Daveth Blyd is the son of a prostitute and he has been on his own since his mother died when he was a young boy. He was poor, but he made something of himself and his fighting skills earned him a place with the city guard. But, he lost that position after being accused of theft and, while Daveth may be a lot of things, a thief he is not. Now, he tries to make a living as a private investigator searching for whatever his clients may need. Work is difficult to come by and when a wealthy man offers Daveth a lot of money to find a singer and a stolen ring, Daveth cannot possibly turn it down.
The job leads him to Jory Pearce. No one knows much about Jory except that he has an incredible voice and it doesn’t take long for Daveth to be captivated. He can’t be certain if Jory is a thief, but he knows he’s now caught in a mess of a conspiracy while falling for Jory.
Blyd and Pearce is a period fantasy piece with a touch of magic, conspiracy, and intrigue. Told from Daveth’s point of view, Fielding sets the scene and the atmosphere that carries all the way through. Daveth is a man in his 40s and his life has been rough and everything has been a struggle. He’s been disappointed and disillusioned his entire life and he’s almost at peace with it. He knows he was set up while in the guard, but no one would believe a man like him and he never tried to clear his name.
Jory was born into a noble family, but after he was cast out, he used the only thing he could to survive: his body. He had a dream once of a man hearing him sing and immediately falling for him, but he hasn’t thought of that dream in a long time, until Daveth sits in his audience.
The book twists and turns through conspiracy at every level and two imperfect heroes coming together to reveal the truth. I liked both of the characters here and they had a special connection. The time they were together and not running for their lives was minimal, but those quiet moments highlighted the bond the men could have. I would have liked to have seen more of that as each intimate moment revealed another layer of both men, but that was not the main focus of the book. The main focus was getting to the bottom of the conspiracy and while the story as a whole remained interesting, the pace was slow and somewhat lacking for me as besides clearing their names, there wasn’t a whole lot of end game set forth. The ending then read to me as if it was only part of a season of a much larger story. There were also influences from other well known works clearly shown here, which didn’t enhance this particular story for me and just made me think of other literature.
While the world the men were in had to be taken at face value, I did appreciate the way the author was able to make the scenery around them come alive. The growing bond between the men was something to see, but not all of the intrigue kept the story moving along for me. I have only read a small sample of this author’s work, so if you know you enjoy her style and are comfortable being left with an uncertain future for the heroes, this could be one for you to check out.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.