Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Title: Cold Burn of Magic
Series: Black Blade #1
Author: Jennifer Estep
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre Type: Urban Fantasy
Published: April 28th 2015
Publisher: Kensington Books


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.

Cloudburst Falls "the most magical place in America." Where "fairy tales are real" and monsters are just around a corner. 

First in a new Urban Fantasy series, Cold Burn of Magic has a fun setting for readers  to escape to. This is my first reading experience with author Jennifer Estep and I found myself easily whisked away to Cloudburst Falls. First imagine a touristy town with a fairy tale/Renaissance theme, then surround this cutesie setting with real magic and monsters and you have an idea of what Cloudburst Falls feels like. Here you can have pixies serve you hamburgers and fries at the local diner and cobblestone streets and storefronts are traveled by both mortals and magicks. Where trips to an enchanted forest can be taken to safely ooh and ahh over the local monsters.

 The Draconis and Sinclairs and the Magical Mafia

Besides the fun setting, Cold Burn of Magic has woven into its plot magical mafia styled families that fight amongst each other for the rule of the city. The Draconis and Sinclairs are the two main ruling families with some dirty plotting and twisty magic that's used between them, keeping me glued to the pages.

Magic in the form of Talents

Where's the magic you say? Magic comes in the form of Talents. Not everyone has it and some have it more than others, with rare abilities held in a higher value. Of course, the ruling families want to know who has magic and make sure they are under their families control. Hence - the magical mafia. So you have magic in the form of Talents and creatures meandering around in this story, making it completely fun.

Sassy, Kick-butt Heroine with Tender Heart and Huge Appetite! Go Girl!!

Lila is a fun heroine to follow. She's a pickpocket by day and secretly living in the basement of the local library. She's trying to stay off the magical-Talent radar when she ends up helping save a cute guy in her favorite pawn shop, inadvertently drawing attention to the very rare Talent she's been trying to keep hidden. Lila suddenly finds herself surrounded by the head mafia families, the Draconis and Sinclairs, and I couldn't help but enjoy her sassy attitude, yet loved her vulnerable side as well. Lila surprises everyone and this former pickpocket-now heroine is easy to cheer for. Plus, she loves to eat. No salad wimpy girl here-kick-ass girls eat real food! 

One Tipsy Pixie, a Tiny Tortoise, and Bridge that's home to the Lochness 

I must mention that there're some fun characters of the magical variety whose appearance just made me smile. There's a tipsy pixie named Oscar, who reminded me a lot of Jedediah Smith in Night at the Museum, who was adorable along with his miniature-pixie sized pet tortoise Tiny. And don't forget to keep a lookout for the Lochness who lives under the local bridge; he gets very angry if you don't pay him his tribute. Coins and candy bars are preferred.

Romance on the Run

There's a very cute boy with some magical surprises all his own that promises some very swoon-worthy moments that I think will be had in the upcoming installments. (I hope.) In between the mafia, monsters, and magic there was just a sweet hint of romance building that I'm looking forward to.

In the End ...

Cold Burn of Magic is a fun new series starter that is perfect for both new and old fans alike. An easy, fast paced plot to dive into with great characters of the magical and non-magical variety to easily entertain you. I can't wait for more adventures with Lila and the fantastic world she has created with a Cold Burn of Magic.

My Rating: 4 Stars. I really liked it!

PLEASE NOTE: A courtesy review copy of this book was provided by Kensington Books in exchange for my fair review. Thank you, Kensington Books for the review opportunity!