Plot Type: Romantic Fantasy
Ratings: V4; S4; H3
Publisher and Titles:
On the Edge (2009)
Bayou Moon (2010)
Fate's Edge (2011)
Steel's Edge (11/2012) (FINAL).
BOOK 4: Steel's Edge
One day, three years after Charlotte moved to the Weird, Richard is captured by slavers and then escapes. Wounded, he manages to make his way to the Edge, where he is rescued by Éléonore and healed by Charlotte. Unfortunately, the slavers track him down and tragedy ensues. The plot of this novel focuses on Charlotte and Richard as they team up to stop the slavers once and for all.
As the plot unwinds, we get resolutions to several loose ends from previous books, specifically, the identity and whereabouts of the father of Rose, Jack, and George; the fate of Spider, the murderous head of the Hand (the Louisiana Dukedom's special ops group); and updates on the lives of Rose and her brothers. Like the other books in the series, this one contains some violent scenes, and some of the good guys and gals don't make it to the end. Unlike the previous books, the hero and the heroine are among those who suffer tremendous physical changes and/or injuries, although we know from the beginning that they will eventually get their well-earned HEA.
I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, Richard and Charlotte are sympathetic, well-drawn characters and their adventures are compelling. But on the other and, the plot has some huge holes. For example, near the end of the book, Charlotte appears at a blueblood social function, but no one recognizes her. When Charlotte was younger, she attended blueblood functions, and she was married to a blueblood up until three years ago, so why is she treated like a stranger by the nobility of the Weird? Surely, many of the bluebloods would remember her. Also, Charlotte makes a big point of the fact that her ex-husband hates and fears her, but once she leaves him, he is never seen again. This seems like a wasted opportunity for a bit of drama. Another problem occurs with the climactic showdown between Richard and the blueblood running the slavery operation. The strategic planning that sets up the scene is much more interesting than the showdown itself. And then there's the final resolution of the romance, which is kind of weird and somewhat unsatisfying. There are other plot problems, but they can't be explained without giving out spoilers—which I try to avoid. All in all, this is not my favorite book in the series (that would be book 3), but I have enjoyed the rest of series so much that I'll give the authors a pass. Click HERE to read an excerpt.
> The Broken: The Broken is the mortal realm. Although its people once held magic, they lost it long ago. When people with magical powers travel into the Broken, all of their magic disappears as soon as they cross the border. Here is one character's description: "Every time [she] crossed into their world, the boundary stripped her magic from her in a rush of pain. That's why people like her called that place the Broken—when you passed into it, you gave up a part of yourself, and it left you feeling incomplete. Broken like a clock with a missing gear." (Fate's Edge, p. 5)
> The Weird: Geographically, the Weird is a mirror image of the Broken. It is a magical realm, where everyone practices his or her special talents. The bluebloods who rule the Weird have their own defense systems, which include an air force (dragons instead of airplanes) and special forces with license to kill. The Weird is made up of sovereign nations, and each one approaches magic in a slightly different manner.
> The Edge: The Edge is the narrow strip of land extending from coast of coast where the Broken and the Weird overlap. People here are mostly hybrids, with both Broken and Weird ancestors. Their magic is too weak for them to survive in the Weird, but strong enough that they don't want to give it up to live in the Broken. Some Edgers earn their living in the Broken, traveling back and forth every day to their jobs. They also purchase all of their manufactured goods in the Broken. Here is one character's description: "It was on the edge of both worlds, a place without countries or cops, where the castoffs like her washed ashore....The Edge took everyone. Swindlers, thieves, crazed separatists, clannish families, all were welcome, all were dirt-poor, and all kept to themselves. The Edgers gave no quarter and expected no sympathy." (Fate's Edge, p. 6)
In each book, an Edger meets her soul mate, who is either another Edger or a citizen of the Weird. The stories revolve around the romance, but the secondary plot lines are just as important as the romances. Each heroine has siblings with magic-related problems. Click HERE to visit THE EDGE website.