Spring came down hard that year. And I do mean hard, like the fist of some drunked pike poker with too much fury and not enough ale, whose wife just left him for some wandering minstrel and whose commanding officer absconded with his pay.ISBN: 9780765362032 DDC: 813.6 ; Author’s site
–Alex Bledsoe - The Sword edged blonde - c.2007 - pg.1
An Eddie LaCrosse Novel #1
Eddie LaCrosse is a sword jockey, or private detectives in this fantasy world. He is also a man with a past. And that past is coming back to haunt him.
I really loved parts of this book. LaCrosse is one of those hardboiled private eyes in the style of Philip Marlowe. Just thrown into a high fantasy style world. It makes for an interesting combination. Instead of reading about what type of gun LaCrosse carries we hear about his swords. And for plots you can throw in possible goddessess and all sorts of shenanigans. I can imagine so many really bad version of this blending of genres, so I’m glad that Bledsoe has pulled it off with this book. There are some touches of humour, but this isn’t a piss-take of either genre. No need to fear a Barry Trotter style abomination here.
Unfortunately as I read it I became aware that I had a slight problem with it, I simply couldn’t quite put my finger on it until I came to the end of the novel. And then it was made abundantly clear to me what I was objecting to, and that was the depiction of the women in the book.
Now I totally understand that Bledsoe was echoing those detective novels with their dames in distress, or as temptresses, and I know he was probably weaving a lot of genre tropes into the novel in order to combine the two. But it really would have helped if at least one of the women was a real character to the reader, not merely a plot device. So that sorta left me feeling dissatisfied with the book.
However overall the writing, plot and action made me want more. That one quibble wasn’t enough to stop me enjoying The sword-edged blonde.