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 supposed to be a friendly contest. But when the competitors start having mysterious "accidents," it looks like someone will do anything to win—no matter who they hurt.
As if I didn't have enough to worry about, mobster Victor Draconi is plotting against Devon and the rest of my friends, and someone's going around Cloudburst Falls murdering monsters. One thing's for sure. Sometimes, humans can be more monstrous than anything else...
My thoughts on the book:
Dark Heart of Magic was a bit of a letdown for me. I generally love Jennifer Estep as a writer, but I knew what was going to happen in this book way before it did. The "bad guy" and the "big reveal" didn't shock me in the least. I don't know if Estep's hints were just really obvious or if I was just super astute while reading this, but it took a lot of the excitement out of the story for me. The characters were fine and developed at a believable rate. The worldbuilding was well done, as usual with the books. The excitement just wasn't there.
I liked Lila in this book, but she got a little annoying with some of the stuff she did. However, she had grown a lot from when we first met her, and she did some things that made me like her more than I did in the previous novel. Devon was okay, and while he was present a lot, I don't feel like we got to know him any better. Felix annoyed me, and Deah seemed really weak. However all of the characters did evolve over the novel, and I'm interested to see what they do next.
As previously stated, the world-building was well done, and Estep did great with the descriptions. I wish she didn't focus on food so much in every single one of her novels, though. It makes all of her books seem the same at times. The plot was solid enough, but the twists were weak. I saw them both coming from miles away. The ending was a cliffhanger of sorts, even though it did tie up a lot of loose ends in this novel. All of this being said, I'm looking forward to the next installment. Things are about to get interesting.
Overall, this book and series is a must-read for fans of Jennifer Estep's other novels. It's unique and stands out, but it also is clearly her work.
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