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The Way of the Shield

(Maradaine Elite #1)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  126 ratings  ·  19 reviews
The first novel in the Maradaine Elite series blends fast-paced high fantasy and political intrigue.

Dayne Heldrin always dreamed of being a member of the Tarian Order. In centuries past, the Elite Orders of Druthal were warriors that stood for order, justice, and the common people. But now, with constables, King's Marshals, and a standing army, there is little need for
Paperback, 354 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by Daw Books
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Urban Fantasy
*Rating* 3.5-4


The Way of the Shield is the first installment in author Marshal Ryan Maresca's Maradaine Elite series. The fourth series of the Maradaine universe tells the story of Dayne Heldrin, an elite warrior and protector of the city of Maradaine. This is a series set to the back drop of high fantasy, which means lots of characters, political machinations, with the introduction of the grand ten, as well as plenty of action, magic and
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
*copy from the publisher in exchange for a review*

The Way of the Shield is the start of a new fantasy series from Marshall Ryan Maresca. It shares a setting with his other series – the sprawling metropolis of Maradaine, populated by mages, vigilantes, police investigators, criminals, cults, politicians – and now, knights.

The centre of the narrative is Dayne. Dayne is a member of the Tarian order, a group of heavily armed individuals with a code. There used to be more of these orders, but they’ve
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For some reason, Maresca's fourth Maradaine series, The Maradaine Elite, seems to be getting the least attention, which is a damned shame, because Dayne Heldrin is such a unique character, the kind we don't see enough of in fantasy.

We always see the Big Hulking Strong Guy With A Sword, sure, and Dayne IS that, but he's also a pacifist warrior. He has a sword, but he also has a shield, and thats the thing that really matters to him. It's not just a defense weapon, it's a philosophy. Dayne will
The blazes, Mr Maresca? This story almost didn't make it to 4 stars in my estimation!!!!

For almost 70% of the narrative, we have a main character who is a seemingly insipid mix of Dudley-do-Right and Done-it-Duncan, parked in the middle of a somewhat confusing and almost boring explanation of the Maradaine political system (which is actually rather complex, as it turns out). I had to put the story aside for a bit and read something else, just to give myself a break.

However, my faith in this
Alysa H.
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
A great addition to the Maradaine world, this book is also pretty satisfying on its own. Maresca has invented a complex political bureaucracy for his characters to get stuck in and/or run up against. In the case of this book's particular (and new) main character, Dayne, a sort of Knight-in-Training who is so morally upright as to be a pillar, the bureaucracy becomes such an obstacle that it's like a character in itself. The crux of the matter is basically how Dayne and co. handle it, versus how ...more
Uriah Mach
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve greatly enjoyed all of the other Maradaine series that Mr Mareska has written and had been waiting for his new one to drop with baited breath.

I was not disappointed. While the bulk of the book is broken in to finding a place for an order of paladins in a more urban and sophisticated society, the remainder focuses on the conspiracy to do away with Druth’s nascent democracy and return to the good old days where the nobility could do whatever it wanted. And we’ve seen some early pieces of this
Oct 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Maresca continues to produce intricate fantasy. This latest book in Maradaine is the first of a new series and was quite good. We've had a view of Maradaine from the following viewpoints: student/magician's, policeman's perspective and thief. Now we get the military perspective-or maybe the Templar perspective as I think that's the closest analogy we have.

As usual, great characterization and lots of surprising reveals and plot twists. I keep thinking I need to go back and read them all in order
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Storyline had a judicious taste of current events which actually made the plot believable. But I have reservations - I like the make up of Dayne (MC) but do not think I like him. He is a Paladin...almost to a fault.
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
these books just keep getting better as they go along.
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, high-fantasy
The latest series by Maresca goes in a very different direction than the others so far. The first 3 series are definitely taking a "street level" view of things and working the dirty end of the field. This one has some touches of that, but the tone and style are different here, mostly because the primary POV is from Dayne who is basically an example of a D&D paladin.

Dayne is a different kind of idealist than say, The Thorn. He's more high-minded and dedicating himself not just to his order
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: series, fantasy
The Way of the Shield is the first book in the final series from Marshall Ryan Maresca.. We've been previously introduced to a vigilante college student, some exceptional if odd constabulary folks, and a crew of misfits from Holver Alley. This book introduces us to the more powerful among the Druthal nation - we meet the Parliament and the various orders of protection for the nation. I enjoyed the Maradain Series, really enjoyed the Maradaine Constabulary series, and loved the Streets of ...more
L.E. Doggett
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another one with four stars. Maresca is a masterful storyteller. His world in this book is well thought out and inventive. However remember that even though this is the first in a series it is part of a larger tale involving the city of Maradiane. Something very large is afoot there, we still aren't sure about.

This book introduces two new characters who will have a part to play. Maresca does a good job with the plot, characters and story here. He does a good job with the actions scenes gets
Henry Lazarus
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Dayne Heldrin believed in The Way of the Shield (paper from DAW) and the Tarian Order. He wanted to protect people with his sword and shield and mostly save lives. But Parliament decides who will advance. He and his mentor had been sent to rescue a kidnaped noble child. Alas the child was hurt and his mentor killed. Returning to Maradaine, the city in which all Marshall Ryan Maresca fun tales are set, the master of the order informs him that he will never advance to adept. Then a group of ...more
Tamra Trabanino
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I didn't think I'd like this book as much based on other reviews, but I liked it just as much as the other books!
The author writes characters that you'd like to have as friends and so you want to see what's next for them.
And I loved the twist in the end just as I thought things were winding up!
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-books-read
This author’s books are just plain fun. Multiple interlocking series set in the same fantasy city from different perspectives.
They aren’t great classics of literature but I’ve had a good time reading all of them so far and I look forward to the next book.
Barry Hammock
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An excellent mix of political intrigue, conspiracy theories, and medieval court action that one expects from a sword and sorcery fantasy novel.
Nov 28, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed it. But it was missing humor. And the big reveal at the end was a huge shock and really out of character for 2 characters, in my opinion.
John Livingston
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good book.
Todd Booth
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Dec 18, 2018
Rozanna Terkowitz
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Apr 12, 2019
John Dozier
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Aug 02, 2019
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Mar 03, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Oct 06, 2018
Tanislav Silvia-Raluca
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Aug 20, 2019
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Jul 02, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Dec 08, 2018
Alan Jeddeloh
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Oct 07, 2018
John Santore
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Oct 07, 2018
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Apr 15, 2019
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Jan 05, 2019
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Goodreads Librari...: Organizing Books in Series for Maradaine Sequence 5 16 Feb 20, 2018 08:59PM  

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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 Elite (3 books)
  • Shield of the People (Maradaine Elite, #2)
  • The People of the City (Maradaine Elite, #3)