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...
Charlotte may be a healer and hold a noble title, but her life has never been easy. Taken from her family at a young age because of her healing talents, she's been sequestered from the world. So when she married her husband she was rather naive in believing his offer of a happy ever after. Then her eyes were opened to the truth and as everything around her came crumbling down, she flees to the Edge. Unlike her homeland, the Edge is a world of its own as it separates the magical realm from the mundane one, called the Weird and the Broken respectively. Her life then settles down into a sort of normalcy, but then everything is turned upside down again once she is dragged into Richard's quest to stop a malicious band of slavers who have destroyed countless lives. Between his unparalleled skill with the blade and her ability to manipulate diseases into a weapon, the pair of them together may just have what it takes to finally bring the slavers down, but at what cost?
I'm not usually a big fan of regency style books, but I really enjoyed the change in atmosphere for Steel's Edge. Granted, if I recall, the previous book was also centers largely in the Weird, but it didn't have the regency feel that this one does. Perhaps that is due to the fact that the characters this time around had much stronger roots to the Blueblood way of life. Oh Richard is an Edger through and through but he was trained by his exiled Blueblood family member and can do society with the best of them. I just found it utterly fascinating once Charlotte starting to explain all the minute rules of society. In all honesty it was quite baffling for a no fuss, no makeup kind of gal, but entertaining all the same. I also enjoyed the way this book lifted the "curtain" from the Bluebloods to see behind their noble fronts and showed that they can be every bit as a monster and the ones they call beneath them. I just love to see the high and mighty get knocked down a few pegs.
I really loved the dynamic between Charlotte and Richard. Despite the fact that they came from two very different worlds, they couldn't be more perfect for one another. They both just seem so grounded and have this utterly selfless nature about them. In fact, both of them were worried that they were not good enough for the other at first, which was rather laughable considering just how much they were willing to sacrifice in order to bring the slavers down. That being said, they did have some pretty insurmountable odds to over come in order to be together, and I thoroughly enjoyed every part of the ride.
As much as I love Ilona Andrew's style of writing and the guarantee for a good story, I can't quite give this particular story the five star rating I would like to. I realize this is the final book in the series and there were a lot of various plot threads to tie up, but that led things into being rather chaotic as the many different aspects were pulled together. It just didn't have the solid and put together feel that the previous installments have had. Also, I really didn't care for the way the final showdown went with the slavers operation. It just felt rather anti-climatic to me in the way it was resolved, especially since all of the other confrontations in the book had a whole lot more oomph to them. That being said I did read an early unfinished review copy, so perhaps things will be tweaked a little in that area before the release. Putting that aside, I felt Steel's Edge did a good job of rounding out the series and leaving things in a good place. There is room for the authors to come back to the series for more, but even if that never happens, I'm rather satisfied with the way everything turned out. Fans of the series will be pleased with this wrap up to the fabulous Edge series.