Curse Workers and Magic: A Review of BLACK HEART by Holly Black

Black Heart 
Holly Black
296 pages
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: April 3rd, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher

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.

I started the Curse Workers Trilogy on maybe Tuesday and I finished the whole thing about Saturday morning reading it almost every free moment I got. It was that amazing, and the last book was probably the best one of them all.

In a world where magic is illegal, Cassel Sharpe knows he’s been used as an assassin, but he’s trying to put all that behind him. He’s trying to be good, even though he grew up in a family of con artists and cheating comes as easily as breathing to him. He’s trying to do the right thing, even though the girl he loves is the one he should stay the farthest away from. And he’s trying to convince himself that working for the Feds is smart, even though he’s been raised to believe the government is the enemy.

But with a mother on the lam, the girl he loves about to take her place in the Mob, and new secrets coming to light, the line between what’s right and what’s wrong becomes increasingly blurred. When the Feds ask Cassel to do the one thing he said he would never do again, he needs to sort out what’s a con and what’s truth. In a dangerous game and with his life on the line, Cassel may have to make his biggest gamble yet—this time on love.

The setting was surreal, the plot very elaborate but understandable, and the characters amazing. This pretty sums up the book.

The setting was surreal because Holly Black completely sweeps you off your feet with the way she’s able to show the world through Cassel eyes. The best thing is she doesn’t go into great detail about the surroundings, she keeps it short and to the point, leaving more space for the action to take place. And there certainly is a lot of action since the whole thing is about the Mob and the FBI.

The plot was so elaborate it was like reading Sherlock Holmes, but the whole time it was also understandable. The only parts I wasn’t completely glued to were when Holly Black explains everything about curse working, I skipped most of those parts. But I eventually had to come back and read the parts again because you need those parts to better understand the story.

The characters are always my favorite part of a book because even the boringest plots can be made interesting with amazing characters. And even though Black Heart’s plot was good, the characters were still amazing. By the time you finish Black Heart you know Cassel really well something that can’t be said about a lot of series.

The covers pretty weird, I liked the first two books covers. I don’t get it or the pink title. But the book was amazing and for that it gets 5 stars.

This review was written by my 14-year-old brother, Calidude!

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Asma is a cat-loving co-blogger at IceyBooks. She's a 15 year old homeschooler who spends her time blogging (obviously), reading, and whatever else strikes her fancy. She's also a part time pirate and assassin.


1 Comment

  1. Reply


    September 27, 2013

    This is actually in my top five favorite trilogies of all time. The covers they updated (i don’t like them either) for the paper back versions, but if you look up the old versions, you can see they definitely fit the books better. So glad you like the series! :-)