Beautiful Queen Inos married the loyal stableboy Rap and made him her king. They were very much in love, and they lived happily ever after.Fifteen years went by. Rap and Inos were comfortable, secure, and truly happy, raising their family in the little backwater kingdom of Krasnegar, well removed from the hurly-burly of great affairs....
But in far-off Hub, the old Imperor's health - and, some said, his sanity - deteriorated inexorably. The borderlands were seething, Prince Emshandar - or Shandie, as Rap knew him - found himself leading his grandfather's armies into terrible battles where victory and justice hung in gravest doubt.
And now the end of the millennium was at hand, ushered in by prophecies of cataclysmic upheaval on a scale never before imagined. All across Pandemia, sensible people tried to dismiss a growing sense of unease as superstitious nonsense.
Then a God appeared to Rap and warned him that the prophecies spoke the least of the truth. Devastation was a certainty; total destruction loomed. The very fabric of the world was at risk. And it was all Rap's fault.
The lasting in the world Rap had wanted was another adventure. And it might be the last thing he would ever get.
I was a big fan of the "Magic Casement / Man of his Word" series, also by Dave Duncan and read by Mil Nicholson. Its the same world, same cast of characters... but 15 years later. Rap and the queen have children, and Prince Shandy has grown up, and the world keeps turning.
Its not necessary to read the previous series... But it really would help. You get a much better sense of things... Like why someone's name is important, and what events set up such a precarious situation that opens in book 1 here.
It was very nice to pick up with the same characters in the same narrator's voice. It made it especially easy to slip back into this world.
As with Duncan's last series... The first book is heavy on character development, set up, and foreshadowing. Things are happening... But you don't yet know how, or why, or what is going to be done about it. But PAY ATTENTION... It will all be tied together in the end.
Duncan's writing is again nearly without foul language. He makes reference to "nautical terms" when someone would be "swearing like a sailor".... But never actually drops an F-Bomb. I like that I can share these books with my middle school kids, and not feel guilty. Thats not to say its a child's book. There are some very adult themes in this world, and still may not be appropriate for all children.
I would highly suggest this book to anyone, and even more so to any fan's of Duncan's previous series.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to The Cutting Edge the most enjoyable?
Seeing how the characters are further developing and learning more about the word they live in (including the different races). Also the introduction of interesting new characters.
What did you like best about this story?
The introspections of the characters are wonderfully written, funny, and clever.
Which character – as performed by Mil Nicholson – was your favorite?
All of them.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
It really gets going halfway through the book.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about The Cutting Edge?
I love the continuation of the story of Rap & Inks. The story provides a wonderful escape and is one of my all time favorites!
Who was your favorite character and why?
Rap has always been an interesting character as he has many contradictions and above all, a conscience. He is a very realistic hero, very stubborn, makes good/bad choices that you can't wait to see the consequences of.
What about Mil Nicholson’s performance did you like?
Mil Nicholson does a great job with male voices. It's easy to stay lost in the story, she doesn't have any annoying habits. I look forward to hearing more from her.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
Adventures in folly.
Any additional comments?
Please hurry as fast as you can to release the next three books.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
This fantasy series picks up 15 years after the forerunner series A Man of His Word, which ended happily enough for all the good guys with Emperor and Clown (A Man of His Word, #4).
Plot: The turn of a new millenium approaches, when the gods have predicted that all hell breaks loose in Pandemia (partly because of some decisions Rap made when he was a 5-word sorcerer). If Rap and Inos and "a handful of men" don't think fast, the world may never recover, and every race is at risk: humans, elves, dwarves, goblins, pixies, imps, jotuns, trolls, mermen, etc.
This follow-up series is darker, sadder, and some known characters behave differently than I grew to expect in the first series. Granted, people change, and the world changed — for the worse. I was the most disheartened by the change in the old imperor, Emshander.
Excellent characterization of Ylo, who — across this 4-book series — gradually becomes a man I can love and hate and pity. However, I could have done without the woman he loved. I didn't like her.
Cross-over characters in both series: Rap and Inos (now with 4 children), Shandie the imperor's heir to the throne, goblin Little Chicken / Death Bird, the sequential 5-in-1 man, Warlocks Olybino and Lith'uian, and some secondary characters, including those at Kingdom Krasnegar.
Duncan has quite a knack for selecting relevant poetry to wrap up each chapter.
Narration sounded a bit fuzzy to me, but for others it may be fine. For me, Ms Nicholson's voice isn't crisp enough to make listening easy. It is not easy to distinguish words. I dislike over-articulation, but I also dislike fuzziness.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The story is excellent, switching between multiple views. Each character is interesting and well fleshed out over time. There are very few pure shallow archetypes.
My only real complaint is the narrator. While her (Mil's) voice is nice on general narration and fine for female characters, with male voices she chooses a very nasal, whiny voice rather than pitching down. I often had a hard time distinguishing who was speaking and it gave me a mental image of everyone as small pinched faced looking people.
Not quite a man of his word but close so far... I will most certainly follow it all the way thru :)