One of the gifts of a great storyteller is knowing when, and how, to end the story. Jennifer Estep is one of those truly gifted. The Black Blade series is the second complete series of books by her that I’ve read, and both have ended in a way that left me both supremely satisfied, and slightly sad.
Satisified because she wrapped up every little detail of things in a way that was right for the characters, and the readers. Sad because the stories were so fabulous, and I hated for anything that good to end. However, when one thing ends, another can begin, and I have no doubt that this author will not only continue with her Elemental Assasin series (which is an all time favorite of mine) but that she will also start something else that will put me in awe of the way she blends mythology, magic, and monsters with my favorite kind of hero’s- the morally ambiguous ones. :)
Bright Blaze of Magic releases on April 25, so you have time to catch up with Book 1 and 2 if you haven’t read them yet. Trust me on this, you should read them. I don’t want to say more about this story because I don’t want to out any spoilers out there, but know that it was amazing; filled with all the wonderful and horrible people and monsters I’ve come to expect from this author.
This world, fits right alongside that of Mythos and Ashland. Magic and monsters abound, but with the same unique twist/feel as Estep’s other books. I, as a writer, find it fantastic the way she can write each series with it’s own unique feel to the world, yet they all blend so well that you know it’s really all the same world, just each characters view of it. Just like we all live in the same world, but see things so differently due to where, and who, we are. This is just one thing that proves Estep is a talent unlike any other.
In the world of Cloudburst Falls, the most magical place on earth, Lila, our young thief/heroine isn’t as Kick-ass as Gin, but she’s young yet. She’s smart, agile (physically and mentally) and cold hearted when she needs to be. She’s also wicked good with a sword.
She’s a bit of a smart-ass too, which is awesome.
But my mom taught me all about the old traditions. I knew which monsters lived where in town, in the forests, and on the mountain, and what small tributes you paid them for safe passage through their territories. In fact, I’d always thought of the monsters as my own sort of standoffish pets. If, you know, you thought pets that could eat you were cool. Which I totally did.
All of the characters, Lila, Mo, Devon, Claudia even the pixie Oscar and butler Reginald are so well drawn you can picture them in your mind. Estep introduces them all, but keeps the story moving a decent pace, and the action never lags. There’s thievery, assassination attempts, sword fights, pixies with pet turtles, people-eating monsters, and a little romance thrown in to even things out. Oh, and bacon. Lots of bacon.
What more could you possibly want?