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The Guild Codex: Spellbound #1

Trois mages et une margarita

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Quand le bar où elle a postulé se trouve être une guilde remplie de mages arrogants, Tori comprend que sa vie a pris un tournant inattendu.

Fauchée, presque à la rue et depuis peu sans emploi : voilà les raisons pour lesquelles j’ai répondu à une annonce pour un job de serveuse dans un bar minable.

Ça a commencé à partir en cacahuète quand on m'a demandé de faire un essai ce soir-là, plutôt qu’un entretien. Un test grandeur nature, histoire de voir si j'allais bien m'entendre avec leur clientèle « spéciale ».

Une réussite, vraiment.
Leurs clients étaient de gros cons, et je ne me suis pas laissé faire. C'est bien la définition de « s'intégrer », non ?

Je m'attendais à ce qu'on me montre la porte. Mais au lieu de ça... j'ai décroché le poste ?
Ce n'est qu'après que j'ai réalisé que cet endroit n'était pas un bar. C'est une guilde. Et les trois types arrogants que j'ai arrosés de margarita pendant mon essai ? Ce. Sont. Des. Mages !

Soit je suis exactement le genre de serveuse à la langue acérée dont cette guilde a besoin, soit il y a une bonne raison si personne d'autre ne veut travailler là. Et qu'est-ce que fait une fille fauchée dans une telle situation ?
Elle accepte le boulot, bien sûr. Et avec une augmentation, s'il vous plaît !

Note : les trois mages sont assurément sexy mais cette série n'est pas un Reverse Harem. C'est un concentré d'humour et de sarcasme dans un univers d'Urban Fantasy au rythme détonant. Et si Tori n'a aucun problème à se mettre dans la m***** à chaque fois, il s'agit d'une nouvelle aventure à chaque tome : pas de fin ouverte, pas de frustration, que du plaisir !

328 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 14, 2018

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About the author

Annette Marie

57 books6,204 followers
Annette Marie is the author of YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, romantic fantasy Red Winter, and sassy UF series The Guild Codex.

Her first love is fantasy, while fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She proudly admits she has a thing for dragons, and her editor has inquired as to whether she intends to include them in every single book.

Annette lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad). She shares her life with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

Find out more about Annette and her books at www.annettemarie.ca.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,804 reviews
Profile Image for ✶Rachelle✶ .
266 reviews123 followers
September 1, 2020
REREAD AGAIN: Sept 1, 2020

For real though, has someone invented a book Tardis?


REREAD: Sept 19, 2019

I love this world so much. It's just the best. Even as a reread I inhaled this story. Seriously, has anyone figured out how we can jump out of our world into the world of a book? Is there some sort of book Tardis somewhere?


4.5 stars

Magic guilds, Elemental mages and psychics and other magic people, strong sense of friendship and loyalty.....what does this remind me of?...

Oh yeah.....

Say hello to the more adult, urban fantasy version of Fairy Tail, one of my FAVORITE ANIMES OF ALL TIME. I mean Erza is even my profile pic. I don't know if the similarities are wishful thinking on my part or if the author took inspiration from Fairy Tail, but either way I was SO EXCITED with the connections I was making.

I devoured this book in 1.5 sittings (the 0.5 being the little I was able to read during my break at work). Annette Marie writes some of the best action scenes I've read, and she just keeps getting better. I literally could not put my Kindle down because I had to know what happened next. Her writing style never fails to suck me in to the fictional world she has created, craving more of everything. Three Mages and a Margarita delivered it all.

The one thing I wish was different was knowing more about the main character, Tori. She has a past, but it is just briefly mentioned in the story. Since this is the first of a series (I'm assuming a trilogy), I'm sure this will be addressed in future books. But for the initial connection to the main character, a little more background information would have been nice.

A solid read. I can't wait for the next book!


When you get an ARC from one of your favorite authors:

Profile Image for Holly.
1,414 reviews959 followers
October 3, 2019
3.5 stars
Nothing particularly new here, but it was still enjoyable in a light-PNR way. It slightly reminded me of Slouch Witch, in the sense that both main characters don't have it all together yet, especially in the job/professionalism department. Only in this book the heroine is just a mere human, not a witch. I'll continue on with the series because it's a nice break from the more serious books.
Profile Image for Denisa.
1,181 reviews286 followers
February 13, 2019
Well, I like it for some weird reason. Promising, definitely.

I dunno why I liked this one. It was weird and a bit annoying and can't say I love the main character, but for some reason I find this series absolutely delightful! Like a big, yummy ice cream.

This chick is fun! And her friends are pretty cool too. What caught me was the writing style, I read this book in a day without actually trying to. It went by so fast and the story was so much fun that I could barely put it down to eat (yes, it was a Sunday).

If Annette Marie keeps it up, I have a feeling I'll be a big fan of this series! Can't wait to start the next one.
November 4, 2021
Here goes a mix of quotes from vol 1 and 2 of this series (LOL!):

Q: “A daiquiri? Good choice. ... Perfect drink for a chat about the dark arts.” (c)
Q: “Maybe we should call ourselves crows instead of hammers.” (c)
Q: “... independence is an admirable trait, but it can be rooted in pride, insecurity, and fear as easily as it can stem from strength, confidence, and self-reliance. Be sure you know what drives yours.” (c)

Fancy 'complimentary mold, cockroaches, and suspicious odors'? If no, getting an apartment w/faery is a done deal. Or not:
Q: Hell no. I was not doing a real-life “unlikely roommates” sitcom with a faery. (c)

The set:
Aaron the pyromage,
Ezra the aeromage,
Kai the elecramage...
my customers ranged from the ever-irascible sorceress Sylvia, an old hag who loved to hate me, and her banana-haired apprentice, Alyssa; Bryce and Drew, who looked like teeth-bashing bouncers but were actually psychics—a telepath and a telekinetic; Laetitia, the water-flinging hydromage; and Rose, a grandmotherly diviner with turquoise glasses ...
Zora, a badass sorceress with a penchant for massive weapons; Andrew, a mid-fifties defensive combat sorcerer who was always on everyone’s team because he was so dependable; and a pair of sorcerers I didn’t know, Zhi and Ming. ...
Completing our team were two psychics. Taye had the gift of telethesia, which allowed him to track people supernaturally; once he caught the Ghost’s trail, the slippery worm wouldn’t be able to escape. And lastly, Bryce, a telepath. Yes, the mind-reading type, and I wasn’t sure how excited I was to work with him. (c) Why is it that the diviner's inevitably a grandma? Can't she be a pyrokinetic or smth, more dynamic?

The Crow and Hammer (yes, that's a place) is getting it's pick of paranormally wacky clientelle.

Tori (Victoria) gets an invite from the mage trio to participate in a mystic cockroach etermination session. Or something like that. Since she has quite the story, she's in! So, she has a valid reason to be spunky, upbeat and resourceful throughout the volume.
The escapade? They have a great plan:
Q: ... when Bryce gives you the command, you run like hell right out of there.” (c) Sounds east-peasy.

Of course, all the characters can't help being inordinately hot or so I've been told.
While the whole is a bit formulaic Paranormal read, it's very entertaining. So, I think I won't go harping on the details of lesser importance and just continue throught the series.

The Guild:
The third rule? I’d never heard of a third one before. I only knew two guild rules: One, don’t hit first, but always hit back, and two, don’t get caught. All things considered, their rules didn’t inspire much confidence. (c) Now, that's reasonable.

The Russian trace:
“Varvara Nikolaev,” Nadine said with a passable Russian accent. “I usually call her tatushka. (c) OMG that's so funny! NikolaevA as she's female. 'Tatushka' means 'a tattoo'. She shouldn't have called the poor gal THAT. She probably should've considered calling her 'babushka' which means 'granny'. LOL. I won't take points off for this, since it's hilarious.

Other fun:
I took one look at the moaning specter and screamed like the sissy girl that I am. (c)
They’d antagonized us right up until I’d asked one if his ass ever got jealous of the shit coming out of his mouth, and at that point Aaron decided we should leave. (c)
How did a drawing of a naked couple predict the future? Who used tarot cards to decide if they should bang someone? (c)
I tried to imagine how an average teen would react ... I couldn’t base it on my own reaction to discovering magic, since “Can I see that fireball again?” probably wasn’t typical. (c)
I kept my expression pleasantly neutral but internally, I was rolling my eyes so hard they were metaphysically blistering. (c)
“Rule number three: Any rule can be broken.”...
That was the third rule? Seriously? Mythics were batshit crazy, the whole lot of them.(c)
Profile Image for Ashley.
776 reviews420 followers
March 20, 2022
Star Rating:—> 4.5 Stars

BTW- IMO this book/ series is perfect for #readingrush! Just a suggestion to help you reach your goals!

[FYI; No clue why this is mislabeled paranormal reverse harem. It most definitely is not. In fact romance isn’t even a main plot line in the novel, although Annette Marie DOES like to remind us how sexy mah new main men are! Lol 😁]

She’s done me in, again!

My first experience with her writing was the Red Winter trilogy... which is one of my favoritesssss. If you aren’t into Japanese mythology you may not like it, but I think it would appeal to most fantasy lovers, as AM’s writing style is so incredible & addictive; the woman knows how to keep you hanging onto every word!

This story ended up being nothing less!
I haven’t read much UF, but Three Mages & A Margarita is the BOMB freakin' diggity.
[no dig-gi-ty, no doubt

; homie drop the verse...
Annette Marie’s novels are just SO INCREDIBLY unputdownable! Straight up! SO entertaining, sarcastic, witty, action packed... etc. etc.. I have to admit that I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this, or if I’d even like it (took a chance on it via kindle unlimited), but boy was I enchanted, ensorcelled, delighted, etc! I loved it SO much that I finished it in just under couple of hours (even though it’s approx 300 pgs)—and I usually have a crazy hard time paying attention to e-books, esp on my phone... not the case here!

Annette's unique storytelling, stunning world-building, & shippable, 'its the first book, i'm in love' characters totes caught me good; hook, line, & sinker!

Wonderful character building as always with this author; Incredibly fascinating paranormal world that is hidden just under humans’ noses & is chock full of a crazy interesting rich new unique take on the magical system that I suspect we will learn more and more about as the series goes on!

The story centers around a guild/ group of (primarily) Mythics who, in this case, (mostly) hunt Rogues & only take the toughest cases for bounties, bc most other guilds just don't even come closeeeee. & i mean ngl they do it to keep the world safe bc they're a guild of secret CINNAMON ROLLLLLLS 🥺; haha everyone is so precious in their way! 😂
(Also js, prob in Aaron's case... *hums beginning of pokèmon theme* be the very best, the best there ever wasssss...🤣) !

ANYWHO MYTHICCCS, who can be any one (or more!) of 5 classes:

We focus on a group of a mix of the above, but predominantly elementaria that are members of the magical guild “The Crow & Hammer.” THE guild for misfits amongst the mythic world. Needless to say, they don’t seem to have the best reputation with other mythics; I suppose we shall find out WHY this may be!


Tori, the 5MC, is human and has no magical powers to speak of. She is introduced as having trouble keeping a job because she won’t take shit from customers & can’t hold herself back from telling rude customers where to, erm, go (notttt so great with hospitality). Then by chance, she picks up a list of jobs in the area that are hiring dropped by another job applicant with a listing for a bartender needed. With no clue what she is getting into, she finds herself smack in the middle of this extremely secret and new (to her) magical world when she lands the job- as a bartender for the guild’s headquarters!

Okay, real talk, she is a total BAMF & I love her. I wish I weren’t so socially freakin awkward and afraid of pissing people off because I totally am obsessed with her ‘I take zero shit & I don’t give a f*ck, if you mess with me, I’ll come back at you double' attitude, even if she’s way too mouthy & fiery for her own good (although she has her own insecurities and secrets of course). But yeah; It makes for a good laugh and makes her all the more likable (I must say though, sometimes it WAS just a bit much- that’s why I deducted .5 stars !).

The male supporting characters are ALL swoon worthy IMO, if nothing else because of their amazing, unending loyalty to each other, and to Tori. I love their friendship as a group, both the three of them AND the three of them plus Tori. Their dynamic is #goals! (Their good looks don’t hurt either 😉).
All 3 are witty AF/ sometimes totally obnoxious (in a good way). Some moments are a little cheesy, but in only the best ways— I didn’t find myself eye rolling at all!

This amazing trio is comprised of:
1. Aaron, a pyromage rivaling Tori in the fiery category who has a sharp sense of wit, & is a bit too cocky (yet is pretty charming anyway 🤷🏼‍♀️). He’s also the son of a very famous & wealthy Guild Master; he joined The Crow & The Hammer to piss his father off, MAJOR! He also wanted/wants to be valued for his skill and not just be seen as “The Guild Master’s Son.”
2. Kai, an electramage who happens to be a total ladykiller (although that isn’t particularly shown, just alluded to) who is still so down to earth, full of wit, & is a totally lovable wise–ass. I’m sure we have much more to learn about him!
3. Ezra, an aeromage whom i’ve yet to figure out, as not only does he have an apparently pretty complicated past (he is completely blind in his left eye; a scar runs down the left side of his face seemingly from a slash wound), but he’s also super broody and mysterious, & endearingly awkward. He reminds me of Azriel from ACOTAR, actually... Anyway, he sort of levels the trio of guys that befriend Tori, ever with her added into the mix!. He is all kinds of loyal, and it’s amazing.

The whole cast of characters, and boy are they characters, in The Crow & Hammer Guild are amazing. I really enjoyed pretty much everyone! So much fun!

So plot wise, trouble is a-brewin’ between Mages in the magic/paranormal community, which begins with an attack by a mysterious group of seemingly rogue mythics that nearly kills a member of our new bffs from the Crow & Hammer. From there the story takes you on an action packed, 'you-best-be-buckled-up-buttercup,' adventure that you won’t be able to tear yourself away from !

Do yourself a favor & READ. THIS. NOW!
Give it a shot. Whats the worst that could go wrong? It’s a quick read, and if you like UF, magic, the PNR genre with slow burn romance, suspense, amazing friendships, wonderful character development & world building, some pretty great laughs, YA, NA, and/or a pinch of Romance... seriously, give it a go.

(which if you're anything like me... yeahh its hard for me to find TRULY great series on KU, especially ones that are TRULY worth your while and NOT JUST ANOTHER, 'ah well, i've read better, but its free with my KU, lets keep reading—why not' READ. THIS I PROMISE YOU—WHOLEHEARTEDLY WITHOUT RESERVATION, OBV. I'M ALL CAPS-ING YOU HERE Lol! SO TAKE THIS GOLDEN TICKET I'VE JUST HANDED YOU & GO READ THIS GEM OF A NOVEL!)

Annette Marie is a force; she definitely is an author to look out for a & give a try. You could have a new favorite author's backlist to add to your TBR ;). 😊

1002% recommend! Over & over again!
Profile Image for ♛Vanessa♛ Fangirl Faction.
816 reviews588 followers
December 20, 2022
12/19/2022: Reread! (Audiobook.)
06/14/2021: Reread! (Audiobook.)
09/12/2020: Reread! (Audiobook.)
07/28/2020: Reread! (Listened on audio with my son, Maddox.)
07/13/2020: Reread! (Listened on audio while reading along with my physical copy.)

09/08/2019: Reread! <3
09/17/2018: Read for the second time! This book has been out for only three days and I have fully read it twice already and skimmed through it a third time. I love it!

This review MAY contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

This book was a glorious adventure and it was just what I needed right now! Annette Marie has broken the mold and shattered my expectations yet again. Just when I think that she is super clever for coming up with imaginative, complex fantasy worlds she releases another and I have been swept away again. If you are as clever as she is, you'll jump on her bandwagon and ride the magical waves of urban fantasy with us.

So, yeah. Marie creates such captivating fantasy worlds. Not only is this world (and all of her other fantasy worlds) creative, but it is also damn intriguing. There are different magical systems that are detailed and just plain awesome. There is a magical governing body, magic guilds, and supernatural creatures. There are so many fun and compelling elements that are crafted into this world. There was clearly a lot of thought and research put into this world.

This book was different from Marie's other books in that it has a self-contained plot. Marie has said that this series will be episodic. So while elements of the series will carry over to other books, each book of the series will have its own story. While I typically tend to stick to book series that have plots that encompass the entire series as opposed to single books in a series, the changeup in style did not negatively impact my reading at all. So if you are hesitant to try the series because of this, I would urge you to still read this book! I was still able to appreciate the story. The story did seem much more fast-paced than Marie's other books. And while some serious things do occur in the book, the overall feeling was much lighter than her other books. I think the lighter feel and the fast pacing works well with the self-contained plot.

The characters in this series were a true delight! I fell in love with these characters so quickly! Like, crazy fast! The main character is spunky, feisty, and fierce. I immediately liked her. Her three mage companions were just as likable. They each bring a different flavor into the story. And no, this isn't a reverse harem story so put that out of your head. (But if that's your thing then good on you. It just doesn't apply here. :)) And if I am being honest, I loved not having any inclination which way the romance in the story would go. With so many options, my mind was whirling!

I also really appreciated the underlying themes hidden in the story. Friendship, trust, self-reliance, prejudice, and conviction all show up in the story in one way or another.

Overall, Annette Marie is a storytelling Queen and you are mad if you do not read this! Pick this book up and fall into a world you'll want to stay in with characters that you'll want to stay with. This book will make you laugh, will make you root for the heroine, will give you the hella hot mage feels and will make you crave more stories from Annette Marie! And while you are at it, pick up her Steel & Stone series, her spin-off Spell Weaver series, and/or her Red Winter series. Once you read one of Marie's books you will be under her spell! I am so stoked to read the next book in this series!

More reviews on my blog: Novel Nerd Faction
Profile Image for Montzalee Wittmann.
4,500 reviews2,315 followers
January 4, 2020
Three Mages and a Margarita
The Guild Codex: Spellbound Series, Book 1
By: Annette Marie
Narrated by: Cris Dukehart
This really is a fun book! A short tempered, take no sass gal can't keep a job. She comes across a flyer for a job at a bar in a bad part of town. Desperate, she takes it. She still has her anger issues but no one cares! She soon finds out why and why they shouldn't have hired her! Lots of magic, action, not mages, and craziness! Fun book!
The narrator made it super special too!
Profile Image for Kit (Metaphors and Moonlight).
875 reviews120 followers
October 30, 2018
4 Stars

*I received an ecopy of this book from the author. This has not influenced my review.*

The blurb says this book is a fun, sassy, fast-paced urban fantasy, and I gotta say, that is actually a highly accurate description!

Tori, our main character, was one of those heroines who is full of sass and attitude and runs her mouth off or does impulsive things even when she shouldn't, and that's normally a type of character I'm not fond of. But her short temper was kind of understandable in the situations and was balanced by her determination, hard work, intelligence, and courage, so I ended up liking her and finding her easy to root for regardless.

The other main characters, the three mages mentioned in the title (a pyromage, an electromage, and an aeromage), were fun and sexy and had awesome powers, but they were also loyal and sweet when it mattered. I don't feel like I got to know them super well, but this was only the first book in a series. My favorite though was Ezra; he was the most kind and soft-spoken of the bunch.

There was also some disability rep since Ezra is blind in one eye. He wasn't a POV character, but I loved that the author still found a way to make it realistic (instead of just tossing it in as an affectation) and mentioned things like his depth perception not being good.

My favorite thing though was the magic system! It was detailed and organized, and I loved how much thought was put into it. I also loved how it included so many different types of abilities and magic users---mages, sorcerers, witches, alchemists, healers, telekinetics, telepaths, claireaudients, diviners, and more that we haven't even seen yet.

As for everything else... The pace was fast. The writing was easy to read. Overall, it was a solid start to a new urban fantasy series.

Recommended For:
Anyone who likes sassy heroines with attitude, sexy men with magic, and fun urban fantasy.

Original Review @ Metaphors and Moonlight
Profile Image for Ezi Chinny.
2,518 reviews414 followers
June 2, 2019
I am surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. It wasn't a romance but it was a straight up magic urban fantasy novel.

Tori was a bartender who can't keep a job to save her life. She even earned a reputation as someone not to hire. She finally got a job at the Crow and Hammer, and it seemed like she found a great fit. Except as a human, she shouldn't be working with the magics/the guild.

Tori meets Aaron, Ezra and others working at the Crow and Hammer, and they formed a friendship of sorts. It was nice to see Tori finally own some of the feelings she kept bottled inside as well as finding a place where she belongs.
Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
2,981 reviews363 followers
August 8, 2019
This was so unbelievably fun! What a great start to a new series with a little bit of it all. Danger, magic, romance, humor. I had a hard time putting this one down and will definitely be continuing on with the series. So glad I took a chance and read this!
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,901 reviews1,506 followers
February 23, 2020
This shouldn't have worked very well, really. The worldbuilding is haphazard with only enough framework to support the story and lots of undefined details around the edges. Plus, I have a hard time imagining that a group of magic folks would call themselves "mythic" anything, let alone "mythics" as a group. Maybe if they were unicorns or something? And the plot only works if you take the worldbuilding seriously and that takes some effort with how threadbare it is.

But Marie takes a huge risk by giving us a heroine who isn't the super-tough warrior chick or a hidden talent who discovers her ginormous power and instead giving us a bog-standard human who has a problem letting things go, getting in trouble in all those low-level waitress jobs that require at least a little tact and social give. She antagonizes back when antagonized, so she finds herself hopping from job to job and we start the story at a point where she has a troublesome reputation in the places close enough to her home to walk to. Which, frankly, also should have bugged me because so many UF heroines exhibit a blind snark reflex that inevitably gets on my nerves when it becomes clear that it's their primary response to every input.

But that's probably why this worked for me, now I think of it. Tori snarks when snarked upon, but her initial response to people is cheerful and helpful. And Marie does a good job depicting the insecurity at the core of her interactions with others and that drew me in, too. Don't get me wrong because she's tough and determined and she steps up to help others so that insecurity isn't about being weak. Instead, it's about companionship and finding a place in the world where she can feel like her loyalty and giving to others will be reciprocated. i.e. she wants to belong.

And Marie does another very smart thing in making the magic world not that place for much of the story. She finds friends, but they're the exception () and they start off rocky. So the story is as much about her winning others gradually over while also showing her mettle and willingness to give back as good as she takes.

So what worked for me turns out to be Tori and her core group of friends. And the gradual expansion of that circle was engaging. And the plot didn't suck if you were willing to go along with the bare-bones premise, so that didn't hurt, either.

So I'm going to give this 3½ stars that I'll round to four; not least because the author managed a snarky heroine for whom snark wasn't her initial, let along go-to response to everybody.

A note about Chaste: The relationships in this start off rocky and build towards friendship and the core group of her friends are three guys who are more-or-less equal possibilities romance-wise, but with none of them taking enough foreground to qualify as an actual relationship. Two of them actually make believable overtures to her through the course of the story, but none get far enough that intimacy is really possible. So this is chaste with only a few kisses and some sexy flirting but nothing more.
Profile Image for Angela (Angel's Guilty Pleasures).
1,539 reviews861 followers
December 31, 2019
Three Mages and a Margarita is book one in The Guild Codex: Spellbound by Annetta Marie.

This is my first taste of Author Annetta Marie. I’ve had my eye on her work since she first came on the scene. Her covers are very eye-catching and make want to take a second look.

Three Mages and a Margarita was a very entertaining and amusing listen.

Tori is our lead. She’s a twenty-one-year-old heroine who’s currently sleeping on her brothers couch while attending college and working in the serving industry. Tori doesn’t have the best of luck on keeping a job and soon she’s looking for something new. Magically she finds herself at an unusual bar and the tale that unfolds is hilarious, snarky, sweet, and fun.

We are soon introduced to three mages who are all friends/roommates and work together to collect bounties. Tori’s interaction with each one is unique and each guy plays a role in her life as a friend. There might be a possible love interest, but that’s not here nor there.

The story-line is fast-paced and enchanting. The world-building is nice. The secondary characters are all unique, interesting, and fun.

Three Mages and a Margarita unfolds nicely and is a great start to the series. I can’t wait to continue on. If your looking for an enjoyable urban fantasy to listen too then this is definitely one to check out.

Narration: Cris Dukehart is a new to me narrator. She did a fantastic job with Tori and the rest of the gang. Things moved along at a nice pace, emotions where captured, and the snark came off as fun and appealing.

Rated: 4 Stars

Profile Image for Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*.
2,388 reviews1,056 followers
November 23, 2018
I really liked this one -- the main character is fun, feisty, and ends up in an unusual situation. There's attacks, hilarious moments, borderline hot moments (still not sure which of the guys will be the one yet), intriguing world building. For a change she's the norm in a group of paranormals instead of there being something unsual about her "powers" (she has none). Will be reading the second soon.
Profile Image for Mara.
2,468 reviews233 followers
March 18, 2019
I tagged this UF, but it's a stretch. A cutesy story with a barely there plot and almost no world building. It suffers terribly from superficiality and blandness. Characters were one dimensional.
I'm not particularly interested in reading this series.
Profile Image for mith.
740 reviews256 followers
May 9, 2022
find this review + others on my blog!
I think I've said this before, but whatever. I love Annette Marie's books and I'll read anything of hers at this point. Anything.

I was ecstatic when Marie announced two new series, one of them being this one! I was just waiting for more info to come in—cover reveals, character reveals, blurbs, all that good stuff. And each new teaser just got me hyped up all the more.

That being said, I was extremely satisfied with Three Mages and a Margarita! Despite the title being a mouthful—though I do appreciate the alliteration—the book was super fun. It has a voice-y character, funny quips, and lots of friendly camaraderie that I really loved reading.

Tori was a really fun character. In all her other books—all eleven! of them!—Marie wrote from a third person point of view and I thought the shift to first person would be weird, but it fit so well! It was easy to fall into Tori's voice and into her head, and this type of narration just really worked for the book. Connecting to bits of her personality was a lot easier for me. And I've always preferred first person PoV anyway, so this was perfect.

I also really loved the titular three mages! They're all reminiscent of Marie's other male characters—sarcastic, quiet, attractive—but the three were a tight knit group and you could really tell from the way they interacted, both in casual environments and more dangerous ones. I liked that they took in Tori and got along with her so easily.

And despite what you might think with there being three guys, Three Mages is not a reverse harem! Marie herself said so (there's even a note on the GR page).

As much as I liked this book, some things did bother me. First being that, of the three mages, only two had real page time. There's Ezra, Aaron, and Kai, but we mostly see significant interactions with Aaron and Ezra, and not much of Kai, which was disappointing.

Another thing that bothered me was the use of the word exotic to describe Kai. He's Japanese-American, if what I gathered from the book is correct (AKA if I'm remembering correctly lol), and Tori describes him—three times—as having "exotic features". Um. Don't do this. Don't describe anyone as exotic, especially people of color.

And finally, there was the use of the word "girly". Oh my god, I'm so fucking tired. There's nothing wrong with "girly" things and I'm tired of that type of thing being in books! I don't care if you consider shopping girly or crying girly. Every time you do that, you just bring back the negative connotation of feminine things being bad or undesirable. Look, shopping is fun. It's great. And having a certain reaction after a certain event? It's being human. I'm so tired of this.

Overall, 3.5 stars. Not my favourite Marie book, but it was definitely a solid start to a new series and I think it holds a lot of potential. There's a lot I'd love to see in the future books, so I can't wait to see where it goes!
Profile Image for Lindsay.
Author 178 books4,908 followers
February 22, 2020
Enjoyable characters, clean, tight writing. Heroine is an everyday-woman type, if you need a break from uber powerful badasses. :D
Profile Image for Marguerite (M).
773 reviews535 followers
April 4, 2019
Rating: 5 stars

"Since this drink is on you," I told him, "I know exactly what I want."
He watched curiously as I turned to Cooper, my smile widening.
"How about a margarita?"

Three Mages and a Margarita was so much fun. It was well written, fast paced, with action, comedy and an overly charming heroine with anger issues.

The book introduced us to many characters but mostly revolved around Tori at her newfound workplace. She did not just get a job she practically knew nothing about but also stumbled a whole new universe of magics and mythics.

Tori was a real delight -a smart-mouthed-act-before-thinking-ball-of-fury- and definitely the heart of the book. She was in way over her head, jumped into danger like a crazy lunatic and didn't have any reason to help so much in the first place. Human or not, who wouldn't want to keep her?

"Not cool?" I shouted, slamming my hands down on the bar top. "I've been working my ass off without so much as a thank-you from a single goddamn person, and you're jerking me around like a five-year-old with no impulse control. I you so much as open your mouth again, I'll shove my soda gun down your throat and see if you can crack jokes while you drown!"

It was only my second book from Annette Marie and I will definitely check more. Thank you everyone for adding it to my feed so many times!
Profile Image for Brittany.
906 reviews59 followers
September 7, 2019
I really enjoyed this one. I had heard good things about it from some goodreads friends and when my library got an audio copy I just couldn't put off trying it any longer. I like the world, love the magic types and enjoyed the characters. Love Ezra the most of the mages. There's something about him that is just fabulous. Tori is snarky and trouble as well as a fun character to follow.
Highly recommend. On hold for book 2!
Profile Image for Soo.
2,598 reviews255 followers
September 29, 2018

I came across this book in my GR feed & suggested it to a friend. We promptly set up a Buddy Read to happen in a few days. I am a dork. This book is currently available on Kindle Unlimited, and I went to read a few pages to see if I would like it. I was hooked by the down to earth character & humor and ended up reading the whole thing before the Buddy Read. Ha!

My friend read the book, had a good time and we're in to Buddy Read the next one when it comes out.

I like Tori & the gang at the Crow and Hammer. The guild's 1st rule: Don't hit first, but always hit back!

Who would not grin at that?

Tori is down to earth and spunky. The story isn't perfect because it isn't entirely fleshed out but it had a nice touch in details that really made the story pop. Good pacing, the start of an interesting magic system, small peek at the unseen world and potential for lots of character growth. I am not against reverse harems but I am glad this story is not a romance. A fun Urban Fantasy that I am happy to add to my list. I hope the series continues to grow and expand on Tori & her adventures.

If she doesn't start to learn how to do magic in the next book, I'm going to be peeved!
Profile Image for - The Polybrary -.
314 reviews187 followers
October 19, 2018
~*Full review here on The Bent Bookworm!*~

I was expecting to like Three Mages and a Margarita. I was NOT expecting to love it. And well..let’s just say as soon as I finished I jumped onto GoodReads to see when the next one was coming out!

I signed up for the book tour because I like sassy female characters and felt like I could use a lighthearted, amusing read in the middle of all my heavy science stuff that I’ve been working on for months. The description made me think Jim Butcher and Gail Carriger had a brain-child…and I was NOT disappointed!


Tori is the bomb. She takes no shit, from anyone, and yet she still has soft heart and she tries to care about people. It’s only sort of hinted at what sort of trauma her past holds (she tries to reveal-but-not-reveal to one other character in the book and it just left some things up in the air), but she has difficulty trusting anyone. She takes care of herself, but she tries to take care of other people too. The dichotomy is something she admits to struggling with, but it doesn’t weigh the book down.

The three mages are, as promised, sexy AF. Despite that, it is not (also as promised) a reverse harem. Just a good dose of sexual tension and admiration on all sides, hence the two flames. Nothing too sexual though, though I feel like the potential is there. I am extremely eager to see what happens in subsequent books, and I’m kind of hoping for a HEA on all counts for this series. Because it just seems like it needs it. All three guys – despite being often seen together and best friends – are quite different and I loved them all but I loved Ezra just a teeny bit more. :heart_eyes: Ahem.


Now, I don’t read that much urban fantasy, so it’s possible the magic system isn’t all that original, but I thought it was fascinating. I loved how the explanation of magic users in the modern world was explained, how they stayed hidden from the normal/human set, as well as how they used their powers and weapons.

The plot kept it moving, which I really liked. The only reason I didn’t read this all in one sitting was because – well, homework and being a responsible student. 😛 Whomp whomp. (Also when I went to write this review, my ePub had for some reason VANISHED from my computer and I really wanted to look back and re-read a few things before I wrote it, hence the very short review in the actual tour post.) Things just kept happening! I wanted to find out more and more and it didn’t feel predictable at all. I did feel like one part – not the actual climax, but leading up to that – was oddly rushed, but when I thought back over it a scene between wasn’t really necessary, I was just a bit stunned by how fast it moved on. The ACTUAL climax I actually panicked slightly, though I was pretty sure they wouldn’t kill off a particular character it certainly seemed like it was going to happen for awhile and just OMG NO. In the end, everything seemed pretty well-resolved though, aside from the non-romance, so I’m interested to see what else is going to happen in the next two books.

Yes! Two! Aaaaah!! Maybe more? I certainly hope so! I think Three Mages and a Margarita is the start to a series I could see myself enjoying for a very long time to come.

Book 2, Dark Arts and a Daiquiri, is due out November 18, of THIS YEAR! Such a short wait between books, I am just over the moon.

Book 3, Two Witches and a Whiskey, titled but no GR page or pub date yet.

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Profile Image for Darcey.
913 reviews192 followers
September 9, 2020
Brief review above the... umm... wiggly dashes (?) and long, more series-focused review below the wiggly dashes!

entertaining, funny, addictive and i flew through it! all up, pretty good! it's no Red Winter but few books are ;)

thanks ashy xx


Phew ok! My thoughts on this series are pretty crazy, so here goes.
First of all: don’t get invested in Aaron and Tori as a thing, because they just ain’t it. I doubt anyone who enjoys good romance would like them, as they don’t have much chemistry, but just a warning anyway. But don’t let that put you off the series, either! Aaron isn’t endgame, but I love the person that is, and him and Tori are real cute.
I guess that means it’s time for me to talk about the characters! Our MC, Tori, is a headstrong, sarcastic, occasionally rude (but only to those who deserve it) bartender who keeps losing jobs because she can’t keep her mouth closed. The character development she undergoes is amazing, and it really makes this series all the more better as the series continues and Tori learns how to pick her battles and actually win them. Then there’s our three mages: Aaron, Kai and Ezra. Aaron is the joker, the funny one who makes light out of everything and tries to keep everyone happy, and he’s quite sweet, though I don’t LOVE him. Kai.... honestly I have mixed feelings on Kai. From book 1-6 I felt a whole load of NOTHING from Kai. I wouldn’t have cared if he lived or died or turned out to be evil and killed them all. He meant nothing to me. But slowly but surely, around book 6 or 7, he slowly started to get more page time, and therefore more personality, which was really good. He may not be my favourite, but I actually like him, which is a definite improvement. Finally, Ezra! God, his character development was insane, and I loved it. We didn’t get much Ezra in book 1 or 2 (I don’t think, I’m writing this after finishing book 7 so they kinda blur together) but later in the series when we got more Ezra, it became clear that he’s a very special snowflake. He’s a real sweetheart, and I loved it, because how many buff, muscly sweethearts do you find in books? Ezra definitely improved over the series, and I really loved seeing him in Guild Codex: Demonized as well, because he was badass af and had finally learnt to control a unique part of him!
And then there’s Zak, the love of my life. He’s not in book 1, unfortunately, I think he comes in book 3? Or 4? Or 2? Yeah I have no idea, but either way, he comes and goes and he’s hilarious and wonderful and badass and hot and just all round BRILLIANT. Love you Zak! (I kinda wish Tori and Zak were a thing but ah well).
Now the plot line! (Sorry I didn’t expect this review to actually become this long). The plot line was interesting and easy to follow, and though the romance is lacking (with Aaron) for the first couple books, the actual storyline much makes up for it, because Annette Marie writes actual stories and not just romances, and it’s wonderful. The writing was addictive as always and the magic was unique and, once you got your head wrapped around all the different names, reasonably simple, so this series is an easy and quick way to get through a bunch of books for your reading challenge!
Super entertaining and fun, this is a book for all ages. Oh, and Annette also has two (even better) series that I LOVE LOVE LOVE called Guild Codex: Demonized (yep a spin-off from this but you don’t actually need to read this first, it just helps) and Red Winter! Check those out ASAP and thank me after!!
Profile Image for Aurialis .
133 reviews23 followers
September 26, 2019
Is there a word for opposite of cliche? Anti-cliche?

That's how I would describe the book. I was pleasantly surprised by this series. Shocked, to be honest!

The very best, shocking, bold, original, daring part of the book is that the heroine is human.


This maybe the only urban fantasy I have read - hell, perhaps the only one written - where the main heroine is totally human! This is just not done! The 3 out of the 4 stars are just for that!

This makes for a very interesting heroine. Here, we have a totally human heroine that is suddenly dumped in supernatural society.... and yet she manages to overcome the villains and bad karma thrown her way! I loved her fierce, loyal, bold, independent personality!

The book had an average plot, the world building was well done and the writing style okay. But the major steal for me was the characters. All of them. I loved Tori and the guys.

It was an amazing read and I definitely plan to keep following the series.

Profile Image for Arunimaa.
184 reviews205 followers
June 22, 2020


3.5 stars

Three Mages and a Margarita turned out to be a fun ride nicely packed with magical guilds, psychics, a fair share of action and oh yes, three super hot mages.

This was my first time reading anything by Annette Marie. As far as the writing is concerned, it was alright. It was simple, light and refreshing which I quite liked but I can't really say it was the best. I just sometimes felt that certain things to be too forced. Humour was persistent though throughout which was.

The quick plot :- Tori is our snarky, quick-witted redhead protagonist with a questionable temperament. She is also very broke and jobless after being kicked out from her recent job at a cafe. She is forced to apply for a dodgy pub located in the shadier part of the city because no one would hire her thanks to her lovely reputation. But she soon realises that the pub isn't your normal pub. In fact it's a magical guild. And these strange people here are not humans at all. They are called Mythics. And they seem to hate her already.

I didn't particularly strongly dislike anything from the book, in fact, quite enjoyed how fast-paced it was. Sure, there were things that annoyed me a bit, but nothing that really, really bothered me. We will get to that later though.

The plot wasn't the most intrinsic but then also it is the first book in the series. So it was more like a filler where we, as readers, were introduced to this magical universe created by the author. And I don't mind light plots. It did have action, yes, but as I said, it was a very introductory book to basically provide worldbuilding and demonstrate the concept of the entire Guild comes together to fight against the bad guys . I am sure the plot will get more complicated with upcoming installments. I mean, that's how usually Urban Fantasies work considering the number of books there are in a series.

Coming to the characters now.
I found Tori (our main character ) annoying. Like, I get the concept of a badass, witty, snarky female protagonist. We all love them. But I think Tori overdid it. I didn't dislike her entirely but sometimes she just got under my skin really bad. First of all, I didn't find her reactions to specific things realistic at all. No matter how tough or strong she was, she was a human. She gets to know about a magical guild and all these mythics and her reaction was so .... normal . Like okay, I just got to know this place is supernatural and 99% of the people here hate me and I am just a weasely human compared to all these crazy sorcerers and psychics but that's not scary at all. Not even a little bit. Perhaps mildly surprising but that's cool. I still wanna work here.

I get that this is how the plot has to be. But I would expect a stronger reaction, doesn't have to be fear, could have been excitement or shock. It felt very passive .
And then what was even more bothersome was the inconsistency in her reactions. Two seconds ago she would be all cool with everything that's happening and then all of a sudden bursts of panic and doubt. It would be so bloody random

Also when they find out that she isn't a mythic, but a normal human, I don't understand why would they ask her to join? She legit helped for one day, one single day. I am sure they could have easily found someone else for the job. Why would the Guild officers on top of that argue do her to get the job when it's against the rules!? It's not as if she had done anything exceptionally great. So why would they want to defy their own bloody rules?

Again, I know this is how the plot is supposed to be in order for the story to go on because Tori is our main character and she has to be involved, but it felt like some things happened just for the sake of carrying the story forward and that really bothered me.

I also didn't like how Tori would just be stupid about being self-dependent and all that. She is a human, working with magical creatures. She is vulnerable. Why would she always keep saying she doesn't want help? Why the fuck would she get irritated when someone wanted to tend her wounds after she got hurt by some crazy sorcerer?
Is she dumb or is she dumb?

But then there were also things I liked about her. Firstly, she was funny so that's a major plus point. Then secondly, she isn't the typical perfect, strong female character who has got it all together. In fact, she is a mess. I liked that she was imperfect and had flaws like her unreasonable temper and exceeding mistrust for others. Don't get me wrong, her flaws weren't the issue for me. It was only when her actions would be random as fuck and would make no sense. It wasn't realistic. I couldn't understand why would she behave the way she did in that particular situation despite however her personality is.

I know she has a backstory as well. I am just hoping for a little character development in the next few books because there is definitely room for some and I would really like to like her. However, the inability of the protagonist's personality to impress me much was compensated by my three favourite characters - aka - the three mages. I loved them. I absolutely loved their close-knit friendship. How they cared about each other so much. We usually don't get to see a lot of male friendships like this so seeing their bromance was an absolute treat. Individually also, I found all of them really endearing. Not to mention, they were extremely hot but in their own unique ways. And the best thing, none of them were assholes. They were genuinely nice, caring and super considerate.

Romance was barely there in the book which was nice to see. Tori seemed to be drooling after all three of them ( can't blame her ) but it seems pretty clear that she might end up with Aaron for now. I already have favourites though, and I liked Ezra the most. I am really excited to see how this turns out. I am getting reverse harem vibes though.

TMAAM wasn't a trashy UF novel like a lot of other UFs out there. Honestly, it's so hard to find a good book in this genre these days. I feel like I have read all the good ones. So I was really impressed by this after having been disappointed so many times by the genre.

One more thing that confused me was
I don't know if this was a loophole or if it will be explained in later books. Needless to say, I will definitely be picking up the next installment and am already pretty excited about it.

*Read under POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE 2020 for - A book with a character with a vision impairment or enhancment. *
Profile Image for ★Me Myshelf and I★.
292 reviews393 followers
April 2, 2019
Listened to on audio. Though that was pretty stupid because the whole series is available on KU, but I’ve a lot of free time in the car and credits on audible so I just went for it. It was a good narration if you’re looking to pick it up on audio.

As a RH nut this was a little frustrating knowing it’s not going to be a Reverse Harem but also knowing how perfect it’s set up for it. I really really want it to be.If I close my eyes and imagine real hard will it change do you think?

Aside from that it was really enjoyable! Tori is a hot headed ginger with a smart mouth and a penchant for getting into trouble without trying very hard. Even with three hot mages looking out for her she still lands in the middle of a mess but she’s the type to throw herself in the path of the bullet and worry about the consequences later.
I kept expecting her to come across some long lost magical heritage but nope she’s 100% human but still manages to take care of herself in a dangerous world.

A little more on the romantic front and this would have been a 5 star for me.

Annette Marie has certainly secured her place in my favourite author list.
Profile Image for Ina.
229 reviews49 followers
December 25, 2018
4.5 stars

Oh wow, what a pleasant surprise this book was. I already gave up on accomplishing my GR reading challenge for 2018 since I haven't finished a book in a few months due to a lot of work and stress, but I'm glad I managed to squeeze this one in. I saw this book in my newsfeed a long time ago and even though I didn't have time for it back then, I thought it seemed like a fun read and the ratings were promising.

Now that I had some time during the holidays I decided to pick this up and I was honestly pleasantly surprised. I don't usually like UF stories where heroine is oblivious to the existence of the magical world in the beginning, but this book was seriously good.

Tori is a solid heroine, who takes no BS from anyone, but doesn't rush into danger either (well, she does, but the doesn't do it out of stupidity, but out of necessity), she isn't cocky nor self-centered. Long story short, I honestly liked her. And the side characters are quite interesting as well. I loved all three guys, but I won't deny the fact that I have a soft spot for Ezra. My only hope is that this series won't end up with prolonged unnecessary love triangle.

Highly recommended for all UF lovers!
Profile Image for Lauren.
266 reviews28 followers
May 9, 2022
I started this book on a whim. I didn't expect to finish it. I really didn't expect to buy the rest of the books and look forward to more. It starts with our main character: Tori, doing what every person who has ever worked in customer services dream. Let's just say she got fired for it and I was laughing and cheering her on the entire time.

In need of a new job, Tori finds herself applying for a position at a bar she never should have been able to enter. It's a mythic bar and she is defiantly NOT a mythic. Now that she knows of the mythic community she finds herself getting involved in an exciting and dangerous world that now sees her too.

This is an action-packed, fun, page-turning quick read. A book you will be happy to know continues.
Profile Image for Al *the semi serial series skipper*.
1,654 reviews652 followers
February 4, 2019
This was a pretty sweet read. I liked Tori, she was such a vivid character. I liked her response to the things happening around her,she thought like a normal person and you could really connect with her.

I was wishing this was a RH because of all the hot guys, I kind of don't want her stuck with one, the more the merrier. I sincerely hope she learns magic in the next book and heighten her badassery.
Profile Image for Mellea.
114 reviews23 followers
September 16, 2018
4.5 Stars - I loved this book... it was cute, funny, fluffy, and just what I needed on a lazy Sunday. The description says it's not reverse harem, but it is definitely similar. Lots of witty banter and flirting between Tori and the three hot male leads (guess that's why it needed a disclaimer). I can't wait for book 2!
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