View our feature on Ilona Andrews’s On the Edge.The Broken is a place where people shop at Wal-Mart and magic is nothing more than a fairy tale.
The Weird is a realm where blueblood aristocrats rule and the strength of your magic can change your destiny.
Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, the place between both worlds. A perilous existence indeed, made even more so by a flood of magic-hungry creatures bent on absolute destruction.
On The Edge is the first novel in our new series. It’s a very odd story. I had written the first draft in between Kate books and I loved working on it. The first hint of trouble came when Gordon, my husband and co-author, edited the manuscript and took to calling it “rustic fantasy” as opposed to urban fantasy.
When I showed the manuscript to our agent, she emailed back saying she loved it, but she wasn’t quite sure what it was. Then On The Edge made its way to our editor at Ace, Anne Sowards. She called back the next day saying that she wasn’t quite sure what it was either, but she wanted to buy it.
The art department was very excited about the manuscript (and made an outstanding cover for it), but they weren’t certain into what genre the novel fit. A few days ago a prominent reviewer emailed me to say that she enjoyed the book a great deal, but wasn’t sure how to classify it either and wanted to know how I would like it listed.
I now present the unclassifiable On The Edge. It’s like Twinkies. Everybody likes it, nobody is 100% sure what it is.
So how is the Edge different from the violent world of Kate Daniels? First, this novel is an even split between urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Second, there is the heroine, Rose Drayton. Unlike Kate, who has been there and slain that, Rose hasn’t been anywhere. She very much wanted to travel and do daring things, but her father had taken off after her mother’s death, leaving her responsible for her two much younger brothers. Rose may not be worldly but she isn’t naive. Far from it. To understand her, you really have to understand the place where she comes from.
In ancient times sailors believed that there were locations where a ship could sail over the edge of the world and they marked those places with notations “Here be dragons” to let others know of the danger. That’s where Rose Drayton makes her home.
Imagine two worlds, two dimensions, sitting side by side like two soap bubbles. On one side, there is our world. A place of no magic, it’s called the Broken. On the other side lies the Weird, where magic flows full force, monsters prowl, and bluebloods, descendants of old families, possess devastating power. People in the Weird use magic every day, as casually as we use technology. We flip on a light switch and so do they, but their light is generated by magical means. Most inhabitants of either world don’t know about the other dimension and most couldn’t travel between the two even if they tried.
The Weird and the Broken sit next to each other, but there are places where they intersect. This neutral territory, a long narrow stretch of land that belongs to both worlds, is the Edge. People of the Edge are poor and clannish. Most make their money illegally and are being paid under the table in whichever world is closer to them. The Edgers don’t care for outsiders and keep to themselves.
Rose lives in a tiny town in the Edge that borders rural Georgia. She works in the Broken and tries to raise her two brothers, one of which is a necromancer and the other is a changeling. Rose developed a unique magic talent through hard work and constant practice. Because of her talent, she became a target, especially for people from the Weird. She knows that strangers aren’t to be trusted and she keeps her guns close at hand.
Then, a stranger lands on her doorstep and refuses to leave. And not just any stranger, but a blueblood from the Weird. Earl Declan Camarine is not accustomed to being told, “No” and no amount of gun pointing and magic is able to dislodge him from her property.
Before Rose can send him packing, a flood of nightmarish creatures invade the Edge, threatening Rose’s family and bringing the kind of magic that leaves even the oldest Edgers frightened. To hold her family together, Rose has to rely on Declan, but even he is not who he seems.
There is so much more I want to tell you about Rose, and her Grandmother, who is trying her best to be a hedge-witch, and her brothers, and mysterious William, but I ran out of space. On The Edge was blast to write and I hope you’ll like it. We have more worldbuilding up at www.ilona-andrews.com. Come visit us.