Book: On the Edge
Author: Ilona Andrews
Publisher: Ace Books
Rating: 5 Stars
On the Edge, the Andrews’ latest fantasy series breaks new ground and proves once again, the dynamic duo are at the top of their game. The Andrews dabble with a trio of dimensions that exist side by side in On the Edge: The Weird where magic and feudalism reign, The Broken, and that halfway-in-between space known as the Edge, enable the Andrews’ to chart any course they see fit. And it looks as if the sky, the universe, and even time and history, are not the limit when these two collaborate.
Their latest cast of characters exist in all these three spheres and the world-building sandwiched in between is deliciously beyond compare. With a tiny smidgen of steampunk noir to set the stage, mixed with a dash of elemental magic, On the Edge is fiercely vibrant, teeming with wicked, deviant life and is wholly believable. Where else can you get rolpies, wolds, leech birds, edge lynx’s and the like?
On the Edge’s heroine, Rose Drayton and her two younger brothers Georgie and Jack reside in that in-between space between realms, the Edge, barely scraping by…one foot in either world but never truly belonging to either. In the Weird, magic is pure, and aristocracy reigns. But in the Edge, in Rose’s world, the law is handled with a gun, your clan, and sometimes with the diluted magic inherent in every Edger.
Magic is power for those who dwell in the Weird and the Edge. Ever since the clans of the Edge witnessed the sheer force and color of Rose’s power she has been a target for every would-be-suitor in the district. And some are not content to come hat-in-hand. Fending off attempted kidnappings, Rose and her family have tried to dissuade even the most persistent beaus. But many families are desperate to breed power and legitimacy back into their family tree one way or another-by any means necessary-be they gentile Edgers, or aristocratic blue bloods from the Weird.
When a blue blood from the Weird shows up beyond the wards of Rose’s property she dismisses him as another suitor. But Declan Martel is not roaming the Wood or the Edge for Rose. This former Red Legion officer and Andrianglian noble is on the hunt for an enemy of the state with a mechanical doomsday device that threatens all the realms.
But that’s not to say that he’s not going to pass up an opportunity when it’s right in front of him.
I loved, LOVED On the Edge. Its’ cracked fairytale and vision are fully realized by the monumental creativity and practicality of its authors. Most importantly, On the Edge has a life all its own with a beating pulse that doesn’t stop. The world of the Edge literally comes alive, like wild, crazy, kudzu out of control. And readers will be hesitant to disengage from it.
The wooing of Rose by Declan shines, but it’s not the only lure to this adventure. Just traipsing through the Edge’s pages reminds one of a bit of Stephen Hunt melded with some old-world Frank Baum. There is a definite bit of whimsy here that’s guaranteed to conjure a chuckle or two.
The backstory of William and Declan lend some important props to the Andrews’ world-building and provides vital clues about the governing body of the Weird. And the similarities of William and Jack are crucial as well to bait us for the sequel Bayou Moon. Georgie’s secret is unwrapped slowly and delicately savored.
This is what writing is all about…pure omnipotence with a pen. I feel like proclaiming to all, “The Andrews write it and so shall it be”
A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)