The next Eddie LaCrosse book, He Drank and Saw the Spider, is almost upon us! It will be out in a month, on January 14th 2014. Meanwhile, Tor.com posted an excerpt.
Here's a glimpse. The full excerpt is for chapters one and two.
The battles had been hard, the gold had been scarce, and the company—other mercenaries like me, most of them older, all of them unsophisticated as bricks—had gotten on my nerves. So I deserted. Or, as we called it in the trade, “chose to pursue other opportunities.” That was the whole point of hiring out your sword arm instead of actually joining an army, wasn’t it?
I was a young man that summer: long-haired, beardless, and still hiding behind a mercenary’s blade from the truth about myself and my past. There wasn’t a tavern wench I hadn’t known, a farm girl I hadn’t tried to know, or a noble lady I hadn’t considered getting to know. I drank often, ate whatever came my way, and took what I needed when no one was looking. I was Eddie LaCrosse, no longer Edward, the heir to the LaCrosse barony in Arentia, and I went where the wars were. Unless, of course, the war turned out to be boring.
And that’s how I ended up in an Alturan forest just below the mountain foothills, minding my own business and pissing on a tree, when a man entered the clearing screaming and running for his life. A moment later he exited, pursued by a bear.
I fastened my pants and took off after him on foot, knowing my horse was useless in the undergrowth. Over the past sixteen years, I’ve often wondered why I did that. I was all business in those days, and business meant gold. I wanted to sign up with the Alturan army, then about to go to war with its neighbor Mahnoma and its paranoid king, Gerald. But instead of sticking to my plan, I ran to help a stranger without even a second thought. I suppose I believed there might be a reward for rescuing him. Yeah, that must’ve been it.
The man’s screams and the bear’s roars made them easy to find, but by the time I reached the top of a ridge and looked down into the little gully, it was too late: the bear had him. He lay beneath the beast, curled into a ball facedown on the ground, screaming as the great claws sliced into his unprotected back. The animal bellowed and snapped, trying to get a clean bite on the man’s head.