He Drank, and Saw the Spider Author: Alex Bledsoe Series: Eddie LaCrosse 5 Publisher: Tor Books, January 14, 2014 Format: Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages List Price: $24.99 (print) ISBN: 9780765334145 (print) Review Copy: Provided by the Publisher
For fans of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files and Glen Cook's Garrett PI novels, comes the newest installment in Alex Bledsoe's Eddie LaCrosse series, He Drank and Saw the Spider.
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.
He Drank, and Saw the Spider is another adventure of the sword jockey Eddie LaCrosse. The story starts sixteen years in the past and we find Eddie starting out in his new profession and still raw from the death of his fiance and own near demise. He is travelling on his way to war where he comes across a man being attacked by a bear. He kills the bear but fails to save the man. In his dying breaths the nameless man hands over the precious cargo he was protecting - a baby. Really a softie at heart Eddie takes the baby and looks for a caring family to leave her with. He finds a large, loving family and leaves the baby not to think of her again until...... Yes, until a vacation with his girlfriend Liz takes him back to the very town where he left that same baby sixteen years before. Who was she? Who did she belong to? What happened to her? Is there magic involved? All questions that Eddie wants answers for. The longer he stays the bigger the mystery gets but Isadore, now a lovely young woman, needs his help and the former sword jockey is just too nice to say no. Queue the adventure!
I have always enjoyed this series and think Eddie is a great and conflicted character. I had thought that Bledsoe had decided to leave Eddie after the last book Wake of the Bloody Angel so was a bit surprised when Qwill said she had this book for me. The plots of the previous books have been fairly convoluted but always ended up with something I wasn't expecting to happen. This book is much more straight forward and the plot almost linear. There aren't any big surprises in this installment which I think was a bit disappointing.This was the first novel that featured Liz as a secondary character for a large part of the novel. As much as I like Eddie and Liz's relationship she didn't really add that much to the plot in this case. Eddie is the true hero and is such a great character. I think I prefer the start and the end of the book as the scenes with Eddie and the baby Isadore were very cute and the ending where Eddie comes to terms with his past is quite touching.
Overall, He Drank, and Saw the Spider didn't engage me in the same way as the other books in the series. It is a quite short and an easy read so I don't feel like I had made a big investment in time. It feels a bit like Bledsoe was forcing out one more book and I kind of wish he hadn't. Having said that the Eddie LaCrosse series is an excellent one and if you like sword and sorcery fantasy then it needs to be on your TBR.