Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Length: 368 pages
Release Date: October 27, 2015)
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Black Blade series
Source: eGalley through NetGalley.com
Rating: 3/5 stars
This is the second book in the Black Blade series by Estep. Previous to this I had read the first twelve books in Estep’s Elemental Assassin series (which just got too repetitive so I stopped reading it). I also read Estep’s Mythos Academy series which was pretty good. This series continues to feel like a YA rewrite of the Elemental Assassins series. I felt that way about the first book too, but was hoping that this book would really expand the world and result in a more unique series. Pretty much this book was more of the same as the first one.
Lila is trying to adjust to her position as a bodyguard to Devon Sinclair; the 2nd in command of the Sinclair family. Things are going okay until she finds out that the Sinclair family wants Lila to be one of their champions in the Tournament of Blades. Suddenly Lila is thrust into the spot light (exactly where she doesn’t want to be). To add to all the turmoil, trolls are turning up brutally slaughtered and/or missing and Lila and Devon need to figure out why before it starts affecting the tourism that is so vital to Cloudburst Falls.
This series is a carbon copy of the Elemental Assassin series but made for young adults (so there is no sex and less violence). Lila has the same issues with trust, rashness, and having an awesome magic talent that Gin from the Elemental Assassin series does.
Much of the world is also the same as the Elemental Assassin series. There are large magical families vying for power in the town in a very mafia-like way. All the characters have strong magic and the strength of magic equates to power in the town. The main differences are that there are more monsters (although not as many as you would except for all that Lila talks about the evil monsters around town) and the magic isn’t elemental in nature.
Additionally the story is incredibly predictable. Pretty much right away you can guess what is going on with the troll deaths and how it wraps into the the Tournament of Blades. This was one of those books where I was hoping for a good plot twist or surprise and just never got one.
The book is well written and engaging, but I just struggle with how similar all the characters and plot are to the Elemental Assassin series. I stopped reading the Elemental Assassin series because the books were getting way too similar, and this series is more of the same.
Overall this was an okay book. I think young adults who haven’t read the adult Elemental Assassins series and like action packed urban fantasy series will probably enjoy this one. Adults who have read the Elemental Assassin series will find this series to be disappointingly similar to that one. I personally will not be reading anymore of this series.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge