Monday, January 27, 2014

He Drank, And Saw the Spider: By Alex Bledsoe



After he fails to save a stranger from being mauled to death by a bear, a young mercenary is saddled with the baby girl the man died to protect. He leaves her with a kindly shepherd family and goes on with his violent life.

Now, sixteen years later, that young mercenary has grown up to become cynical sword jockey Eddie LaCrosse. When his vacation travels bring him back to that same part of the world, he can’t resist trying to discover what has become of the mysterious infant.

He finds that the child, now a lovely young teenager named Isadora, is at the center of complicated web of intrigue involving two feuding kings, a smitten prince, a powerful sorceress, an inhuman monster, and long-buried secrets too shocking to imagine. And once again she needs his help.

They say a spider in your cup will poison you, but only if you see it. Eddie, helped by his smart, resourceful girlfriend Liz, must look through the dregs of the past to find the truth about the present—and risk what might happen if he, too, sees the spider.

I’m not a fan of everything that Alex Bledsoe writes but with every Eddie LaCrosse novel he writes I like him more.

Bledsoe does a fantastic job of creating the feel of a good noir detective novel in a medieval fantasy setting in each of his Eddie LaCrosse novels. Further, while each book in the series builds upon Eddie’s character development each book can easily be read apart from the others and both understood and enjoyed.

One such thing that makes each of these Eddie LaCrosse novels so enjoyable is Bledsoe’s ability to create likable yet intricate characters. In fact, while some of these characters might appear to be black and white at first, particularly the antagonists, Bledsoe usually find a way to explain their motivations, transforming them from a caricature of an evil villain, into a normal yet misguided person who happened to make some bad decisions, often many years before. This is one of the best aspects of Bledsoe’s novels as these complicated characters and situations force Eddie to make significantly harder decisions that will leave readers surprised with the end results.

Actually, this is another thing that Bledsoe does a fantastic job at in this series and particularly in his latest novel, He Drank and Saw the Spider, his ability to complicate situations to the point that readers will be able to guess some events but more of the deeper plots will be obscured from the reader’s minds. That said, at no point in the book does the writing feel heavy or overly complicated.

Because of the fast paced nature of Bledsoe’s writing, his ability to create complex situation that will keep readers guessing, and his fun and relatable characters that keep readers coming back for more, is it any wonder that I fully recommend Bledsoe’s newest in the Eddie LaCrosse universe, He Drank and Saw the Spider? I think not, and neither should you, make sure to catch this fun and entertaining read.


Publisher: Tor

Published: January 14, 2014

Price: $24.99

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