Review: Dark Jenny

Dark Jenny by Alex Bledsoe

Dark Jenny was the first entry in my commonplace book for Alex Bledsoe (though I’ve read The Sword-Edged Blonde); it was short. Not because I didn’t like the book, but because Bledsoe has a wonderful knack for one-liners. There are some entries where I have to set up the line I actually want to preserve, but this problem doesn’t with Bledsoe. When I won this on Twitter, I was delighted—despite the shaky worldbuilding, I really enjoyed The Sword-Edged Blonde, and I looked forward to another Eddie LaCrosse novel. I was not so delighted by the fact that I stupidly asked for the book to be shipped to my school during spring break, giving me very little time to read, process, and review Dark Jenny before its publication date. But I got it done, because frankly, this series is worth it.

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The Sunday Salon: Fantasy 101

As I tend to mention a great deal, I was reared on The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings. If asked to choose one genre to read for the rest of my life, I’d happily answer fantasy. My reading resolutions were drawn up mostly to keep me from just gorging myself on fantasy and the occasional piece of science fiction and historical fiction. But I’m so happy swimming in the deep end that I rarely notice people at the edge tentatively dipping their toes in the pool. (It is, of course, a mana pool.) I know for people who haven’t read much fantasy that the genre can look intimidating, so today I’m going to recommend fantasy novels based on what other genres you enjoy. So take a deep breath and relax. This won’t hurt a bit.

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Review: The Sword-Edged Blonde

The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe

I only know the detective genre through parodies of it on Whose Line Is It Anyway and in Calvin and Hobbes–while it sounds like campy good fun, I’ve just never read it (unless you count The Yiddish Policemen’s Union as such). When I saw a review of Burn Me Deadly, The Sword-Edged Blonde’s sequel in Publishers Weekly, the conceit of marrying high fantasy with a hard-boiled detective just charmed me so much that I immediately added The Sword-Edged Blonde to the old reading list.

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Sunday Salon: The Royal Diaries

In the late nineties and early aughts, the big literary sensations for the kids were Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. While The Lord of the Rings is in a league of its own (The Sunday Times is famously quoted as describing the “English-speaking world is divided into those who have read The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and those who are going to read them”), Harry Potter is truly a sensation of my generation. Once, while in a thrift store, I picked up a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone and realized my future niece or nephew will never experience the books like I did- it’ll probably fall to me to make sure they read the books at the appropriate ages. No nine year old is ready for Deathly Hallows, methinks.

But there’s one series that was around at the same time that I think only I loved among my circle of friends –The Royal Diaries.

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