Saturday, 16 July 2016
FANTASY BOOK REVIEW: THE EDGE OF DAWN BY MELINDA SNODGRASS
The Edge of Dawn by Melinda Snodgrass
As I already have an interest in fantasy fiction, this is an urban fantasy novel and the conclusion to the Edge trilogy starting with The Edge of Reason and The Edge of Ruin. With an endearing quote from George RR Martin, readers will be assured that this novel has what it takes to be up there with the big names in fantasy fiction.
The Edge of Dawn has Mosi Tsosi convinced skinwalkers are witches and are currently inside her brother, Abel's computer. It sounds far-fetched to her grandfather who thinks her comment is strange as he thinks they don't use modern technology like that. As Mosi is young, nine-years-old, no one will believe what she says even though she can light the paladin's weapon for the upcoming war.
As the cover suggests, this is set in modern times in Western New Mexico, the sword a mix of ancient British legends and Mexican/Indian inspired jewellery. It works as a different fantasy story worthy of being endorsed by George RR Martin. previous novels have already set the scene for this conclusion where all might be lost if not for a girl who could be the answer to winning against evil.
Protagonist, Richard Oort is ready to take on that evil even though he needs to find out why a girl's brother has killed his entire family - something that for him was totally out of character. We soon learn that this girl is Mosi and with the help of Jay he can find out why it had happened. Rumour has it that one of the computers had a witches spell in it used to manipulate Mai's brother into killing them. Jay sees it as a case he would be wise to investigate, if not to help her after such a tragedy. In here there is always the sort of character who has been through hell who has the ability to be part of a successful team. Mosi has to cope with her plight at the loss of her family, this is what makes her strong enough for her journey.
Snodgrass gives us a look at what happens when a girl is pulled into a world of danger and mysticism and the fact that true evil lurks everywhere and has the ability to strike when they least expect it. Mosi is not the sort of ally one would expect to become embroiled in such a saga's ending, though she gives a sense of innocence to what is a novel about fighting evil, and while Richard can fight well, Mosi has to find her inner lion with which to have the ability to fight. This is the reason the story succeeds, as there is also a level of uncertainty thAt could make the fight go either way.
As a kind of assurance they will do their best to get rid of the evil, they discover the Old Ones feed off of humans so Richard uses a sword that can take the ability to allow them to interfere with them. It's a good idea but he has to be careful with Azura/Amy when he's explaining it to her. Richard's sword can also be used to touch evil and kill it, Mosi knows more than she lets on, being a Navajo girl, calling him a "singer, " or medicine man. As the Old Ones intend to kill off humans using these computers as a means to dupe them into trusting them is as dangerous as Richard thought. He thinks if he can take the computers away from the ones they were given to, then destroy them, this can be done before any harm can come to the innocent people involved. By placing a rune in each of the computers, the Old Ones used this to communicate with the individuals they used as killers. This, Richard already knows is a way of being able to kill on a mass scale.
In order to destroy the computers, Richard must find out who owns them and who are at risk. At the moment there are only rumours and the danger is all too real, even if Mosi is safe around Richard, her courage can more than help them crusade for good. Magic in a modern setting is what Snodgrass's books are about with The Edge of Dawn ending in a more than memorable series. Interested readers should keep an eye out for her new Imperials series, starting with the High Ground in 2016.