The Sword-Edged Blonde CD-ROM – Audiobook, MP3 Audio
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"Bledsoe's genre-blending first novel is both stylish and self-assured: Raymond Chandler meets Raymond E. Feist." - Publishers Weekly, starred review." --Publishers Weekly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Alex Bledsoe grew up in west Tennessee. He now lives in Wisconsin. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
I really appreciated the balance author Alex Bledsoe achieved between the light and humorous and the dark and heavy aspects of this novel. Child murder is not easily associated with a novel that makes me laugh out loud so I was pleased that the author kept those two aspects so firmly apart. This is the first book in the series and I enjoyed it so much I've already bought more. The most recent book will be released soon, He Drank, and Saw the Spider (Eddie Lacrosse), and I am looking forward to reading that one too.
Eddie LaCrosse is a slightly tarnished PI and Sword Jockey for hire with a reputation for discretion and detection. Eddie gets called home after nearly twenty years away to investigate the hideous crimes leveled against the Queen in the mutilation and murder of her only child. So begins Eddie's quest to find out if the queen is guilty or innocent. A quest that takes him back over his earlier life before a tragic event changed his life forever.
Please don't let the title of this book "The Sword-Edged Blonde" deter you in the purchase of this well writen and engaging adventure story. This book is a real page turner.
This is a fantasy book with much wry humour and a contemporary feel. Very much a fantasy setting with a blend of fairy story/fable at the edges. But it is a light easy and fun read. As we follow the trail of mystery solving we learn about our sword jockey hero and his back-story while meeting a variety of interesting characters.
There are Fantasy PI type stories out there, but this one stands out as being refreshingly different and great fun to read.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Basic summation: Sword jockey and P.I. Eddie LaCrosse is asked back to his childhood home to figure out the guilt or innocence of the queen, who has been accused of murdering her child. The investigation takes him over roads that lead to terrible events in his own past.
And that's one thing that I have to acknowledge here: there is a mystery, and it's there on every page. It even comes complete with clues, suspects, and a past history that's guaranteed to blow your mind because Bledsoe ties up every last loose end in a way that I defy readers to guess ahead of time. Actually, I guess I'm the second person to do that, because Bledsoe did it first.
I love the simplicity of the fantasy world that Bledsoe has created in the LaCrosse books. We have an old world feel, but everything is rendered in contemporary jargon. Even the names smack of the everyday world we're in now. A fantasy hero named LaCrosse? He carries swords that he describes like a gun lover would, and handles himself like a private eye of the Chandler and Hammett school of hard knocks detection.
There are a lot of twists and turns in this novel, and you're not going to see them coming. In fact, some of them streak by like bullets from a .50 caliber sniper rifle and you may find yourself backing up a few pages to catch up again. Good thing novels come with their own DVR so you can go back a few pages. Bledsoe doesn't fail in any way as a writer, he just keeps things hopping so fast that if you don't read closely, you're going to miss stuff. There's a lot of stuff in this book.
There's a lot of human compassion in this story as well. There are things that will break your heart, have you rooting for the good guy, and hissing at the villain. This is basic heroic action built around a champion that's as much an ordinary guy as you're going to get. Eddie isn't infallible, and he bleeds when cut. He carries his emotions on his sleeve on the page, even though those people around in him the novel may not know what he's feeling.
I love the breadth and scope of Bledsoe's world, and I'm looking forward to more. I've already ordered the next three books.
In a medieval epoch of an alternate world, Eddie LaCrosse is a "sword jockey." That's a cross between being a sword for hire and a hard scrambling P.I./security expert who can fight like a crazed wolverine when the need arises.Wisecracking, fast-thinking, hard-drinking and a champion of the underdog, Eddie is a great guy to spend an afternoon or evening hanging around with. If you are even mildly obsessed with Harry Dresden, Eddie LaCrosse will become another addiction.
However, if you are looking for high-toned, exquisite lay-phrased "literature", move on, this is not the droid you're looking for. But if you want fun, action,a few laughs and a surreptitious tear or two...well, this is the place to find it!
If this synopsis sounds like a hard-boiled P.I. thriller to you, you'd be dead-on, except this one is set in a sword & sorcery tale. It's Sam Spade with a sword and leather tunic instead of a gun and raincoat.
I'd never have given The Sword-Edged Blonde a shot if my fellow FanLit reviewers hadn't written such good reviews about it. While I do love a seasoned, world-weary private-eye character - I grew up enjoying TV shows like Rockford Files and Magnum P.I., after all -- I'm usually no fan of genre mixing when done this way. My thinking is, if you're going to write a detective novel, then write one instead of repackaging it in a traditional fantasy story. So it's a significant achievement that Mr. Bledsoe won me over with Eddie LaCrosse.
That's not to say that finding many modern "real world" elements -- names like Phil and Eddie and swords with model /maker names like "Fireblade Warrior" monogrammed on the blade -- in a traditional fantasy setting doesn't come across as a little corny. But where a less talented writer couldn't have pulled that off, Bledsoe makes it amusing. This is fantasy after all. No rules apply here in our beloved genre, nor should they.
While fantasy authors do have freer rein than in other genres, the bottom line is: you've still got to be a good storyteller. Good storytellers sell us the unbelievable. They make us anxious to turn the next page and create interesting characters that have their own individual stories -- just like real people. Good storytellers know what mysteries to solve, what to leave unsaid, and what to leave their readers pondering over after the book is closed. Alex Bledsoe is a good storyteller and in The Sword-Edged Blonde he does all these things in a fun way.
The Sword-Edged Blonde does not have the deep, multi-layered plotting of epic fantasy. While it is sword & sorcery with its fair share of violence and jaded characters, it's not quite "dark & gritty" either. It's the type of book I'd call a guilty pleasure or a "popcorn" read. (Who doesn't like a fresh, buttery tub of popcorn?) I had a great time reading The Sword-Edged Blonde, and I'm definitely on-board for the rest of the EDDIE LACROSSE MYSTERIES: Burn Me Deadly and the just-released Dark Jenny.
Note about the Amazon Kindle version: Tor Fantasy needs to get with it when it comes to their eBooks. Other publishers realize that eBook readers still enjoy a good cover. (The Kindle books I've gotten from PYR even contain the maps.) Tor just uses a bland, generic title page for theirs.
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