Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry Books
Release Date: April 3, 2012
Rating: 4 out of 5
Summary: “In a world where Magic is illegal.
Cassel Sharpe has the most deadly ability of all. With one touch, he can transform any object – including a person – into something else entirely. And that makes him a wanted man. The Feds are willing to forgive all his past crimes if he’ll only leave his con artist family behind and go straight. But why does going straight feel so crooked?
For one thing, it means being on the opposite side of the law from Lila, the girl he loves. She’s the daughter of a mob boss and getting ready to join the family business herself. Though Cassel is pretty sure she can never love him back, he can’t stop obsessing over her. Which would be bad enough, even if her father wasn’t keeping Cassel’s mother prisoner in a posh apartment and threatening not to let her leave until she returns the priceless diamond she scammed off him years ago. Too bad she can’t remember where she put it.
The Feds say they need Cassel to get rid of a powerful man who is spinning dangerously out of control. But if they want Cassel to use his unique talent to hurt people, what separates the good guys from the bad ones? Or is everyone just out to con him?
Time is running out, and all Cassel’s magic and cleverness might not be enough to save him. With no easy answers and no one he can trust, love might be the most dangerous gamble of all.” – Goodreads
This is by far the best book in the trilogy. (Which is nice, because it’s always an awful feeling to muck through a disappointing ending.) The previous books were only so-so, lacking that special “umf” or “punch” or whatever you want to call it. Black Heart is much better executed, with a constant tension thrumming through it and an (actually!) interesting love story. It’s not mushed to death either. It’s strong, and each character is in full possession of themselves regardless of their romance.
The plot is strong, though a tad confusing at the end with Patton. I wasn’t sure what was being coordinated between Barron and Cassel, which made it difficult to follow along, but eventually got back on track.
The characters are given more time to stretch their legs and grow, resulting in more dimension, most especially for members of Cassel’s family.
For its constant tension, character growth, and plot, Black Heart earns itself a 4 out of 5.