Edge of the Breach is a story about Kyder and Rune. Getting into the rest of what the book is? Difficult to put in a paragraph to paraphrase and not spoil. Both are born at the strongest point in the year to be a Summer Mage and a Winter Shield, respectively. They come from vastly different ways of life and suffer through very different traumas. And I’m not even sure this book (for me) was really about the two of them meeting, even though that was definitely the author’s intention.
If there is anything Halo Scot has done phenomenally, it is in building a world. Not only in the concepts and ideas, but in the language used. I do not know if it is in thanks to the two first person protagonists or not. There is a similarity to their narratives which I can’t say for sure is intentional, reflecting how they are to and with each other, or simply the author’s founding style always coming through. Fortunately, either way, it is a good style. Easy to read. Which is very good, because there are parts of this book that are hard to read. I don’t usually shy from sex and gore. I’m not even sure I’d say this was the worst of either of those I’ve read (and by worst I mean graphic). Yet between that and the profanity, it was an onslaught that hardly let up at any point in the book.
On the other hand, there were a few things I knew I didn’t like and it wasn’t because of taste. First is something conflicting, because they are some of my favourite lines in the book. There are times the narrators are speaking directly to the reader. I’ve nothing against the practice, but it was so rare and the first time I became aware of it was so far into the book already that it ripped me out of the story. It wasn’t consistent enough for me to take it in stride. My other problem was some of the time skipping later in the book. One of the narrators says it is to skip the boring parts, but considering what apparently was covered during that time I hardly feel like that would have been boring. There are even a few scenes I could have done without, if I had gotten some of those other skipped sections instead.
Finally, I would really have liked to see Kyder in charge. He claims near the end of the book that he was in control for the most part, but the scenes we had with him didn’t show that in the slightest. The reader is constantly aware of his lack of control, even when the other characters in the scene are fooled. Of course that could have been unreliable narration, but I have a feeling that there were plenty of unseen scenes that would have shown him actually having the control he claimed to have. Especially regarding his conflicting feelings toward the other protagonist. Between this and the skipped time, Kyder’s ability to recognize his feelings and what they become come out of nowhere.
If you are into blood, sand, sex and intrigue in a dark sci-fantasy, I wholeheartedly recommend this book. It was a little much for me at the time, but that could have been because I read it in one go without a break. This book doesn’t let up on you. Oh, also this it is book one. The ending was a form of conclusion, but certainly all set up for the sequel.
As for myself, I might pick up the sequel. Because of the type of story it is, first person is difficult for me to take in with the darkness portrayed in it. Perhaps in some brighter times I will take it on – for as stated before, this world is fascinating and the ending leaves more questions I certainly would like to have answered.