Genre: paranormal romance
Cover: strong, different, I love it.
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...
Charlotte de Ney is as noble as they come, a blueblood straight out of the Weird. But even though she possesses rare magical healing abilities, her life has brought her nothing but pain. After her marriage crumbles, she flees to the Edge to build a new home for herself. Until Richard Mar is brought to her for treatment, and Charlotte's life is turned upside down once again.
Richard is a swordsman without peer, future head of his large and rambunctious Edger clan - and he's on a clandestine quest to wipe out slavers trafficking humans in the Weird. So when his presence leads his very dangerous enemies to Charlotte, she vows to help Richard destroy them. The slavers' operation, however, goes deeper than Richard knows, and even working together, Charlotte and Richard may not survive...
Ever since she was a toddler, Charlotte was a healer. Meaning her parents sold her to the main Healer school at age seven, for a lot of money to heal their grief of losing a child. Charlotte was raised at the school, leaning that healing came at a price, and that the other side of the coin, destroying life, was easy but would in the end kill her. If she ever gives in to that dark thing inside of her, she would become a walking plague, killing whole populations.
She hasn’t felt the need to destroy, but when her husband discards her like old trash, when she is diagnosed as barren, she cannot control herself, and hurts him. She wants him to suffer as he is making her suffer, and is scared of herself. She is so powerful. But she has heard of a place called The Edge, where magic doesn’t work as well as in the Weird. And so she flees, leaving everything she knows behind. She almost doesn’t make it, having been robbed of everything she owns, and shot when she tried to heal a child. But a kind old lady took her in, and helped her learning the ropes of the Edge world. She is happy with her life here.
Until one day it is all destroyed, and she loses faith with her fellow Edgers. They are cowards, they won’t stand up to the slavers who killed her friends, and have abducted her patient. If they won’t help her, she will do it herself. Those slavers need to be stopped, to save others the grief she is feeling right now.
To Richard Mar’s surprise, she walks right in the slavers camp, letting herself be chained up. He is going mad in his cage, but he can’t help her. And then suddenly, some slavers start to cough, and cough harder, and then more and more. And then they die. Will he be next? Or can he get through her haze of grief and make her free him? Charlotte is horrified for what she has done, as she totally enjoyed the feeling of killing those animals. She has trouble reigning her powers back in. And when Richard tells her, there are many more of those bands of slavers scouring the country, she decides to help him on his quest to kill them all, and put a stop to this horror.
Of course Richard doesn’t want such a gentle lady to come with him, he works alone, always has. But Charlotte will only follow him, and he can really use her talents. He is ruthless in his goals. And so they set out to find the secret Market, and destroy it, with the help of some allies of his. Some of the most ruthless criminals there are, but who have a bone to pick with the slavers well. And Charlotte gets introduced to the underbelly of society, as she never could have dreamed existed.
She also meets George and Jack, Rose’s brothers, whom we met in some previous books. Working as spies for the Mirror, their mission is aborted and they will aid Richard and Charlotte in their goals with their unique talents.
When they find the Market, and destroy it, they are after the Bookkeeper, the only person who knows the identity of the persons behind it all. And when they find out this atrocity evolves from the highest echelons of society, they cannot stop here. They will have to expose those nobles, and end it for good. Which is not going to be easy, and will have to take some sacrifices from them all.
I was mesmerized by this story from the start. The gentle Charlotte, such a great healer, the strongest of them all. Her callous husband, who only used her and then discarded her and how her powers had a dark side to them. How determined she is to right a wrong, how she gives up herself to fight evil. She was strong, she was fun, and I very much enjoyed getting to know her. Richard has really found his match in her. His being unable to share his plans with her, drives her crazy, and she will teach him how to be a partner. He never fears her, even though he witnesses the worst she can do. He still sees the lonely woman she is underneath her power and he will do anything necessary to keep her at his side, even abandon his plans for her. But she won’t let him.
A really good book, and I hope to read the stories of Jack and George some day. I like them a lot, and Sophie as well. Great main characters, but the secondary characters are just as good. As evil as they come, and as good as they come. I enjoyed it all. The amazing world building, the descriptions of the fights, the magic, the deaths. I was unable to stop reading past a certain point, which cost me a few hours of much needed sleep. But well, it was almost weekend at that time.
If you have never tried an Ilona Andrews book before, I do recommend this series just as much as the Kate Daniels series, which is Urban Fantasy. But I also recommend you read those books in order, to be able to enjoy everything more. You will have no idea about the Hand or the Mirror, or the different realms in this amazing world.
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian