Dark Heart of Magic Audiobook by Jennifer Estep (REVIEW)

Posted by on Nov 10, 2015 in Reviews | 28 comments

Review of: Dark Heart of Magic Audiobook
Jennifer Estep

Reviewed by:
On November 10, 2015
Last modified:May 31, 2016


Dark Heart of Magic Audiobook

By: Jennifer Estep

Narrated by: Brittany Pressley

Published by: Audible Studios 10/27/15

Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep Audiobook

4 Hearts rating image Hot Listens

Black Blade #2

9 hrs and 56 mins

YA urban Fantasy text

Dark Heart of Magic Audiobook Sample

Dark Heart of Magic Audiobook

4 Hearts

Dark Heart of Magic centers mostly around the Tournament of Blades. It is part of a festival in Cloudburst Falls where the families and compete against each other in a so called friendly way and provide a tourist attraction. Deah was the champion last year. And her family puts a lot of pressure for her to keep the trophy in the Draconi family.

There are some twists and turns in this book. Lila is thrown for a loop when she learns that she will be competing in the Tournament of Blades for the Sinclair family. She will not be able to hide in the shadows for long. She is going to have to try even harder to keep her real identity a secret before Victor Draconi decides to come after her.

I loved seeing more of Deah. While she might be the “princess” of the Draconi family on the outside. This book shows that life is not as glamorous for her on the inside. She has it much tougher than her brother, Blake. She also has much more of a conscience than the two of them put together, but she has her reasons for not standing up to them. I think she will be critical in the final battle with Victor.

The story is a little bit slow building as the families deal with murdered tree trolls which is driving the tree trolls into town and causing a nuisance. We don’t have all the worldbuilding that takes place in the first book, but there is plenty of storytelling and more character development. I can’t wait to see where the final book in this trilogy will take Lila, Devon, Mo and the gang.

Dark Heart of Magic Audiobook Narration

4 Hearts

Once again, I thought that Brittany Pressley really nailed the narration of this series. I loved how she did each of the different voices. I was clearly able to tell each of the characters apart. Her pace and tone were perfect. There was one particular character in this book that has clearly lost marbles and she did a great job portraying that with her narration.

Jennifer Estep
Jennifer Estep is a New York Times bestselling author, prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.

Jennifer has worked as a features writer and page designer for a daily newspaper and has more than 10 years of journalism experience. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and other writing groups.

Jennifer’s books have been featured in Cosmopolitan, Entertainment Weekly, Southern Living, and a variety of other publications.

Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assassin codenamed the Spider who can control the elements of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy killing people and righting wrongs, Gin runs a barbecue restaurant called the Pork Pit in the fictional Southern metropolis of Ashland. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vampires, and elementals – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone.

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Narrator: Brittany Pressley
Brittany Pressley is an audiobook narrator, songwriter, and vocal producer in New York City. She has narrated several audiobooks, including works by Alyson Noel and R. L. Stine. Her notable screen credits include being a newscaster on FOX Kid’s News and playing Courtney in the Fox Television Network series Swans Crossing. Pressley also has a background in theater, having played Peaseblossom in Shakespeare in the Park’s production of a Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Maria in The Sound of Music for Carey Productions. She has also done both regional and national commercial spots and PSAs for TV and Radio, including MasterCard, Nickelodeon, and MTV.

Audible Audiobooks

I like to thank Jennifer Estep for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by:

ML Simmons Reviewer

  • 4
    editor rating
Melanie Simmons
I’m Melanie and I live in Ohio. I have two horses and a dog. I’m an animal lover, avid book reader and audiobook listener. I like to live vicariously through fictional characters. I enjoy reading and listening to mostly fictional books in the paranormal genre, including Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror. My favorite paranormal creatures are shifters, doesn’t matter the flavor.


  1. I really loved this one too (a tad bit more than the first). I am now counting down to the next one!

    • I feel the same way. I thought this book really added to the series. *waits patiently for book three*

      • I enjoyed this one a little more than the 1st as well. And I love them on audio. I think I’m going to hold out for the audio for the next one instead of reading an ARC. LOL I love Brittany’s narration for the series.

  2. Yay, trolls ! Mayham and destruction, lol 😉

  3. I’m hoping ill get around to reading this, this week as I do love this series. Is this romance-y like typical YA fantasy? I do love the forbidden romance regarding Deah, but I’m not a fan of teen love lol

    • It has some romance, but not as much what I’m used to in YA. It is heavier on action. There is a bit of a love triangle between secondary characters in this book that wasn’t in book one.

  4. I enjoyed this one too 🙂 Shit is going to go downnnn next book! hahaha

  5. I like what you’re saying about this one with the trolls and mayhem and great characters. The fact that its a trilogy is actually a strong point so I know it won’t be a series that occupies me for too long. 🙂 Sad, but true. So many books…

    • I know the feeling. So many books, so little time. I hope you get a chance to try this series and this author. She is a great one.

  6. I LOVE Pressley! I listened to her voice this series and a Lisa Kleypas book and she sounded like a different person. Which is a great thing. It’s often times a narrator will sound the same for each book/series they do no matter who the author is. I love it when I find a narrator that really changes their performance as much as Pressley does.

    • I haven’t listened to the Kleyplas series. I thought she did a great job adding a hit of Southern without over doing it.

  7. Sounds like a SOLID second book in a series – you never know which way the second book is going to go. I personally think it’s rare if they’re good.

    The last book should be great since the first two were good 🙂 I have these on my mountainous TBR!

  8. I like the sound of the narration. I am reading these..but the audio sounds wonderful.

  9. I can’t wait to read this one, I recently got my copy, yay! Sounds like it’s just as good as the first book and I am looking forward to learning more about Deah.

    I didn’t realize this was only going to be a trilogy, I had assumed it would be a longer series like the Mythos Academy series. I already have the third book pre-ordered. Great review!

    • I’m pretty sure it is a trilogy. I can’t remember where I had heard that. There is a chance that I’m wrong. I won’t be the first time if that is the case.

  10. I still haven’t read any of Estep’s books! And each time I see one of your reviews, I know I’ll enjoy her writing! Dark Heart of Magic sounds good, and I love tournaments that make me think of medieval knights in some ways 🙂

    • It was very Renaissance Fair like. They even made the contestants wear the garb and they use swords. This would be a great series to test if you like Estep’s writing. It is a short series with only two books out and I’m pretty sure it is only a trilogy.

  11. Okay, I pretty much skipped reading your review because I just started the audio for the first book and don’t want any spoilers. It took me a while to get into the first one for a couple of reasons, but now it’s starting to pick up. Narrator does a good job, too.

    • I do the same thing for the same reasons. This book is a lot of fun. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

  12. I am enjoying this series as well. Yes it is slow building and the story telling is without a lot of frills, but it is engaging. I totally agree about Deah. I am liking the Romeo and Juliet vibe with her.

    • Agreed. Can’t wait to see what the next book has in store.

  13. I really do love this series, in fact, I love all her series I have tried, just so much fun! Glad the audio is good on this.

    • I haven’t tried the Mythos Academy yet, but I’m thinking that I should.


  1. Audiobook News & Reviews: 11/06-11/11 - […] Listens reviews Dark Heart of Magic, by Jennifer Estep, narrated by Brittany […]

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