic, monsters and evil mobster families you’ll enjoy Lia Merriweather and the great side characters that Jennifer Estep introduces in the first installment of her Black Blade series.
Jennifer Estep is giving away one copy of COLD BURN OF MAGIC to one US reader.