Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “Monsters are your friends, never forget that.”
Lila Merriweather is now a full-fledged member of the Sinclair Family and has discovered her relationship to the Draconi’s. Determined to stop Victor Draconi from killing the Sinclairs and other families in order to take over as the ruling family of Cloudburst Falls, Lila, along with friends, has been slowly working behind the scenes to keep that from becoming a reality. When the scions of the various families are kidnapped and held for ransom, Lila will have to use everything in her arsenal to save the young man and the people she has come to love.
Bright Blaze of Magic is the third and final installment in Estep’s YA based urban fantasy trilogy. Our heroine, Lila Merriweather has gone from an orphaned loner to a girl with a family, a boyfriend, and a mission to avenge her parent’s death. Estep has done an admirable job of leading us to this point; setting up the plotlines, slowly allowing her heroine to grow, and making sure readers have all the information needed as she starts this book off with a bang and give us a respectable ending.
Steady pacing, engaging dialogue, and action-packed scenes kept this reader entertained as Estep revisits the most magical place on Earth for the final showdown. I enjoyed seeing Lila finally settle into her role and accept the bounty she originally rejected. The storyline is pretty straightforward without any real surprises or plot twists. The foreshadowing is laid on with a heavy hand. As I stated earlier, Estep pretty much tells us what is going to happen in book two and in here we see how it plays out. Punches aren’t pulled as Estep stays true to her heroine, allowing her to learn with each new hurdle she is forced to jump though there is no doubt at all Lila will prevail.
The cast of secondary characters continues to entertain and add to the anticipation of the story. Everyone puts aside their differences in a great show of solidarity for the common good. Lila gets help from the most unexpected places as she prepares for the coming battle through I was a little disappointed by everyone’s obvious regulation to minor supporting roles.These characters have lived and trained for the fighting and skirmishes between their families yet they all back down and place their future in the hands of a seventeen-year-old. I was expecting more from them. I was also disappointed with the development of Victor Draconi. He didn’t live up to his hype from the previous books. We are informed this is an evil black-hearted villain yet for all his posturing he was nothing more than a mashup of ridiculous threats and loosely plotted avenues of destruction.
Estep tightens up all the loose ends and wraps everything up in a fight to the death that resolves the main conflict but leaves some small openings that could spell more visits to CloudBurst in the future. Overall I did enjoy this series though it is definitely geared towards a younger reader. I recommend it for all readers who enjoys an adventurous YA Urban Fantasy with a lightweight world filled with magic, and a strong relatable female protagonist for readers to cheer for.