Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Edge of the World (Terra Incognita, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Edge of the World (Terra Incognita, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Edge of the World

(Terra Incognita #1)

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  1,498 ratings  ·  187 reviews
Terra Incognita -- the blank spaces on the map, past the edge of the world, marked only by the words "here be monsters."

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

Each will send their ships to brave the untamed seas, wild storms, sea serpents, and darker dangers
Paperback, 608 pages
Published June 8th 2009 by Orbit (first published 2009)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Edge of the World, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Edge of the World

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,498 ratings  ·  187 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Edge of the World (Terra Incognita, #1)
Kara 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
Feb 10, 2012 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
Jonathan Freed
Oct 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Apr 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: no-go
MTV meets Lawrence of Arabia
Brian Conway
May 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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

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
Apr 23, 2009 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
Ranting Dragon
Aug 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 25, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I went into The Edge of the World expecting a high fantasy filled with fun on the high seas. I wanted interesting worlds, sea adventures, and lots of fun. Instead, I was given a book I found extremely difficult to finish.

There were points where I considered giving this a two-star rating, but in the end I couldn’t. It was a book of politics and religion, and whilst these things can be interesting in fantasy, I found they overshadowed the aspects of the story that could have been fun.

With a book
Padraigh Mchale
Aug 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 30, 2010 rated it liked it
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
May 06, 2010 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
Jan 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Tim Hicks
Dec 13, 2010 rated it liked it
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?

Oct 23, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Jul 16, 2011 rated it liked it
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 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012, e-books
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
Des Walch
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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! ...more
Geoff Habiger
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Book 1 of the Terra Incognita series is definitely epic fantasy even though there is very little magic involved. That's because the scope of the story that Anderson is creating is so far reaching. Spanning several different story lines across over a dozen years the story and setting is truly epic in reach.

The characters that Anderson introduces us to are, for the most part, people with a history and background that gives them depth. We get to see the world through the eyes of everybody from kin
Jan 26, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The world-building is excellent, and days after I've finished it, I'm still thinking about it. It really stuck with me, and I really attached to the ships and the seas, which I hope to see more of in Book 2.

I found that this book had too many characters. It took me more than half the book to start recognizing and remembering names so I could figure out who to follow. There's a lot of time-jumping, too, which helps cut out boring parts, but everything came across as elaborate backstory for Book 2
Paul Weimer
Sep 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Guy Haley
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Jun 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Mel (Epic Reading)
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
Lady Heinz
Oct 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
May 24, 2014 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
May 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009, fantasy
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 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 26, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Darkness Forged in Fire (Iron Elves, #1)
  • Sir Thursday (The Keys to the Kingdom, #4)
  • Back to Blood
  • Memoirs
  • The American Future: A History
  • Ramses: The Son of Light  (Ramses #1)
  • The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?
  • Wilt (Wilt, #1)
  • Gelukkige slaven
  • Raise the Titanic! (Dirk Pitt, #4)
  • The Drawing of the Dark
  • Blood Song (Blood Singer, #1)
  • Vampire Wars: The von Carstein Trilogy (Warhammer Chronicles)
  • A Short History of the French Revolution
  • The Immortal Prince (Tide Lords, #1)
  • The Cardinal's Blades (The Cardinal's Blades #1)
  • The Jewel in the Skull (History of the Runestaff #1)
  • The Sorcerers' Plague (Blood of the Southlands, #1)
See similar books…
Yes, I have a lot of books, and if this is your first visit to my amazon author page, it can be a little overwhelming. If you are new to my work, let me recommend a few titles as good places to start. I love my Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. series, humorous horror/mysteries, which begin with DEATH WARMED OVER. My steampunk fantasy adventures, CLOCKWORK ANGELS and CLOCKWORK LIVES, written with Neil Pear ...more

Other books in the series

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

Related Articles

  Listen up, because our colleagues here at Goodreads have some excellent audiobook recommendations for you! Of course, the books they've...
49 likes · 26 comments