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The Sword-Edged Blonde (Eddie LaCrosse #1)

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3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  1,394 ratings  ·  241 reviews
Private investigator and sword-for-hire Eddie LaCrosse is swept up in a web of mystery involving a brutally murdered royal heir, a queen accused of an unspeakable crime, and the tragic past he thought he'd left behind.
Kindle Edition, 300 pages
Published (first published October 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,878)
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Amanda
In the medieval kingdom of Arentia, Queen Rhiannon has been charged with a particularly horrific case of infanticide. King Philip desperately believes in his wife's innocence, despite all evidence to the contrary. His only hope? Eddie LaCrosse, the tough as nails sword-for-hire investigator and the king's childhood friend. Having spent years trying to outrun his past, LaCrosse begrudgingly returns home and is forced to confront his demons while trying to unravel the mystery of whether or not the ...more
Tfitoby
Mar 04, 2014 Tfitoby rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tfitoby by: Megan Baxter
The Sword Edged Blonde is hardboiled noir in a fantasy world. Only it's not that hardboiled really and the fantasy is minimal. It's pretty great stuff all the same. I hear the word fantasy when referring to a novel and I immediately hit the panic button, visions of pages full of filler descriptions, epic quests that involve dragons and wizards and protagonists with 4 d's and 7 apostrophes in their name unfold before me and groans escape from my lips. With his debut novel Bledsoe seemingly reject ...more
Brownbetty
I was writing my review as I read this book, and prepared to recommend it with some caveats, when in the last ten pages, the author pulled out something that pissed me off so badly I would very much like to mail him a half-pound of dead catfish by surface mail in August. I'm giving it three stars, because it's good writing, and perhaps it deserves four, but I'm just not capable of that kind of magnanimity.

First, in its favour, the book is a good example of the noire detective story in a fantasy
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Brad
I had no expectations at all when I downloaded this book. I only did it because one of my groups was reading it, and a fellow member chose it, so I thought I would support him. I am glad I did.

It is a mash-up of something old and worn -- a couple of things that are old and worn, actually -- with a little of the new and kitschy. It's a bit of low brow hack and slash Fantasy fun with a kooky Goddess at its heart; it's a pretty straight forward Detective Noire -- including the requisite smart mout
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Stephen
4.5 stars. Excellent debut novel. Great noir, fantasy story set in a fully realized fantasy setting. With as many fantasy novels as are out there, it is really nice to find a well written story that does not fit neatly in the familiar mold. This certainly fits that description. The second novel in this series is out and I look foward to reading it. Recommended.
Kim
I originally started reading this as something light to read in between heavy, dark, deep books. But then I found that I just couldn't put it down and had to keep going til it was over.

A brilliant blend of medieval fantasy and noir detective this book really hit the right marks for me. The witty, self-deprecating, flawed and human detective/swordsman was such a great main character I easily fell behind him. The main story, while predictable, was entertaining and gripping the whole way though.

An
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colleen the contrarian  ± (... never stop fighting) ±
1.5

So...

Ok, for most of the book I'd say it was probably a 2-star read. It wasn't great, but it was an ok read. But it had it's issues.

One thing that was kinda cool was the use of Epona and Rhiannon. A fun fact that not everyone might know:

Epona is the name of the (view spoiler) and Rhiannon is (view spoiler)

Also the whole (view spoiler)
...more
Chris
3.5 stars.

So, when I was asked to make the "member's selection" for April 2012 in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Group, I decided that I wanted to find something different from the standard fare. Something that was accessible as well, and it would be nice if it was actually good.

I had recently read The Hum and the Shiver by the author and found it to be an excellent book. It hit all the requirements I was looking for, actually. It had been recommended to me by Ala, another member of the above mentioned grou
...more
Dawn
This was a fun and quick read, quite different from most other fantasy that I've come across. It's basically a combination of traditional fantasy elements (kings and queens and swords and stuff like that) with an urban fantasy type writing style and paranormal detective type plot. If that sounds awkward... It totally wasn't. It worked. It wasn't perfect; there were some weird little inconsistencies, and some story points that were a little too happily-ever-after for me, not to mention a lot of r ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
This was an odd book. I had never read anything by Bledsoe before...I gather there are a couple of other books. What he goes for here is sort of cross between sword and sorcery fantasy and hard boiled detective fiction. He does a pretty good job to. I vacillated on how high to rate this one and finally settled on 4 stars. While it can run hot and cold and at times the "suspension of reality" bit runs awfully close to silliness, it's over all a good read. Picture Sam Spade or Philip Marlow with a ...more
Maria Snyder
I met Alex this past weekend at Context 25 - he was the author guest of honor. We chatted quite a bit and he's a nice guy with a sense of humor so I figured I'd read his first book. I'm 3 chapters and so far, I'm interested :)

I finished this a couple nights ago. The plot was intriguing and kept me reading. The main character was likable and not one of those perfect guys - in fact he did some really stupid things and was rescued a lot. This was Alex's debut novel and it had all the problems of a
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edifanob
Imagine a fantasy set in a Western European medieval style world complete with castles and monasteries. Let us not forget the hamlets and towns surrounded by large walls. You travel by foot, horse, cart and boat. Weapon of choice: Sword, dagger, bow, crossbow, spear and lance. Different religions, beliefs and myths are sprinkled across the land like so much dust and the political situation is best described as Kleinstaaterei.......
Read my full Review: The Sword-Edged Blonde
Chip
What the hell? Why all the good ratings/reviews? This book was a complete waste of time, although at least I borrowed it from the library so it wasn't also a waste of money. It's basically a mediocre at best noir-ish detective story with a fantasy overlay slapped on. And by slapped on, I mean, changing the word "gun" to "sword" but not reconsidering or reworking anything of substance. The writing was lazy, the plotting was lazy, and the characterization nearly nonexistent. Every few pages someth ...more
Jacob Proffitt
What a fantastic book! A friend recommended this to me because he knows I like the Garrett novels by Glen Cook—i.e. hardboiled detective in a fantasy setting. And that's a good description of this book as well, though it isn't really that similar to Cook's novels in anything more than a basic tone.

Eddie LaCrosse is a middle-aged sword jockey known for both his skill at arms and his intelligence (oh, and discretion). If you need someone to poke into dark holes that might poke back, he's your man.
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Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

I picked up Alex Bledsoe's The Sword-Edged Blonde because it had just been released on audiobook and I was looking for something short, different, and fun. The Sword-Edged Blonde was exactly what I needed.

Eddie LaCrosse used to be a rich kid, but a tragic event drove him away from his past life and now he's a loner. He works as a detective, and he's really good at it. So, his old best friend, King Phil, hires him to solve a murder. Eddie soon realizes that
...more
Kitab
This was a refreshing read. The protagonist is man of many talents and experiences in a medieval world. He is a private-eye in the age of kings, knights, and some magic. Though, he is rather skeptical about the magic, he keeps on encountering and rationalizing strange events, with a great sense of humor. Though the kind of action and humor is definitely different, the events and characters in the story have some resemblance to Jim Butcher's Dresden Files and Barry Hughart's Chronicles of Master ...more
Megan Baxter
I have been reading a lot of fantasy recently, and so much of it has just blended together in my mind. There's a fair amount out there that is good, but much of a sameness with everything else that's out there. There are relatively few distinctive voices.

So, when this fantasy-crossed-with-noir popped up, I was more than ready to read it.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the me
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Guy
Serviceable but nowhere near brilliant swords and (a little) sorcery noir. Good: taut plot and pacing, nice world-weary tone, and a thankfully light touch on the violence (Bledsoe doesn't seem to be fascinated by cruelty and perversion, nor assume that his readers are, unlike many noir authors). Bad: no real sense of place or culture, minimal complexity, and superficial typecast characters (especially the women). To sum it up: Bledsoe seems to be very much in the Dan Brown tradition -- generatin ...more
Laurel
Mar 25, 2012 Laurel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
Every time I went to put the book down, be darned if the chapter didn't end on a cliffhanger! There are a few inconsistencies; should a sword and sorcery barmaid be wearing a name tag? But all things considered, I was drawn to the character and found it hard to leave the story. In truth, I read the whole thing in a day. How many detective stories can dig their claws that deeply into you?

I'll happily read the sequel!
Deborah Blake
This is one of the best books I've ever read. To begin with, the premise is insanely clever: a blend of Noir detective fiction and sword and sorcery fantasy. Sound impossible? It should be, but author Alex Bledsoe pulls it off, with a sharp sense of humor thrown in as a bonus. I can't wait for the next one.
comfort
I went into this book knowing nothing and for some reason I thought it was set in the future- a bit Blade Runner- in that even though it was in the future it had the feeling of being very medieval. It is in fact medieval. I guess the language threw me initially.

I like this story of Eddie a private detective who is initially hired to find a missing Princess, and ends up trying to save his best friend's wife.

It is sort of a small epic, as it is told in a series of present day stories and flashback
...more
Yune
I had high hopes for a hard-boiled detective mystery set in a medievalesque fantasy, and at first it seemed to be just what I'd ordered.

Eddie LaCrosse has a colorful past and has left behind bad memories by leaving home and setting up shop elsewhere. He makes his living by finding people and digging out truths, and is apparently good enough that kings approach him as clients. (He has an office above a tavern. I don't know how much more noir/fantasy-mixed you can get.) He doesn't have a particula
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Simcha Lazarus
This was definitely a fun book to read, with plenty of action, adventure and memorable 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 element of the book, which until then had been underplayed. The solution al ...more
Tamara
It's funny, this genre mixing business. Sometimes it ends up being overwhelming, and sometimes, you kind of end up with nothing much. In this instance, it's a sort of pulpy noir meets pulpy sword-and-sorcery, but it's not terribly noir, not terribly S&S, and not even terribly pulpy.

Oh, don't get me wrong, the building blocks are all there - roads are dominated by random bandits who die really easily, the hero has a secret murdered-girlfriend past, bands of child-thieves dominate murky alley
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Carly
**edited 02/02/14

~3.5.
Eddie LaCrosse has been on the run from his past for years, slumming it in backwater towns and trying--mainly unsuccessfully--to make a reasonably ethical living as a private detective and sword for hire. However, when an old friend, King Phil, seeks him out, Eddie travels back to his old kingdom to help. Phil is certainly in need of assistance: his beautiful wife Rhiannon has been accused of murdering their young son, and as she was caught literally red-handed, there seems
...more
Jo
Disclosure: I won five Alex Bledsoe books from the Tor publishing company several months ago. I’d never heard of him, but the linked chapter was interesting, so I entered the drawing. This is the first of the five that I’ve read. I tend to read in order of publishing date & this was the earliest of the five. I didn’t read it right away because the cover and the title are pretty off-putting. I should know better: NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER!

“The Sword-edged Blonde” is a Sword & Sorce
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Melissa Proffitt
I'm glad this was recommended to me, because I don't think I'd have picked it up on my own. Eddie LaCrosse is an adventurer, a former mercenary, and even more former Baron in one of the many kingdoms littering the unnamed continent. Now he's a private eye in the tradition of Glen Cook's Garrett novels--not so much a detective as an enforcer, someone you go to to recover property, find missing persons, and basically solve delicate problems. A summons from his old best friend Phil (King Philip to ...more
Reed
Never has "Can't judge a book by it's cover" been a more appropriate saying than with Alex Bledsoe's "The Sword-Edged Blonde". If I hadn't read glowing reviews of the book online, I never would've given the book a second look. Saddled with a tacky and cliche fantasy cover, a poorly done one at that, it screams "Don't read me!"

But I did read it, and I'm certainly glad I did. Bledsoe mashes the world of the fantasy quest with the world of the gumshoe detective with good effect. The beginning is de
...more
Thomas
This is the second book of Alex's that I've read, following Blood Groove, which was from nearly three years ago. I'm sort of surprised that it took me that long to get back to it (though I really shouldn't; for whatever reason, none of my local bookstores tend to carry his stuff without me having to special order it, and I'm one of those "But I want to have it now" sorts of people), because Alex is someone I know. I used to work with him, I used to play card games with him over lunch, I used to ...more
Lynn Colt
I had a hard time picking up this book because of the cover and silly title (which doesn't have much to do with the book, so I'm not sure why they picked something so cheesy) but I'm glad I did! It's basically a cross between a mystery and a fantasy--I don't read mystery often, but I love fantasy and when I flipped to a random page in the middle, the writing was enough to make me grab it from the shelf despite the title.

The world is very well realized, as are the characters--which is very import
...more
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SciFi and Fantasy...: Sword-Edged Blonde - What Kind of Fantasy is This? 10 86 May 31, 2012 07:40AM  
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644349
I grew up in west Tennessee an hour north of Graceland (home of Elvis) and twenty minutes from Nutbush (home of Tina Turner). I've been a reporter, editor, photographer and door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman. I now live in a big yellow house in Wisconsin, write before six in the morning and try to teach my three kids to act like they've been to town before.

I write the Tufa novels (The Hum and t
...more
More about Alex Bledsoe...

Other Books in the Series

Eddie LaCrosse (5 books)
  • Burn Me Deadly (Eddie LaCrosse, #2)
  • Dark Jenny (Eddie LaCrosse, #3)
  • Wake of the Bloody Angel (Eddie LaCrosse, #4)
  • He Drank, and Saw the Spider (Eddie LaCrosse, #5)
The Hum and the Shiver (Tufa, #1) Burn Me Deadly (Eddie LaCrosse, #2) Dark Jenny (Eddie LaCrosse, #3) Wisp of a Thing: A Novel of the Tufa Wake of the Bloody Angel (Eddie LaCrosse, #4)

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