Thursday, November 3, 2016

#Thursday Review - An Import of Intrigue by Marshall Ryan Maresca #Fantasy @marshallmaresca @dawbooks

Series: The Maradine Constabulary # 2
Format: Paperback, 400 pages
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: DAW
Source: Publisher 
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery

Mixing high fantasy and mystery, this is Marshall Ryan Maresca’s second novel in the Maradaine Constabulary series, companion to DAW’s Maradaine Novels.

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 Little East, Rainey is forced to confront her former life, while Welling’s ignorance of his own power threatens to consume him. And these few city blocks threaten to erupt into citywide war unless the constabulary solves the case.

An Import of Intrigue is the second installment in author Marshall Ryan Maresca's The Maradine Constabulary series. The story is fantasy mixed with a twisted mystery. It is really a spin-off of sorts to the authors Maradine series, which to this point in time I still have not read. The series is set in the crime ridden, hard knocks streets of Maradine which is divided into various ethnic groups. The series features two main characters; Inspector Third Class Satrine (Tricky) Rainey, and her partner Inspector Third Class Minox (Jinx) Welling. 

These two characters could not be more different, and yet their partnership works because they have learned the hard way to trust each other without having others tearing them apart with snobbery, jealously, or even hatred on the part of Welling's sisters who are both part of the Constabulary. In this story, Rainey (former street rat, turned spy, mother of two girls, and wife to a fallen Constabulary who tricked her way into being a Constabulary), and Welling (an untrained and uncircled mage which is almost unheard of), have their work cut out for them when a dead body of some importance turns up.

Rainey and Welling have all sorts of issues to resolve, not including deciphering various languages and political motivations and discovering who among the slew of possible suspects is really the killer. But, the most important part of this story is probably Rainey's past and maybe her future if the ending is any indication of what is to come next. I liked the flashback scenes where the author breaks down how Rainey went from a street smart rat, to a member of the Druth Intelligence, to married with two children. There are some revealing facts that come through in this story that has me intrigued, and disappointed that we will have to wait until 2018 before the third book comes out.

On the other side of the coin, Welling has his own issues to handle that could cost him not only his job, but his partnership, and maybe his own family when his secret is exposed. Welling comes from a family that is a generational clan of Constabulary, and being lost in ones mind, runs in the family. Welling and his new friend Joshea, have learned to value each other's friendship and it helps that they are both untrained and uncircled mages who are learning their magics as they go. Joshea is a important character not only because of his role in this story, but because he stands to lose a whole lot just like Welling.

My review may not come out that way, but I give Satrine a whole lot of levity considering how much of a burden she is carrying on her shoulders. I give her levity at how she went about getting her job because she knows her stuff. She knows the streets she is supposed to serve and protect. She's had to do things that most people haven't had to do in order to get the job she has now. People, like Minox's sisters may hate her, but because she would do absolutely anything, including lying, to get her husband back to where he was before he was hurt badly, and to save her daughters from being homeless, I'm good with her actions.

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