Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Murder of Mages (The Maradaine Constabulary #1) by Marshall Ryan Maresca


From Goodreads:

A Murder of Mages marks the debut of Marshall Ryan Maresca’s novels of The Maradaine Constabulary, his second series set amid the bustling streets and crime-ridden districts of the exotic city called Maradaine. A Murder of Mages introduces us to this spellbinding port city as seen through the eyes of the people who strive to maintain law and order, the hardworking men and women of the Maradaine Constabulary.

Satrine Rainey—former street rat, ex-spy, mother of two, and wife to a Constabulary Inspector who lies on the edge of death, injured in the line of duty—has been forced to fake her way into the post of Constabulary Inspector to support her family.

Minox Welling is a brilliant, unorthodox Inspector and an Uncircled mage—almost a crime in itself. Nicknamed “the jinx” because of the misfortunes that seem to befall anyone around him, Minox has been partnered with Satrine because no one else will work with either of them.

Their first case together—the ritual murder of a Circled mage— sends Satrine back to the streets she grew up on and brings Minox face-to-face with mage politics he’s desperate to avoid. As the body count rises, Satrine and Minox must race to catch the killer before their own secrets are exposed and they, too, become targets.

This is hands down the best new series I have read this year. 

Both the  worldbuilding and backstory are right on target.  Both unfolded before me as I read.  It was so seamless that instead of interfering with the story it added to it.

The characters and their development were the perfect fit for the plot.  We meet Satrine Rainey as the book opens and she had a lie in her pocket.  It takes awhile to see why she needs the lie but that is such an important part of who she is.  Her family is her prime concern and she needs the lie to keep that family together.  Turns out she is very good at the job the lie brings her.

Minox Welling cannot keep a partner.  He is brilliant but in a very offbeat way.  He sees the facts in a way other do not.  In addition he has a secret that is not that much of a secret.  Most people cannot follow his logic but Satrine not only follows she can take it one step further.

As he and Satrine work together you see why they are such a good fit.  A great cast of secondary characters aids them.

Mages are being murdered and it is up to Minox and Satrine to find out why.  There are plenty of twists and turns in the story.  Satrine’s secret comes out.  Minox learns his secret is interfering with his ability to work the case.  Even as the case is solved Minox sees what others do not.  There is much more to the murders than came out.

An important fact for the series is the file of closed cases that Minox has.  While they are closed Minox feels that they were not solved correctly.  I see future books in that group of files.

A Murder of Mages is an exciting well-written book.  Satrine and Minox are strong characters with very different personal lives.  I like that fact that they are great partners but work is their only common dominator.  All in all this is a great start to a new series.

DAW published A Murder of Mages by Marshall Ryan Maresca in 2015.

I received an ARC of A Murder of Mages from Netgalley in return for an honest review. 

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