Title: Blyd and Pearce
Author: Kim Fielding
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 210 Pages
Category: High Fantasy, Mystery/Suspense
At a Glance: An enthralling suspense story with rich world building, plenty of mystery, and a side of romance.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: Born into poverty and orphaned young, Daveth Blyd had one chance for success when his fighting prowess earned him a place in the Tangye city guard—a place he lost to false accusations of theft. Now he scrapes out a living searching for wayward spouses and missing children. When a nobleman offers him a small fortune to find an entertainer who’s stolen a ring, Daveth takes the case.
While Jory Pearce may or may not be a thief, he certainly can’t be trusted. But, enchanted by Jory’s beauty and haunting voice, Daveth soon finds himself caught in the middle of a conspiracy. As he searches desperately for answers, he realizes that he’s also falling for Jory. The two men face river wraiths, assassins, a necromancer, and a talking head that could be Daveth’s salvation on their quest for the truth. But with everyone’s integrity in question and Death eager to dance, Daveth will need more than sorcery to survive.
Review: I am a sucker for a good spec fic. With a mystery, a touch of fantasy, a dash of romance, and a noir feel, Blyd and Pearce quickly grabbed my attention and kept me enthralled in the events unfolding. Kim Fielding has a gift for unique world building. Her descriptions of the city of Tangye in all its different factions, from the poverty of the lows to the opulence of the of the Royal Quarter and all that lies between, are vivid and riveting in their exquisite detail. With magic expertly woven into the setting, and plot, it is a remarkable and compelling story.
Daveth Blyd is a lowler, born and raised. He spent his childhood surviving in a place that has no compassion. In the lows, everyone is just trying to stay afloat and alive and look out for themselves. Nothing comes without a cost. The things he saw, and did to survive, caused him to become jaded and hard. He honed skills that eventually gave him the opportunity to claw his way out of the lows and into the city guard. But after being accused of theft, his position is ripped away and along with it, any hope he had held. He trusts no one. He lives his life keeping everyone at a distance and taking cases to keep food in his belly and a roof over his head. No more, no less. A nobleman arrives on his doorstep offering an obscene amount of money and weaving a tale of theft; all Blyd must do is return the ring and the entertainer who took it. Sounds easy? Its becomes anything but.
Jory Pearce may be an entertainer, but he is many other things: possible thief, liar, whore, beautiful, captivating. While Blyd had no ill will towards the latter of these, the thief and liar part keeps him on his guard as to exactly what Jory did and why. While there are hints of a truth, it is clear Jory is hiding something big. Despite his best efforts to remain detached, there is something about the man that grabs Blyd’s attention. With a need to know more about the intriguing and complex man, as well as a desire to protect Jory, Daveth soon finds himself at the center of a conspiracy that makes no sense.
I wouldn’t consider Daveth and Jory’s romance as sweet in the traditional sense, but a romance it was nonetheless. They both have pasts which have hardened them, neither trust each other completely, and both have preconceived notions and expectations. They begin their journey on opposite sides, then become allies of sorts. While searching for answers, they eventually find a refuge in each other as the world around them spirals out of control. They each find someone who sees them and understands them. With one another there is at least one person that finds the other is not someone to be used and discarded for personal gain. Blyd sees strength and determination in Jory, not his choice of making a living. Jory sees someone who is loyal and heroic in his own way, not a street rat son of a whore that everyone else has labeled Daveth. Their pasts don’t define them when they are together.
With corruption everywhere, sword-fights, murders, magic, wraiths, betrayals, and several twists and turns, I found myself unable to put the story down. The ending, like many noirs, leaves as many questions as answers. It was unexpected yet somehow fit. Should it end here it is a complete story, but there is enough to continue with Blyd and Pearce on the next chapter in their adventure together.
While Blyd and Pearce hit the spot for me, it may not be for those looking for a sweet fantasy romance with a bit of crime and suspense. Blyd and Jory’s romance has sweet elements, but is on the gritty side as it develops through tragic events. It is first a crime and suspense fantasy with a sprinkling of an unlikely romance, which I found to be fascinating and right up my alley.
You can buy Blyd and Pearce here:
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