Richard Blade #5: Liberator of Jedd, Part 2

Le-liberateur-de-Jedd

The Blade books have been translated into other languages, including Russian… and French. And holy tits. Those French publishers sure know how to make an eye-catching cover! Granted, I don’t have any idea what it has to do with Richard Blade visiting a prehistoric world and battling ape-men, but you know what? I don’t really care.

Fan-fucking-tastic.

Alright, where were we? Oh, yes, Richard Blade is about to go on a murderous rampage.

After leaving Ooma at his new friend Mok’s house, Blade sets out. He’s a man on a mission: to become the head honcho of Jedd Town.

Step 1: Blade stakes out one of the carts carrying plague victims to the charnel pits. What could our hero be up to??

The cart went creaking beneath his perch. Blade sprang and, with no compunction at all, cut the driver’s throat with the stone knife. The man hardly had time to struggle.

Did he just cut his – ? Just some random dude and he -?

Yup.

But our boy Blade isn’t done with his murderin’, no sir. He dons the dead man’s distinctive yellow uniform and then drives the cart into the center of the city, where the Empress’s palace is. The palace is in fact a pavilion setup on stilts in the middle of a lake. Blade is here looking for The Wise One. He waits for a while, and sure enough, the Wise One, distinguished by his enormous head, comes trotting out flanked by his personal guards. Blade follows them to the Wise One’s house. The Wise One goes inside and the guards begin patrolling around the house.  Blade waits until one of them goes past, and then he…

…took him from behind with one brawny arm about his throat to stifle any cry. With his free hand he brought the stone knife around and sought for the man’s throat just above the breastplate. The guard was strong and struggled mightily for his life, but Blade held him as he might a babe and slit the jugular neatly. Blood spurted, drenching the dying man and Blade as well. He did not mind. He wanted the blood on him.

Psycho!

Blade dons the guard’s armor and takes his sword. Then he approaches the second guard.

Blade used all his massive strength and put the iron sword into the guard just below the breastplate and above the groin. As he thrust, he twisted the the blade in a classic disemboweling cut.

Oh man. That disemboweling cut? Classic!!!

Sure, you may be thinking that the second guard didn’t do anything to deserve to be horribly disembowled and that his guard buddy didn’t deserved to be strangled and have his throat cut. Maybe you’re thinking that was pretty rude of Blade to just carve up that cart driver. Well you can go on thinking that RIGHT UP UNTIL BLADE CUTS YOUR EYEBALLS OUT AND SHOVES THEM UP YOUR ASS WITH AN ICE PICK.

Blade will cut you muthafucka!!!

Okay, sorry. But seriously, I have no idea why Richard Blade suddenly turned into a murdermachine.

Double-ewe Tee FUCK.

Our hero having dispatched his mortal enemies – Cart Driver Man, Generic Guard 1, and Generic Guard 2 – it is time for him to pay the Wise One a visit. Covered in gore, wearing the uniform of the plague corpse disposal guys and the armor of a guard, Blade hopes to intimidate the Wise One into doing exactly what he wants. This had better work, because he just murdered three people to get here.

It doesn’t really work.

The Wise One, whose name, we learn, is Nizra, is one of those cold and calculating sorts. Even after being woken up from his sleep by a large, blood-soaked man with a sword, he stays calm. He doesn’t freak out. Instead he just asks Blade who he is and what he wants. Blade gives Nizra his usual spiel about being from another world. Then he tells Nizra that he wants him to have the dying Empress, who is presumably not all there, declare Blade to be the ‘avatar’, a long foretold hero who the Book of Birdshit says will blah blah blah.

Once greeted as a divine hero by the Jedd, Blade will help Nizra consolidate his power against the captains that oppose him. Nizra will help Blade – rule temporarily, I guess? It’s not 100% clear what Blade hopes to get out of all this. Besides the chance to murder some random schmucks. It just doesn’t seem like a well-thought-out plan.

Blade tells Nizra that once he inevitably returns to his own world that Nizra can rule alone. Nizra accepts his bargain.

Nizra is clearly being painted as a villainous type here by the writer. He’s all brainy and beady eyed and untrustworthy. To be fair to Nizra, though, he has yet to murder anyone for shits and giggles, unlike some folks I could mention.

Blade doesn’t trust Nizra, though, not with his super big head and his smartness. Since Blade is so convinced that Nizra is Bad News you would think that this would be the guy he would murder, but no. He’s all like, “Let’s work together! You’d better not be planning to secretly betray me!”

This is going to turn out to be a very bad call on Blade’s part.

The next day dawns. Nizra has Blade cleaned up and dressed as royalty. Blade takes the opportunity to survey the land by the clear light of day. And think about yet another random skill that he, Blade, just happens to possess.

He had undergone a rigorous and much-telescoped course in geology. Lord L had insisted on it, J had concurred, and Blade, who could do anything when he was interested and set his mind to it, was by now a good amateur geologist, something of a mining engineer. And besides being able to recognize most ores, he was somewhat qualified to judge oil-bearing terrain.

I’m pretty sure that it takes more than auditing a geology course at the local community college to locate oil, Dick.

Logic notwithstanding, Blade decides that this land must be just gushing with black gold and absolutely filthy with valuable ores. Perfect for some old-school colonial rape-and-pillage by Lord L and his army of boffins!

(This is – I think? Maybe? – the main reason Blade wants to be King Jedd. The better to exploit their abundant natural resources, you see!)

But before he can hand the Jedd over to be ruthlessly colonized and exploited by white people, Blade needs to persuade the Empress that he is the Avatar Returned, or whatever the fuck. Nizra goes off to spin a story for the old empress about the ‘vision’ he has supposedly had of the ‘avatar’. The two need the old girl to buy in before she pops her clogs.

Soon, things having gone well, Nizra returns to bring Blade out to the royal pavilion on the lake.

At the lake pavilion they encounter the five captains who are Nizra’s enemies. They all stare daggers at Nizra and Blade – except for one, named Gath, who offers to shake Blade’s hand. When Blade takes his hand he realizes that they are in fact engaging in a contest of strength, applying pressure to see who will cry uncle or get their hand crushed first. Blade wins, naturally.

Blade is ushered in alone for an audience with the dying empress. He quickly discovers that she is much more lucid than Nizra believed. The empress tells Blade that she knows all this ‘vision’ and ‘avatar’ stuff is just a load of horseshit. But! She’s taken a shine to this musclebound foreigner who has just popped up and began impersonating a revered religious icon. What a lark! The empress informs Blade that she will declare him the avatar, the new ruler of the people.

There is just one condition – he must marry the child empress, Migtu. Wait, what?

Oh, wait, there are two conditions. The empress also wants Blade to lead her people north and then burn their city to the ground. She’s convinced that the city is the source of the plague, and that her people’s destiny lies in “the land of the Kropes and the Shining Gate.”

Blade is all, The Who? What gate, now?? But he saves his questions for later and duly makes his promises. The empress then summons Nizra and the captains, tells them Blade is the avatar, and promptly dies. Talk about timing!

Blade, deciding that he needs to make an immediate show of his authority, starts giving the captains orders to prepare for the evacuation and burning of the city – which comes as a pretty big surprise to Nizra, who has not been looped in on any of this.

Blade appoints the captain named Gath – aka Mr. Handshake – as his lieutenant and bodyguard. Then he asks Gath if they can’t totes be BFFS. Gath is down with this. Instant bromance.

Blade also orders all private armies and retinues disbanded, including Nizra’s. Nizra is not pleased by this, not even a little bit. Gee, I hope he doesn’t start plotting dastardly deeds against Blade behind his back!

Blade also asks Gath to prepare the arrangements for his wedding to Mitgu, the Child Empress. He tells Gath that the marriage will be in name only, because “I am not the sort of man who wishes to bed a child.”

Gath kind of smirks and is all like, “The Golden Princess? Have you even seen her?”

Gentle reader, shit is about to get fucking twisted.

Servants bring word to Blade that Mitgu is requesting an audience with her future husband. As Blade enters her chambers, he gives orders that they are not to be disturbed, as this is a private audience. That’s not a weird thing for a grown man to do while paying a visit to a 10-year-old girl, right?

Blade is a bit nervous about how to handle a ten-year-old who is also an empress. And indeed, the audience begins a bit strangely, with Mitgu hiding behind some furniture. But then she emerges into the light and Blade is like, oh shit this is one of those HOT 10-year-olds!

Her poise and bearing left no doubt that she was a Princess born. Her flesh, and she displayed a great deal of it, glowed with a coppery-yellow translucence that seemed to give color to the tapers. Blade had a fleeting impression that he could see her fine bone structure beneath the satiny flesh. This illusion soon passed and his throat dried and his hands were moist in the palms, and he, of all men, felt and admitted a fine trembling in his knees. This was youthful beauty incarnate.

[He] also knew, that if he married this child, he would be powerless to restrain himself from consummating the marriage. Already his groin tingled and for just a moment Blade felt shame.

Yes, our man Blade is a big ol’ perv.

Not that his reaction to Mitgu is his fault, of course. She is totally asking for it.

She wore very little, just a vestige of a white bra over her small, virginal breasts, and the miniest mini-skirt Blade had ever seen.

Indeed, the mini-skirt is so mini that she flashes him her hoo-ha when she uncrosses her legs.

As with any woman he encounters, Blade makes sure to get a good whiff of her up his snout.

[I]t was the clean and uncloyed scent of a well-scrubbed child, a girlchild just hovering on the brink of womanhood.

Gross.

Mitgu, meanwhile, is working her devilish, ten-year-old wiles on Blade. First she places one of his hands on her bare leg, and then when that isn’t enough to send him over the edge, she takes her top off for him.

“See, then. Are these the breasts of a little girl, a child?”

To Blade, of Home Dimension, they were indeed the breasts of a child, of a tender and unsullied girl verging on womanhood, and therein lay his greater agony.

I’ll skip the itemized description of Mitgu’s ‘unsullied buds’ that follows, but believe me: there is one and it doesn’t stint on the details. To be clear, the book doesn’t tell us that this is a ten-year-old girl that looks like a hot eighteen-year-old girl. She’s a ten-year-old girl that looks her age – and Blade wants to bang her.

Mitgu dares Blade to kiss her (at this point she’s mostly naked). Just before Blade commits a federal felony, a servant barges into the room to inform Blade that a messenger has come with an urgent message. This messenger turns out to be one of Captain Gath’s men, a dude by the name of Sesi. Sesi tells Blade that he has heard from a fat, drunk man that a girl named Ooma is in danger.

Yes, it’s true, we haven’t heard from Ooma in a while. And this, reader, is bad news for Ooma.

You see, typically Blade’s love interests meet unsavory fates when a new lady enters the picture. Their deaths, dismemberments, or brutal gang rapes clear the way for Blade to remain a gentleman while moving on to a new love. In this case, of course, Blade is looking to trade the roughly 14-year-old Ooma for the definitely ten-year-old Mitgu. This certainly gives new weight to the saying “there’s always a younger woman!”

Regardless, this supposed message from Mok is an Obvious Trap. So of course Blade rushes off to find Ooma, taking the six bodyguards Gath had assigned to him along for the ride.

They arrive at Mok’s house, only to find that it has been marked with the sign of the plague. Inside, Blade finds Mok, lying on the floor and laughing hysterically, deep in the grip of the deadly illness. Blade pours some liquor into Mok and he comes back to his senses just long enough to communicate Important Plot Information.

Hey, does anyone remember the Api? Those giant ape-like soldiers? Remember how Ooma really didn’t want to be around them because of her completely irrational phobia of being raped to death by giant gorilla men? Well, spoiler alert.

Reader, you can probably guess what happened: The scheming Nizra had struck a deal with the Api. They had come to the house andinfected everybody with yellow plague-infested knives. Then, they got their gang-rape on with Ooma. When they were done, they tossed her in a fiery charnel pit. “Oh, and the Api are still around, this is a trap, good luck Blade,” *dies*

Blade orders the six soldiers into the house and assigns each one to watch certain windows and doors. Then he uses Mok’s body to plug one of the remaining windows. A large troop of Api approach and surround the house. They begin attacking from all sides. Blade does a lot of typically heroic Blade stuff. His soldiers, though, are being picked off one by one. At last there is only one soldier left. By this point the Api have finally figured out the obvious tactic: set the house on fire.

Determined to go out in a blaze of glory rather than just a regular blaze, Blade and the last soldier, whose name Blade now bothers to learn (It’s Kaven) (Kevin?!?) (no, Kaven!), rush out of the burning house and stand back-to-back, determined to fight until they are cut down.

Things are looking desperate for our man Blade when suddenly there is a trumpet blast and Gath and his soldiers ride to the rescue.

Blade has survived the odds and is victorious, but his friends are dead and his girlfriend has been brutally abused and killed in the most horrific way imaginable. So of course, Blade suddenly becomes weirdly magnanimous. He gives strict orders that Nizra, the traitorous Sesi, and the remaining Api be kept alive, with absolutely no torture.

(It will turn out that the miscreants do have a bad end in store – but it is not one Blade could possibly have had in mind at this point in the story!)

Blade takes a couple of paragraphs to thoroughly mourn and bury Ooma before moving on with his life.

Jeddia was burned and [Blade] married the Child Princess Mitgu who, on their wedding night, proved no child at all. As dawn broke, Blade was near exhaustion and salved his conscience by admitting that a Jedd girl of ten was like a woman of thirty in Home Dimension. Mitgu had been a virgin, had bled copiously, but if she felt pain it in no way dimmed her ardor.

I think that the fact that she was a virgin demonstrates that she is in no way “like a woman of thirty,” Dick.

The book is now drawing to a close. We know this because Blade is experiencing The Headaches, which are of course the result of Lord L and his computer trying to pull him back into the Home Dimension.

Blade, having burnt to the ground the only home the Jedd have known in living memory, marches them north up through a narrow pass into a valley to the “Shining Gate.” This gate, which stretches across the north end of the valley, turns out to be a technological artifact: a massive barrier of solid steel. Beyond, the Jedd believe, is the land of the Kropes, although no Jedd has ever seen a Krope or been beyond the gate.

Blade decides to casually scale the soaring pinnacle of rock that stands nearby – as one does – and scope out what’s beyond the gate. He gives orders for the army to stay back out of sight of the gate until he gets back. As he climbs, Blade notes how rich in minerals this land must be, and thinks excitedly about how Lord L and jolly old England might colonize and exploit it.

From the top of the peak, Blade can see that beyond the wall is a vast plain studded with things that look like factories. This land appears to be populated – but not by men. By robots! And way off in the distance is an enormously tall tower. Blade surmises that this must be Krope Central Control.

When Blade climbs back down to the Jedd it is dark, and he has an experiment to try. He orders the captured Api placed in cages before the Shining Gate, along with Nizra and Sesi. As dawn comes, he and the captains wait, hiding behind some rocks to see what happens to their prisoners. The sun starts to come up and things are quiet. Then, without warning – giant death ray! A massive energy beam shoots out from the Shining Gate. The prisoners are all vaporized. Thanks, Shining Gate!

This development is disconcerting to the Jedd, who, remember, have just had their city burned so that they could go live in ‘the land of the Kropes’. Now their so-called promised land is shooting death rays.

Blade decides that he needs to get into Kropes-land. He will go to the central tower and disable the death ray. Naturally, being stoic and manly, He Has To Do This By Himself. But first he goes back to camp for a last tender farewell shag with the prepubescent girl that he, a man of about forty, has married. Cue love scene.

. . .

Shit, did reading that mean I could get arrested? Listen, none of you guys are cops, right??

Under cover of darkness Bade sneaks past the Shining Gate through a crack in the rock one side. (I guess the Kropes don’t care about this crack because of the death ray – although if it only works during the day, that’s kind of a shitty defense system.)

On the other side of the gate there are lights, but there is no movement. All the robots, it seems, have been turned off and are standing around frozen.

(If you were, theoretically, the kind of person that was hoping that maybe there was going to be a cool robot battle scene, you might be a little disappointed with this stupid fucking book.)

Blade hoofs it towards the big tower. After a while he discovers a moving walkway going in that direction. He hops aboard and before you can say ‘phallic imagery’ he arrives at the tower. Here he finds that, fortunately, the elevators are working. This is good news, because Blade is not feeling so good.

New pain lanced his head and he doubled up with another pain in his belly. Sweat cascaded down his big body. When the gut pain had gone, Blade straightened and, with his fingers, explored his groin and armpits. They were there, the soft swelling, the beginning mushy lumps. Buboes. He had mistaken the headaches! It was not the computer searching for him.

Blade had the plague.

At this point a voice in Blade’s head tells him to get in an elevator and that it will tell him where to get out. Blade follows this voice pretty unquestioningly for a man who knows he is in the grip of a deadly, insanity-inducing illness! Nonetheless, Blade continues to follow the voice’s directions until he finds himself in a big room with a giant steel tank in the middle.

The voice, Blade discovers, belongs to a giant artificial brain. This brain pretty much runs things in Krope-opolis. It has also been watching Blade the whole time he’s been in Dimension X. Quite a perv, this giant brain.

The brain, along with all the robots, were created by – I hope you’re sitting down!! – the Jedd. Yes, long ago the Jedd were a technological people and they built the robots and called them Kropes, but then the robots took over and kicked them out! Tale as old as time, etc.

The giant brain, however, is not Good People. It informs Blade that it is responsible for infecting the Jedd with the yellow plague. This revelation seems rather unwise in light of the brain’s next request: it wants Blade to climb up into its tank and snip off a couple of annoying tumors that are growing on it. With his sword.

For a giant brain, it is not very smart.

Blade at first pretends to do what the brain wants but then, shockingly, rather than performing delicate brain surgery he plunges his sword into it and starts filleting the thing. The brain is like nooooooooo. The tower starts shaking, there is darkness and lightning and so on. Right in the middle of all this chaos, Blade gets hit with a splitting headache and is suddenly whisked away back to his Home Dimension.

We wrap up with a short chapter from the POV of one Police Constable William Higgins, who apprehends a drunken J hanging out on a bridge in the middle of the night. J drunkenly informs the constable that Blade has been saved and that his case of yellow fever has been diagnosed and cured – before the constable stuffs him into a cab to go home and sober up. Incredibly, no mentions are made of giant brains, cold-blooded killing sprees or child brides.

The end.

Problematic Stuff

What can I say? Liberator of Jedd was a real shitshow.

Like all books in this series, this one has the usual problems with women. At this point Blade’s casual misogyny and the fact that every female character in this series conforms strictly to stereotypes is hardly news. Women! Good for sucking dick and not much else, basically sums up this book’s philosophy.

Interestingly, the character of Viki, at the beginning of the book, actually calls Blade out for this attitude. But this momentary glimmer of self-awareness doesn’t stick.

So far so typical. But then there is the fate of Ooma. She is Blade’s major love interest in the book. Even after she’s gone and he’s banging Mitgu, Blade keeps thinking about her. This is quite a rarity for Mr. Love-Em-And-Leave-Em.

Ooma is generally portrayed throughout the story as a likable character who is legitimately in love with Blade. The reader is likely to feel a connection to her. So it is pretty jarring when she is killed in such a horrible way. Ooma had made it clear earlier in the story that she’d rather kill herself then be gang-raped to death by the Api – and then this is exactly what fucking happens to her!

It just seems like an incredibly cruel thing to do to the character. No other character in the book, no matter how evil, gets killed in anywhere near such a horrible way.

If you remember the last book in the series, Slave of Sarma, you might note that this isn’t an isolated incident, either. Blade’s love interests seem to routinely meet terrible fates.

The hoary trope of having the hero’s girlfriend get killed by the bad guys so that the hero can feel some feels is one that I dislike intensely. But these books really seem like they are taking that trope above and beyond the call.

And let’s not forget that Blade comes about this close to raping Ooma when he first meets her. He doesn’t actually go through with it, but he comes damn close.

I try to avoid calling out the author in these sections because these kinds of books aren’t really the product of just one individual – Manning Lee Stokes, for instance, was probably writing with a lot of input from the editors that oversaw the series. It’s hard to say what literary decisions came from Stokes and which ones were handed down from on high.

But I have to say that the way the female characters in this series are treated really does feel like the work of someone with a serious axe to grind. Someone who thinks that women are just there to open their legs and then to get what sluts deserve. I’m not saying this is what Stokes was thinking, but I’m not saying it’s not what he was thinking, ya dig?

OK, I’ll stop harping on the rape problem. Let’s talk pedophilia!!!

Because man, that’s what this whole subplot with Mitgu, the ‘Golden Princess’, is all about: plain-and-simple, good old fashioned pedophilia.

I mean, what the hell? Were the readers clamoring for a bit of child molestation? Is adult men who fantasize about ten-year-olds a target demo? Because this kind of shit ain’t normal for most dudes.

Obviously it is not unusual for guys to fantasize about teenage girls. Hell, this is the premise of half of the porn industry. And these books are all about wish fulfillment. But most normal men are fantasizing about women who may be young but are, at the very least, sexually mature. In their late teens. Or so I’d like to believe.

But Stokes and/or his editors certainly seem to have a pronounced preference for the younger end of the teen girl spectrum.

Even Ooma is supposed to be really young:

Blade thought of Ooma and wondered. He had put her age at fourteen or less, and still marveled at her experience and skill at lovemaking. Was Ooma even fourteen? His doubts came back.

I don’t know about you, but I associate 13-to-14-year-old girls with braces and awkwardness, not sensuality and gravity-defying breasts. And that’s to say nothing of 10-year-olds. Ten-year-old girls aren’t sexy. They are pre-pubescent, generally lacking in the kind of secondary sexual characteristics that make them sexually desirable. Unless, you know, you’re a pedophile.

What I’m saying is, if you think a ten-year-old is hot, there is something wrong with you and you need help.

When Blade encounters Mitgu, the writing rapidly gets into some weird, Lolita-esque shit. The reader is treated at length to very sensual descriptions of Mitgu’s body. And she is definitely described as having the body of a child, not of a developed teenage girl. There’s no fudging here about ages in this fantasy realm being different. Of course, Mitgu acts like a sexually experienced woman, a fact which Blade uses to justify his massively inappropriate hard-on for her. But, c’mon.

Reasonable people may quibble over the proper age of consent, but the vast majority would agree that it is not Age 10. It doesn’t matter if a ten-year-old girl is totally asking for it. That’s the excuse every pedophile ever has used.

Even Richard Blade himself admits that his interest in Mitgu is not okay:

Richard Blade was finding out things about himself, things that he did not really want to know. Was he really this much a lecher? For honesty bade him admit that he was sexually excited, but this fragile and lovely child had aroused him almost beyond bearing.

Unfortunately these misgivings are enough to stop Blade from taking Mitgu to his bed when it comes to the point.

Incidentally, this isn’t the first time this series has gone out of its way to sexualize a child. In book two, The Jade Warrior, Blade helps to heal a sick young girl who is also described in unnecessarily creepy, sensual terms. However, she and Blade do not go on to have a sexual encounter.

I doubt that most of this book’s readers got excited about Blade hooking up with a ten-year-old. But you have to worry about the ones that did.

Honestly, I don’t know what else to say about this. Pedophilia is wrong, people. If you’re scoping out ten-year-olds, seek professional help.

Finally, let’s go back for a moment to that jarring scene where Richard Blade goes psycho and murders three different random people in gory detail.

To be clear, the book doesn’t tell us that these are bad people. Take that cart driver, for instance. The book doesn’t tell us that he is a cart driver who kicks puppies. He doesn’t belong to a sinister cabal of shadowy cart drivers. He didn’t punch a baby in the balls. He’s just a random dude. And Blade straight up murders him to death. Then he strangles a guard and cuts his throat, and then he disembowels a third victim.

It is a moment that is oddly out of step with the standards of the “Men’s Adventure” genre. Typically these books encourage their readers to enjoy the gore and violence because said violence is only being perpetrated on Bad People. When the hero starts disemboweling innocent bystanders, the writer is breaking this implicit contract with the reader.

It’s also simply wildly out of character for our protagonist, who has not previously been shown to be a murderous psychopath. Blade has killed a lot of opponents on the battlefield and in the arena in this series. Killing people in cold blood, not so much. And yet here he is merrily cutting throats so he can steal clothes and equipment.

It’s like killing the waiter so you don’t have to pay for your meal.

If this book has taught us anything about Dick Blade, it’s that he’s a pedophile and a murderous sociopath. But other than that he’s a pretty stand-up guy!

Wrap Up

Well, this was a book! I think we can say that definitively. Not a very good one, mind you, but you can’t always have everything you want.

Sometimes, for instance, you want writing that isn’t clunky and turgid. Sometimes you want love scenes that aren’t written in cringe-inducing purple prose. Sometimes you want to see a book about a prehistoric world feature some fucking dinosaurs. Sometimes you want the robots the book suddenly introduced to actually do something. Sometimes you want the hero not to murder a bunch of innocents and rape a ten-year-old girl.

I guess it’s true that you can’t always get what you want!

 

I should try to say something positive. I guess the… pacing was alright? I mean, once we got into freaking Dimension X, anyway. Those first seven chapters were fucking tedious.

Oh, right, positive. How about that reverse Star Wars reference, eh?

Let’s see how Liberator of Jedd stacks up against previous books with our Highly Definitive Checklist!

  • Blade gets greased up by Lord L – He does, and not just once but twice!
  • Blade is forced to be someone’s sex slave – In a turn of events which continue to shock literary critics to this day, Blade does not become anyone’s sex slave in Liberator of Jedd! 
  • Blade bones an underage girl – Two of them, even! And one of them is a fucking ten-year-old!
  • Blade bones an older woman who looks like a young woman – Nope.
  • Blade takes on a lower class rogue with a good heart as his manservant – Nope.
  • Blade befriends the bad guy’s second-in-command – Gath kind of fills this role, but he doesn’t quite meet our requirements.
  • Blade takes over the bad guy army – While Blade certainly winds up leading the Jedd, they are never portrayed as bad guys.
  • Blade condones casual rape – Don’t get me wrong, reader, this book is rapey as fuck. But for once Blade doesn’t completely shrug it off.
  • Blade sleeps his way to the top – Not really. I mean, he marries Mitga, but that’s more of a reward then a means to an end.
  • Blade drops his pants for someone – Nah. For most of the book Blade is running around starkers anyway, so this would just be redundant.

Geez, this one is a low scorer! No wonder it seemed so shitty. Even if we give it double points for Blade getting the “Lord L treatment” twice and the fact that Blade beds both a 14-year-old and a 10-year-old, it only rates a meager 4 out of 10.

You know what? I’m not mad. Just disappointed.

Well, not to worry. This is the Richard Blade series, and that means there is always another book! Stay tuned for next time when Dick Blade faces a monster in a maze in… The Monster of the Maze!!!

 

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