Genre: Urban Fantasy
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…
Cerise Mar and her unruly clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swathe of the Mire, the Edge swamplands between the state of Louisiana and the Weird. When her parents vanish, her clan's long-time rivals are suspect.
But all is not as it seems. Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by feint and espionage, and their conflict is about to spill over into the Edge-and Cerise's life. William, a changeling soldier who’d left behind the politics of the Weird, has been forced back into service to track down a rival nation’s spymaster. When William and Cerise’s missions lead them to cross paths, sparks fly, but they’ll have to work together if they want to succeed… and survive.
I have no idea how to write a coherent review about this book, the Mire, the Weird, it really is a very weird place to live. With dangerous plants and strange humanoid creatures, everything is possible. I did not really like the first book, which is why it took me so long to read the second one in the series. But let me tell you, I am totally blown away by it. I spend almost my whole Sunday reading non stop. It took me a few chapters to really get into the story, but after that I could not let it go.
If you like tortured heroes, you will love William. Punished since the day he was born for the fact that he was born a shapeshifter, and totally brainwashed and trained to be an assassin, a soldier in the army of Adrianglia, a country where magic is real and everyone who is born with magic in their blood can use it. They are and have been on the verge of war with Louisiana for decades. Louisiana uses magic in devices and weapons, and to alter people. Changelings are killed in sight. At least in Adrianglia they get to live if they survive their training. Or the parents can keep their children and try to raise them themselves, but that is not easy.
William was given to the state by his mother when he was 1 day old. After the children’s home he was sent at a very early age to Hawke’s academy, where he was severely punished for every possible misstep, and lived under truly Spartan conditions. He has been living “free” for two years in The Edge now, even though he is an Adrianglian blueblood, working in The Broken for money. Then one day, while he is busy packing a giftbox for George and Jack, the children from book 1, he got visitors. The spy master of Adrianglia, The Mirror, wants him to go to the Mire, to find and kill his longtime mortal enemy, the Spider, who is Louisiana’s spymaster. And to find out what he is doing in the Mire, and bring it back to her. She will outfit him and supply what ever he will need. William agrees, he has been close to killing the Spider twice now, and really wants to finish the job. He still sees the bodies of the tortured and slaughtered changeling children in his nightmares.
Cerise Mar has been living in the Mire all her life, and dreams of something better. It is a hard life, scrounging to put food on the table and clothes on the children’s backs. For three years now, her parents have put her in charge of the accounts, and she knows how desperate things are. And now her parents have disappeared, the family they are feuding with have taken over her grandparents house, showing her a false document of sale, signed by her father. With her parents gone, she is now the head of her big and unruly family. Not everyone is happy with that, but she is the best choice they have of winning this feud. First Cerise will have to go out to the Broken, find her Uncle Hugh, and come back in time with the papers she needs, for a court date.
On her way back, she encounters William, a strange blueblood. He doesn’t fall for her disguise as a hobo, and they end up making the journey to Sicktree. When William finds out that the Spider is actually searching for Cerise, he does his best to make friends with her, so she will take him with her to her family home. After all, if the Spider wants her, he will protect her, and find the Spider in the progress. William is very much attracted to Cerise, but as a changeling, he knows women don’t like him. So he keeps what he is a secret, hoping she will find him an asset in her fight with her enemy, the Sheralee family, and the Hand.
Will Cerise succeed in her mission to take back her grandparents house, and free her parents? Can she love a changeling?
A book filled with an enormous amount of strange creatures, some really icky things, but also great main and secondary characters. I can keep repeating the words great, awesome, brilliant, I am totally in awe with this book. The imagination of the authors, the world they build and the things they populated it with, is awesome. Lots of action, magic and fighting, strange things, plottwists, and hope. loved every page of it, even the scary parts. I will dive straight into book 3!
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian