Audrey was building her new life. She had left behind her past of crime conning and thievery and finally had a legitimate job in the Broken
Until her family comes back with another unreasonable demand. She’s dragged in to make one last steal for them
Unfortunately what she steals has the potential for some terrible consequences. And Kaldar Mar, another thieve, con-artist, gambler – and agent for the Mirror, Adrianglia’s secret service – has been tasked with getting that property back. And he’s going to need Audrey’s help.
Like the rest of the Edge series, this is a paranormal romance. But like the rest of the Edge series I’ve enjoyed it despite generally not liking romance tropes. Part of this is because, like the other books, there is an excellent world setting, some great characters and a fun plot line that runs alongside the romance. The romance is not used to derail the main plot. And I know this is a little unfair the call a romance plot a “distraction” but I do find, especially in paranormal romances, a lot of the books I’ve read have
But it’s also because this book seems almost to be gloriously parodying those romance tropes. Including some excellent lines like:
“Oh no, not that seductive face. I’m overcome with the need to take off these awful clothes. What is happening? I do not understand. Oooh. Ahhh.” She touched her wrist to her forehead. “Somebody help me. I’m being drenched with my own fluids.”
This is reinforced by George. We don’t see him at school but he does refer to how he’s making himself popular by being a Brooding YA Hero:
“My past is tragic. I wouldn’t want to burden you with it. It’s a pain I must suffer alone. In the rain. In silence.”
That’s some utterly quality mockery there
Of course Kaldar and Audrey do end up together because it is a romance. But what is glorious is that no matter how much they’re hot for each other and no many times they play together, they’re still focused on the actual job. They’re focused on the mission and the conflict – they keep the romance simmering without derailing the actual plot line or giving us the idea that the main plot line is not important. This is a problem I’ve seen before – the whole world is in the balance but hey they still have time to have a quick shag while running away – sometimes it’s frankly bizarre.
I like the plot – I like that both Audrey and Kaldar are equally invested in seeing this through while, at the same time, it’s not because Kaldar has a job to do and Audrey needs rescuing which is somewhat the pattern of the last 2 books. Audrey can, by the end of the book, definitely walk away, she’s not even motivated particularly by familial loyalty or saving herself or a safe/stable future but by her own sense of responsibility.
The plot continues to follow the ongoing conflict between the Dukedom of Louisana in the Weird and the kingdom of Adrianglia with the ongoing creepiness of the Hand’s agents but, at the same time, not just portraying the Mirror of Andrianglia as super nice good guys. They’re equally clear as a ruthless and often and brutal in achieving their aims (albeit better than the Hand, certainly). It’s, as ever, excellently paced with a whole lot of action – it’s a joy to read and it was painful to put the book down because the action kept coming
The characters are, as I’ve already suggested, extremely fun. Audrey and Kaldar have a great rapport with each other and I kind of love seeing these two grifters working together and putting their sneaky sneaky talents to use, - not just being the combat monsters that the previous books have brought us. They’re sneaky, crafty, they’re thieves and liars and tricksters and such good fun