Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, between the world of the Broken (where people drive cars, shop at Wal-Mart, and magic is a fairy tale) and the Weird (where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny). Only Edgers like Rose can easily travel from one world to the next, but they never truly belong in either.
Rose thought if she practiced her magic, she could build a better life for herself. But things didn’t turn out how she planned, and now she works a minimum wage, off the books job in the Broken just to survive. Then Declan Camarine, a blueblood noble straight out of the deepest part of the Weird, comes into her life, determined to have her (and her power).
But when a terrible danger invades the Edge from the Weird, a flood of creatures hungry for magic, Declan and Rose must work together to destroy them—or they’ll devour the Edge and everyone in it . . .
On the Ilona Andrews website, this book is referred to as ‘rustic fantasy.’ I suppose that is as good a categorization as any for this paranormal, part-regency, part-contemporary, part-romance, part-fantasy, part…um…???
The basic world concept is similar to Stardust by Neil Gaiman in that there is the normal world that we all know: the Broken, and then there is a mirror image of our world suffused with magic known as: the Weird. Both worlds have evolved separately in terms of history and culture. In the Broken, the feudal system of nobility has long since gone the way of Dodo. In the Weird, the concept of nobles flourished and changed into what we would recognize as similar to elected officials. Yet between these two very different worlds lies the Edge, a strip of land that is both semi-magical and not. Edgers, those born in between the Broken and the Weird are essentially the backwoods bastards of both worlds. They can exist in either, but belong to neither.
Rose Drayton is an Edger who works as a cleaning lady to make ends meat for her and her two little brothers. Most Edgers have a little bit of magic; Rose has more than any Edger has had in a century, which makes her a highly sought after commodity in the Edge. Having had to fight off suitors (and those who would have sold her to the highest bidder) all her adult life have made her more then a little leery of men. When a noble from the Broken shows up, with enough of his own magic to assert his will, with intentions to claim her, Rose agrees to a battle of wits to decide the outcome. Before her fate can be determined, a magical threat begins devouring Edgers in an insatiable hunger for power. And to protect those she loves, Rose finds herself allied to the man who could destroy her family and quite possibly steal her heart.
Make no mistake, this is a weird book. It’s definitely unique in this genre and a huge departure from Ilona Andrew’s excellent Kate Daniels series. At its heart, On the Edge is a love story. One that builds slowly and credibly. The characters have real depth and exhibit true growth over the course of the story, and the concept of the Edge between two worlds is fascinating and fuels the story from beginning to end.
If you’ve read a few romance novels, you’ll recognize the tried and true relationship arc between Ross and Declan. His arrogance initially turns her off, but then she witnesses his tender strength (in this case making dinner for her brothers etc.) and begins to fall for him despite doubting his ultimate motives. Yes, it’s an old formula and I saw it coming a mile away, but that didn’t keep me from being thoroughly entertained by it. And like any romance worth its salt, the guy who comes in second place will get his own chance at (paranormal) love in the next Edge book, Bayou Moon due out October 2010. Already I can’ wait.
Sexual Content: One semi-graphic sex scene.
My Rating (out of 5):
Click HERE to read an excerpt of On the Edge
- Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Ace; Original edition (September 29, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0441017800
- ISBN-13: 978-0441017805