cover image He Drank, and Saw the Spider

He Drank, and Saw the Spider

Alex Bledsoe. Tor, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3414-5

Bledsoe’s fifth novel featuring “sword jockey” Eddie LaCrosse (after 2012’s Wake of the Bloody Angel) continues to play with the conventions of hard-boiled mystery and cod-medieval epic fantasy. Seeing a stranger attacked by a bear, LaCrosse intervenes, killing the beast, but its victim has already suffered fatal injuries. Before the man expires, he hands over a baby girl, Isidore, to the nonplussed LaCrosse—who’s so startled that he drops and shatters the glowing glass ball that holds the proof of her identity. After he gets the child to safety with appropriate substitute parents, the action jumps forward 16 years to LaCrosse’s present, where his travels bring him to the very spot where he met Isidore for the first time. He goes looking for her and finds her in a heap of trouble, which he helps her to untangle, while narrating with his usual roguish charm. Plausible action scenes and a rough but good-hearted lead make this another winner. (Jan.)