Some series just get their own post, and Ilona Andrews Edge series is one of those. You might be familiar with my adoration of Andrews Kate Daniels series. The Edge is different in that each book follows a different couple (like a romance series), but still has the phenomenal world, complex characters, exciting action scenes, and humor that I fell in love with in Kate's series.
One thing that I have come to appreciate from Ilona Andrews books is that I just have so much fun while I'm reading them. Also, the worldbuilding is fantastic, so it really does feel like an escape from real life. This is the third book set in the Edge world, an actually very complex world, but I never felt lost as characters jumped from the Weird to the Edge to the Broken and back again.
If you haven't read any of the edge books, well, first you need to start with On the Edge. You also need to know that the Earth in this universe has the Broken - the nonmagical world that you and I live in. Then you have the Weird, a parallel world where magic is everywhere, in everything. You have Adrianglia, which is in a state of detente with Lousiana, and in book 3, we have the intro of West Egypt. In between is the Edge where magic still thrives, though not as easily as in the Weird. Filled with clannish, feuding families, they live a hard life. This time we travel to the West coast and get a sense of what the Edge is like in the pacific northwest.
We first met Kaldar, a snarky thief and Cerise's cousin, in Bayou Moon. The battle with the monstrous Hand has left him with a thirst for vengeance and a job with the Mirror, the Adrianglian secret service. His latest job is to find and recover an artifact stolen from West Egypt, and Louisiana's Hand is the likely culprit. The job was done by an expert thief, and it takes one to know one...
This brings us to Audrey, an expert grifter and lockpick. She is trying to live life on the straight and narrow. She just had to do this one little job for her no good family, and now the Hand and a very charming Mirror agent are after her. She and Kaldar are evenly matched. You know in Ocean's Eleven when all of the conmen get together and they know every con there is to know and play off each other - yep, this book has that feel in spades (and I love it, thieves are my weakness). Sparks fly, and the whole courtship and romance was very enjoyable.
Fate's Edge felt lighter to me than Bayou Moon. We still have horrifying villains and some seriously awesome fight scenes, but book 2 had a lot more monstrosity. This one felt the most like a Romance to me too. Books 1 and 2 had a strong romantic undercurrent, but this one even more so.
I also enjoyed all of the recurring characters, not just Kaldar. Gaston, George & Jack - these boys have grown a lot and most of my favorite moments involve one or more of them. Three scenes in particular: Gaston talking with Audrey about the "real" Kaldar, Gaston talking with Kaldar about Audrey, and George given his "tortured prince" spiel to Audrey. Golden moments. These kids belong in my List of Best Kid Sidekicks (and will be added soon - promise!).
There was one part where I was thinking to myself - "I love the cons and the elaborate schemes, but why aren't they just going in guns blazing," and right about this time it was answered in the book and it fit perfectly and gave more depth the hero. There's a very good reason Kaldar is the way he is, and Audrey is the way she is. It all felt natural.
Really looking forward to the next Edge adventures! (I believe we are getting at least one more - wonder who will be in it?)
Fate's Edge is out November 29.
[I received an advance readers copy of this book.]