Monday, August 13, 2012

Honeyed Words by J. A. Pitts (second in the Black Blade/Sarah Beauhall series)

The Black Blade Blues series continues, but not without some problems, both for Sarah, the warrior dragon-fighting blacksmith of Seattle, and the book itself. It suffers a bit of middle-book syndrome, combined with some editing problems. It wasn't the fun read the first had been, and I sort of slogged through because I've been promised that the next book is really good. It is because I still want to read the next book in the series that I bumped this one up to the 3 star level.  Otherwise it would have been a solid 2.5

The good vs evil saga continues, with new characters and creatures thrown into the mix (and some old ones, too.) Sarah, though still not receiving help to get her head on right or to get comfortable in her own skin, is less angst driven about her relationship with Katie, and seems to be actually learning to love.  There are a lot of loose ends (had these appeared in the final book, I'd say "holes", but they still have time to tie together) and odd references that make me try to guess what other fantasy worlds the author has been reading in his spare time.  (Some of his phraseology/word choice is so like another author that at first javaczuk and I speculated if J. A. Pitts was a pseudonym for the other author, writing outside his comfort zone. But battle scenes are too clear, and I did some internet sleuthing.  Not the same, unless he's created a really good alter-ego.)

So as for this book: Sarah battles; Sarah protects; Sarah seeks work. Sarah meets elves.  Sarah loves Katie. Sarah gets a hot ride. Sarah learns about friendship and loyalty.

On to Forged in Fire. I hope it's as good as I've been promised. It's why I picked up the series.

A couple of favorite lines:
"Get up, already. Somebody's murdered a dwarf."

"It (the motorcycle) looked like I remembered -- long and sleek, with unexpected power and raw energy. Kinda like sex, only in red, black and chrome."

(And Katie shows both strength of character and humor:)

"It's just not that simple" he said. "It's all muddled together -- dragons and witches and all the rest." He looked up, peering into her face. "And Sarah, dear god. She's off the charts, Katie. I've talked it through with the twins; we can't figure out why she's here or who she represents."

"Who she represents?" Katie let her voice grow louder. "She's not one of your projects, Jim.  Not something for you to catalog and hide from the world.  She's a caring person, broken and beautiful. And whether you approve or not, someone I happen to love. How dare you try and categorize her?"
"I didn't mean... she's not... I know she's special."
"Special? Like short-bus special, Jim? One of those flawed heroines who can't get past her own baggage to save herself at the end of the movie?"

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