Along the Razor’s Edge by Rob J. Hayes

There’s anger…. and there’s thrown-into-the-Pit-by-the-enemy-to-dig-maze-like-tunnels-til-infinity hatred. That’s Eskara. She’s a young sorceress whose side has lost the war. Her Sources (magic made solid) have been removed from her body, but she still knows things. And every week she is pulled into a room, enticed by fresh food and clean clothes… but she doesn’t relent. It’s the long game for Eska, and she will win!

The Pit is an awesomely dark setting: a 40+-story hole-in-the-ground prison run by the inmates. I’ve read several prison narratives where allies and enemies are made, where scraps are fought over by the masses, and they are tasked with impossible undertakings. Hayes’s descriptions of this hell is just about perfect: Prig, the nasty whip yielding foreman, and The Overseer, a manipulative SOB.

Eskara surrendered standing next to her best friend, Josef. Trained in magic from a young age, they had formed a bond that few in the Pit were able to rely upon. Even though he is in another work unit, they return to the same tunnel each night to ponder their fate and sleep next to each other. Josef along with a few others form a crew she can depend on… with them she believes escape may just be possible.

I loved the setup and it was one of the quickest second half reads I’ve had in awhile. Hayes does a great job breaking up the worldbuilding into a series of flashbacks at the beginning of most of the chapters. It’s spread out so it adds to the mystery and depth of the magic system and this badass character.

Read Along the Razor’s Edge for a sinister tale of revenge in a deep hole where the inmates are supposed to be forgotten.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Thank you to the author for an advanced copy for review.

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