On The Edge
Published 2009 310 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
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 Edge is the first book in The Edge urban fantasy romance series by Ilona Andrews. Ilona Andrews is well known for her popular Kate Daniels urban fantasy series and established fans of the Kate Daniels books shouldn’t be disappointed with On The Edge since it contains the author’s trademark original fantasy world building, well realised characters and top quality dialogue.
On The Edge is set in a different world to the Kate Daniels books. While all of Ilona Andrews’ writing sits well at the fantasy end of the urban fantasy setting spectrum this new world has an even greater fantasy realm feeling to it. The Edge is a place where the Weird, a full-on fantasy realm, and the Broken (our real world) meet. The Edge has its own inhabitants who have adapted to living in a place that’s not fully magical but isn’t exactly normal either. Some of them, like Rose the story’s heroine, work in the Broken while they live in the Edge. If they stay in the Broken too long and they can lose their magical abilities and end up stuck there, unable to leave again. Most of the story takes place in the Edge and while the world has no shortage of magical creatures and magic users there don’t appear to be any vampires in this world.
On The Edge wastes no time sucking readers straight into Rose’s strange world. The opening pages manage to combine the mundane (Rose’s younger brother ruining his new school shoes) with the fantastic (zombified Granddad escapes from the shed again and is intoxicated on eating brains) hooking readers right from the start and setting the tone for the story ahead.
Rose is struggling to make ends meet in the Edge. She works a minimum wage job cleaning offices in the Broken and also cares for her two younger brothers (who take a lot of looking after.) She has a rare magical ability that makes her an object of desire (but not in a good way) for blue-bloods from the Weird and for inhabitants of the Edge looking to improve their bloodlines. Strange magic-hungry creatures start to invade the Edge, devouring any of its inhabitants that they encounter. At the same time Rose meets Declan, an aristocrat from the Weird, who seems determined to marry Rose so that he can gain control of her magical ability.
On The Edge is a good mixture of fantasy action and romance. Ultimately it reads more like a romance than urban fantasy. Declan is powerful, rich and good-looking thereby making a typical romance hero, while Rose is a take charge, no-nonsense heroine. In the course of their relationship they overcome many misunderstandings and battle an evil sorcerer before finally understanding each other. The greater emphasis on the romance gives the book a softer feel than the harder-edged Kate Daniels books but like all of Ilona Andrews’ books it has no shortage of kick-ass action and fantasy thrills.
Recommended reading for fantasy romance fans.
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