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Jan 28

He Drank, and Saw the Spider – Alex Bledsoe

About the Book

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.

320 pages (hardcover)
Published on January 14, 2014
Published by Tor
Author’s webpage

This book was sent for me to review by the publisher.

First of all, props to Tor because that is a gorgeous cover.

There’s something about Alex Bledsoe’s Eddie LaCrosse series that just works for me on so many levels. The books are fairly short, easy to read, quick to plow through, loads of fun, and always surprising. Furthermore, each book adds a little more history to Eddie’s life, and the lives of those that frequent these books.

Bledsoe’s transitions between novels is quite seamless. While the tone and overall attitude between novels might be different, Eddie LaCrosse and gang always stay the same – they are the tried and true friends readers have come to know throughout the series, and that’s somehow comforting. You know what you are getting with Eddie LaCrosse. There are no middle aged mental breakdowns or huge emotional burdens that readers have to wade through. The LaCrosse you knew two books ago is the same guy you get to know here. You’ll just be enjoying a different chapter of his life.

That being said, you don’t have to read all of the books in order to enjoy He Drank, and Saw the Spider. You can pick this book up and start the series off right here. Eddie LaCrosse is one of those series that you can just read as the whim strikes you, and that’s rather wonderful in a genre that so often demands that we read through copious amounts of books just to get to the most recent release. That being said, each book does reveal a different aspect of the characters’ past, so it might be more rewarding to read these books in order, though it is, by no means mandatory.

He Drank, and Saw the Spider is a lot of fun, and a rather intricate weave of past stories and current adventures. Everything weaves together quite nicely. That is, perhaps, what I enjoyed about this book the most. Bledsoe really knows how to tell his story, but he tells it with finesse and poise, and he makes it come alive so effortlessly. This isn’t a book you have to work to enjoy; you just sit back and enjoy it as Bledsoe unravels it all for you.

While there is a bit in here that is surprisingly serious, enough of the book is filled with Eddie’s sarcastic charm and wit that the serious and darker portions are easy to overlook. This book falls more into the Fun side of the book spectrum more than anything else. However, it isn’t all fun and games. There are some serious moments, some touching moments, and some descriptions that really shows off Beldsoe’s skill with words. He Drank, and Saw the Spider is a good book to pick up when you’re in the mood for a lighter read with some substance.

The plot is fast moving, and due to the fact that this is the fifth book in the series, Bledsoe has had a lot of practice packing in a lot of world building and some fast moving plots as he does so. His practice pays off, because the world is deftly built and the plot is nicely paced and perfectly balanced in nearly all aspects. It’s quite a feat to be able to pack that much into a three hundred odd paged book, and Bledsoe does it masterfully. The short(er) length also ensures that he never really gets bogged down with the details, or stumbles on any speed bumps.

However, it isn’t all perfect. As with everything, there are some drawbacks. The ending was slightly predictable and felt a little forced. How Bledsoe dealt with some of the secondary characters and side plots was a little disappointing. That’s okay, though, because the rest of the book was so perfect that it balances out.

He Drank, and Saw the Spider is a strong installment to the Eddie LaCrosse series, in fact, it is probably one of my favorite Eddie LaCrosse books. Bledsoe’s skill really shows here. Despite the fact that the ending might be a little weak, the rest of the book feels so effortless, so enjoyable, and so perfectly balanced that I know I’ll go back to it again and again.

 

4/5 stars

m4s0n501

2 comments

  1. Paul Weimer (@princejvstin)

    I’m sorry to hear the ending is a bit weak. The series is fun, and this is buried on my Kindle to be read.

    1. BookwormBlues

      It wasn’t incredibly weak, but it was noticeable when compared to the rest of the book. It just knocked it down a star, but that’s okay… I still love this series and his writing.

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