I'm always sad to see the end of a great book series, especially when I've grown to love the characters, their abilities, and the world created by an author I love. Bright Blaze of Magic, the last in Jennifer Estep's Black Blade series ends with adventure and danger, pitting the heroine against her greatest foe and testing the limits of her power. Bright Blaze of Magic left me wanting more from a series that I think should have been drawn out an expanded, but still left me feeling suitably fulfilled and pleased at the end as a fangirl.
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…
The story took was definitely the darkest of the trilogy, with a massive attack happening early on in the book that forces Lila, her boyfriend Devon, and two of her friends into scrambling for a solution that will save Lila's new Family. To this extent, I thought the story was executed well (no pun intended!). It meshed with the villain's motives and was truly diabolical.
The action was as solid as ever– a staple in all of Jennifer Estep's work– and the climactic battle scene was truly intense. Estep is exceptional in using descriptive sentences to paint a vivid picture for the reader while igniting their senses and making them feel like they're in Lila's world. That being said, much of the action took place in the form of chases and escapes. Not a bad or boring thing, but i think I'm more used to the creative action in Estep's Elemental Assassin series.
The characters are great. Lila is a powerful, inspiring lead, and the side characters are unique and distinctive from one another. I liked the growth of Lila and Deah– both are strong female characters who are more than capable of fighting for themselves. I was also really happy that Devon was willing to trust Lila to take care of herself when he's been protective in the past, though I do wish there had been a little more romance and perhaps drama between them. It had been prominent in the past two books and while they had tender moments, I was hoping for a little more tension in their budding romance.
For me, there was only one part of the story that irked me– the dialogue. Normally, I love Estep's writing style. I'm serious when I say she's been a huge inspiration to me and my work. She's a successful author with nearly 40 stories to her name, and I will always look forward to pre-ordering and devouring her next piece of work. That being said, I felt the dialogue in Bright Blaze of Magic was a bit too cheesy and even repetitive in some states. Blake Draconi (one of the major villains) had so much campy dialogue I was laughing at him more than I was feeling threatened by him.
That being said, I adored the story for all that it was worth. I'll definitely remember the series, the memorable characters, and the fantastic storyline. Thank you for the adventure, Jennifer Estep! I look forward to more in the future!