Fate’s Edge by Ilona Andrews

Fate’s Edge
Ilona Andrews
2011

As my last hurrah before starting a new semester, I read Fate’s Edge. Of the authors who are currently producing new books, Ilona Andrews is my favorite. However, she has two series and I prefer the other one.

The Edge series has a wonderful premise:  There are two worlds, the Broken (our non-magical world) and the Weird (the magical realm), with the Edge as a thin stretch of land that divides the two realms. The Edge is essentially the gateway between both realms and is largely invisible to both as well. Plus, it’s the poor backwoods residents of either land who actually live there.

In this series, they’re our heroes.

This is an awesome premise!

I like it a lot.

A lot of the plot comes in from the fact that various lands in The Weird have rather tense relationships. It’s kind of Cold War-ish, with spies fighting spies and neither side wanting to really declare outright war unless they have a better chance of winning.

So there’s spies and magic and a long stretch of land that is best known for it’s violently clannish population and smuggling operations.

There is oodles of fun to be had there.

The weakness of the series is in the characters, who come across as fairly cookie-cutter standard romance-novel love-interests. However, each book in this series is slightly better than the one preceding it, and Fate’s Edge is the third book in the series, so it’s characters are the best yet.

One reason for the increasing complexity of the characters is that so far the pattern is that the next male protagonist is introduced as a side character in the preceding book. As a side character can’t be allowed to upstage the main hero of a book, the side characters are given flaws that make them lesser than the hero but also a lot more interesting and realistic. If Audrey and Kaldar, the pairing in this book, had been the main pair in the first book, I would have been a lot happier.

However, since a lot of the characters are introduced in the preceding books, I’m not really sure how well this book can stand on its own. To get a full sense of the world building, you definitely need to read the first two books.

So over all, it’s a good, fun read, and I do recommend it, but you have to choose between reading the first two first two books with their character issues or missing out on some of the awesome world-building.