It’s not as great as you’d think, living in a tourist town that’s known as “the most magical place in America.” Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power.
I try to keep out of it. I’ve got my mom’s bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick.
But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend’s pawn shop, and I have to make a call–get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn’t. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I’m stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I’m going to end up just like her. . .
The Black Blade world is sort of like a tourist Diagon Alley with Mafia running around. The town where Lila lives is at the base of a magical mountain, which means while magic exists in the entire world, it is the strongest here, making her town something of a tourist spot. The Families have capitalized on this by making a Renaissance-Faire themed place for people to vacation. People who live in the town have some sort of magical ability, and having rare ones makes you a precious commodity but also puts you on the radar of the Families.
Lila has two rare Abilities, and she wants nothing to do with the Families, because they were responsible for her mother’s death. A twist of fate, though, leads her to being blackmailed into becoming the bodyguard for Devon Sinclair, the heir of the one of the top Families. The thing about Lila – she doesn’t want to make friends and Devon and his companions want to be hers. Her way out of the arrangement is to find the people who are trying to kill him, and slowly she gets deeper into their world.
Besides the obvious sexual tension between Lila and Devon, she also comes to care for him, particularly when he is such a nice guy. He doesn’t like his privilege, doesn’t feel worthy of being protected by people with their lives. She resists him, though, because she isn’t planning to stick around. Slowly she warms up to the family, and they to her, particularly her pixy, Oscar. (Pixies are like the house elves of this world) The other characters are not really that interesting, though the Draconi girl is intriguing. The mythology of the world seems much better explained than that of the Mythos series, which I also loved but had found to be too cliche. As a series beginner, it is a good start.
Received a free galley from Kensington Books via Netgalley; this does not affect my opinions or review.