Friday, November 04, 2016

Review and Giveaway: An Import of Intrigue by Marshall Ryan Maresca

An Import of Intrigue
Author:  Marshall Ryan Maresca
Series:  A novel of The Maradaine Constabulary 2
Publisher:  DAW, November 1, 2016
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
List Price:  US$7.99 (print and eBook)
ISBN:  9780756411732 (print); 9780756411749 (eBook)

The neighborhood of the Little East is a collision of cultures, languages, and traditions, hidden away in the city of Maradaine. A set of streets to be avoided or ignored. When a foreign dignitary is murdered, solving the crime falls to the most unpopular inspectors in the Maradaine Constabulary: exposed fraud Satrine Rainey, and Uncircled mage Minox Welling.

With a murder scene deliberately constructed to point blame toward the rival groups resident in this exotic section of Maradaine, Rainey is forced to confront her former life, while Welling’s ignorance of his own power threatens to consume him. And the conflicts erupting in the Little East will spark a citywide war unless the Constabulary solves the case quickly.

Melanie's Thoughts

An Import of Intrigue is the second instalment in Maresca's fantasy series The Maradaine Constabulary. The reader is taken back to bustling city of Maradaine where Satrine, who has been outed for fraudulently securing her job as an inspector in the constabulary, continues to struggle to do her job, pay the bills and care for her invalid husband and two daughters. Satrine is not the only one with a difficult path to travel. Her partner Minox, who is an uncircled mage, is still recovering from a magical injury he sustains in book 1 Murder of Mages. Minox's powers threaten to consume him as he struggles with his lack of training, the injury and his job as an inspector. If that wasn't enough a foreign dignitary has been murdered in Little East, an eclectic community of different cultures and races. Satrine and Minox must solve the mystery before the all of Maradaine is embroiled in a race war.

This was my first time reading anything by Maresca but my fellow reviewer Doreen enjoyed book 1. You can enjoy her review here. While you can read An Import of Intrigue as a standalone novel I feel that you miss out on the character development while trying to navigate the many races, religions and cultures of Maradaine. Not to mention the use of unique language and the different rankings within the Constabulary.  I enjoyed Satrine as a character a tiny bit more than Minox mainly as her plotline and development was more straightforward (despite the fact she has 3 different names and referred to them throughout the book at different points). The story is told through both Satrine's and Minox's POV although we only learn of Satrine's backstory through flashbacks to previous events. Whereas Doreen enjoyed learning about Satrine and her past I enjoyed her interaction with her husband (although it was a bit one-sided due to his illness) and her daughters.

While I did enjoy the book I feel that Maresca could have made the story more accessible for someone dipping into the series by cutting down on some of detail. The murder mystery itself was excellent (I didn't guess who 'dunnit') but it was overshadowed by the culture war, the level of description of the environment, Minox's large extended family and bespoke language. I don't believe the story itself - either the murder mystery or the character development would have suffered without as much complexity in the environment. There was one scene in a hospital I had to read more than once to figure out what was going on.

If you are a fan of murder mysteries or of high fantasy then this series could be just what you are looking for. I think I would start at book 1 so that you don't miss out and can better appreciate Marseca's colourful city of Maradaine.

The Giveaway

What:  One entrant will win copies of A Murder of Mages and An Import of Intrigue by Marshall Ryan Maresca from the publisher. US / CANADA ONLY

How:  Log into and follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on November 14, 2016. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change without any notice.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Marshall

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

Also by Marshall Ryan Maresca

The Thorn of Dentonhill
A Novel of Maradaine 1
DAW, February 3, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

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 mages of the Blue Hand Circle. Using these power-filled objects in his fight, he quickly becomes a real thorn in Fenmere’s side.

So much so that soon not only Fenmere, but powerful mages, assassins, and street gangs all want a piece of “The Thorn.” And with professors and prefects on the verge of discovering his secrets, Veranix’s double life might just fall apart. Unless, of course, Fenmere puts an end to it first.

See Doreen's review here.

A Murder of Mages
A novel of the Maradaine Constabulary 1
DAW, July 7, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

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 women of the Maradaine Constabulary.

Satrine Rainey—former street rat, ex-spy, mother of two, and wife to a Constabulary Inspector who lies on the edge of death, injured in the line of duty—has been forced to fake her way into the post of Constabulary Inspector to support her family.

Minox Welling is a brilliant, unorthodox Inspector and an Uncircled mage—almost a crime in itself. Nicknamed “the jinx” because of the misfortunes that seem to befall anyone around him, Minox has been partnered with Satrine because no one else will work with either of them.

Their first case together—the ritual murder of a Circled mage— sends Satrine back to the streets she grew up on and brings Minox face-to-face with mage politics he’s desperate to avoid. As the body count rises, Satrine and Minox must race to catch the killer before their own secrets are exposed and they, too, become targets.

See Doreen's review here.

The Alchemy of Chaos
A Novel of Maradaine 2
DAW, February 2, 2016
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Veranix Calbert is The Thorn—the street vigilante-turned-legend—and a danger to Willem Fenmere, the drug kingpin of Dentonhill. Veranix is determined to stop Fenmere and the effitte drug trade, especially when he discovers that Fenmere is planning on using the Red Rabbits gang in his neighborhood. But Veranix is also a magic student at the University of Maradaine, and it’s exam week. With his academic career riding on his performance, there’s no time to go after Fenmere or the Red Rabbits. But when a series of pranks on campus grow deadly, it’s clear that someone has a vendetta against the university, and Veranix may be the only one who can stop them…

See Doreen's review here.


  1. A fascinating and captivating feature and giveaway. Thanks.

  2. Sounds like an interesting series, I'd really like to read this. I sure hope I win1

  3. I don't know if this will help anyone or not, but the link for the Twitter entry is for "@marshallmaresco" but his actual Twitter is "@marshallmaresca."
    The actual link goes to a page that informs you that "That page does not exist."