One of the reasons I like reading fantasy novels is that it allows me to visit new worlds. I like fantasy series because once I find a world I like, I want to linger there, making repeat visits. I want to know more about that world, to see more aspects of it than are shown in the books.
That’s why I’ve become such a fangirl of the Maradaine books by Marshall Ryan Maresca. Marshall’s a friend, but even if I’d never met him, I’d be all over these books. That’s because there are multiple series set in this world, and each one covers a different aspect of the world. You can absolutely wallow in this fictional place.
One series could be thought of as “Harry Potter meets the Scarlet Pimpernel.” These books, starting with The Thorn of Dentonhill, are about a magic student at the city university who spends his free time as a vigilante trying to stop the drug trade run by a local crime boss. He combines his magical talent with his acrobatic skills from a childhood as a circus performer to carry out his daring nighttime deeds, and then he levels up (and becomes more of a target) when he obtains some valuable magical items.
Then there’s the Maradaine Constabulary series set in this same city that works like a police procedural mystery. Our main characters are a couple of mismatched, misfit police detectives. One is a woman who bluffed her way into the job when her police officer husband was injured in the line of duty and could no longer work. The other is an untrained mage whose magical talent is a bit of a mystery. Together, they fight crime, particularly odd cases with magical connections.
And then there’s the Streets of Maradaine series that’s kind of a fantasy version of Leverage, with a group of people with various criminal talents who team up to find out who’s behind a fire that burned out their street and then track back to the powerful people who seem to be up to something.
We’ve already had an intersection of the first two series, when the cops are investigating the vigilante, and I understand that the third one will also get woven in. There’s another series set in this same world on the way.
I just read the second book in the Streets of Maradaine series, Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe, and it was such a fun caper, with our gang trying to infiltrate a nobleman’s manor during a big party.
I think people who like my books would probably enjoy any of these series. They’re not quite steampunk, more like clockpunk, but if you like the Rebels books, these are worth a try. I love the characters, and it’s so much fun seeing various aspects of this magical city.