What do you get when you take the best conman in the world and make him into a secret agent? You get Kaldar Mar.
Born in the harsh, wild Mire deep inside the Edge, Kaldar had to hustle to survive and feed the huge Mar family. He is a thief, a grifter, a gambler, and he is never up to any good. Judge Dobe probably put it best, "I guess you're familiar with the law. You hit it over the head, set its house on fire, and got its sister pregnant."
Fate's Edge finds Kaldar working for the Mirror, Adrianglia's secret service. Deeply scarred by his aunt's death, Kaldar is out to get revenge and he finally catches an assignment that might let him do just that. A priceless object has been stolen from West Egypt (our Florida) and Kaldar must retrieve it at any cost.
Kaldar sets out to track the thieves and quickly realizes that they are Edgers and they have ran off to the Democracy of California, a wild and lawless place where Robber Barons rule over their domains. He stops over at William and Cerise's place to ask for help, but they are leaving on their own assignment, so he takes William's ward, Gaston, with him, unaware that Jack and George have stowed away on his wyvern.
On the other side of the continent, Audrey Callahan, having done one last job for her nogood father is trying to get on with her life. Audrey has a unique talent: no door is closed to her. Not only that, but being brought up in a family of grifters, Audrey is a consummate conwoman. Now she has severed all ties with her family and obtained a legitimate job in our world. Her benefits are set to kick in in 81 days and she couldn't be happier.
And that's when Kaldar shows up. Neither one of them will ever be the same.
The book was ridiculously fun to write. Audrey and Kaldar turned out to be completely hilarious. They are ruthless, funny, completely criminally minded, and they are so attracted to each other, they can barely stand it. Add to it Gaston, who is hellbent on revenge, and despite his assurances, not quite right in the head, George who has a chip on his shoulder because the citizens of the Weird look down on him, and Jack who turns into a lynx and you get… Well, you get this:
The wyvern dipped down, banking above the clearing, which felt only slightly less thrilling than plunging down a drop in a rollercoaster. Audrey clutched on to her seat. The front of the cabin offered only two seats, and the boys had graciously let her sit next to Gaston and the enormous windshield, which she now sorely regretted.
"It will be fine," Gaston told her. "The wyverns are difficult to stop so we're just going to spiral down for a minute. Landing is actually kind of fun."
Jack bared his teeth at her off his perch on top of a trunk. "He just says that because he isn't human."
Audrey tried to look anywhere but at the rapidly approaching trees. "Not human?"
"His grandmother had sex with a thoas," Jack told her.
"Why thank you, Jack." Gaston showed him his fist. "You're so helpful."
"I like to be helpful," Jack told him.
"I have strange teeth and my eyes glow, while you turn into a lynx and run around spraying your spunk on bushes. And you're calling me not human? That's rich."
George cleared his throat.
Gaston looked at him. "What?"
George nodded at Audrey.
"What is it?"
George heaved a sigh. "We have a lady in our company."
"I'm aware of that. I am not blind."
"He's telling you to watch the crude language," Kaldar said, emerging from the cabin. He stopped between their two chairs, leaning on the backs with his arms. "How does it look?"
"Looks good," Gaston said. "We're in the clear."
"Take him down."
Gaston leaned forward to a complex, polished set of levers and knobs, and pushed several switches.
"So how does the wyvern know what you would like him to do?' Audrey asked.
"He's wearing a receiver device over his spark glands, just under his chin," Kaldar told her. "When Gaston adjusts the magic frequency of the console, the receiver sends the new signal through the glands. The wyvern is trained to recognize the specific commands."
"Just like a dog," Gaston told her. "He knows sit and stay. Except in his case, Sit takes about five minutes."
"Why?" Audrey asked.
"He's very large." Kaldar said. "So for him to land, everything has to align just right: approach, speed, wind, and so on."
"What if he decides that Sit means turn upside down in the air?" she asked.
Kaldar leaned closer to her. "Then we all die a horrible death."
Great. Audrey clenched her teeth.
"Afraid of flying?" Kaldar asked.
"No, I'm afraid of falling to my death."
"If it will make you feel better, I could hold you."
"In your dreams…"
We hope you like the book as much as we did.