A Murder of Mages by Marshall Ryan Maresca

The Maradaine Constabulary, Book 1

Synopsis: 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.

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 as possible to meet the needs of her family. And so, Satrine, by presenting a false letter of recommendation, is engaged as an Constabulary agent. Being back in the city of her childhood, she will face the demons of her past and the politics existing among the different population groups living there. Teaming up with the only person that nobody wants in the Agency, Minox, they will investigate a strange murder. Indeed, they fall on a case starring a mage and whose realization seems more than intriguing.

Launched in a race against time to prevent the fast increase of the number of bodies, Minox and Satrine will have to put all their talents ahead before understanding what is really happening. Besides, we follow the two alternately and although I prefer Satrine’s POV and how she plunges back into her past, it was also interesting to see how Minox was working. His non-circled mage condition is quite unprecedented and it is true that his life is not necessarily simple, especially compared to his work. His interactions with other mages are also still very tense about that fact and it was fascinating to see all that.

In all cases I loved to understand the investigation and see what exactly hapenned. Besides, I was quite surprised by the revelations at the end of the story. The only point to note and what bothered me a bit the length of certain events. That’s I was sometimes a little behind the story as the events could be quite slow.

In any case, it was an interesting book to discover and I am curious to see what we will have for the future.



27 thoughts on “A Murder of Mages by Marshall Ryan Maresca

  1. I don’t remember if you’ve read The Thorn of Dentonhill which is the other series set in this same world. I liked both, but I think this one worked slightly better for me because I love lady detectives 🙂 Glad to see you enjoyed this one too.

  2. I don’t know quite why but the cover of this really appeals to me.

    Sounds like a promising read to those readers who tend to favour fantasy as well as those who lean more towards urban fantasy which can’t be a bad thing.

  3. I’ve seen this on GR, and I was thinking about trying it. Sounds like a good mix of things, with enough tension to keep you turning the pages. I’m glad you enjoyed it – hope I will too!

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