Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe

Posted by Simcha 5:42 PM, under | 10 comments

Although The Sword-Edged Blonde was published in 2007, I never heard of this book, or it’s author, Alex Bledsoe, until recently- when I seem to be running into reviews of this book everywhere. And since every review I read was full of praise for this fantasy detective novel, I soon ordered myself a copy so that I could find out for myself what all the fuss is about.

Private Eye Eddie LaCrosse is on a case to find a missing princess, but along the way he is intercepted with a message from an old friend who urgently needs his assistance. And so Eddie changes course and heads to Arentia, the city that he once called home, and which he had fled from twenty years ago.

Once in Arentia, Eddie is quickly ushered to the palace where his childhood friend, King Phil, is devastated over the recent murder of his baby, and the fact that his beloved queen is the main suspect. But King Phil doesn't believe that his wife really committed this crime, despite the seemingly indisputable evidence, and so he hires Eddie to discover the truth about what happened the night of the murder.

Eddie immediately takes on the case, but first insists on meeting with the queen herself. Upon confronting Queen Rhiannon, Eddie is shocked to be faced with a woman who he had once known, and whom he had seen die. Eddie soon finds himself setting out to uncover the truth about Queen Rhiannon, and in the process is forced to confront his own painful past and those events that led him to flee his home and abandon his friends.

The Sword-Edged Blonde is an interesting mix of genres; a detective novel with elements of fantasy which takes place in an medieval type setting. The character's names and speech are modern, but the technology is old fashioned and Eddie fights with a sword rather then a gun.

This was definitely a fun book to read, with plenty of action and adventure and lots of wonderful characters. I did find myself a bit thrown off by the modern names and language, which distracted me a little from the story, and some of the aspects of the mystery solving seemed pretty weak. I was also not particularly satisfied with the resolution to the mystery, which I felt was rather far-fetched and relied too much on the fantasy aspect of the book, which until then had been underplayed. The solution also revealed the participation of a character in a manner which I found wholly unbelievable, and which still bothers me when I think about it, days after finishing the book.

But these flaws didn't bother me enough to detract from my enjoyment of the story, particularly since I'm not much of a mystery reader anyways. I thoroughly enjoyed losing myself in the world of Eddie LaCrosse and I look forward to picking up the next book in the series, Burn Me Deadly.

10 comments:

You had me with this one until you told me he solves it out of nowhere. Those mysteries always annoy me to no end.

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I'm a big Eddie LaCrosse fan. You are not the only one who didn't like the modern names. I must say I really liked them because that is one of the differences compared to other books.
For me the end was satisfying enough.

Please read Burn Me Deadly. I think it has an end which is more to your liking.

Ryan, it wasn't so much that the mystery was solved out of nowhere, but that I wasn't satisfied with the answer that Eddie came up with. I felt the resolution relied too much on fantasy, when so far the fantasy aspects of the book had been very limited. But someone like yourself who reads real mystery novels, would probably be unsatisfied with mystery in this book, though otherwise it was just a fun book to read

*Comment contains spoilers*
ediFanoB: I edited the review a bit to clarify what it was the bothered me about the ending, though obviously I couldn't say too much. Can we mention spoilers in comments? OK, I can't resist so *spoiler alert* But the kidnapping part bothered me the most. I thought it was completely unbelievable that Eddie and Phil's friend would participate in kidnapping the prince, and ruining the life the king and queen because some stranger shows up and threatens him, no matter how scary he was. That just did not sit well with me at all, and still bothers me when I think about it days later. Plus, when the prince was first found murdered, why was Eddie the only one to figure out that the skeleton was not the baby's. Any medical professional could have come to the same conclusion, and I can't imagine that a king would have brought in all manner of professionals to look into the situation. I think the author should have done a better job of making the mystery more believable.

I have heard briefly of this book, and the series. I just can't remember where or why I heard of it. But I remember that I was rather curious about the book. I wanted to hear more about it before I bought it. You have just given me what I needed on the book. I am going to have to get this too. It is now officially on the list. :) Thanks!

i've never heard of this book but it sounds really interesting. i love detective novels not matter what the genre. thanks for the introduction to this book :)

Melissa: You've probably been seeing it reviewed on the same blogs that I have. I think in the past month I've seen The Sword Edged Blonde mentioned on four different blogs, which did a lot to arouse my curiosity. I think you'd like this book.

chelleyreads: I never heard of it either until recently, when everyone seems to be talking about it. It's definitely a fun read and if you do read it I'd be interested in hearing your opinion of it.

it certainly does look good! will have to check that out! thanks for the review!

okobolover: Let me know if you read it. I'd be interested in hearing what you think of it. I still haven't gotten around to reading the sequel.

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