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The Sword-Edged Blonde: An Eddie LaCrosse Novel by Alex Bledsoe
Cover Artist: Jean-Sabastien Rossbach
Review by Mel Jacob
Tor Books Mass Market Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765362032
Date: 30 June 2009 List Price $6.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Sword-jockey Eddie LaCrosse agrees to find a missing princess, but discovers more than he expected. Once he finds her, he must decide whether to follow his own code or gain a large reward. Thus begins Alex Bledsoe's tale of Eddie's adventures in the Sword-Edged Blonde. Before Eddie notifies the king of his decision, another king's agent approaches him. His old friend and best buddy faces a dilemma. His beautiful queen is accused of killing and eating her infant son. He asks Eddie to find the truth, but to do so Eddie must relive his past, accept his failures, and forgive himself and others.

Because of past events, Eddie doesn't want to return to the land of his birth and disgrace. Years ago raiders raped and killed his fiancée and forced him to watch. She was a princess and sister to the present king. He suffers from guilt because he was unable to protect her despite killing seven of the raiders.

After investigating the scene of infanticide, Eddie remains convinced the Queen, Rhiannon, is withholding information. She claims no memories of that night. To Eddie she bears an uncanny resemblance to a woman he had met thirteen years ago. The king found Rhiannon in the royal hunting preserve, but she suffered from amnesia. No one knew her or her background.

Like most action and fantasy heroes, Eddie has honed his fighting skills and manages to win most of his fights, but accumulates plenty of bruises and scars in the process. He encounters allies in unexpected places.

Bledsoe blends his fantasy world with hardboiled detective fiction. Purist will find the use of modern names, slang, and attitudes jarring, but others will enjoy Eddie's adventures. Coincidence plays too large a role in the story. Any readers familiar with Celtic mythology will guess much from some of the names. Others will remain in suspense. Eddie's story continues in Burn Me Deadly .

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