Fiery Edge of Steel by Jill Archer
Series: Noon Onyx #2
Published by ACE
Published on: May 28, 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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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…
Noon’s story picked up nicely in this second instalment of the Urban Fantasy series Fiery Edge of Steel by Jill Archer. I welcomed being thrown back into this unique medieval post-apocalyptic story. If you haven’t read the first book, stop right now and read it. This second book could be a stand alone as it covers enough for the reader to catch on, but the “meat” of how Noon came to be is definitely in the first book.
Noon and Ari embark on their first assignment together to investigate a complaint against a demon in the outskirts of their land. Noon is still the only known female with waning magic which has her feeling alone and painfully isolated despite having a boyfriend, Ari, who adores her. This much is clear: there is no one who can truly guide Noon. She must discover her own way by trial and error. She knows how destructive her power is. Her continued reluctance to use it or even try to hone her power carries over into this book. It’s understanding, but frustrating as a reader. I wanted to see her start this book on a strong, I’m-gonna-kick-everyone’s-ass, note. She did get there by the end.
I really like Noon. She’s extremely brave and outspoken. She is passionate and strong and she doesn’t falter in her core beliefs. I’m glad her and Ari are together. I like the echoes of loneliness Noon feels many instances throughout the book, like someone as unique as her would truly feel.
Archer introduces Rafe, who becomes Noon’s Guardian. Rafe is that sexy angel you want to read about. He provides some tension between Ari and Noon, making their relationship mulitfaceted. Nothing like a little jealousy to get people going.
The story itself unfolds well enough. Archer has a great ability to keep the story moving along through character’s dialogue and through her imaginative and unique world. Her character’s conversations were natural and didn’t feel like info dumps. World building is incredibly detailed and consistent.
I still had a hard time keeping up with all of the new names given to all of the different magic people possessed. Obvious time has gone into naming people and things, but it’s like learning a new language and is very distracting from the story. I had to go back a few times to remind myself what these made up words were. My only gripe of the book.
I’m looking forward to continuing with Noon’s journey. Fiery Edge of Steel is a great followup second book in this series and didn’t disappoint.