Katharine Kimbriel's Reviews > On the Edge

On the Edge by Ilona Andrews
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Nov 17, 10

bookshelves: contemporary-fantasy, romance
Read in November, 2010

Welcome to The Edge, a weird strip of land circling our globe and protecting us, if you will, from The Weird, where magic rules. Think Louisiana swamps with magic, and you’d be right at home. Our world is known as The Broken, because magic doesn’t work here, and people with magic literally feel it run out of their body like blood when they cross the border between Edge and Broken.

Not everyone can cross, which is where the Edgers often make their living. They can move between the Edge and the Broken, working, living the lives of illegal immigrants, with just as many problems and injustices.

Rose Drayton is a “sport,” a genetic throwback almost never seen in the Edge, capable of producing a white flash of magic that is a formidable weapon. She had hoped this skill would be her ticket out of poverty and heavy family responsibility, but it’s not to be – her mother is dead, her father a fortune-hunter more absent than present, and her little brothers have strong, rare magic – one a shape shifter, the other a necromancer. She won’t abandon them as she was abandoned, and she’s learned that men either want her magic or her body. They aren’t looking for a life partner.

Enter Declan Camarine, a blueblooded noble out of the Weird who clearly has extensive training in magic and war. When she tries to run him off their property, figuring him to be just like all the others who appeared once her Flashing abilities were known, she finds him a determined man – a man who says he is willing to win her through challenges.

Then a strange new animal in the Edge turns out to be literally deadly, and challenges or any other plans are tossed aside as Rose and Declan must join forces to deal with a horrifying force hungry for magic.

In still another twist of her life, everything Rose thinks she knows is upended, when it turns out the evil magic has a master, and Declan has tracked him from the Weird.

The team of Ilona Andrews has done a great job creating a gritty new pocket of magic that feels very real. We recognize these private, uneducated, fearful people, getting by as best they can. The tough young woman who stars in this story quickly takes shape in our minds. Her brothers are unique, and crucial to the story on more than one level, making this modern fantasy with a sheen of romance, not a paranormal romance. We believe in Rose’s strengths and her knowledge of her world, and want her to win through. We also learn more of Edge magic through her Grandma, a talented “curser” who has watched time and three worlds destroy her family.

Rose doesn’t intend to let Declan win her, but he turns out to be more than the working soldier he appears, able to take interesting challenges and make them work. He’s also capable of stirring up some interest in Rose, although she mostly keeps him at arm’s length. She’s used to Weird men lying to her to get what they want – her – and she’s not interested (or rather not going to let him know she has any interest.)

Declan is not what he appears, and the danger that has come upon the Edge is horrifying – indeed, may be what destroyed the magical equivalent of the Aztec empire. The Edgers must help him find a solution to the problem, or the Edge and everyone in it will either fall to the invaders – or be destroyed by the Weird dealing with the invaders.

I can see this one as a re-read. Recommended!
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Estara (new)

Estara Lovely review of all the good stuff, as always when you write one ^^.


Katharine Kimbriel I figure there has to be a good balance between what the book is about, and why you should read it! So I look for the sweet spot. Glad you liked it!


message 3: by Estara (new)

Estara Katharine wrote: "I figure there has to be a good balance between what the book is about, and why you should read it! So I look for the sweet spot. Glad you liked it!"

I may not always like things you have reviewed, for example the Basilisk anime did nothing for me, but I've always liked your reviews of what you have enjoyed ^^. You and Sherwood Smith really manage to bring the pros and cons with the highlights across.


Katharine Kimbriel Yeah, Basilisk is not currently on the "try again" list.... ;^)


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