Although there are familiar elements, there is something quite distinct about this series. I really enjoyed this difference.
Kalder Mar grew up in the Mire, a swamp in just about the dodgiest part of the Edge, a land between the Broken (that would be our world) and the Weird (that would be a magic world, part-Faerie, part Renaissance-y steampunk fantasy). He’s a liar, thief and sometime spy who is really, really good with a sword and has an uncanny (magical) ability to make things happen if you bet him they can’t.
Audrey Callahan is the daughter of a con artist. Bitter and battered by the life her family taught her to live, she’s tried to keep on the straight and narrow, getting a real job in the Broken and taking care of herself. Her father persuades her to do one last con, and if she does, he’ll stay out of her life forever.
Tasked with retrieving the item that Audrey’s family stole, Kalder and Audrey cross paths and find themselves working together to make things right, with all the adventures that come with it.
Despite my rave review for book one in the series, book two languished on my TBR for two and a half years before I picked it up. I then promptly called Galaxy Books and made them ship me the rest of the series while I lay in bed languishing from illness. This is book three.
Fate’s Edge reminded me why I love Ilona Andrews. It’s filled with rich world building and engaging characters, and I devoured this book in one night despite drinking codeine-laced cough medication. I loved Kalder and his wise-cracking, devil-may-care-but-actually-I-have-depth personality. He reminded me very much of Silk from the Belgariad, one of my favourite fantasy series from childhood. While Audrey isn’t my favourite heroine in this series, I also liked her—she was ballsy without being over the top and she could admit when she was wrong, why she was wrong, and face her demons without drama and fanfare. She was more than a match for Kalder—their banter is entertaining and smile-inducing.
One of things I like about Andrews’ writing is that their (Ilona Andrews is a husband and wife team) characters are always distinct. You don’t get your average cookie-cutter, kick-arse heroine four times in four different books—it is a different person every time, as is the hero. And I like that. I like their personalities and character development. I also like that although they have cameos in each other’s books for continuity purposes, they don’t take over and are actually used to further the story along.
I love the secondary characters in all the books, most particularly the kids, George and Jack, Gaston and even Lark/Sophie. I can’t wait to read about them in the future, if that ever happens, because Andrews has ended this series with four books. (I hope it is just for now!) So you have the added bonus of, OMG a series that actually finishes!
In their blog ,the authors mention that when they pitched the Edge series to the publishers, they thought it was something they couldn’t describe. Sort of urban fantasy, some romance, and they had difficulty explaining what it was and where it fit: ‘Everybody likes it, nobody is 100% sure what it is.’ I tend to agree. I find this series quite unique in its setting and, although there are familiar elements, there is something quite distinct about the series as a whole, just as every character in the novel is distinct from each other. I really enjoyed this difference, and found that it enhanced the story-telling.
Yay or nay?
Highly recommended, but you really should start from the beginning (On The Edge). All the books are connected and although this can stand alone, you might feel that you’re missing something. Plus, you’ll want to go back and read everyone’s stories anyway.
Who might enjoy it: Readers looking for a unique, character-driven series
Who might not enjoy it: Readers who need vampires in their paranormal romance