Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fate's Edge by Ilona Andrews


23 year old Audrey Callahan thought she had left the life of a grafter behind to become a very capable freelance investigator for Milano Investigations. She has closed out 14 cases within 5 months and is finally given a full time job that has benefits and a steady paycheck. Even though some people think she is too pretty, and her hair is blazing red, she is better than other full time investigators Milano employs.

Audrey lives in an area called the Edge. It is located between the Broken (the modern world) and the Weird (where magic is prevalent). Her constant friend is Ling the Merciless (raccoon) who she rescued when it was a baby. She seems to be enjoying her life without any interference from her family.

Unfortunately for Audrey, her scum bag father Seamus who thinks nothing of his only daughter, comes begging for help in getting her brother Alex into drug rehab. This is the same brother who once sold her into slavery because he needed the money for his drug addiction. Audrey agrees to help her father with one last job with the understanding that after this, she will never ever see them again.

**Audrey is a very likable and honest character who gets stuck in a really bad situation and yet, shows remarkable ability to come out on top when the going gets rough. Even though there are clear sparks and attraction between her and Kaldar Mar—Andrews allows the relationship to grow slowly. I love the playful interaction as well as the stinging one liners on both sides of the conversation mostly while Audrey is keeping Kaldar at arms’ length.

Kaldar Mar is a smuggler, his families’ relationship expert in bringing people together in marriage, a thief and a spy who now works for the Mirror under Nancy Virai. He decided to go to work for the Mirror after his family was slaughtered by the Hand (See Bayou Moon for further information.) Virai’s instructions to Kaldar are clear: Find the person(s) responsible for breaking into the Pyramid of Ptah in West Egypt, and retrieve the diffuser belts they stole and bring them back to her before the Mirror can catch up with them.

Kaldar is the cousin of Cerise Mar who was also last seen in Bayou Moon with her husband William the changeling. Cerise does make a brief appearance in this story as well and appears that she is also working for the Mirror as part of a two person team.

*Kaldar is an okay character for me. From the moment he meets Audrey, he spends pretty much his entire time trying to convince her to go to bed with him, and later to marry him. Audrey is forced to push him away more times than not and later rescue him from the villain. Kaldar’s one goal remains incomplete: the final elimination of the person who killed his father and family.

For 12 year old Jack (Changeling) and 14 year old George (Necromancer) who we first met in the book On the Edge, they are tired of being treated as second class citizens. It has been 4 years since they left the Edge with their sister Rose to go and live with Declan Camarine as the step sons of a blueblood. Jack constantly gets into fights, while George pretty much owns the school and has a charming effect on the girls in his school.

Not surprisingly, when they are given the slightest opportunity to escape on their own journey and adventure without their sister along for the ride, they grab it and end up with Kaldar, Audrey, and Kaldar’s nephew Gaston in chasing after the diffuser belts. Later, George is given a choice by the head of the Mirror which it appears he will be taking, and Jack’s actions end up saving the group from the Hands Hounds.

Declan, Rose, William and Cerise, the stars of the two previous installments, also make brief and unremarkable appearances in this story.

The villain of the story is Helena d’Amry. Helen is Spider’s (the person who was responsible for killing the Mar family and father) niece as well as a hound and Marquise of Amry and Tuann. Helena’s mission is to kill or capture Kaldar and bring his body, or blood back to her uncle so he can once again walk.

Although this book was an enjoyable installment to the series itself, I am not sold on the ending of this book. It seemed all contrived, and wrapped up too loosely while leaving too many questions left unanswered. Could it be that it was the intention of leaving it open so that all 6 main characters collectively gang together to thwart the evil Hand?
Naturally, as with the first two books of the series, there is romance and of course, the main couple ends up together and working for the Mirror against the Hand.

Book #4 has not been titled yet, but has a tentative release date of December 2012.

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