ARC Review: Steel’s Edge by Ilona Andrews
Author: Ilona Andrews
Title: Steel’s Edge
Release: November 27, 2012
Series: The Edge #4
Purchase: | Book Depository
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…
This review is something of a bittersweet one for me because reviewing this book means the series is over. No more Broken or Weird or Edge – and no more of those extraordinary Mars. The sweet? Ilona Andrews sends the series off with a bang.
In Steel’s Edge we finally get Richard’s story. Stolid, honorable, responsible Richard… Heroic, sweet, lovely Richard who is on a mission; he’s known as the ‘Hunter’ in slaver circles because of his efforts to wipe out every slaver he can.
Enter Charlotte – a healer who was given a title for her talents and who thought she had a comfortable marriage with a man who cared for her… Not so much. She escapes to the Edge to get away from everything – including fears that her gift may also be hiding a darker side.
When Charlotte and Richard’s paths cross, fueled by a need to stop those who have killed someone she cared about, Charlotte decides to join Richard on his quest. He’s not too happy about it; Richard sees himself as a monster, one who is ridding the world of other monsters but a monster nonetheless, and he doesn’t want to turn others into what he has become. Still, Charlotte can be very persuasive and so their journey begins…
Steel’s Edge is a truly perfect combination of a character driven story and swashbuckling tale of adventure rolled into one. Andrews’ really delves into what makes both Richard and Charlotte tick and never shies away from presenting a less than perfect hero and heroine, that is what makes these characters so very likable and endearing. I know this is Fiction and all, but every character in Steel’s Edge – from leads to secondary characters and even the evil masterminds were REAL and multifaceted.
The romantic side of the story was heartbreakingly beautiful and yes, I teared up (read: bawled) once or twice – so sue me. Steel’s Edge may have taken a darker turn, and that includes the relationship between Richard and Charlotte but for some reason it felt right and poignant and beautiful.
Readers who have followed this series and wonder about Jack and George – they do have a major role in Steel’s Edge and one of the highlights of this book was to see how their characters have matured and developed since On the Edge. Lark (Sophie) also has a pivotal role and all I can say to Ilona Andrews for the way these characters are written and their actions in this book is: Thank You.
Other favorites from previous books are also back for the final hurrah and what a hurrah it is. I am always left gobsmacked by how Ilona Andrews manages to pack everything in to each book with such precision and perfection; there is no stone left unturned, no plot line left to dangle in an Ilona Andrews book. Everything gets tied up at the end – not in the most perfect bow, the bow usual has singed edges, stains and tears – but it makes turning that last page all the more satisfying.
Steel’s Edge just confirms, when it comes to telling stories, Ilona Andrews never disappoints. I know this is the end for the Edge, but I still have hopes that maybe someday that pen (keyboard?) will start to twitch and maybe Jack or George will get their very own story. I’m fangirly like that.