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A Murder of Mages

(Maradaine Sequence #2)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  722 ratings  ·  128 reviews
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 ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 340 pages
Published July 7th 2015 by DAW
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Jane I'm currently reading a Murder of Mages, and enjoying it every bit as much as I did the Thorn! I can't wait until The Alchemy of Chaos is available.

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On a whim--still whittling down that TBR list, don't you know--I picked this one out of the list. Well, actually, a whim and Carly's review. She's often my book-twin in the fantasy world:

What stands out here is a fantasy setting that is an action-focused plot structured like a police procedural. A woman and a man sharing lead, sharing narrative, and yet--this is remarkable here--not about to fall in love. I hope I don't regret those words later. There are
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

UPDATED: US Giveaway for the book running from 6/18 to 6/28, details:

A Murder of Mages is the first book of a series dedicated to the Maradaine Constabulary, set in the same wonderful world as Marshall Ryan Maresca’s debut novel The Thorn of Dentonhill. No need to read one before the other, though; that’s the beauty of it. Despite their shared setting, the series are companions to
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
May 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015
Satrine Rainey is a former street rat and ex-spy. Now she is a mother and wife to Constabulary Inspector Loren who was so brutally attacked that it's a wonder that he is alive. But he is not able to support his wife and two daughters anymore so Satrine fakes her way into the post of Constabulary Inspector to be able to support her family.

I was quite looking forward to reading this book, loved the cover and the blurb was intriguing. Satrine Rainey is a very interesting character and I liked her w
Althea Ann
Jul 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Lately, Satrine Rainey has been a stay-at-home mom. However, life has catapulted her into an untenable situation. Her husband, a police officer of the city of Maradaine's Constabulary, has suffered an on-the-job injury leaving him severely disabled. Unfortunately, while Maradaine offers something like life insurance, disability insurance isn't a thing.

The force has offered Satrine a 'minimum-wage' clerk's position - but that won't pay for the family's rent and grocery bills, let alone the full-
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

A Murder of Mages is an excellent new fantasy novel with a distinct urban fantasy feel, a rich and imaginative police procedural that tries to do so much and for the most part succeeds. It is a very dark novel set in Maradaine, a poverty-ridden city in which violence happens at every corner. We follow Satrine Rainey as she struggles to find her footing after an accident which leaves her husband unable to provide for their family.

It’s clear from the start that Satrine is a true mama bear, rea
“Satrine Rainey walked to the Inemar Constabulary House carrying a lie.”
Yep, from the first sentence, I was hooked.

The TL;DR version: I enjoyed this book so much that I’ve already purchased Maresca’s other book. If you don’t happen to know me, I basically don’t ever buy books. So that’s about the strongest affirmation I can give.

So why was this book so much fun? To start with, I absolutely adore high-fantasy detective fiction, especially if the world feels solid and yet distinct from our ow
Rashika (is tired)
***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

It’s always so refreshing to read a fantasy novel after not having read one in a while, and this one came with the added advantage of also being a mystery, so it was a book set out to win my heart. The sad thing is that I ended up not falling head over heels for the book even though I had lots of fun reading it.  I felt like there was a spark missing that prevented me from feeling right at home with the novel.

This review is going to take on
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it

Mon avis en Français

My English review

While reading the summary, I wondered if the book would go more towards the fantasy side or the urban fantasy one. Finally I think this is a good mix of both, even if the purpose converges towards the second.

Satrine is a young woman who must face the consequences of the loss of her husband. He is not really dead, but in a vegetative state that requires her to take care of his body, as well as her two children. That’s why she needs to find a job as soon a
A Murder of Mages by Marshall Maresca is a splendid fantasy / mystery / crime and murder blend from the author of the very good "Thorn of Dentonhill". Not too heavy on the magical elements, this intelligent cop fantasy features a pair of smart detectives on the hunt for a murderer. Minox Welling, an untrained mage, who comes from a multi-generational cop family and really investigates is the main detective. Unlike some of the other officers, he solves crimes rather than sweeping them under the r ...more
Yzabel Ginsberg
[I received a copy through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

Pretty entertaining, in the vein of urban medieval fantasy I tend to favour (as opposed to more traditional "travel" fantasy). Gritty streets, characters with a past and forced to hide secrets that could be so easily exposed, family issues, corruption in the ranks, bureaucracy, a criminal to catch, seedy dealings going on at night on the docks and in warehouses... Yes, I definitely prefer my fantasy tinged with such themes.

Feb 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Review from Tenacious Reader:

3.5/5 stars

I should preface this review to clearly state that detective stories are more often a miss for me than a hit. I decided to give this one a try because I really enjoyed The Thorn of Dentonhill and was excited to explore more of the city/world.

Murder of Mages takes places after The Thorn of Dentonhill, and while it can definitely be read separately, there are cases and events that are referred to that happened in the
**I received this book for free from (DAW) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*Genre* Fantasy, Magic
*Rating* 3.5-4

*My Thoughts*

A Murder of Mages marks Marshall Ryan Maresca's debut novel of The Maradaine Constabulary series. This series is separate from his Maradine series, which unfortunately I have not had the pleasure of reading. A Murder of Mages introduces readers to Satrine (Tricky) Rainey and Minox (J
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A very fun read. One of those easy, effortless, less than 24-hour novels. A bit outside my norm. I'm not a Urban Fantasy guy. I'm not a Crime reader. This sweet little adventure did provide comfort reading with fine characters, plot and setting in world I'm looking forward to exploring again. Sometime real soon.
I love murder mysteries and when it's combined with a fantasy world, I'm in heaven. "A Murder of Mages" is a police procedural with a lead character, Minox, who reminded me strongly of Sherlock Holmes; amazingly observant and a firm believer in reason, deduction, and investigation. He also seemed to have some autistic tendencies, such as a difficulty reading people's emotions and obsessing on certain topics. While that can make him difficult to get along with, his obsessions, at least, work to h ...more
Jun 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
*Copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review*

I knew I was going to like A Murder of Mages when I read the title. It was clever, it had undercurrents of subtle humour and darkness, and it promised a great deal. A bit like the book underneath it, really.

Maresca gives us the world of Maradain, a city seemingly at boiling point. There are groups of magic users, working together in groups as ‘Circles’. There are other mages, unmonitored outside those circles. There’s an ongoing war – and as a conse
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love a well done classic fantasy, particularly when it's combined with my other love, mystery. A Murder of Mages, Maresca's debut Maradaine Constabulary novel, does just that. It combines a well-developed fantasy world with fascinating characters and a mystery complex enough to satisfy serious armchair detectives.

After her husband, an inspector, is seriously injured during an investigation, it is up to Satrine to support her family. As a newly hired inspector third class, she is partnered with
J.M. Robison
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, loved
Several good things going on here. First, Maresca's writing style was clear, compelling, and every word mattered. The story was engaging, with enough things constantly moving that I never felt bored and was always eager for the next chapter.

Also, I HIGHLY appreciated that the male and female protagonists did not develop any love interest. They worked super close with each other since they were partners investigating a crime, but that's all it was - they were partners working together on a crime.
Aug 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books, 2015-reads
Kevin recommended the book and I'm happy that I followed the recommendation in this case. Thank you Kevin!

A Murder of Mages delivers a fantasy world which is in this case a really big town enriched with magic. The police procedural is described very well and the inspector tandem reminds in some aspect of Holmes and Watson.
The the two main characters are the stars of the book.
I like Satrine Rainey and Minox Welling a lot and their first case is full of twists and turns. The blend of work and priv
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
I didn't like this one quite as much as the thorn book, but it was close... a bit of Sherlock holmes in a magical world... Well-written with great character development... If you have not tried Maresca's stuff yet its time that you did!
Julie McCahill
Apr 08, 2020 rated it liked it
3.75. Perfect and exactly what I needed while stuck at home with the coronavirus doing laundry...and always cleaning. Light, but not too light.
Olga Godim
I tried. It’s not really a bad story: the pace is fast, the mystery intriguing, and the writing utterly professional, but I didn’t care for any of the characters. Everyone is cold, bitter, irascible, and aggressive. Nobody has any emotional softness or tenderness or love for anyone. No whiff of compassion. No hint of affection. Perhaps they are all hidden deep inside of the characters’ hearts, but the reader is only allowed into their heads, and only to see all sorts of negative cogitations.
Aug 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, cops
So, surprisingly this wasn't typical fantasy and I mean that in a few ways. It does have a good mix of police procedural and fantasy, and Maresca does a very good job of making sure the two mesh well.

Now, the characters aren't the most original ever, but compared to most fantasy books (and compared to most mystery books) they're actually a bit novel. Although Rainey is a newbie cop, like the protagonist at the beginning of most mystery series these days, she's not some fresh-faced barely legal
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in Maresca's world of students, street rats, constables and mages.
The story introduces us to a pair of troubled but gifted Inspectors in the Maradine Constabulary, Satrine Rainey and Minox Welling, both of whom face serious challenges in their personal lives and a lack of acceptance at the stationhouse. They are set the task of solving the murder of a mage -- a case which soon explodes into further murders and puts both their lives in danger.
This is an enjoyable read.

I actually prefered the Thorn of Dentonhill bu I still really liked this book. Satrine and Minox were really interesting and I like their dynamic as a partnership (and also the fact that they were no romance involvel between the two of them, they were great as friends).
I don't read a lot of mystery but I enjoyed this one eventhough I figured out the killer before the protagonists (and I was quite happy with myself for it actually).
However it wasn't a full 4* for me because I would have lik
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had already fallen in love with The Thorn of Dentonhill, but this next one took things to a new level. Satrine Rainey is a mom just trying to work enough to make enough money for her daughters and her sick husband, who was injured on the job. She used to be a spy, so she uses her skills to get hired as an Inspector in the constabulary, and gets partnered with Minox Welling-- called "Jinx" because of the bad luck he's had with partners, but also because he's an uncontrolled mage.

They get a cas
Eva Müller
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, fantasy
How could I not pick up this book? I mean look at that blurb! A wizard solving murders in a fantasy world. It's everything I ever wanted. Still, I didn't expect to be absolutely blown away by it (blame my previous disappointing experience with Ten Little Wizards another book about a crime-solving wizard), I just hoped to be entertained. Well, it wasn't the Ultimate Fantasy Novel that
overshadows all others but it did also more than just entertain me for a bit.

The worldbuilding was a bit of a kit
Jamie (Books and Ladders)
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This review was originally posted on Books and Ladders

This one was great, actually. It did remind me of a mix between the X-Files and Sherlock Holmes, but it was very good and original. I enjoyed the dynamic of Satrine and Minox. I think I enjoyed it more because she was married so there was no chance of an unnecessary romance between the two of them.

One of the things I didn't like was the lag between
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Original review is posted on my blog -->
I found this gem while browsing NetGalley for interesting books to request and I decided that this one sounded pretty interesting. I basically start out by looking in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy sections and scan for cool titles or cover art and then I’ll read further about any books that have caught my eye. This particular book had a cover that was dark and appealing and the title was intriguing to boot. I thought perhaps the ti
Sally Schmidt
Jun 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-books
I received a free copy of this title through NetGalley

4.5 stars.

This was waaaaaaay better than I expected! I am totally head-over-heels for the world that Maresca has built and I hope that he has ideas for a lot of books to come!

Minox, an untrained, uncircled mage, is largely ignorant of the way that mage circles work, and his ignorance almost costs him his life. Satrine is hell-bent on providing for her family after her husband is disabled, and her prior life in Maradaine's rough neighborhood
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Marshall Ryan Maresca is a fantasy and science-fiction writer, author of the Maradaine Saga: Four parallel series set amid the bustling streets and crime-ridden districts of the exotic city called Maradaine. This includes The Thorn of Dentonhill, A Murder of Mages, The Holver Alley Crew and The Way of the Shield. His work also appeared in Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction and Rick Klaw’s anthology ...more

Other books in the series

Maradaine Sequence (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Thorn of Dentonhill (Maradaine, #1)
  • The Holver Alley Crew (The Streets of Maradaine, #1)
  • The Way of the Shield (Maradaine Elite, #1)
  • The Alchemy of Chaos (Maradaine, #2)
  • An Import of Intrigue (The Maradaine Constabulary, #2)
  • Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe (The Streets of Maradaine, #2)
  • Shield of the People (Maradaine Elite, #2)
  • The Imposters of Aventil (Maradaine, #3)
  • A Parliament of Bodies (The Maradaine Constabulary, #3)
  • The Fenmere Job (The Streets of Maradaine, #3)

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