Author: Ilona Andrews
Publication: Ace; Original edition (September 28, 2010)
Description: 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...
Cerise Mar and her unruly clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swath of the Mire, the Edge swamplands between the state of Louisiana and the Weird. When her parents vanish, her clan's long-time rivals are suspect number one.
But all is not as it seems. Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by feint and espionage, and their conflict is about to spill over into the Edge--and Cerise's life. William, a changeling solder who's left behind the politics of the Weird, has been forced back into service to track down a rival nation's spymaster.
When William's and Cerise's missions lead them to cross paths, sparks fly--but they'll have to work together if they want to succeed...and survive.
My Thoughts: This was a very interesting and suspenseful fantasy/romance. William is a great character. He had always been alone, having been abandoned at birth by his mother, and raised in what was essentially a prison and trained to be a weapon. He is a changeling and, while he knows something of what humans expect, his own instincts are those of his wolf. Cerise is the strong leader of her family. She is the one who has managed the money and also managed to keep everyone fed and clothed. When her parents disappear, she is ready to do anything to get them back but human enough to know the emotional costs. She is attracted to William but reluctant to invite him home with her because she knows how hard her family can be on outsiders. William is also attracted to her. They have trouble connecting because they each misread the other's signals.
The book was filled with fascinating characters. The villain - Spider - was the worst kind. He could commit any kind of atrocity with no regrets because he felt has cause was just. That is creepier than someone who is insane or evil. Many of the members of Cerise's family were also unique and interesting characters. I am especially fond of Kaldar who is always talking, arranges the marriages, and can do magic if someone will bet him before he tries.
This is not a story for the faint of heart. A few of the atrocities who were associates of the Spider will be appearing in my dreams for a while. But if you like action and adventure, and a well-told tale, you can't go wrong with this story. I recommend it to lovers of paranormal fantasy.
"You have to spell things out," Murid said. "No games, no hints. You have to be very, very clear with him, Cerise. Be very careful and think before you act. He's dangerous. Hugh didn't change shape often, but William does, because he knows how to hide it. He's been trained to fight and whoever trained him knew how to make the most of William's strengths. So far he's behaving himself, but if you're alone with him and you don't have a blade, you don't stand a chance. Don't send him the wrong messages and don't get yourself raped. William may not even know it's wrong to force a woman."Challenges: RYOB Reading Challenge, Paranormal Reading Challenge
Her memory thrust the lake house before her. Oh, he knew. He knew very well.