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The Imposters of Aventil (Maradaine Novels) Mass Market Paperback – October 3, 2017
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Praise for the Maradaine universe:
“Maresca’s debut is smart, fast, and engaging fantasy crime in the mold of Brent Weeks and Harry Harrison. Just perfect.” —Kat Richardson, national bestselling author of Revenant
“Veranix is Batman, if Batman were a teenager and magically talented.... Action, adventure, and magic in a school setting will appeal to those who love Harry Potter and Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind.” ―Library Journal (starred)
"Marshall Ryan Maresca is some kind of mad genius…. Not since Terry Pratchett’s Ankh Morpork have we enjoyed exploring every angle of an invented locale quite this much." —B&N Sci-fi & Fantasy Blog
“A well-conceived and well-written melange of popular fantasy sub-genres: there’s a university with a magic department, there is some vigilante derring-do and thievery.... If you’re looking for an action-and-adventure-filled new fantasy series, then The Thorn of Dentonhill will suit very well.” —Civilian Reader
“The Thorn of Dentonhill is a light-hearted, fun read, and Maresca has introduced a hero with plenty of room to grow, a couple of villains who will provide plenty of conflict in upcoming books. And, most importantly, he’s created a character that I care enough about to continue reading.” —Relentless Reading
“Take the caped avenger of Batman, the teenage-superhero angst of Spiderman, the street-gang bravado of West Side Story, and toss in the magic of Harry Potter, and what have you got? Marshall Ryan Maresca’s The Thorn of Dentonhill.” —Kings River Life Magazine
“Maresca brings the whole package, complete and well-constructed. If you’re looking for something fun and adventurous for your next fantasy read, look no further than The Thorn of Dentonhill, an incredible start to a new series, from an author who is clearly on his way to great things.” —Bibliosanctum
“The Thorn of Dentonhill was a fast-paced read with action from start to finish. I loved every minute of it.” —Short and Sweet Reviews
“Definitely a fun read, and one classic fantasy fans will likely enjoy.” —Bibliotropic
“So much of it is terribly exciting and fun.... What I really liked about the ending was how it set up relationships and possibilities for the next book (which I definitely plan on reading).” —Tenacious Reader
About the Author
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 Dentonhill and A Murder of Mages each begin their own fantasy series, both set in the port city of Maradaine. For more information, visit Marshall’s website at www.mrmaresca.com.
Top customer reviews
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I love this book, balancing The Thorn and his crew, as well as the guest stars and maintaining all their individual voices is no parlor trick and yet it was pulled off flawlessly.
Colin very nearly upstages Vee throughout the book, and the guest stars are right in the thick of things.
It will be very interesting to see how Kai, Delmin, Colin and the rest of the inner circle develop in the future.
Vee is just plain fun, slightly less banter this books, but I think he's a bit more serious after all the injuries, losses, and close calls.
In "The Imposters of Aventil," the Grand Tournament of Colleges is being held, and Veranix and his fellow students are busy keeping up with all of the competitions. Which of course makes it fantastic timing for a false Thorn to start causing havoc in the streets, interfering with gang politics. There's little he can do about this without revealing his secret identity, and aside from that, there are signs that some of the visiting students are sneaking effitte onto campus, which Veranix has a serious problem with. Juggling all of these responsibilities, he has to keep his life from falling apart, solve two mysteries, and cheer for the home team.
As if all that wasn't exciting enough, this is the point where two other well-known characters, Satrine and Minox from the Maradaine Constabulary books, join the fray. And I'm not going to deny it; I had a moment of fan-squee when they first appeared on the pages, because I love their stories as well and to see all of the characters work together for a common goal, putting aside personal issues and occasionally moral boundaries, was just wonderful. The variety of personalities playing off each other worked so well to further the story, and no interactions ever felt forced. The characters were, as always, themselves, adding to the story instead of being forced along a certain path for story purposes, if that makes sense.
Maresca's characters are the best reasons to read his books. That isn't to say the story or setting are bad, because they aren't, but it's the characters that really shine and make all of the Maradaine novels worth talking about instead of just some generic fantasy. Each one sounds and feels unique, always indentifiable on the page when they speak, and I don't think there's a single one I have no interest in reading about.
Long story short, "The Imposters of Aventil" is a very worthy addition to the series as a whole, with all of Maresca's writing skill shining through and giving readers a fast-paced and interesting story that never fails to be fun, even when you're on the edge of your seat and biting your nails over the tension in some scenes. If you're a fan of fantasy and haven't read any of his books yet, do so. If you've read the other books in the series and don't know whether to continue, do so. You won't regret any of it.
One of my favorite parts about The Imposters of Aventil is that the whole fiasco is occurring during the biggest collegiate sporting event ever. It’s basically the university Olympics – students and fans from all over have come to participate and the atmosphere is one of a ceaseless drunken revel. It sounds like it would be such a fun event! Veranix of course ends up involved in everything– he performs during the opening ceremony, coaches the U of M tetchball team, AND tries to keep up with his alternate life. Poor guy is stretched so thin you can practically see through him.
There’s really a ton of stuff going on in this book when you look past the main plot. There’s turmoil amongst the gangs since the Red Rabbits were demolished, Colin is on the bad side of the bosses of the Rose Street Princes, a new drug has made its way onto campus, and the Aventil Constabulary has its own heap of nonsense and lackadaisical attitude. There’s always several significant subplots going on in MRM’s books, but I think this is the first time it’s really stood out to me as I read it. I get really into stories and zoom through them without a great deal of thought and things like this don’t usually stand out to me until I reflect upon it afterwards. I didn’t feel overwhelmed by the details either, which is a credit to the author’s writing skills.
Every single one of the Maradaine books have been adventurous, fun reads that leave me with a sunnier disposition by the end. I honestly wish I knew more people (in person) that read fantasy because I would foist these books at them in a heartbeat! I would recommend reading them in publication order so you can get the max effect and avoid any potential spoilers, however minor they may be, but it’s not required or anything. I think these would be particularly appealing to those younger readers who are beginning to venture out of the YA genre and into “adult” fantasy because they do have a fast paced, action packed storyline, relatable characters, and even a smidgen of love interest in the Maradaine series. I realize I always end up talking about the all the series together, but The Imposters of Aventil in particular was a great story and made more exceptional by how well the character cross-over was handled. Can’t wait for the next one!