mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli
mordicai

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The Big Sleep Spell. (42)

The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe.

Broken to pieces.
Well, that's what Andrew Reese is,
& Humpty Dumpty.

So this is a little gem, isn't it? Half fantasy novel, half film noir, I really got a kick out of this "Eddie LaCrosse" character. You know, the nearest thing I can think to compare it to is an inside-out version of Baz Luhrmann's William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet. Rather than modern gangsters flourishing pistols with "sword" & "dagger" embossed on the side, this has a hardboiled fantasy hero lugging a sword with a brand name like "Fireblade Warrior" or "Edgemaster Series 3." It is a better "prehistory" Shadowrun than Earthdawn was, come to think of it. Something about it appeals to me-- I'm sort of a fan of the "more things change the more they stay the same" viewpoint on history-- outside of the Great Leap Forward to behavioral modernity & the Agricultural Revolution, I think Homo sapiens has been doing more or less the same thing for a while now. So while the standard fantasy trope of wandering into ye olde inn & ordering an elvish mead might dominate the literature, it really isn't any different from going to a bar & grabbing a beer. Just set dressing, & you might as well spin it with Chandlerisms as go Tolkienesque. Plus, having had a high class brothel named Dragonfly in my roleplaying campaign, I was inclined to have a soft spot for it. I was a little bummed that there wasn't an off the cuff reference to Fechin in the art gallery, but that is just me being spoiled by Jay Lake. Most of the book is spent wondering just how much magic might be involved in the story; a fantastic setting, a skeptical hero, it balances out & leaves you wondering. I will say this: their are clues for the reader to suss out, a greater pattern at work. I noticed this series because of the anachronistic language in the cover copy-- freelance sword jockey?-- & then when Chris read it on my speculative recommendation & gave it a thumbs up, I dove in. Worth it.
Tags: bledsoe, books, eddie lacrosse, haiku
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