Steel’s Edge by Ilona Andrews (The Edge #4)
November 27, 2012
Reviewed by Tori, May and Mandi
Blurb: The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people 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…
Charlotte de Ney is as noble as they come, a blueblood straight out of the Weird. But even though she possesses rare magical healing abilities, her life has brought her nothing but pain. After her marriage crumbles, she flees to the Edge to build a new home for herself. Until Richard Mar is brought to her for treatment, and Charlotte’s life is turned upside down once again.
Richard is a swordsman without peer, future head of his large and rambunctious Edger clan—and he’s on a clandestine quest to wipe out slavers trafficking humans in the Weird. So when his presence leads his very dangerous enemies to Charlotte, she vows to help Richard destroy them. The slavers’ operation, however, goes deeper than Richard knows, and even working together, Charlotte and Richard may not survive…
Tori: I’m all about Charlotte. Man, she freaking ROCKED!! I also loved seeing a more of George and Jack. They have always been a huge draw for me to this series. The slaver plot was original and facilitated the romance well. What was up with the ending though? Andrews said this was it. They said they would revisit for the kids but it this was the end. The ending left a bit too much open for my liking. Will they revisit Sophie also?
May: I want to first say, I thought this book was a great way to wrap-up the threads that they had going while leaving things wide open to come back and visit Jack, George, and Sophie/Lark in the future in their own unique way. I really truly hope that they will come back to that when inspired.
For me, this book felt less romance and more Urban Fantasy which I really dug. It was like being in the middle of such an intense situation and world – and there happened to be a budding romance to be found as well. The entire book I’d say was intense, and I felt like they really went for it with this one – nothing held back.
Mandi: My initial thoughts on the books are: #1 – The team of Ilona Andrews are amazing storytellers. While this didn’t have the same romantic impact as previous books in this series, it didn’t bother me. Their storytelling ability is so engrossing, I could not get enough of these characters. #2 – The ‘kids’ (they are growing up so fast *sniffle) Jack and George steal every single book. And I’m totally okay with that. I expect them to. They are absolutely amazing characters. #3 – Ilona Andrews doesn’t write safe. Meaning – they don’t hold back. People die violent deaths. Crap happens. I love it. It’s so realistic for the world their characters live in.
Tori: Steel’s Edge reminded me of the first book in the series and was definitely more Urban Fantasy than PNR . We were immediately embroiled into the lives of two extremely charismatic protagonists with a perfect blending of action and background. The slaver storyline helped to wrap up all the loose ends and bridge the gap between the Edge with the Weird-joining everyone together. I literally could not put it down.
Charlotte was amazing. I loved everything about her. Strong, loyal, intelligent, and in absolute control of her life. I liked that she wasn’t made a victim to be pitied or to be saved by Richard. Her magic and the spin they put on it was fantastic and played out without a hitch. Richard was the perfect match for her. He also has had grief, pain, and betrayal in his life so he could understand where she was coming from and understood her emotional and mental state. He accepted her for what she was and expected nothing from her except for her to be herself. . I also enjoyed that she called him out when he was being a moron. lolol
Mandi: I really enjoyed these two characters. Together they were ok (I wasn’t super convinced of their love, but like I said, this book definitely had a UF feel, so I can kind of forgive an unconvincing romance). Charlotte was a great character. Fighting the darkness within her, but at the same time, using it to get revenge. Richard too – a fighter. Never gives up. Lonely, but finding companionship in Charlotte. If Ilona Andrews ever decides to write a book for them, I will weep with joy. I’m not kidding.
May: I really enjoyed this couple both individually and together. I liked how they saw the potential for a really great match in one another, and approached the relationship at a time and pace I found fitting with the story as well. While burned, I felt like they were not without a small spark of hope. They’ve each been so busy with their work that all hope for a romance in future was not extinguished, while hardened on the outside both are still such tender people that want true love and happiness – I really got invested in their story.
While we don’t have to talk specifics (don’t wanna spoil things) – can we just talk about the plot twists in this book? For me, they start from the very beginning and carry on all the way through the end and I loved it! Oh, the twists were sometimes painful or ugly, and one made me cry a bit, but I really was impressed with how this story was crafted. It really brought together this world of the Weird and the Edge (as you mentioned before, Tori), and I was completely on the edge of my seat- they made it pretty clear that nothing was safe and anything could happen!
Tori: I have always admired the fact that the Ilona and Gordon don’t shy away from the brutal but also don’t use it for mere shock value. I loved the new characters we met ( J and Miko). I wish we had seen them from the beginning. They were such viable characters, I would have loved to watched them throughout the entire series. I found it very interesting how close the villains and the heroes were in here. It reminded me of the saying-A Gentleman’s War-when enemies would fight each other during the day but sit and sup together in the evening. I was amazed at some of the paths the plot lines went down.(some tears were shed). They managed to pull together an arc that had 18 different substories going on, resolve them, and make it all make sense. I’m sad this series is ending here, I really think it finally clicked in this installment. The action, suspense, romance…it all balanced perfectly. I give this a B+
May: I couldn’t agree more Tori! This was definitely an A read for me.
Mandi: They did a great job with the plot twists in this one. It’s gritty and non-stop action. With the various things going on in this book, it could have all gotten tangled and confusing but instead we get a lush, rich world with action and characters that are developed so well. I give it a B+. Highly recommend this entire series.