Bayou Moon (Edge Series #2)

Bayou Moon (Edge Series #2)

4.4 277
by Ilona Andrews

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Cerise Mar and her clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swathe of the Mire, the Edge swamplands. When her parents vanish, her clan's long-time rivals are suspect. But all is not as it seems.

Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by feint and espionage, and their conflict is about to spill over into the Edge-and Cerise's life.  See more details below


Cerise Mar and her clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swathe of the Mire, the Edge swamplands. When her parents vanish, her clan's long-time rivals are suspect. But all is not as it seems.

Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by feint and espionage, and their conflict is about to spill over into the Edge-and Cerise's life.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[Renée Raudman] uses pace and intensity to keep up with the struggles of the characters, who are caught up in old feuds to protect their land and family." —AudioFile

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
A Novel of the Edge , #2
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Sales rank:
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

William sipped some beer from the bottle of Modelo Especial and gave the Green Arrow his hard stare. The Green Arrow, being a chunk of painted plastic, didn't rise to the challenge. The action figure remained impassive, exactly where he'd put it, leaning against the porch post of William's house. Technically it was a shack rather than a house, William reflected, but it was a roof over his head and he wasn't one to complain.

From that vantage point, the Green Arrow had an excellent view of William's action figure army laid out on the porch, and if he were inclined to offer any opinions, he would've been in a great position to do so. William shrugged. Part of him realized that talking to an action figure was bordering on insane, but he had nobody else to converse with at the moment and he needed to talk this out. The whole situation was crazy.

"The boys sent a letter," William said.

The Green Arrow said nothing.

William looked past him to where the Wood rustled just beyond his lawn. Two miles down the road, the Wood would become simply woods, regular Georgia pine and oak. But here, in the Edge, the trees grew vast, fed by magic, and the forest was old. The day had rolled into a lazy, long summer evening, and small nameless critters, found only in the Edge, chased each other through the limbs of the ancient trees before the darkness coaxed predators from their lairs.

The Edge was an odd place, stuck between two worlds. On one side lay the Broken, with no magic but plenty of technology to compensate. And rules. And laws. And paperwork. The damn place ran on paperwork. The Broken was where he made his money nowadays, working construction.

On the other side lay the Weird, a mirror to the Broken, where magic ruled and old blueblood families held power. He was born in that world. In the Weird, he'd been an outcast, a soldier, a convict, and even a noble for a few brief weeks. But the Weird kept kicking him in the teeth the entire time, until he finally turned his back on it and left.

The Edge belonged to neither world. A perfect place for the man who fit in nowhere. That was how he first met the boys, George and Jack. They lived in the Edge, with their sister Rose. Rose was sweet and pretty and he'd liked her. He'd liked what they had, she and the kids, a warm little family. When William watched them together, a part of him hurt deep inside. He now realized why: he'd known even then that a family like that was forever out of his reach.

Still, he tried with Rose. Might have had a chance, too, but then Declan showed up. Declan, a blueblood and a soldier, with his flawless manners and handsome face. "We used to be friends," William told the Green Arrow. "I did beat the shit out of him before he left."

The joke was on him, because Declan left with Rose and took the boys with him. William let them go. Jack required a lot of careful care and Declan would raise him well. And Rose needed someone like Declan. Someone who had his shit together. She had enough trouble with the boys as it was. She sure as hell didn't need another charity project and he didn't want to be one.

It had been almost two years since they'd left. For two years William had lived in the Edge, where the trickle of magic kept the wild within him alive. He worked his job in the Broken, watched TV on weekends, drank lots of beer, collected action figures, and generally pretended that the previous twenty-six years of his life had not occurred. The Edgers, the few families who lived between the worlds like he did, kept to themselves and left him alone.

Most people from either the Broken or the Weird had no idea the other world existed, but occasionally traders passed through the Edge, traveling between worlds. Three months ago, Nick, one of the traveling traders, mentioned he was heading into the Weird, to the Southern Provinces. William put together a small box of toys on a whim and paid the man to deliver it. He didn't expect an answer. He didn't expect anything at all. The boys had Declan. They would have no interest in him.

Nick came by last night. The boys had written back.

William picked up the letter and looked at it. It was short. George's writing was perfect, with letters neatly placed. Jack's looked like a chicken had written it in the dirt. They said thank you for the action figures. George liked the Weird. He was given plenty of corpses to practice necromancy on and he was taking rapier lessons. Jack complained that there were too many rules and that they weren't letting him hunt enough.

"That's a mistake," William told the Green Arrow. "They need to let him vent. Half of their problems would be solved if they let him have a violent outlet. The kid is a changeling and a predator. He turns into a lynx, not a fluffy bunny." He raised the letter. "Apparently he decided to prove to them that he was good enough. Jack killed himself a deer and left the bloody thing on the dining room table, because he's a cat and he thinks they're lousy hunters. According to him, it didn't go over well. He's trying to feed them and they don't get it."

What Jack needed was some direction to channel all that energy. But William wasn't about to travel to the Weird and show up on Declan's doorstep. Hi, remember me? We were best friends once, and then I was condemned to death and your uncle adopted me, so I would kill you? You stole Rose from me? Yeah, right. All he could do was write back and send more action figures.

William pulled the box to him. He'd put in Deathstroke for George—the figure looked a bit like a pirate and George liked pirates, because his grandfather had been one. Next, William had stuck King Grayskull in for Declan. Not that Declan played with action figures—he'd had his childhood, while William spent his in Hawk's Academy, which was little more than a prison. Still, William liked to thumb his nose at him, and King Grayskull with his long blond hair looked a lot like Declan.

"So the real question here is, do we send the purple Wildcat to Jack or the black one?"

The Green Arrow expressed no opinion.

A musky scent drifted down to William. He turned around. Two small glowing eyes stared at him from under the bush on the edge of his lawn.

"You again."

The raccoon bared his small sharp teeth.

"I've warned you, stay out of my trash or I will eat you."

The little beast opened his mouth and hissed like a pissed-off cat.

"That does it."

William shrugged off his T-shirt. His jeans and underwear followed. "We're going to settle this."

The raccoon hissed again, puffing out his fur, trying to look bigger. His eyes glowed like two small coals.

William reached deep inside himself and let the wild off the chain. Pain rocked him, jerking him to and fro, the way a dog shook a rat. His bones softened and bent, his ligaments snapped, his flesh flowed like molten wax. Dense black fur sheathed him. The agony ended and William rolled to his feet.

The raccoon froze.

For a second, William saw his reflection in the little beast's eyes—a hulking dark shape on all fours. The interloper took a step back, whirled about, and fled.

William howled, singing a long sad song about the hunt and the thrill of the chase, and a promise of hot blood pulsing between his teeth. The small critters hid high up in the branches, recognizing a predator in their midst.

The last echoes of the song scurried into the Wood. William bit the air with sharp white fangs and gave chase.

William trotted through the Wood. The raccoon had turned out to be female and in possession of six kits. How the hell he'd missed the female scent, he would never know. Getting rusty in the Edge. His senses weren't quite as sharp here.

He had to let them be. You didn't hunt a female with a litter—that was how species went extinct. He caught a nice juicy rabbit instead. William licked his lips. Mmm, good. He would just have to figure out a way to weigh down the lid on the trashcan. Maybe one of his dumbbells would do the job, or some heavy rocks…;

He caught a glimpse of his house through the trees. A scent floated to him: spicy, reminiscent of cinnamon mixed with a dash of cumin and ginger.

His hackles rose. William went to ground.

This scent didn't belong in this world outside of a bakery. It was the scent of a human from beyond the Edge's boundary, with shreds of the Weird's magic still clinging to them.


He lay in the gloom between the roots and listened. Insects chirping. Squirrels in the tree to the left settling down for the night. A woodpecker hammering in the distance to get the last grub of the day.

Nothing but ordinary Wood noises.

From his hiding spot, he could see the entire porch. Nothing stirred.

The rays of the setting sun slid across the boards. A tiny star winked at him.

Careful. Careful.

William edged forward, a dark soft-pawed ghost in the evening twilight. One yard. Two. Three.

The star winked again. A rectangular wooden box sat on the porch steps, secured with a simple metal latch. The latch shone with reflected sunlight. Someone had left him a present.

William circled the house twice, straining to sample the scents, listening to small noises. He found the trail leading from the house. Whoever delivered the box had come and gone.

He approached the building and looked at the box. Eighteen inches long, a foot wide, three inches tall. Simple unmarked wood. Looked like pine. Smelled like it, too. No sounds came from inside.

His figures were untouched. His letter, pinned down by the heavy Hulk, lay where he'd left it. The scent of the intruder didn't reach it.

William pulled the door open with his paw and slipped inside. He would need fingers for this.

The pain screamed through him, shooting through the marrow in his bones. He growled low, shook, convulsing, and shed his fur. Twenty seconds of agony and William crouched on human legs in the living room. Ten more seconds and he stepped out on the porch, fully dressed and armed with a long knife. Just because the box seemed benign didn't mean it wouldn't blow up when he opened it. He'd seen bombs that were the size of a coaster. They made no noise, gave off no scent, and took your leg off if you stepped on them.

He used the knife to pry the latch open and flip the lid off the box. A stack of paper. Hmm.

William plucked the first sheet off the top of the stack, flipped it over, and froze.

A small mangled body lay in the green grass. The boy was barely ten years old, his skin stark white against the smudges of crimson that spread from a gaping wound in his stomach. Someone had disemboweled him with a single vicious thrust and the kid had bled out. So much blood. It was everywhere, on his skinny stomach, on his hands, on the dandelions around him…; Bright, shockingly red, so vivid, it didn't seem real. The boy's narrow face stared at the sky with milky dead eyes, his mouth opened in a horrified O, short reddish hair sticking up…;

It's Jack. The thought punched William in the stomach. His heart hammered. He peered closely at the face. No, not Jack. A cat like Jack—slit pupils—but Jack had brown hair. The boy was the right age, the right build, but he was not Jack.

William exhaled slowly, trying to get a handle on his rage. He knew this. He'd seen this boy before, but not on the picture. He'd seen the body in the flesh, smelled the blood and the raw, unforgettable stench of the gut wound. His memory conjured it for him now, and he almost choked on the phantom bitterness coating his tongue.

The next picture showed a little girl. Her hair was a mess of blood and brains—her skull had been crushed.

He pulled more pictures from the box, each corresponding to a body in his memory. Eight murdered children lay on his porch. Eight murdered changeling children.

The Weird had little use for changelings like him. The Dukedom of Louisiana killed his kind outright, the moment they were born. In Adrianglia, any mother who'd given birth to a changeling child could surrender her baby to the government, no questions asked. A simple signature on a piece of paper and the woman went on her way, while the child was taken to Hawk's Academy. Hawk's was a prison. A prison with sterile rooms and merciless guards, where toys and play were forbidden; a place designed to hammer every drop of free will out of its students. Only outdoors, the changeling children truly lived. These eight must've been giddy to be let out into the sunshine and grass.

It was supposed to be a simple tracking exercise. The instructors had led the children to the border between Adrianglia and the Dukedom of Louisiana, its chief rival. The border was always hot, with Louisianans and Adrianglians crossing back and forth. The instructors allowed the kids to track a group of border jumpers from Louisiana. When William was a child, he had gone on the same mission a dozen times.

William stared at the pictures. The Louisianans had turned out to be no ordinary border jumpers. They were agents of Louisiana's Hand. Spies, twisted by magic and powerful enough to take out a squad of trained Legionnaires.

They let the children catch them.

When the kids and the instructors failed to report in, a squad of Legionnaires was dispatched to find them. He was the tracker for that squad. He was the one who found them dead in the meadow.

It was a massacre, brutal and cold. The kids didn't go quick. They'd hurt before they died.

The last piece of paper waited in the box. William picked it up. He knew from the first sentence what it would say. The words were burned into his memory.

He read it all the same.

Dumb animals offer little sport. Louisiana kills changelings at birth—it's far more efficient than wasting time and resources to try to turn them into people. I recommend you look into this practice, because next time I'll expect proper compensation for getting rid of your little freaks.

Sincerely yours,Spider

Mindless hot fury flooded William, sweeping away all reason and restraint. He raised his head to the sky and snarled, giving voice to his rage before it tore him apart.

For years he'd tracked Spider as much as the Legion would permit him. He'd found him twice. The first time he'd ripped apart Spider's stomach and Spider broke his legs. The second time, William had shattered the Louisianan's ribs, while Spider nearly drowned him. Both times the Hand's spy slipped through his fingers.

Nobody cared for the changelings. They grew up exiled from society, raised to obey and kill on command for the good of Adrianglia. They were fodder, but to him they were children, just like he had once been a child. Just like Jack.

He had to find Spider. He had to kill him. Child murder had to be punished.

A man stepped out of the Wood. William leapt off the porch. In a breath he pinned the intruder to the trunk of the nearest tree and snarled, his teeth clicking a hair from the man's carotid.

The man made no move to resist. "Do you want to kill me or Spider?"

"Who are you?"

"The name is Erwin." The man nodded at his raised hands. A large ring clamped his middle finger—a plain silver band with a small polished mirror in it. The Mirror—Adrianglian Secret Service—flashed in William's head. The Hand's biggest enemy.

"The Mirror would like a word, Lord Sandine," the man said softly. "Would you be kind enough to favor us with an audience?"

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From the Publisher
"[Renée Raudman] uses pace and intensity to keep up with the struggles of the characters, who are caught up in old feuds to protect their land and family." —-AudioFile

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Bayou Moon (Edge Series #2) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 277 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The Adrianglian Secret Service asks William Sandine the Changeling to stop Spider from possessing a weapon of mass destruction that will lead to war. Loathing his long time enemy, William agrees to go to the Bayous of Louisiana to challenge Spider and his insidious ring of operatives. When Spider abducts her parents, Cerise Mar becomes the clan chief. To save their property the Mire swamps of the Edge, Cerise visits the Broken. Returning to her home, Cerise and William meet. The outsider realizes she and her kin may be the tool to prevent Spider from achieving his nefarious scheme and perhaps ending his terrorism all together. However, William's biggest problem is his attraction to his hostess; a foreign feeling to the Changeling who belongs nowhere and to no one. This is a powerful swamp romantic fantasy starring a harassed heroine, a hermit hero, a vile villain and the mad Mar mob. The story line is fast-paced with a sort of Scottish historical Highlander feud feel to the Mire while the Spider weaves his web. However, the fun in this delightful tale is the return to Ilona Andrews's Weird world of the Edge (see On the Edge) where malls and magic converge. Harriet Klausner
SeeMichelleRead More than 1 year ago
Hoping to basically fade into the woodwork living in working in the Broken (the non-magical world) for the last few years, William is startled when he is approached by an agent of the Hand - a group of spies who serve Adriaglian in the Weird - to once-and-for-all destroy the ruthless killer known as the Spider. Having dealt with the Spider before, William absolutely understands the importance of taking down the deranged killer for good. The Spider's trail leads William directly into the Mire - a portion of swampland that separates the Weird and the Broken called the Edge - and straight into the path of the warring Mar clan. At the head of her rag-tag family is Cerise Mar and she's currently only holding her rough and tumble family together by sheer determination. Cerise's parents were kidnapped and as the oldest and best-trained fighter, it's now up to her to make sure her fiercely proud family of Edgers can protect themselves. So even though she knows it's a bad idea to bring William into her family's conflict, she can immediately see him for the trained fighter he is and knows that he just might be the only chance her family gets. Thank heavens Ilona Andrews decided to return to the fascinating world of the Edge, this time with a story for William. William played a bit part in ON THE EDGE as Declan's shape-shifting army buddy and I just knew from the start that he'd be buckets more interesting than Mr. Perfect Declan could ever hope to be. For starters, William is a bit damaged. He's got these dark corners in his past and already is a bit behind emotionally due to his being born a changeling -- in this case a man who shifts into a wolf. But man, is he ever so likable. For the outset, it's obvious William's got himself on this tight leash -- he refuses to become the 'animal' so many people believe he is. And then that's not even going into how much I loved Cerise and her off-beat family. Their magical talents range from deadly flashing sword skills to limitless good luck which can only be tapped after a bet has been placed upon the outcome. And once again Ilona Andrews showcase their trademark wit in the character of Cerise. She's smart and tough and I immensely liked her. I could have spent much more time in the Mire with the Mars family but was still immensely pleased with what I got. Whereas ON THE EDGE often felt a little too formulaic and fluffy, BAYOU MOON has some grit and substance to it -- The Spider and all of the Hand's minions are some scary dudes -- plus it's hefty. 447 pages hefty people! I'm not one to complain about that sort of thing. All total, BAYOU MOON is a fabulous second novel with plenty of good things to recommend it. I for one am already waiting to see where Ilona Andrews will take us in the Edge next. Even if, once again, Ilona Andrews got shafted in the cover department. Admittedly, BAYOU MOON is light-years better than the artwork for ON THE EDGE, but this one would be greatly improved by the removal of the pensive floating head of William.
tmwilson244 More than 1 year ago
Knowing the quality of Ilona's work I was very excited about this book and I wasn't dissapointed. There are so many books out there that seem to be the same story over and over again. Ilona manages to take urban fantasy (or in this case, what they have taken to calling "rustic" fantasy) and make it feel like something new and fresh. The world she creates is so different from anything else I have read and her characters are superb. They are well developed and real. The villians in this story were done very well and they are very distubring. They definatly gave me the creeps! The romance was also very well done, there are so many romance/fantasy books out there that seem to just be focused on the "girl meets boy, girl and boy have sex" and that gets old, REALLY fast. With Bayou Moon, you could actually take the romance and smex out of the book and you would still have a superb plot. The romance only serves to enhance the plot and the well written characters. In the end I was cheering for the characters, especially William, he was my favorite. I very highly recommend this book. Ilona's imagination will blow you and away and keep your attention the entire time.
kitkat3ny More than 1 year ago
I don't find it extremely necessary have read the first book in the series (On the Edge) prior to reading this book. This is the second "Edge" book, however, IMHO it can also function as a standalone. I really procrastinated when it came to reading this second installment. I wasn't overly impressed with Williams character from the first book and had my doubts that this installment could be any good. However, the author did a great job at delving into the sleek and edgy side of Williams character. At first I had a hard time getting into story. I was fearful that this book would consist purely of the romantic aspect but I could not have been more wrong. The story reeled me in slowly, as oppose to drawing me in right away. Once the story hooked me, I was completely immersed into it. I couldn't put this book down and at the odd times when I was forced to put this book down, I couldn't wait to pick it up again. I enjoyed this installment a bit more than the first book. One negative though, at times all the different zones between the different worlds were very confusing. Besides that issue, this story was darker with more action and mystery and I love that the heroine was as sharp and deadly as a razor. SF fans, even though this story takes place on two other worlds, with "The Broken" being the earth we know, I wouldn't necessarily called this a hybrid between dark urban fantasy and Sci-Fi. However, it is still a great and exciting read. I highly recommend this book to fellow dark urban fantasy fans, and look forward to the next book Fate's Edge due out in 2012.
Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Suzanne and posted at Under The Covers Book Blog In the second book on Ilona Andrews The Edge series, we focus on William Wolf, whom we meet in On the Edge. As a Changeling William has never been shown much affection or kindness, most people are afraid of him, sensing the lethal animal just inside his human skin. For this reason, he is asked to do one last mission before he is left alone in the Edge. This leads him to meet Cerise, an Edger and the newly made head of her large and crazy family now that her parents have been taken by the same man, Spider, that William is looking for. Together they must stop Spider from finding what he is looking for and try and save Cerise’s parents. This book pulled me in straight away, I was already looking forward to reading about William from what I had read in the first book, and I wasn’t disappointed. His personality came across really well in everything that was written, Ilona Andrews really got his thinking and logic nailed down and you could immediately differentiate his voice and Cerise’s just from the way it was written. That is another point that I like about not only this book, but about On The Edge aswell, the different characters in the book come across brilliantly, and she manages to portray Edger life both the good and the bad really well. She surveyed the carnage behind him. “Did you have fun?” He showed her his teeth. “Yes. Now they won’t take you anywhere.” Cerise stepped closer to him, so close he only needed to lean in and dip his head and he would kiss her. Since he saved her, maybe he could just grab her and— “That was the stupidest thing you have done since I’ve met you,” she ground out through her teeth. Belay the grabbing. The dynamics between Cerise and her family were also interesting and funny, although family is a bit of a weak word, I think “Clan” probably gets the idea across a bit better! Cerise herself was also great, tough, funny and practical, a bit like Rose, only with a few more jagged edges. As for the romance, it was stronger in this book then it was in the previous one, although this book didn’t skimp on the action either. The attraction between the two is strong and passionate and they made a great couple. “Oh, Gods.” His eyes shone with want and predatory satisfaction. “The name’s William. It’s a common mistake.” I thought this book was better then the first, it seemed to just have more of everything, more action, more romance, more mystery and intrigue. I can’t wait to read the next one and I highly recommend you give this series a go if you want books packed with adventure and romance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a long story with a great plot. I really liked the first one and usually don't read stories that switch the main POV from book to book, but this was really good!
SelenityJade More than 1 year ago
Again, the horrors the villains come up with and how they’re even shaped are awe-inspiring in their absolute ability to create nightmares. The details the Andrews endow these villains with really do amaze me. I loved William and Cerise’s love story a lot more than Rose and Declan’s, simply because it was more passionate. Especially from William’s point of view. I would probably give my left arm for a man to look at me like he looked at Cerise the first time she was clean. Seriously. Then I’d run. Another thing I love about the story itself is that Ilona Andrews does not shy away from painful events in their stories. People will die. Some get broken. Things happen, just as they do in real life, and it changes them. Despite the fantasy-like setting, that was superbly realistic and adds depth to this already intricate world. This has to be my favorite of the four novels I think. 5 stars!!
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This book is a stand alone sequel to "On the Edge" set in the same world.  One should read it first to get the background of the Edge.  I am an Ilona Andrews fan and read all of their books.   I have been reading sci fi and fantasy since the late 50's so I have read a few books.  Bayou Moon is one of a few books I reread often.  This is a "can't put down" page turner from front to back.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Ilona's books. I was sad to see ghjs series end it was anew different and brilliant concept and story!
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lbyrd More than 1 year ago
i really liked this series. this book is well written and held my interest. i couldn't wait to find out what was going to happened next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing author and books! Highly recomend! I read them all and cant WAIT for more! Suspense, romance, violance and action all set in a modern world with the fantasy mixed in. Must read, origional love it!!!
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