Rose Drayton, along with her two brothers and their grandmother, lives in the Edge, a narrow stretch of land constructed of the overlapped portions of the Broken and the Weird. The Broken is a more normal world. There, you'll find Wal-Mart and people who don't believe in magic. The Weird, however, is ruled by aristocracy and the power of their magic. Edgers can travel more easily between all the worlds, but don't truly belong to any but their own.
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The Edgers each have their own special brand of magic. Rose's brothers consist of a necromancer and a changeling, and she can flash. Picture a lightning whip that shoots from the fingers. The thing with Rose is that she doesn't flash in a way that screams "Edger." The whiter the flash, the more pure and powerful the magic. Wanting to show those who treated her poorly during the years, she practiced for her graduation performance, and when she flashed, it was her family's undoing. Hers was so white that it was more like the aristocracy of the Weird. Instead of making her family proud, and gaining respect, she gained enemies attempting to kill her for her magic and a neverending line of men who wanted to coerce her into marriage so their heirs would also be powerful.
Then, one day in walks Declan Camarine, a blueblood that Rose immediately assumes is there for one reason, and one reason only. She is right on that, but it's not for the purpose she thinks. Not that he's going to let her in on that. Around the same time, another mysterious stranger appears. William doesn't seem to want anything from her but a possible friendship with potential for more. Rose isn't really in the market for a relationship, though, especially when the hounds (seemingly from hell) show up in the Edge and begin to eat the residents to absorb their magic.
The race is on to discover who's controlling the hideous creatures and try to stop them. It's going to take a concerted effort of all the most magical Edgers and could claim more lives in the attempt.
On the Edge by Ilona Andrews was recommended to me by a patron who has some of the same taste in books as I do, and I found I was able to really get into it. Andrews knows how to cover all necessary aspects. She created a believable world, filled it with a good story that successfully builds suspense, and yet still found the time to give her readers characters they could care about. Rose struggles to support her brothers financially while upholding her values. Georgie has such a soft heart that he's slowly dying from trying to keep alive all of the dead animals he's raised...the biggest draw on his strength being his grandfather. Jack is just adorable in his feline actions as some of them spill over from his changeling form into his human one.
The romantic relationship development provided some amusing moments. I prefer when one party gives the other a hard time right from the start, rather than the meet-love-fight-make-up scenario.
Having discovered this was first in a series, I was pleased to find that it didn't leave things hanging. There was a little bit of wondering what will happen next for Rose and her family, but the main points were wrapped up rather nicely. I've already got the next two books waiting in the wings, so I'll soon find out what else is in store for the Edge.
On the Edge (You are here)
Steel's Edge (coming November 2012)