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Peter Higgins, author of Wolfhound Century

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Alexia and Lord Maccon from Gail Carriger's Soulless

Lord Akeldama from Gail Carriger's Soulless

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The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett

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REVIEW | The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe (Tor)

Detective novel meets Swords & Sorcery is a lethal combination in the hands of Bledsoe.  No one has succeeded with such an enjoyable melding of the two before. The Sword-Edged Blonde stars Eddie LaCrosse who is a very tragic guy, but it takes time to find out why.  Bledsoe teases well with LaCrosse's backstory, which had me up late and early to get a further into his head.  LaCrosse was a mercenary for many years after leaving his homeland and never returning.  Well, never returning until an old friend who is now King calls him home to solve the murder of his son, which right now points at his wife the Queen Rhiannon. The noir style comes out in full force as Eddie questions people and traipses about the countryside looking for evidence that will exonerate the Queen or confirm her heinous acts.

The action sequences are well planned, realistic, and exhilarating. The Sword-Edge Blonde is as fast paced a book you'll likely find.  The magic is on the low side, which works well to make the rest of the action believable, but it does seem to come in handy when it is needed. Bledsoe creates some interesting relationships and makes you think gods are not all they are cracked up to be.  Also, the names of the characters threw me a little.  This is clearly supposed to be a secondary world Fantasy so having names such as Eddie, Ryan, and Cathy seemed a little mundane and out of place.

All minor quibbles aside, I was captured by The Sword-Edged Blonde and it is definitely an action packed read to keep close at hand.  The culmination of the case had me on edge, although the last bit felt a little too nice after everything else that transpired.  But Bledsoe has more to say with Eddie so I'm sure we'll see him thrown in the mud quiet a few more times so a little happiness is probably in store for him.

The Sword-Edged Blonde is highly recommended for Swords & Sorcery fans looking for a gritty take and for those Dresden Files and Joe Abercrombie fans looking for something between books.  I give The Sword-Edged Blonde 8.5 out of 10 Hats.  The second Eddie LaCrosse novel Burn Me Deadly has just released and will be read in short order.  This will be an episodic series I'll be following for years to come with at least 4 total books signed. The Sword-Edged Blonde was originally published by Night Shade, but Tor smartly picked up mass market rights and the next 3 books in this series.  Also, go check out Jeff's interview with Bledsoe on Fantasy Book News as his review is what made me pick-up check out Eddie LaCrosse originally.

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