close

The Qwillery | category: The Thorn of Dentonhill

home

The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

qwillery.blogspot.com

Interview with Marshall Ryan Maresca and Review of The Alchemy of Chaos


Please welcome Marshall Ryan Maresca to The Qwillery. The Alchemy of Chaos was published on February 2nd by DAW.



Interview with Marshall Ryan Maresca and Review of The Alchemy of Chaos




The QwilleryWelcome back to The Qwillery! Since the publication of The Thorn of Dentonhill, A Murder of Mages and now The Alchemy of Chaos have been published. How has your writing process changed since The Thorn of Dentonhill was written?

Marshall Ryan Maresca:  The big thing is that I’ve grown far more disciplined in my day-to-day process. Partly because it’s an easier thing to justify (to yourself and others) when writing moves from being a thing you do purely out of hope and faith to having a concrete goal and expectation. I wrote The Thorn of Dentonhill still learning what a novel is and how to structure it, let alone having no idea what its fate might be. I was able to write Alchemy knowing what its destiny was going to be, which made a lot of those “why am I even doing this?” doubts evaporate.



TQWhat do you wish that you knew about book publishing when The Thorn of Dentonhill came out that you know now?

MRM:  That’s a tough one. If anything, it’s to not worry about what I perceive the is going on, not to worry about how other writers or other books are doing. “The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.”



TQYou are writing two series set in Maradaine: Novels of Maradaine and Novels of the Maradaine Constabulary. How are the two series related and how are they different?

MRM:  Both series are set in the same city, but in different parts. They’re both fantasy-crime books, but looking at it from very different angles. In Thorn and Alchemy the focus is on street gangs and living in or near these neighborhoods, with Veranix having a foot each in and out of that world. The Constabulary books takes the point of view of the city infrastructure, primarily the police force— but keeping that street-level perspective. Plus there’s some character overlap: a minor character in Thorn appeared in Murder, and a couple minor characters from Murder show up in Alchemy.



TQTell us something about The Alchemy of Chaos (A Novel of the Maradaine 2) that is not found in the book description.

MRM:  Veranix is going to have to deal with several new challenges, including having his secret discovered, facing flamboyant assassins and having to navigate a formal collegiate dinner.



TQWhich character in the Novels of Maradaine (so far) has surprised you the most? Who has been the hardest character to write and why?

MRM:  Surprised me the most? I’m going to have say Jutie, one of the Rose Street Princes. He started as a character that mostly exists for Colin’s sake— to give us someone Colin would have a stake in— but he expanded into being a lot more than that. Hardest to write? Probably Lieutenant Benvin, the constable in Aventil. He’s got to be a adversary for both Veranix and Colin, in different ways, while at the same time I can’t just make him bad. He’s a decent cop trying to do the best job he can in an environment that doesn’t give a damn about that.



TQWhich question about the Novels of Maradaine or the Novels of the Maradaine Constabulary do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

MRM:  “With two separate series running in the same setting, do you have a grander Maradaine plan in the works?”

Yes. Yes I do.



TQPlease give us one or two of your favorite quotes from The Alchemy of Chaos.

MRM
“Veranix,” she said coolly. “Come with me to my workshop. Right now. Or I’ll have to let everyone know what you were doing last night.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Veranix said.
“Then let me talk you through it.” Arm still around him, she led him off the walkway so they could face the south lawn. Veranix craned his neck to see Delmin standing petrified in between the two buildings. She pointed to the wall in the distance. “I know you’re the Thorn, I know when you returned to campus right over there from doing Thorn things, and I have proof. Proof that my roommate will deliver to the captain of the cadets if I don’t explicitly tell her not to in two hours. So be a good boy and come with me.”


TQWhat's next?

MRM:  Next up for readers is the second Constabulary book, An Import of Intrigue. Inspectors Rainey and Welling must solve a murder deep in The Little East, the foreign enclaves of Maradaine. After that, there will be third books in both series, as well as launching a third Maradaine-based series.



TQThank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

MRM:  Thank you for having me!





The Alchemy of Chaos
Series:  A Novel of Maradaine 2
Publisher:  DAW, February 2, 2016
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (print and eBook)
ISBN:  9780756411695 (print); 9780756411701 (eBook)

Interview with Marshall Ryan Maresca and Review of The Alchemy of Chaos
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…



Doreen’s Thoughts

Marshall Ryan Maresca’s third novel, The Alchemy of Chaos, returns to the University of Maradaine and the surrounding neighborhoods. The focus is again on Veranix, the University student learning magic who also is a vigilante against the drug dealer, Fenmere. Veranix is trying to prepare for his finals while dealing with a Prankster at school and rumors of a new drug that may be more threatening than effitte. In addition to Veranix, we also see the perspectives of his cousin Colin, a self-righteous constabulary Benvin, and one of Fenmere’s goons, Bell. The story circulates among the four of them, and readers are able to learn what is happening in multiple parts of the city.

The story assumes that the reader has read the previous novel about Veranix and jumps right into the action again. Since the last story, Fenmere has stopped trying to cross the river into the Thorn’s chosen territory, and Veranix’s life has quieted down somewhat. However, with finals coming, his professor chooses him and his roommate, Delmin, to assist another student to prepare for his Letters presentation. Delmin must calibrate machinery while Veranix pushes numina (magic) at specific levels. This leaves very little time between preparing and taking the tests for scouting the neighborhood. In addition, someone begins playing pranks on the University students, pranks that become increasingly dangerous. These pranks are not entirely magical in nature, but Delmin senses that they have some relationship to magic.

Veranix struggles with whether he should be responsible for solving the prankster danger. He already has his vendetta against Fenmere and has taken responsibility for keeping his part of the City clean of effitte. He questions whether he is capable, let along responsible, for taking on more burden.

There is some cute interplay with his friend, Kaiana, and it is obvious to the reader than Veranix feels more than just friendship for her. His unrecognized jealousy is fun to watch. The story continues Veranix’s friendship with both her and Delmin and introduces Phadre, the student needing practical help for his exams, and Jiarna, a female student who has difficulty being taken seriously in her studies. Colin himself is struggling with his place in the Princes gang, and some of the gang leaders are starting to question exactly who the Thorn might be and where Colin’s allegiance lies. In addition, the overall action scenes are tightly written and fast-paced. The Alchemy of Chaos is another stirring story of magic and mayhem.





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

Interview with Marshall Ryan Maresca and Review of The Alchemy of Chaos
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

Interview with Marshall Ryan Maresca and Review of The Alchemy of Chaos
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.





About Marshall

Interview with Marshall Ryan Maresca and Review of The Alchemy of Chaos
Photo by Kimberley Mead
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 the 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.




Website  ~  Twitter @marshallmaresca



Review: The Thorn of Dentonhill by Marshall Ryan Maresca


The Thorn of Dentonhill
Author:  Marshall Ryan Maresca
Series:  Maradaine Constabulary 1
Publisher:  DAW, February 3, 2014
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780756410261 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Review: The Thorn of Dentonhill by Marshall Ryan Maresca
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.



Doreen's Thoughts

The Thorn of Dentonhill is a terrific tale of adventure and magic, with the action practically non-stop from the opening page. Veranix is a magic student by day, and a daring thief of those who pedal drugs at night. He leads a personal vendetta against the city’s biggest drug lord, Willem Fenmere, who murdered his father and has been the biggest criminal player since he arrived in the city.

As a university student of magic, Veranix is obligated to do well in his studies and accept a position with the mage group that is sponsoring his education. However, his extracurricular activities as a thief negatively affect his ability to remain awake during lectures and do the actual studying. During the course of his adventures, he has friends, professors, and family who try to support him. His friend and roommate Delmin Sarren assumes that he is having a passionate affair with the lovely groundskeeper, Kaiana, who in actuality helps him hide the tools of his trade and supports his mission to stop the drug dealing in the city. His cousin, Colin, a high-ranking captain in the one of the main gangs that run the city, is certain that Veranix is the Thorn, but believes that his actions in targeting Fenmere will result in a backlash against the gang and the other city citizens, from both Fenmere and the so-called authorities.

For a novel that has this much “swashbuckling” in it, The Thorn of Dentonhill actually is very political. Maresca has created a complex world, with different races and classes side by side with magic users who can use magic to differing degrees. I loved Veranix’s explanation of “the five hundred and five rule,” which explains how one out of five hundred people are born with the talent to feel and channel magic (called numina), and of those five hundred, only one in five has the ability to manipulate it in any useful way. Maresca does a fantastic job of setting the political stage in his city, explaining his magic, and developing the back story for why Veranix is so determined to stop drug sales – all naturally within the story itself, without long-winded paragraphs of explanations relating to which gang has control over which criminal functions. Maresca’s world is probably at an 18th century level in technology, with magic being so scarce that technology already has dealt with and eliminated the problem of having mage rulers.

I enjoyed The Thorn of Dentonhill tremendously. It was a quick read, action-packed but with enough intrigue to balance it out. Maresca is an extremely talented author, and I expect to read more great things from him.

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2015 Winner


The winner of the February 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars is The Thorn of Dentonhill by Marshall Ryan Maresca with 49% of all votes. The Thorn of Dentonhill is published by DAW. The cover art is by Paul Young.



2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2015 Winner





The Final Results

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2015 Winner





The February 2015 Debut Covers

2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2015 Winner



Thank you to everyone who voted, Tweeted, and participated. The 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will continue with voting on the March Debut covers starting on March 15, 2015. Look for the list of March Debuts on March 1st (here).

Interview with Marshall Ryan Maresca, author of The Thorn of Dentonhill - February 1, 2015


Please welcome Marshall Ryan Maresca to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Thorn of Dentonhill will be published on February 3rd by DAW.



Interview with Marshall Ryan Maresca, author of The Thorn of Dentonhill - February 1, 2015




TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Marshall:  I’ve been drawn to writing from an early age. In seventh grade I tried writing a huge fantasy epic called “The Last Righon”, even though when I started I had no idea what a ‘RIghon’ was or what the significance of the last one meant. But it sounded epic. I couldn’t resist the urge to come up with stories.



TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Marshall:  Definitely a plotter. I love my outlines. I even worked out a whole structure for them. At one point, early on in my writing attempts, I had a romantic idea of pantsing— it sounds so thrilling! Just go where the writing takes you! I found out it takes me nowhere. I need to have a plan about where I’m going.



TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Marshall:  Getting myself into the rhythm on a daily basis. On any given day, getting those first hundred words is like starting the car on a frigid day. Once my engine gets warmed up, then the words are flying like arrows at Agincourt.



TQ:  Who are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?

Marshall:  Early influences include Zilpha Keatly Snyder, David Eddings and Isaac Asimov. I just devoured Asimov as a teenager. Right now I’ve been reading John Scalzi a lot. Plus I have an enormous “too read” pile, especially for genre stuff.



TQ:  Describe The Thorn of Dentonhill in 140 characters or less.

Marshall:  Student by day, hero by night fights drug dealers, assassins and evil mages with magic, quick wits and moxie.



TQ:  Tell us something about The Thorn of Dentonhill that is not in the book description.

Marshall:  There’s plenty of food in Thorn. Magic burns calories, so Veranix is hungry almost all the time. You might want to have snacks nearby when you read it.



TQ:  What inspired you to write The Thorn of Dentonhill? What appealed to you about writing a fantasy novel featuring both organized crime and academia?

Marshall:  It partly came from wanting to take the thief-hero tropes in fantasy and turn them a bit on their ear, and thinking along those lines led me to the superhero tropes, especially the street-level types like Spiderman and Daredevil. And one recurring concept in those tropes is the hero having some grounding, a responsibility that keeps them from just being in hero mode full time. An academic life that couldn’t be ignored felt like the best fit, and from that Veranix came together as a vibrant protagonist that I had to write about.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Thorn of Dentonhill?

Marshall:  I studied cities: how they grow, how they break into neighborhoods, how the people of the neighborhoods define its character. I spent some time in Mexico City, observing those kinds of rhythms. For example, the neighborhood of Coyoacan in Mexico City is a relatively safe district with a lot of historic architecture, where you’ll see groups of young men working the street in a unique way: if you’re trying to park your car, for example, they’ll run ahead, find a spot for you, make sure you get in all right. Things like that: nothing illegal or even shady, just being helpful. And you tip them for their help— help you didn’t necessarily ask for or need, but you tip them just the same. A lot of the character of the Rose Street Princes and other gangs in the Aventil neighborhood came from these observations.



TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Marshall:  Veranix is the easiest, by far. When I sat down to work on the sequel to Thorn after having been “away” from him for a while (I wrote A Murder of Mages and a few other things after finishing Thorn), writing Veranix again was like putting on a comfortable sweater. Colin is probably the hardest, because he’s got loyalties pulling him in different directions and mixed feelings about Veranix, so finding the balance of what he wants to do, what he needs to do, and what he can’t let himself do is challenging.



TQ:  Which question about your novel do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Marshall:  You mean, what is the correct pronunciation of “Veranix”? I’m glad you asked! (I’ve already heard it mangled several ways.) Veranix has the same vowels and stresses as “therapist”.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from The Thorn of Dentonhill.

Marshall

         “If you ask me, the Blue Hand are especially odious. A little boys club, if you get my drift, and they all nearly worship their leader. Disturbing man. I only met him once, and it was two times too many.”

         Delmin leaned in to the prefect. “Listen, what would you rather have, two annoyed, hungry mages, or two mages who owe you a favor?” The prefect thought about this for a minute, and then opened the door.



TQ:  What's next?

Marshall:  Next up is A Murder of Mages, which is not a sequel to Thorn, but the start of a separate series also set in the city of Maradaine. The two books do have some interconnectivity, though. A Murder of Mages follows two constabulary inspectors as they try to solve a gruesome series of murders. It’s coming out July 7th.



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Marshall:  Thanks for having me!





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

Interview with Marshall Ryan Maresca, author of The Thorn of Dentonhill - February 1, 2015
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.




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.  The Thorn of Dentonhill is his debut novel. DAW will also be publishing A Murder of Mages, the first novel in Marshall’s second fantasy series, set in the city of Maradaine. For more information, visit Marshall’s website at www.mrmaresca.com.

Website  ~  Twitter @marshallmaresca

2015 Debut Author Challenge Update: The Thorn of Dentonhill by Marshall Ryan Maresca



2015 Debut Author Challenge Update: The Thorn of Dentonhill by Marshall Ryan Maresca



The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2015 Debut Author Challenge.



Marshall Ryan Maresca

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

2015 Debut Author Challenge Update: The Thorn of Dentonhill by Marshall Ryan Maresca
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.

Interview with Marshall Ryan Maresca and Review of The Alchemy of ChaosReview: The Thorn of Dentonhill by Marshall Ryan Maresca 2015 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - February 2015 WinnerInterview with Marshall Ryan Maresca, author of The Thorn of Dentonhill - February 1, 20152015 Debut Author Challenge Update: The Thorn of Dentonhill by Marshall Ryan Maresca

Report "The Qwillery"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×