Looks like Doug Meeks got his hot little hands on an early copy of the perhaps final book in Ilona Andrews‘ The Edge series, Steel’s Edge. I say perhaps final book because over on Ilona’s site, they had mentioned that perhaps the world of The Edge could be revisited with either a jump in the timeline, or a change in format, sometime in the future. Steel’s Edge will be released officially on November 27th.
The Edge Series by Ilona Andrews:Book #4 – Series finale – Steel’s Edge will be released Nov 27th.Disclaimer: This novel was furnished to me at no cost and without conditions in expectation of a fair and honest review.Reviewer’s Note: I am releasing this review a bit early in hopes that some of you will obtain this amazing series and be ready for the final chapter Steel’s Edge when it is released on 27 November.Steel’s EdgeSummary: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…Review:Richard was a man obsessed with the total destruction of slavers; Charlotte was rebuilding her life after a horrible romantic betrayal. Grim reality will throw them both into a life mission that will change them both forever and give us one of what apparently (to my horror) is one of the most exceptional series finales in years.In spite of my desire to see this series go on forever it seems that is it coming to a close and this final installment does it proud. While this series has always had a bit of a “dark fairy tale” feeling and has never been 100% light reading, this one sees some of the darkest moments and some of the most emotional highs/lows for the reader. The motivations that drive the main characters Richard and Charlotte consume most of the first 25% of the book (mostly Charlotte’s motivations) and give the reader the ability to share the drive and emotional desire for justice that will enable you to truly enjoy the story.The action moves on with some revealing and shocking revelations until you almost think the action has accomplished it goals and then (if you are on a ereader) look down and realize you are only a bit over 50%, it starts to move away from the swashbuckling action novel and into more of a romance combined with a con game intermingled with palace intrigue. I try to never write spoilers and this review will be no exception but you have everything an epic novel needs to be exceptional in this final installment, tragedy, sacrifice, romance, high moral lofty goals and then combine these things with Richard and Charlotte, two complex, endearing and confused noble hearted zealots who are supported by a secondary cast of characters that would make J.R.R. Tolkien envious and you have Steel’s Edge (without the chapter long, mind numbing, descriptions of rocks and grass).My rating: 5 of 5 starsSteel’s Edge could be considered the literary equivalent of throwing “everything plus the kitchen sink” into a novel. The emotional grief, memorable characters, moral high ground, clearly defined evil villains, noble heroes and heroines, morally compromised but endearing scoundrels, horrible revelations, a few monsters and the list goes on. I did not see any angels so they must have eliminated that one just to be different (since they are turning up in every PNR/UF book I read these days).You are going to cheer on the heroes, hate the villains and hope for the romance to overcome the impossible odds. All joking aside, I am going to keep hoping that the authors may feel an overwhelming need to revisit this world in the future, I hate to see it end and to say this was a 5 Star effort does little to share the epic nature of this final book in the series.My favorite line of the book was this (to Richard from his brother)“Congratulations, you finally managed to find a woman as tragically noble as yourself, I did not think one existed”I suggest you buy all the Edge books if you have not read them since this is a series of interlinking stories that build into this novel as its culminating effort. There are still more stories to be told and I hope they see the light of day in the future. 5 Stars, highly recommended and feeling a severe lack of the ability describe the extraordinary nature of this novel.NOTE: This novel can possibly be enjoyed as a standalone but I would not recommend that since part of the enjoyment is seeing the conclusion of threads that have been left hanging from other books in the series.