15. “Fate’s edge” by Ilona Andrews

Publisher: Ace, 2011
Page count: 384 pages

“Fate’s edge” is the third installment in the urban fantasy series known as the Edge. The main characters are Audrey Callahan and Kaldar Mar. Audrey lives in the Edge, the halfmagical strip of land squeezed in-between the Broken and the Weird, and like most Edgers she has certain magical talents, in Audrey’s case the ability to open any lock no matter how complex. This comes in handy as she hails from a family of con artists. However, Audrey has lost all faith in her family after they sided with her drug addict of a brother when he sold her to his dealer in return for drugs. Audrey is therefore determined to start a new life on her own as a PI working in the Broken. Only one thing stands between her and her well deserved independence: She must assist her father and brother in one last heist for an unknown buyer in exchange for severing all ties with her family.

Kaldar is the sexy, slick, smooth-talking cousin of Cerise Mar who we met in Bayou Moon, the previous book. Kaldar is also, quite literally, a lucky bastard whose special talents include the ability to tweak the odds in his favour if he can find someone stupid enough to take his bet: Kaldar alwayswins. Rather than use this incredible magic for the greater good, though, Kaldar is a womanizing con man who pickpockets people simply for the fun of it – making him exactly the kind of guy Audrey is determined to avoid in her new life on the straight and narrow.

Following the events in Bayou Moon, however, Kaldar became a secret agent for the Adrianglian spymaster known as The Mirror. He is sent after Audrey to retrieve the magical items she helped steal. When evil agents sent by the Hand also starts chasing her, Kaldar and Audrey must combine their unique talents to find and recover the magical device, which could trigger a war if it were to fall in the wrong hands. Tagging along are also Jack and George, Rose’s brothers from On the Edge, after they stow away on Kaldar’s flying creature, and William’s ward, Gaston, whom we met in Bayou Moon.

I liked this book a lot, in fact I think it’s the best in the series so far. Jack and George, in particular, are great characters whose personalities and perspectives made the story really lively and entertaining. And where I started out sympathising but not really caring about Audrey and actively distrusting Kaldar, they both grew on me to the extent that I now think their joint con/spy activities have great potential, and I hope we get to see more of them in future books.

If I were to make one small, negative observation, though, it would be that for me the romance between Audrey and Kaldar is the book’s weakest point: it’s bleedingly obvious from the start that these two characters are so much alike as to be virtual soul mates, and while Audrey’s background in theory justifies her refusal to date a con man, her protestrations seem contrived and half-hearted. Thus, in my view this is a book that should be read for its excellent urban fantasy adventure (the plot is easily the most coherent and interesting so far in the series), not the romantic entanglements of the protagonists.


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