Black Heart

Black Heart

Book - 2012
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Cassel Sharpe, a powerful transformation worker, is torn between his decision to work for the federal government and his love for Lila, who has joined her father's criminal organization.
Publisher: London : Gollancz, 2012.
ISBN: 9780575096806
Characteristics: 296 p. ; 24 cm.


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Jan 12, 2019

Cassel Sharpe and his feeling toward Lila mixed with kidnapping and the mob as well makes for a good read.

FindingJane Sep 16, 2014

Steeped in various plots and double-dealings, “Black Heart” is an even more pulse-pounding, adrenalin-filled sleigh ride than its predecessors. Time and again, Cassel Sharpe proves himself sly, intelligent, resourceful and cunning about the situations around him. Time and again, he makes one blunder after another but somehow manages to find his way on top.

The first novel in this series dealt with the slipperiness of dreams, sleepwalking and memory; its supernatural origins were being set in place. The second one pushed us into the world of noir as Cassel Sharpe tried to find his brother’s murderer while negotiating the treacherous waters of the mob and state agencies. The third finds us planted firmly in the political machinations of a crazed governor and the governmental bureaus whose agendas may be as shadowy as the mobsters.

The reader breathlessly flips through page after page, wondering how our intrepid anti-hero is going to get himself out of all the twisted imbroglios and webs that tighten around him. Tangled as he is with varying loyalties to friends, family, the mob and government, it’s not easy and Ms. Black doesn’t cut corners in showing how each and every move might have disastrous consequences.

The characters are by now familiar as they too try to deal with all the problems life throws at them. Like the denizens of the Buffyverse, they find themselves caught up in real-world problems while forced to take on the supernatural. What they all learn is that there are no clear-cut good or bad people, only constant negotiations to survive, minute by minute, in a world that is unkind by nature.

Holly Black once again proves the adept at keeping the various balls in the air and entertaining us as she does so. If I have one critique, it’s about the triteness of the fairy-tale-like ending. But it seems that Mr. Sharpe has chosen his road and ultimately it must be conceded that he has earned it.

Sep 16, 2013

enjoyed all the books in the series a great deal - lots of fun and totally different... she writes well and the characters are engaging

Aug 26, 2013

I'm sad that the series is ending but it was fantastic! Everything in this series was amazing: the characters, the setting, the emotions, the surprises, the plot. Barron is a very complicated character (2nd favourite) and that is shown even more in this book. Holly Black created a perfect character when she created Cassel, who is both a hero and a villain. The ending was good but I hope that there will be more books about Cassel in the future.

JewelMcLatchy May 28, 2013

Fans of the first two books will either completely love or completely hate the ending of the trilogy. I found it to be quite a fitting end to the story; most loose ends were tied up, but enough questions were left so as to not exclude the possibility of follow-up books later on. Thoroughly enjoyed the entire trilogy.

Oct 12, 2012

The series was intriguing and enjoyable, but I don't think it's Holly Black's best.

Aug 27, 2012

I thought that this book wasn't as good as the previous two, but it is still an amazing book! I'm glad that Cassel and Lila got to be together in the end.

Aug 24, 2012

Such an amazing installment of a wonderful series. The book captivated me from the first page to the last.

Aug 24, 2012

The finale to the White Cat series – phenomenal. What do you do when it’s your nature to be on the grift, but you aspire to a straight and legal life? Cassel struggles to find his way as his transformational talent makes him ever more valuable to the players around him.

Jul 04, 2012

I loved all three of the Curse Workers books so far. Holly Black has created a fresh and interesting urban fantasy world based on many classic aspects of fictional magic; and I got very involved in the story of main character Cassel Sharpe, who is not nearly as bad as he thinks he is.

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LoganLib_Sophie Jan 21, 2015

LoganLib_Sophie thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

XanderKnight Jun 04, 2013

XanderKnight thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jul 27, 2012

violet_kangaroo_46 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Jul 12, 2012

snowball40 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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JewelMcLatchy May 28, 2013

I thought grifters and con men were just born bad. [...] But now I wonder-what if everyone is pretty much the same and it's just a thousand small choices that add up to the person you are? No good or evil, no black and white, no inner demons or angels whispering the right answers in our ears like it's some cosmic SAT test. Just us, hour by hour, minute by minute, day by day, making the best choices we can. The thought is horrifying. If that's true, then there's no right choice. There's just choice.


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