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The Edge of the World (Terra Incognita #1)

3.52  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,158 Ratings  ·  148 Reviews
Terra Incognita - the blank spaces on the map, past the edge of the known world, marked only by the words "here be monsters."

Two nations at war, fighting for dominion over the world, pin their last hopes of ultimate victory on finding a land out of legend.

Each will send its ships to brave the untamed waters, wild storms, sea serpents, and darker dangers unseen by any man.
ebook, 592 pages
Published June 8th 2009 by Orbit (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,804)
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Ben Babcock
Somewhere between the title of the book and the fact that it is a fantasy setting, I became convinced that The Edge of the World was set in a world that is literally flat, with a ship that literally sails off the edge. This mistaken perception is entirely my fault, and it quickly became obvious that I was wrong when I began reading the book. Just thought I would warn you in case you laboured under the same generous delusion as I did.

Instead, The Edge of the World is one of the lazier stories I'v
May 09, 2012 Alicia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely terrible. I'm on page 150 and ready to quit.
I was lured in by the beautiful cover and the promise of high sea adventure and discovery and I'm sorely frustrated and tired of the religious and political dribble that Anderson has presented.
I disliked the multiple storylines and the constant flipping back and forth between them. The icing on the cake was the Romanesque manner of brutally and sadistically killing each other... If I wanted to read that I would read true accounts of the holo
Apr 05, 2014 Bcvs rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: no-go
MTV meets Lawrence of Arabia
Jonathan Freed
Oct 02, 2013 Jonathan Freed rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Let me preface this review by saying I am a fan of Kevin's work on the Dune series.

This book is an absolute waste of time. I almost never start a book and not finish it but was 3/4 of the way through this piece, went to the book store, bought half a dozen new titles and immediately dropped this in favor of the new Jim Butcher / Dresden title.

The whole plot line of the book is an obvious re-write of Christian vs. Muslim theology with the Jews (in this case) as the semi neutral map makers (and ho
Nov 25, 2009 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book. It was 570 some pages and knowing as you go into it that it's the first installment of a trilogy is a little daunting. There is no complete story arc in this book. Although the ending is not a 'cliff-hanger', it does leave a lot of open plot threads - I will have to read the next book. And I don't mind that prospect, despite the ambulatory pace, the book does pack a lot into its 570 pages and by the time I was finished I was thoroughly invested in all the characters.

It's a sol
Sep 30, 2010 D.w. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Another Anderson Epic with Characters all over the map. Pun intended. Too many characters like too many cooks, spoil the meal. Once Again Anderson thinks he is going to give us a great feast, but he fails to deliver and he does with his premise at the very beginning when the Christians and The Muslims face off at Jerusalem.

He changes that a little. It is Ishalem, and the founders of the religion were brothers so it is Issac and Ishmael.

Were are things wrong from the start? The basis of this conf
Brian Conway
May 14, 2009 Brian Conway rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was fortunate enought to get my hands on an Advance Reading Copy of this book!

Whether you are already familiar with, and a fan of Kevin J. Anderson’s other works such as his critically acclaimed Saga of the Seven Suns series, or his collaborative forays into the legendary Dune Universe with Brian Herbert (the son of Frank Herbert), or new to his creative endeavors, you will be pleasantly surprised by Mr. Anderson’s adept return into the fantasy realm.

Humans have a natural inclination to explo
Ranting Dragon
Aug 30, 2011 Ranting Dragon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dan

The Edge of the World is the first book in the Terra Incognita trilogy by Kevin J. Anderson, well known author of many popular series science fiction novels including Dune (with Brian Herbert) and Star Wars. It tells the story of two nations at war, driven by religious fervor, with a spiral of revenge and vengeance as the backdrop for a tale of adventure and daring. Both nations seek to make discoveries that would shake the foundations of their civilizatio
Padraigh Mchale
Aug 29, 2009 Padraigh Mchale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
If you've read Kevin J Anderson's Saga of Seven Suns series, then you already know and understand his style of writing, but if you're new to his independent works, they can be a little off putting, at first. Anderson starts each chapter with a number, and the location the chapter is happening in. The chapters vary in length, from a few paragraphs to many, many pages, so it can get a little difficult to figure out at first, especially when you're learning new names for places and people. I would ...more
Aug 03, 2010 edifanob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books, 2010-reads
First book of a trilogy.
I expected more adventures on the high seas. There are a lot of characters to follow which is good but I disliked the change of point of view after two to five pages. That was too often.
Anyway I look forward to read the next book.

Full review in progress ...
Robin Wiley
Mar 07, 2010 Robin Wiley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I grabbed this as soon as I saw the title. Off the edge of the map. Here be monsters? I am sooo there.

BONUS: This book has a rock soundtrack. I haven't checked it out yet, but perhaps you might want to enhance your reading experience. Terra Incognita: Beyond the Horizon by Roswell Six. Let me know how it goes.

More characters than a Greg Keyes novel, and less than Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series - you follow about 8 - 10 characters (sometimes less because 2 or 3 characters meet up for a whil
Jan 09, 2012 Leon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-great
I am desperately trying to finish this one.
I've actually gone as far as to read something else in between.
Based on the positive reviews I decided to give this book a chance, but so far (little over half) it has completely failed to grip me. The world building is very superficial, So far it feels like I'm changing channels on TV. Turn a page and a war is narrowly avoided, turn another and a war erupts. Turn a page and a character is in perfect health, return to them and they're in deep trouble on
Tim Hicks
Dec 13, 2010 Tim Hicks rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Anderson seems to be a prolific author. I wish he'd taken more time with this one.

He's got a pretty good framework and some strong characters. The plot overall is credible.

I was stalled early on by the assumption that the isthmus provided an almost impassable barrier, not only between north and south but between the two seas. No one ever thought to build a canal?

They have sympathetic magic, but seem to use it only to track distant ships. No one has ever found anything else to use it for?

Jul 20, 2011 Ron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, maps
What? That's it? 565 pages of story, then Anderson just stops. I realize that The Edge of the World opens a series, but I also expect each volume to be a self-contained story. No, the narrative just stops. No conclusion, no cliff hanger, nothing. Yes, yes, several characters commitment themselves to future action, but that happened several times during the story.

I was ready to give this book four stars because Anderson does a credible job of world building and characterization. His warring kingd
Oct 07, 2012 Jason rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books, read-2012
3 Stars

While I enjoyed this page turner that is geared of the adventure reader, I never really loved it. I expected more adventure on the sea than what we get here. This is truly unfortunate as the little sea going that is presented here is top notch and a blast to read.

The book lost me around two thirds in when after another period of time passes, Criston no longer is the main protagonist of our story. His pov was my favorite by a long shot, and when it went missing, so did my attention. I enj

Very entertaining debut to the Terra Incognita series; if you are familiar with the author Seven Suns saga, you will recognize a lot of the same plot devices, character archetypes, and the same "no character" is safe from summary dispatch, heartbreak, dramatic change...

The story is complex with multiple POV's and is always clearly written and very enjoyable; also the book is a page turner and it ends at various stopping points in each of the multiple threads with the next book an asap book. An
Guy Haley
A book that promises rip-roaring nautical adventure, and then resolutely stalls for time and page count.

This is a simple book set in a simple world with a simple story. But, like a soap opera, though it is pretty much devoid of any kind of artistic merit, it entertains, and you could never accuse Anderson of running a sloppy ship – The Edge of the World sails at a fair clip.

As far as epic fantasy goes, The Edge of the World is not a bad book. It is, however, guilty of false advertising. You thin
Paul Weimer
Sep 07, 2009 Paul Weimer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kevin J Anderson is well known in SF circles for his "Saga of Seven Suns" SF series, and more visibly, for his extensions of the Dune universe written by Frank Herbert's son Brian.

Here, in The Edge of the World, Kevin J Anderson tries something new--a fantasy novel. As it so happens this is the first novel of Anderson's I have read, and so I came into reading this novel unaware of first-hand knowledge of his writing styles and choices.

The Edge of the World is billed as the first of the "Terra In
Lady Heinz
Nov 06, 2012 Lady Heinz rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
i'm only 1/2 way through and have debated a number of times whether to abandon it. (finally decided i couldn't take it anymore) really not well done. way too many characters and as the plot unfolds the whole book shifts. too many plot lines and none of them develop well. not what i expected at all (skeletons coming to life and ruled by the spirit of an island?? what?? which wouldn't be bad if it was a book that involved some magic or a back story concerning the supernatural, but there is nothing ...more
Jul 14, 2010 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Many years ago, I began reading Star Wars books, beginning with Kevin J. Anderson's Jedi Academy Trilogy. Since that time, I have found a variety of science fiction and fantasy to read and write. Some have been good, some have been lackluster. However, this book seemed to remind me why I fell in love with the genre in the first place. I would gladly put this book on par with "The Lies of Locke Lamora" in captivation of the story. You seem to want to dive deeper into the characters created by And ...more
Nov 22, 2012 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After writing nearly a dozen novels in the "Dune" universe (with Brian Herbert) and the outstanding seven-volume space epic The Saga of the Seven Suns, Anderson has turned to fantasy in his latest series. This book is the first part in an expected trilogy call Terra Incognita.

The world he creates is two continents connected by an isthmus. There is just a hint of magic, sea creatures are large and scary but have no super powers, and much of the mystique is in the legends. The technology and know
Apr 25, 2016 Mel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I can see why many people may not have loved this book. But personally I adored it.
There's nothing quick, glamorous or flashy about this stoic fantasy series; however, it has endearing characters, snippets of magic and the uniqueness that you are never able to pick sides.
There is a religious war and we read about both sides equally. Kevin J. Anderson does an excellent job of showing how faith and religion can become so skewed that people are blind to the obvious.
The payoff is well worth the 6
Des Walch
Nov 07, 2014 Des Walch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was easily one of the hardest books I have ever had to put down while reading! Anderson masterfully creates an entire fantasy world with social, political and religious conflicts that in some ways mock or ridicule our own world's problems. Small bits of the story that may be overlooked in the beginning play important parts in later events as you watch people grow and mature in an ever growing world with diverse cultures. One of the best stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading!
May 24, 2014 Grimread rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was such a disappointment. I thought this is going to be a a story of sea adventures and mysteries of the uncharted world since there are blanks on the world map but instead you get a novel that reads as a history book except nothing actually happens and all you get are a bunch of time jumps and promises that fail your expectation in the end and you realise that most of the stuff written was pointless. Sure you have a bunch of characters with their individual fates but everything is de ...more
Jul 23, 2012 Ezra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good book although the author had an indifferent attitude toward the characters (there are allot of them). the attitude may turn some people off but it fired me up about the characters. (I found myself pacing) The first hundred pages are very brutal and frustrating but after that the book is much less harsh but still sad. Characters are all believable some are kind some self serving but all show a different face of humanity. Nearly all the characters develop by showing either how their fa ...more
Jul 31, 2015 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2009
Great debut into fantasy. While there are very little "unknown" creatures this book is great. I was captivated by every character and really wanted to know what was happening. There's just enough ups and downs in the book that it kept you guessing and reading.

As it is a trilogy it ended with more for the second book, I want to know what happens to so many of the plot lines that are left out there! But I think the book left off at just a great point.

Although it's about political/religious probl
Jul 26, 2011 Donna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I did not come away from this novel a fan or wanting to read the rest of the series. This thinly veiled allegory in which two nations, one distinctly Western-European in flavor with a Judeo-Christian like religion and and the other an Eastern desert country whose religion resembles Islam, become inextricably engaged in a bloody religious war just did not keep me interested. I went almost two weeks at one point without returning to the story and did not miss it. The novel is slow moving and ponde ...more
Jun 02, 2015 Dani rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I’ve never read anything by Anderson before, and I was intrigued by the description on the book about finding new lands in the unexplored places on the map. I was thinking adventure on the high seas, not the daily lives of some people.

It’s like he started backwards, all the characters were connected in the beginning but then they drift apart and don’t seem to ever search for one another. The letters never reach her. He never follows her. He goes to be a soldier. We stop hearing from her. He gets
Dec 07, 2011 Dee rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
Made it sixty pages, and just could not bring myself to read further, not even stuck on the train with nothing else to read. Too many viewpoint characters, too few of them interesting or sympathetic, too heavy-handed world-building and way too pedestrian prose. Sixty pages, and I'm not sure it couldn't have made a more compelling narrated prologue. But more importantly, sixty pages, and not a single emotional connection with this book that makes me reconsider pulling out the bookmark.
Aug 03, 2009 Weylin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was just ok and seemed to be bubblegum fantasy at the very least. Nothing really seemed to happen through this whole book. The last 30 pages were good but it just took 535 pages to get there. The best thing about this book is that it’s a very quick read and it baits the reader into sticking with the story. Again, the bad thing is that there is nothing really there when the reader takes the bait.
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Goodreads Librari...: ISBN 9781841496627 2 28 Dec 06, 2011 05:43PM  
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Pseudonyms: Gabriel Mesta, K.J. Anderson

He has written spin-off novels for Star Wars, StarCraft, Titan A.E., and The X-Files, and is the co-author of the Dune prequels. His original works include the Saga of Seven Suns series and the Nebula Award-nominated Assemblers of Infinity. He has also written several comic books including the Dark Horse Star Wars collection Tales of the Jedi written in coll
More about Kevin J. Anderson...

Other Books in the Series

Terra Incognita (3 books)
  • The Map of All Things (Terra Incognita, #2)
  • The Key to Creation (Terra Incognita, #3)

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“Some presters might tell you never to question, but that is tantamount to telling you not to think. Odun created us to explore, to experience. There is no harm in asking questions…” 0 likes
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