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Black Blade Blues, by J. A. Pitts - Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Marissa Lingen

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Black Blade Blues, by J. A. Pitts [May. 23rd, 2010|10:39 am]
Marissa Lingen

Review copy provided by Tor.

One of the things I like about seeing more of a mythology I'm fond of is when an author does not feel the need to have every single story and every single figure in the entire mythology make cameos. Part of creativity is knowing what to leave out. Black Blade Blues does this admirably with Norse myth: the sword Gram yes, Niddhogg yes, Freyja no, Hel no. (Hel no! Sorry. Had to.)

It's the story of a modern-day blacksmith, Sarah Beauhall, and her girlfriend's family, an SCA fighting group with some secrets around the edges. There's a movie set and a couple of Jotuns named Ernie and Bert and various other things. And the action scenes are well worth the price of admission. The characterization gets a little heavy on telling-plus-showing sometimes, but I kind of think that's a first novel hitch that will ease out as Pitts gets more comfortable in this series--it's a series, right? I expect it's a series. There's an ending to this story, certainly, but there's room for it to be a series. Anyway, the dialog is more comfortable on the SCA/Valkyrie end of the story than on the modern end (contractions: they are our friends), but the forging and the fighting balance that out for sure.

From: orbitalmechanic
2010-05-23 04:40 pm (UTC)
You had me at "modern-day blacksmith, Sarah Beauhall, and her girlfriend's family"!

Actually at "modern-day blacksmith, Sarah Beauhall."
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[User Picture]From: rosefox
2010-05-23 06:30 pm (UTC)
I can't tell whether your use of "contractions: they are our friends" is an intentional joke. I may be slow today.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-05-23 07:05 pm (UTC)
Yes. Yes it is.
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From: swan_tower
2010-05-23 06:57 pm (UTC)
I am saddened by the absence of Hel, but perhaps she will show up in a later book.

(This comment has been brought to you by my icon, the game that picture came from, and my short story "Serpent, Wolf, and Half-Dead Thing," which is still completely your fault.)
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-05-23 07:05 pm (UTC)
You can't have Hel in everything. She's like nutmeg that way.
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[User Picture]From: alecaustin
2010-05-23 10:19 pm (UTC)
In fact, if you actually did have Hel in everything, that might be an cue to start worrying.

(Finding Hel in the washing machine, for instance, would not be comfortable).
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-05-24 01:45 am (UTC)
*makes note not to let Alec do laundry while he's visiting*
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