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The Thorn of Dentonhill (Maradaine #1)

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  622 Ratings  ·  128 Reviews
Veranix Calbert leads a double life. By day, he’s a struggling magic student at the University of Maradaine. At night, he spoils the drug trade of Willem Fenmere, crime boss of Dentonhill and murderer of Veranix’s father. He’s determined to shut Fenmere down.
With that goal in mind, Veranix disrupts the delivery of two magical artifacts meant for Fenmere's clients, the m
Paperback, 388 pages
Published February 3rd 2015 by DAW
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Christian I don't necessarily agree that saying a book or its main character are reminiscent of Batman (or Robin) and Harry Potter points to a book being YA…moreI don't necessarily agree that saying a book or its main character are reminiscent of Batman (or Robin) and Harry Potter points to a book being YA (and in my opinion Harry Potter quickly turned into something much more than YA in themes and story, but maybe that's just me) or that the reviewers are on the younger side (I'm 36 - granted that's not that old, but I'm not a teenager either and I certainly feel quite old at times). That being said, if I had to compare the Thorn of Dentonhill to other books, I would hazard that the writing style and the feel of the story remind me somewhat of Kristen Britain's Green Rider. It also puts me in mind of R.A. Salvatore's Crimson Shadow trilogy, although it's been years since I read that trilogy and I'm not sure I could explain why my brain is making that connection.(less)

Community Reviews

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Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Marshall Ryan Maresca introduces us to the world of Maradaine with his new novel The Thorn of Dentonhill, transporting us to a vibrant and diverse city where powerful mages, university students, assassins and street gangs all call home. Our protagonist is Veranix Calbert, a magic student by day and vigilante by night. When the sun goes down, Veranix ventures out into the streets, disrupting the local drug trade in the hope
Jul 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: high-fantasy, fantasy
Dear Mr Maresca,
Please write faster, because I am addicted to your books.

"Thief!" a heavy voice shouted from the door.
That's rich, one of them calling me thief, Veranix Calbert thought. He had only arrived seconds before. He hadn't had a chance to steal anything yet.
So starts The Thorn of Dentonhill, and when Veranix gets the chance to live up to his nickname, he has no idea how much trouble he's about to start.

I enjoyed Maresca's other book, A Murder of Mages, so much that I imme
Nancy Steinle gummel
The Thorn of Dentonhill: A Novel of Maradaine. by Marshall Ryan Maresca is a first reads win and I'm giving my honest opinion. This story starts out of the University of Maradaine in the city of Maradaine. A mage student is out to avenge his father's death and his mom's condition. He's affiliated with the Prince's gang thru blood. He doesn't have the tattoos. He's after Fenmere who sells the drugs thru his underlings. He attacks Fenmeres sellers destroys the drugs and gives the money to charity. ...more
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Full review at Tenacious Reader:

I see so many reviews slamming books for not having “something new” in them. Books like this one make me question why. I mean honestly, if there wasn’t fun in reading certain tropes or types of storylines, we wouldn’t see them so often. I think the more important thing is how it’s executed. This book may not be without its flaws, but it was a fun and exciting read. Yes, it had a magic student with somewhat mysterious and cu
Apr 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
I enjoyed this more than I initially expected. The author made it clear that shutting down a trade in drugs is more complicated that the cocky, youthful Veranix thought it would be. This made the story more plausible than I had expected from reading the blurb.

The supporting characters, such as Delim, Colin and even Fenmere, were were well done. I liked the amount of time the author spent fleshing out these characters as well as the hero.

I'm looking forward to more stories by this author.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
„Der Zirkel der blauen Hand „ ist der Auftakt zu den Chroniken von Maradaine und das Debüt von Marshall Ryan Maresca. In der Reihe geht es um die Stadt Maradaine und was dort in den Straßen passiert.
In „Der Zirkel der blauen Hand“ begleiten wir den Universitätsschüler und Magier Veranix auf seinem Kampf gegen den Abschaum der Stadt und der Droge Effite. Doch nebenbei muss er natürlich auch weiter studieren. Also wenn man es sehr grob sieht,ist es eine Mischung aus Harry Potter und Robin Hood.
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
(Full review here:

When all is said and done, The Thorn on Dentonhill is a pretty good fantasy novel, good for relaxing reading when you don’t feel like immersing yourself in something entirely new. It’s got plenty to keep readers turning the pages, at least once they get past the early bits, and enough action and mystery to have them speculating right alongside the characters. I’m definitely interested in seeing what Maresca will do with the world in fut
Feb 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
So there's this mage named Veranix Calbert (I know, crazy name, but don't let that dissuade you!) who spends his nights trying to bring down the crime boss who killed his father.

One of his nightly excursions pays off, and he comes across the time and place for a "delivery" that he assumes is a drug shipment. Only when he goes to bust the delivery, he finds that the goods are a lot more magical in nature. Now he has an enchanted rope and cloak to help him in his quest. Awesome!

Of course he also h
Sep 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Posted on Powder & Page

I decided to pick up the Thorn of Dentonhill after reading Maresca’s second published book, A Murder of Mages. Both titles are set in the city of Maradaine, but the stories do not overlap as they focus of entirely different character in (mostly) different areas of the city. This particular novel is a fantastic mash-up of the Name of the Wind, the Lies of Locke Lamora, and the Dresden Files. These happen to be three of my favorite books, so I absolutely loved reading th
Van (Short & Sweet Reviews)
Jan 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Disclosure: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

This book was so much fun! I love the idea of Veranix being a regular college student by day and a vigilante by night. The author did a great job giving Veranix a balance life between the two, which in turn made it easy for readers to follow and understand the world-building. There are a lot of different factions that make up Dentonhill like crime lord Fenmere who is just a regular mafia-guy, the street gangs
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An excellent first book from an unknown (as yet, but likely to become known) author. A young-adult fantasy book, the first in a series. The author draws you in immediately from an action standpoint. There is a lot going on to keep the attention of readers, and turns this into a page turner from an action-adventure standpoint. As others have noted, this book is sort of a Batman story - about a young man who by day is a talented magician attending a mage university, but at night a crusader fightin ...more
Anthony Duncan
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent romp that blends street-level superheroics (think Batman, Green Arrow, or Nightwing) with a renaissance-style fantasy world. Batman Begins by way of Final Fantasy, if you will. Characters are well drawn and the world bleeds off the page, leaving the reader with a taste of what else is out there in the world of Maradaine - enough to make me look forward to visiting again.
Nov 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
If you like Harry Potter and Superheros you will love this book. Fast paced read, couldn't put it down. Has a lot of action. Maresca is a wonderful writer, I can't wait to read the rest of his books. 5 stars.
*Source* Library
*Genre* Fantasy
*Rating* 4.0


The Thorn of Dentonhill is the first installment in the Maradaine series by author Marshall Ryan Maresca. Protagonist Veranix Calbert has been compared to Batman and Harry Potter. I disagree. I think he's more like Robin Hood. Here's why. Veranix is a vigilante as well as a struggling magic student. His father was murdered, his mother was poisoned with a drug called effitte that has left her more of a zombie than alive, and the man who is resp
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
An utterly fascinating read! Grown up fans of the Harry Potter series are going to love this. This book has a well developed system of magic and doesn't pull out convenient magical props to help the lead like many others.
Loved the unique setting with various gangs, their signs and how they control different parts of town. The story also hits upon the current climate with the war on drugs and the one man mission The Thorn is on to stamp out the drug trade is fleshed out so wonderfully by the aut
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great read... I think the author loves superheroes as he takes a fantasy setting and turns a young student into a fantastic spiderman like avenger known as the Thorn... Looking forward to reading his future stories!
Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
As a reader, I’m always looking for that little something extra: a kind of spark, a bit of bite, a touch of richness, that makes a book really stand out for me. For the most part, I’ve been lucky: many of the books I’ve read in the past few years since I started actively writing and posting reviews have had that little bit extra, and I can usually compile a nice long list of them at the end of every year.

However, it’s also true that there are plenty of books that don’t quite get there, either.

Plot : 4/5
We follow Veranix Calbert a talented magic student of the University of Maradaine in his double life. The day he is a normal magic student who struggle with his lessons but the night, he becomes the Thorn: a mysterious character who wants to take down his father's killer.

Pace : 5/5
This book is so fast pace you can't really but it down once you started it, things are always happening but not in a confusing way. If you want to read a good quick book between monsters, this is the o
Sep 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
If Harry Potter, Batman's Robin (the Chris O'Donnell version), and Green Arrow or Robin Hood somehow had a child, his name would be Veranix Calbert...

This is the fun, action- and magic-filled, fast-paced first adventure of a mage university student who also plays vigilante, becoming the plague (or the Thorn) of one specific crime boss and his organization in his quest for both vengeance and justice.

I cannot say that this is the most innovative book ever written, as it reuses bits and pieces from
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I won this book from the publisher and I'm sure glad I did. Quite good, especially for a first book. Our hero, Veranix is a mild-mannered mage day. At night he becomes the Thorn, ala Spiderman, except with magic. As the Thorn, Veranix is determined to shut down the drug smuggling of a local crime lord. There are some lacks in backgrounds of some of the characters, hopefully this will be addressed in future books. I would recommend this to others and I'll be passing my copy along to ...more
A straight up adventure fantasy with overtones of The Scarlet Pimpernel. Some pretty good concepts but basically a vigilante Dick Grayson mage type versus the evil drug trade. But executed pretty well with decent enough characters and setting. The use of the magic items were done better than typically. Wasn't really a standout read, but definitely readable and enjoyable. 3.5 of 5.
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed every minute of this story, reading until 3am this morning. The last time that happened was when I discovered the Dresden Files!

The author has created a perfect blend of adventure, magic and villains, with a liberal seasoning of young superhero that is sure to satisfy fans of this genre.

I found some of the colloquialisms a bit confusing at first, and had to re-read a few sentences to understand the meanings.
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I won this book through a contest by the publisher and I'm so glad that I entered that contest!! Wow!! The book is fantastic! I loved the story - magic student by day, crime fighter at night - , the writing, the dialogue, and the snippets of "history." I'm so excited to discover Marshall Maresca and I can't wait to read more from him!
Candice Cummings
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received this book from the GoodReads First Reads program and I must say that this book kept me intrigued from the first sentence to the last sentence! It is a fast paced book that captures you with its exciting adventures and original lingo. I will be looking for the next book in this series.
Feb 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Thorn of Dentonhill written by Marshall Ryan Maresca is a book worth reading. It is action packed and well worded. I love it. It recently came out and has proven itself to last a good 2 or 3 days if you read it quickly. Read this book because it's cool!
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received a free copy of this book from the GoodReads First reads program in exchange for an honest review. Very entertaining, enjoyable read.
„Vor jedem Auftritt […] musst du dich mit deinen Werkzeugen vertraut machen. Und dein Körper ist das wichtigste Werkzeug.“

Zum Cover: Gezeichnete Cover finde ich ja grundlegend unglaublich schön, in diesem Fall muss ich da nicht unbedingt etwas anderes sagen, auch wenn es mir letztlich nicht die Entscheidung abverlangt hat, ob ich es lesen will oder nicht. Das hat dann doch der Klappentext geliefert. Es ist aber sehr offensichtlich, dass der junge Mann, der mit einem Stock, einem Seil und einem r
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lesejury
Veranix, Magiestudent der Universität Maradaine führt des nachts ein geheimes Leben. Während seine Kommilitonen friedlich in ihren Betten schlafen, macht er sich auf den Weg, um Maradaine von Effite zu befreien. Die gefährlichste Droge, der schon zu viele willenlos zum Opfer fielen. Doch hat er es auf einen bestimmten Mann abgesehen: Fenmere, der mit seiner Bande den Großteil der Stadt beherrscht. Doch einer dieser nächtlichen Ausflüge nimmt eine überraschende Wendung, als Veranix zwei wertvolle ...more
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastisches Debüt, das Lust auf mehr macht
Der Klappentext allein hat mich ja schon wahnsinnig neugierig gemacht, aber die Leseprobe hat mich dann wirklich überzeugt. "Der Zirkel der blauen Hand" ist wirklich ein gelungenes Debüt, das viel Spaß macht beim Lesen. Die Charaktere sind toll und immer wieder für eine Überraschung gut, die Handlung ist spannend und baut sich langsam aber sicher zu einem fesselnden Finale auf und das alles ist verpackt in einen klasse Schreibstil, in den man sich einf
Brendan Gibbs
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you're a fan of fantasy in general, or urban fantasy in particular, you owe it to yourself to read this book.

If you love unique magic systems, highly detailed worldbuilding, and rich characterizations, you NEED to read this book.

And if you're one of those people that prefers to read books that are part of a series? Holy cow, this is the series for you! There are 7 books out so far, an 8th due later this year, and I think published plans for publication of 12 books through 2020.

Mr. Maresca has
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Goodreads Librari...: Consolidating English and Foreign Versions? 2 34 May 01, 2018 03:11PM  
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Marshall Ryan Maresca grew up in upstate New York and studied film and video production at Penn State. He now lives Austin with his wife and son. His work appeared in Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction and Rick Klaw’s anthology Rayguns Over Texas. He also has had several short plays produced and has worked as a stage actor, a theatrical director and an amateur chef. His novels The Thorn of Dentonhil ...more
More about Marshall Ryan Maresca

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