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Friday, January 10, 2014

eBook: The Damsel and the Daggerman


A deadly knife thrower clashes with an intrepid lady journalist in Criminy's Clockwork Caravan.

Welcome back to the caravan everyone wishes they could be part of--even with all the dangers that lurk in the World of Sang.  Our intrepid lady journalist is Jacinda, who's bravery is only matched by her ability to land herself in some dangerous escapades.  Our deadly knife thrower is Marco, a violet-eyed mysterious man that wandered in from the moors and found his place amongst Criminy's carnivalleros.  Both are a bit of a problem for Criminy--though as always he's ready to dispense with the niceties to protect his own.

Dawson had always made women in her Blud stories strong, independent and with spines of steel. Jacinda is no exception.  She stands up to Criminy, takes Marco's challenge and is not put off when Marco makes it clear it wouldn't be good for either of them to be involved.  She's a little headstrong, and a whole lot stubborn, but this is a woman used to getting what she wants.  And what Jacinda wants is the juiciest story she's run across in a long time and the man who defies telling her it.

There's a bit of role reversal here, that only becomes very evident later on.  Jacinda has led what was a predominantly male-centric life style--she traveled the world, wrote about what she wanted, traveled pretty much by herself since her husband (who she loved and respected, and in general it was a happy marriage) died.  Seduced any number of pretty young guys to her bed when she needed some sex and saw no reason to inhabit the traditional female role. 

By contrast Marco, as you learn his backstory, has lived a sheltered existence.  Partially by choice and partially because it seems to suit him well enough.  Not only is he dangerous--wicked good with those knives he is, but his past is fraught with a secret that could see him hung and has made his existence rather...lonely.

At first I thought I had Marco figured out.  That soon proved false as he seduced Jacinda further and further sometimes without so much as smoothing a finger down her arm.  For Jacinda, Marco represents not only a sexy man, but a story to uncover.  A secret to unfurl and a ball of contradictions to sort out.  Well used to men who swarmed her, Marco exhibited a control she found hard to maintain.

I wouldn't offer this as an introduction to the Blud stories--there's a bit of backstory needed to understand how some of the other characters react to Jacinda's poking, but this is a treat for fans.  A beautiful, gorgeous, sensual treat that makes you wonder how you ever lived without Criminy's caravan. 

And having read Demi's story in WICKED AFTER MIDNIGHT I implore readers to pay attention to the advice Jacinda gives her in regards to love and men.  In its way, its a form of precog for what Demi will have to face.