Cover Chat: Steel's Edge By Ilona Andrews

Ilona Andrews, the pen name for a husband and wife writing team, is a master in the dual worlds of paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Andrews made headlines with “her” Kate Daniels series, one of the early Urban Fantasy series, which included not one but two books that received coveted RT Gold ratings. However, it was Andrews’ Edge series that helped her claim the paranormal romance throne.

The Edge series started with 2009’s On the Edge, which won the year’s RT Reviewers’ Choice Award for Contemporary Paranormal Romance. Each year since then Andrews has added one full-length story to the Edge adventure. And the author has just released the first look at the cover of the fourth book: Steel’s Edge, which will hit stores on November 27, 2012.

I was convinced that I had to read the series based on the author’s explanation of the setting:

The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Walmart and magic is a fairytale–and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny. It’s a place where poverty is real, life is hard, and fairy tales sometimes do come true.

Although the publisher hasn't released a back cover blurb yet, the author has shared the story’s prologue and revealed that this “is not a happy book.” But this won’t be the first time that the series has taken a turn for the dark, readers will remember that the series second, 2010’s Bayou Moon, was quite grim. So keeping in mind that we have a lot of unanswered questions, what do we know about this November new book?

Let’s start at the very beginning — or in this case, the bottom right side of the cover. We know that this is Charlotte’s story and she’s taking center stage on the cover, surrounded by her magic. And I have to say that I really like how her “sparks” look much more like the magic on the front of On the Edge. (As opposed to how it shows up on the covers of Bayou Moon and Fate’s Edge, more tied to the weapon that Cerise and Audrey hold.) So that’s definitely an interesting change. However, perfectly in keeping with the rest of the series’ cover art, we also get a hint of Charlotte’s hero — who I am guessing from this excerpt of SE’s chapter one may be Richard Mar. From the windblown hair to the gaze that you can just tell is gripping, this looks like a man you won’t want to mess with. (Although I’d reverse my position to would if “around” were added between those last words.) He’s also got a bit of the buccaneer look rocking his deep V.  

I think that the hero’s look is perfectly in keeping with the other hint about the story that you “sea” at a glance. Check out the old school-looking ship in the background. Presumably in this book you won’t just find characters traveling between the Broken and the Weird, but that they will also be taking an ocean voyage. I particularly like the idea of a trip because if this story is the series finale, like Internet rumors have suggested, this would harken back to book one’s cover that was similarly very “planes, trains and automobiles” in the way that it featured a motorcycle. So that we’re going from modern day technology as a vehicle to one of the oldest forms of transportation known to man (or magical being) … well it feels very “full circle” to me.

Honestly, all my feelings about this upcoming read can be summed up with a single phrase — especially if you pardon the super cheesy pun — I’m on board!

So I want to know, what do you think of the latest Edge cover? Let me know in the comments below. You can also click here to read a few more moments from the upcoming Steel’s Edge. And be sure to visit RT’s Everything Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Page for all the latest genre news.