Another Curseworkers Review: Holly Black's 'Black Heart'.

Black Heart by Holly Black: Third in the Curseworkers Trilogy

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There are one of three ways that this review is going to be of interest to you. Either you're a fan of young adult – or should I say YA – fiction, and willing to give it a try. Or you're a devotee of Holly Black, and bound, determined and guaranteed to purchase whatever the next instalment of her supernatural – and supernaturally prolific – output is. Or, last of all, maybe you're just a huge fan of supernatural romance and adventure/mystery stories, in which case the Curseworkers trilogy is probably worth checking out for you.

So, you ask me – (yeah, I heard you!) - what is the Curseworkers trilogy about, exactly? Basic premise: a lot of people have magical 'powers' based on being able to touch someone and exert that power. Gloves are legally enforced, use of powers is legally proscribed. Does that totally contain the use of powers? Well, as you might expect, not quite.

The thing is, crime families tend to be powered families (or perhaps the other way around, considering the proscribed nature of powers.) And since their use is illegal, powered folks are pretty much limited, in terms of careers, to criminal activities.

This leads us to our two main characters, Lila and Cassel. Both come from crime families. Lila's is powerful, dominating, and she's likely to be the main heir. Cassel's is more marginal, but still tricksy and not a clan to cross. Both of them are high school kids: and Cassel is in love with Lila.

The trilogy deals with their attempts to come to terms with their powers and their futures, and to deal with the troubles of their own relationship. As the final book in the series, this book attempts to resolve their conflicts and give some kind of happy ending. How far does it succeed? Well, I'm not sure it entirely convinces as far as its assurances that their attachment is mutual. But in big payoff for both emotional and plot-driven angst, it's worth checking out. Recommended personally.

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