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