Fiery Edge of Steel by Jill Archer
Series: Noon Onyx #2
Source: Personal shelf
Lucifer and his army triumphed at Armageddon, leaving humans and demons living in uncertain peace based on sacrifice and strict laws. It is up to those with mixed demon and human blood, the Host, to prevent society from falling into anarchy.
Noon Onyx is the first female Host in memory to wield the destructive waning magic that is used to maintain order among the demons. Her unique abilities, along with a lack of control and a reluctance to kill, have branded her as an outsider among her peers. Only her powerful lover, Ari Carmine, and a roguish and mysterious Angel, Rafe Sinclair, support her unconventional ways.
When Noon is shipped off to a remote outpost to investigate several unusual disappearances, a task that will most likely involve trying and killing the patron demon of that area, it seems Luck is not on her side. But when the outpost settlers claim that an ancient and evil foe has stepped out of legend to commit the crimes, Noon realizes that she could be facing something much worse than she ever imagined .
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A quick post because I’ve got to leave in a few… apologies for the brevity.
I bought this book a while ago but it’s taken me a while to get to it, largely due to review commitments. But it’s been great being back on Noon Onyx’s world, even if it isn’t the friendliest place for her. In FIERY EDGE OF STEEL, Noon is in her second year of training and she’s faced with a couple important milestones: choosing the Angel that she’ll work with and heading out as a Magister. She’s made a lot of strides since we first met her in DARK LIGHT OF DAY but Noon remains an unconventional waning magic user, not just because of her gender but because she lacks the ruthlessness that her fellow students possess in spades, even her lover Ari. FIERY EDGE OF STEEL forces Noon to develop a tougher skin; it’s a bit hard to see but it’s absolutely necessary if Noon and her companions are to survive.
My favourite part of FIERY EDGE OF STEEL is the introduction of the Angels that end up with Ari and Noon. I won’t say too much about them since this takes places around the 1/3 mark of the novel but I will say that they were both very interesting characters. It was great getting to know these Angels and to learn more about the Angels’ training and abilities. I know the blurb gives you the name of one of them but I don’t want to spoil how Rafe ends up with the team. 🙂
We also get to learn more about the relationships demons have with the humans who live in their territories. The book takes us to a rural setting (eventually) and the dynamics in these more isolated areas are quite different from what Noon is used to, being from a larger community. I found it really interesting because I’m a huge fan of worldbuilding and Archer really expands Noon’s world with her first real investigation.
There are also some major developments on the relationship front for Ari and Noon. They spend a lot of time together on the journey, honing their skills and defending their colleagues, but they somehow manage to make time to deepen their relationship. Of course, it wouldn’t be a very engaging novel if everything went smoothly all the time so you can probably guess that there are bumps in the investigation and also for Ari and Noon’s personal connection, since we learn a lot more about Ari this time around. He’s no longer just a strong supporter for Noon but a truly fleshed out character and some of the reveals, particularly those that come later in the book, will truly shock and amaze you.
FIERY EDGE OF STEEL builds on the strong foundation established in DARK LIGHT OF DAY. It’s a great follow up to Archer’s debut and it was so good to be back in Noon’s world.