Author: Alex Bledsoe
Genre: Fiction (Fantasy / Pirates / Mystery /
Publisher/Publication Date: Tor Books (7/3/2012)
Source: TLC Book Tours / NetGalley
Rating: Liked a great deal.
Did I finish?: Yes -- I inhaled this one.
One-sentence summary: Sword-for-hire-with-a-heart-of-gold Eddie LaCrosse is hired by a friend to find her long lost amour, and learns her story is more complicated than he anticipated.
Reading Challenges: E-book, NetGalley
Do I like the cover?: You know, I don't care one way or the other -- it's pretty cheesy, but kind of glossy, too, and I'm really not feeling much.
I'm reminded of...: D.B. Jackson
First line: "There's a new client waiting to see you," Angelina said when I entered her tavern.
Do... I have a bit of a hot crush on our sword-for-hire Eddie LaCrosse?: YES. He can brag he's got at least one lesbian fangirl.
Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow or buy -- this was another delightful entry in Bledsoe's wonderfully diverting series.
Why did I get this book?: I love pirates and light fantasy and anything with shades of noir.
Review: I had a great time with this first book of this series, The Sword-Edged Blonde, and I just knew I'd love the rest of Bledsoe's books. Sadly, I couldn't quite manage to get to books two and three before needing to review this one, but rest assured I'm going to go back and do so (after loving book one so much I went out and bought all three!).
Like the first book, the mood and vibe of this book is what I just loved: it's wry, sardonic, a bit tongue-in-cheeks, kind sexy, very 'masculine', and wonderfully escapist. The comparisons to private investigator pulp feels accurate: there's a wry hero, dirty urban landscapes, some sex, some murder.
In this book, our hero, Eddie LaCrosse -- battered, loyal, rough around the edges but obviously bearing a heart-of-gold -- takes on a case from a close friend. He's asked to find her lover, an infamous pirate, who was last in touch twenty years ago. Quickly, of course, things get a bit complicated -- there's a kid, debate of the pirate's origins, rumors of treasure, lies, misinformation, misdirection, and messy adventure. What seems, on the surface, to be bouncy, banter-y fun disguises a much darker story -- and it's this seedier, discomforting ugliness that really captured me and has me addicted to this series.
I think this would stand alone fine, but would be a bit of a crashing introduction to Eddie LaCrosse and his world. Check out the author's website, where you can download the first chapter of this book and get a sense of his writing and world-building -- and if you like, I highly recommended starting with the first book and reading on from there. (I'm grateful I can go back to read books two and three because waiting for another Eddie LaCrosse book now would kill me!)
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