Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Review: On the Edge by Ilona Andrews

Rose always recognized the precise moment when she passed into the Broken. First, anxiety stabbed right through her chest, followed by an instant of intense vertigo, and then pain. It was as if the shiver of magic, the warm spark that existed somewhere inside her, died during the crossing. The pain lasted only a blink, but she always dreaded it. It left her feeling incomplete. Broken. That's how the name for the magic-less dimension had come about. [pg 7]

On the Edge by Ilona Andrews
ACE Fantasy, 2009
Fantasy, 309 pgs

After finishing the first four books of the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, I wasn't quite ready to say goodbye just yet. My husband recommended I read On the Edge by the same author. Although set in a different world, the premise of On the Edge intrigued me. The Edge is that in-between place between the Broken (our world) and the Weird (the magical one). Rose was born and raised in The Edge and had lived a hard life. After her mother's death and her father ran off for adventure, Rose is left to care for her two young brothers, one of whom is a changeling and the other a necromancer. Rose has her own power, one that has brought her nothing but grief over the years, especially when it comes to love. In walks Declan Carmarine, a blueblood from the Weird. He challenges Rose, asking her to give him three challenges, and if he wins, he wins her. Rose is determined to stump him and make him leave empty handed. As if that isn't enough, an evil has come to the Edge and is threatening to destroy it.

While On the Edge has an obvious romantic component at its core, the story of this small community of people and their daily struggles, both with magic and without, as well as the mystery, finding the source of the evil and the attempt to rid the area of was what drew me in. As someone who prefers any sort of book to be light on the romance and heavy in other areas, I thought there was a nice balance of the two.

Rose is a strong heroine and yet vulnerable. She is softer than Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels from her other series. You don't often run into heroines in urban fantasy series that are acting as single mothers, and so having Rose caring for her two young brothers who have special needs added an extra layer of complexity--and heart--to the novel.

The mix of the ordinary versus the fantastical was well played in the novel. It was very believable and well thought out. The authors, a husband and wife team, have proven yet again that they have a gift for world building. I look forward to the next book set in this world, Bayou Moon, which features a minor but significant character from On the Edge.

Rating: * (Good +)

Ilona Andrews is a husband and wife writing team. For more information about the authors and their books, visit their

Source: Copy of On the Edge was provided by the author for review.

© 2010, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved.If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. I'm not familiar with this series, but since fantasy is one of my favorite genres, I'm adding this writing team to my list. Both series sound appealing!

  2. This series is new to me as well, but it does sound very good! I am going to have to try to check this one out, and because you mention that the romance is done with a light hand, it's all the more enticing to me! Thanks for the great review!

  3. This looks fun. Although I don't read much fantasy I do like to try a few a year and usually enjoy them.

  4. I've never read anything from the fantasy genre. It's never really interested me but I also know nothing about it. I don't know if I'd like this genre enough to read it regularly but I want to read some books to see what their all about. Would you recommend Ilona Andrews books or something else?

  5. This does sound good, and how cool that they are a husband wife writing team.
    Great review!

  6. I will read this author eventually. It sounds good!

  7. I quite enjoyed this one myself! I am really looking forward to Bayou Moon, which I've had preordered for a really long time now.

  8. I have heard only great things about Ilona Andrews's books from what I can remember, and your review only reinforces my feeling that I have to read this!

  9. Thank you for introducing the husband and wife writing team! I like stories with the elements you mentioned in this review. You have certainly pique my interest in this one and thank you for always recommending great books. Through you I have grown to love Karen's Annie Seymour series and her Tattoo Shop ones. :D

  10. Jenclair & Zibilee - I prefer their other series but this one is good as well. I admit I wasn't sure I'd like it, afraid it would be too heavy in the romance department. I am glad I was wrong.

    Stacy - It was a fun--a good escape and a fairly quick read.

    Amy - Hmm. This one might be a good place to start, more so than her other series which is dark and steeped in magic. I think I would recommend starting with something like J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter first or perhaps Jim Butcher's Dresden Files though. His books can be dark too, but the mystery element helps ease you into the fantasy if you aren't sure about it. Karen Armstrong's The Women of the Otherworld Series is also a good introduction to the urban fantasy genre, I think. If you want more traditional fantasy, I'd recommend my first love, Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books. The writing may not always be the best, but the stories and characters more than make up for it.

    Naida - I always find it interesting how two people can come together and write so seamlessly together.

  11. Jen - I'd be really curious to know what you think of this one, and her other series, Jen, as I know you enjoy this genre as well.

    Maghan - I am glad you liked this one too! I have a copy of Bayou Moon around here somewhere. Just need to dig it out and read.

    Kay - I can't believe it took me so long to discover Ilona Andrews! I really enjoy her books.

    Alice - Annie's the best! :-) I hope you will enjoy this one if you do read it, Alice.


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