Bad Things Always Come In Threes…
As a thief, I’m good at three things: hiding in the shadows, getting in and out unseen, and uncovering secrets. I put these skills to work for the Sinclair Family, one of the magical mobs that run the tourist town of Cloudburst Falls.
Everyone knows Victor Draconi wants to take over all the other Families–and kill every last Sinclair. What they don’t know is that I’m on to him, and no way will I let the man who murdered my mom get away with hurting all the other people I care about. Especially when I’ve got places to break into, stuff to steal, and Devon Sinclair fighting right by my side…
I haven’t read the first two novels in the series, but despite that, it was very easy to understand the world, the stakes, the tensions, all merit of the writing, thereby of the author ofc, lol.
Worldbuilding: I loved the setting of Cloudburst Falls, with the families and their Talents, and all the monsters. The world was captivating without becoming overwhelming, which I find is tough to pull off in rich worlds such as the Black Blade one.
Characters: Lila was really easy to like, something I sometimes find hard to do in YA reads. She had this mischievous, irreverent sort of vibe that you find more often in say UF rather than YA. So I liked her. The teen crush thing is rarely interesting to me, and I didn’t really find anything overly interesting about Devon aside him being one of the gang. I did love Oscar and Tiny, for instance, and wished I would’ve seen more of them.
Victor was fun as a villain, and I liked the sort of stark lines of his psycho self as things progressed and he revealed more of himself. Tbh, I would have liked to see more of him somehow, cause he made things pretty interesting.
Plot: The action seemed somewhat slow to me, or maybe just not gripping enough for some reason, the kind of pace of events I’d expect from a novel in a series that’s on-going. I understand it’s supposed to be the last in the series though, and once I read that somewhere it colored my perception of the novel, making me feel it was a bit too slow. I do think however that it reads just as well as a novel in an on-going series, I mean other things could always happen in the world and it’d be fun to see Lila deal with them.
The teen romance tangent, secondary at best, wasn’t overly interesting to me, it’s the sweet romance kind of thing, and romance and YA don’t much make sense to me often particularly with age group restrictions, so I can’t say I was too excited about that either.
Writing: First person, past tense narrative, Lila’s POV. I really liked her voice and humor.
Curb Appeal: Interesting cover, hooking blurb – I don’t really get YA cravings, but if I did, this would be a strong candidate for an impulsive buy based on author name.
There were aspects I really loved about Bright Blaze of Magic, particularly Lila and her voice, also the worldbuilding and the writing by and large. I can’t say I was too taken with many of the other characters, I guess because it was too much of a good versus evil without a grey area there – something very educational and YA-genre appropriate ofc, but simply not interesting or exciting for me personally. I love shades of grey in my stories rather than black and white, you know what I mean? My favorite playground is that of nuances.
Also, mea culpa, I haven’t read Jennifer Estep’s Elemneetal Assassin series, though I’ve been wanting to, and I think that would be more my cuppa, considering elements I loved here.
Anyway, if you’re into YA, UF and irreverent, fun MCs, really fun side-kicks (that we got to see too little of, if you ask me), and clear-lines good versus evil battles with good guys triumphing ofc, then I strongly recommend Bright Blaze of Magic and the Black Blade series.