Guest Post: Shared Settings by Marshall Ryan Maresca
Guest Post / October 3, 2017

Today we are happy to welcome Marshall Ryan Maresca to The Speculative Herald. His latest book, The Imposters of Aventil, releases today (October 3, 2017) and is the final book in the Maradaine trilogy, but also ties in with another one of his current series, which share a setting. Mr. Maresca was kind enough to share a blog post about what makes shared settings work. Also, if you have not yet started this series, don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY below! DAW was kind enough to offer up one copy of the first book, The Thorn of Dentonhill, for a giveaway! (Who doesn’t want to read about a vigilante magic student??) Shared Settings and The Imposters of Aventil  By Marshall Ryan Maresca   The Imposters of Aventil is the third Novel of Maradaine.  It’s also the sixth novel set in the city of Maradaine, because the “Novels of Maradaine” is just one of the three series set in that fantastical, magical clockpunk city.   Of late— by which I mean in the past decade— we’ve seen a lot more of the idea of several different series taking place in a shared universe.  It really is nothing new, but like many things in…

0
7/10
Review: Imposters of Aventil by Marshall Ryan Maresca
Reviews / September 25, 2017

Imposters of Aventil carries forward with the fun and excitement I’ve come to expect from the Maradaine series. The Thorn has a habit of getting himself in compromising positions sometimes, and bending (OK, maybe breaking) the law to suit his end purpose fighting the drug trade. But in this, he finds himself the suspect in cases he has nothing to do with. There is an imposter who is using the guise of the Thorn while stirring up trouble with both the constabulary, but also the gangs. Effate also appears to have made its way onto campus. Both of these things make Veranix’s work as the Thorn considerably more dangerous, but also motivates him. Like he needed more motivation to fight the effate drug trade! Previously I have said that I think Maresca’s series could be read independently and in any order. I mean, I guess you still could, but with this book I would no longer recommend it. This may be the third book in the Maradaine series, but it prominently features Minox and Satrine from the Constabulary series and knowing their background makes this book feel more complete and satisfying. For example, the Constabulary series provides the reader with…

GIVEAWAY: Halls of Law by V. M. Escalada
Excerpt , Giveaway / August 16, 2017

Today we are excited to offer a giveaway of Halls of Law by V. M. Escalada. And as a bonus, we have an excerpt to share. Please check out more information on the book and author below! Halls of Law – Excerpt By V. M. Escalada Giveaway About the Book The first book in the Faraman Prophecy introduces a world of military might and magical Talents on the brink of destruction  The Faraman Polity was created by the first Luqs, and has been ruled for generations by those of the Luqs bloodline. It is a burgeoning empire maintained by the combined efforts of the standing military force and the Talents of the Halls of Law. While the military preserves and protects, it is the Halls’ Talents—those gifted from birth with magical abilities—who serve as the agents and judges of the Law. For no one can successfully lie to a Talent. Not only can they read people by the briefest of physical contacts, but they can also read objects, able to find information about anyone who has ever come into direct contact with that object. Thanks to the Talents and the career military, the Polity has long remained a stable and…

Cover Reveal: The Imposters of Aventil by Marshall Ryan Maresca
Cover Reveal / April 7, 2017

We here at The Speculative Herald a definite fans of the Maradaine series, so we are thrilled to be hosting the cover reveal today for Marshall Ryan Maresca’s upcoming release, The Imposters of Aventil. For those unfamiliar, Maresca currently has 3 parallel series in the same world, city, time frame, but the are executed in a way they can easily be read independently from one another and in any order (at least so far). The Imposters of Aventil is the conclusion of the original Maradaine trilogy, and I’m really excited to for it. Now, for the cover! Once again, we get those wonderful pops of color that make this series stand out on the shelves! I love all the action going on, and that if features the Thorn’s rope (and arrows). Now I just can’t wait to read it!!   So here it is! The Imposters of Aventil Cover  Here’s a look at all the covers in the series together     About the Book Blending vigilante justice with epic fantasy, this third Maradaine novel finds student Veranix Calbert returning to fight crime • “Veranix is Batman, if Batman were a teenager and magically talented.” —Library Journal Summer and the…

Upcoming Releases: April 1 – 7, 2017
Upcoming Releases / April 1, 2017

Here’s a rundown of the books we think you should look out for in coming in the week. See any that you are really looking forward to? Find any you had not heard of yet? Know of books we missed? We know we don’t have everything and would love to hear what you feel we may have overlooked.   FANTASY          SCIENCE FICTION           HORROR   FANTASY                       SCIENCE FICTION       HORROR       FANTASY           SCIENCE FICTION           HORROR    

0
8/10
Review: The Holver Alley Crew by Marshall Ryan Maresca
Reviews / March 7, 2017

Holver Alley Crew is the first book in a new series by Marshall Ryan Maresca. I have to say, I find this publishing schedule a bit fascinating. Keep in mind, all of his series are executed in a way that (at least so far), they can be read in any order and can be read independently of each other. This is the third series Maresca is publishing, and the other two trilogies are not yet complete. But, that’s not because he writes slow, on the contrary! These books are being released at a pretty good pace.  I love the idea that this third one will keep the story going after the other two finish. It’s just interesting, and I’m not sure I’ve seen concurrent series quite like this before. Now, for those unfamiliar with Maresca’s other two series, Maradaine and Maradaine Constabulary, despite being concurrent and in the same city, they can easily be read independently of one another. The first starts with The Thorn of Dentonhill which is set in a magic school, but also gives a view of the city’s crime through the eyes of a vigilante (who happens to also be a student at the magic school). I find this…

Upcoming Releases: March 5 – 11, 2017
Upcoming Releases / March 4, 2017

Here’s a rundown of the books we think you should look out for in coming in the week. See any that you are really looking forward to? Find any you had not heard of yet? Know of books we missed? We know we don’t have everything and would love to hear what you feel we may have overlooked.   FANTASY          URBAN FANTASY           SCIENCE FICTION           HORROR   FANTASY                     URBAN FANTASY       SCIENCE FICTION         HORROR       FANTASY          URBAN FANTASY           SCIENCE FICTION           HORROR   Etched in Bone Bishop, Anne 3/7/2017 Gather Her Round Bledsoe, Alex 3/7/2017 Silence Fallen Briggs, Patricia 3/7/2017 The Bone Witch Chupeco, Rin 3/7/2017 Archangel Fortune, Margaret 3/7/2017 Smells Like Finn Spirit Henderson, Randy 3/7/2017 The Holver Alley Crew Maresca, Marshall Ryan 3/7/2017 Sins of Empire McClellan, Brian 3/7/2017 Magic for Nothing McGuire, Seanan 3/7/2017 Seven Surrenders Palmer, Ada 3/7/2017 The Lovecraft Squad Probert, John Llewellyn 3/7/2017 The Song Rising Shannon, Samantha 3/7/2017 Lotus Blue Sparks, Cat 3/7/2017…

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8/10
Review: With Blood Upon the Sand by Bradley P. Beaulieu
Reviews / February 21, 2017

The Shattered Sands trilogy was by far one of my favorite finds of last year. With Blood Upon the Sand continues to deepen the intrigue and entanglements, and displays the harsh desert environment is not the only thing to fear in Sharakhai. It will also take your emotions and bend them to its will, ripping them through fear to excitement, from horror to triumph (or maybe triumph to horror), from sorrow to jealousy, hope, betrayal. Where it lands, I can’t tell you, but be prepared for the roller coaster of events that will evoke a huge range of  emotional turmoil and excitement. I continue to love Çeda as a protagonist. She is fierce not just in battle but also in personality. It’s quite interesting to see her handle life as a Blade Maiden, becoming part of what should be a close knit team, while also still working in secret to take down the Kings. Her every day life and training stands in conflict with what has pretty much been her life’s mission. Çeda is also much more alone in the beginning of this book. Emre, who has always been there for her in the past, is part of the Moonless Host. That alone is hard…

1
8/10
Review: Firebrand by Kristen Britain
Reviews / February 7, 2017

Just a quick reminder that while my review is spoiler free for Firebrand, there are likely spoilers for the previous books. There is something about returning to read a new book the Green Rider series that just makes me happy. Maybe it is because I this is one of the first series I read in the fantasy genre, but I just find them to be very addictive, comfort reads that make me want to curl up with it until I finish. This one was no exception. With Firebrand, Karigan returns to her own time, so it includes many of our favorite characters from books past. I know not everyone was thrilled with the change in setting/characters/time period with the last book, though I personally really enjoyed it. For those that were less than thrilled, fear not, this book is much in line with the first 4 books in the series. Karigan is distraught and heartbroken over leaving Cade behind. She misses him deeply and feels guilt over leaving him, not knowing if he is still alive or not. In some ways, it was overwhelming, and impacted her personality a bit. But not so much that I felt it overdone or a…

Upcoming Releases: February 5 – 11, 2017
Upcoming Releases / February 4, 2017

Here’s a rundown of the books we think you should look out for in coming in the week. See any that you are really looking forward to? Find any you had not heard of yet? Know of books we missed? We know we don’t have everything and would love to hear what you feel we may have overlooked.   FANTASY          URBAN FANTASY           SCIENCE FICTION   FANTASY               URBAN FANTASY     SCIENCE FICTION             FANTASY          URBAN FANTASY           SCIENCE FICTION   With Blood Upon the Sand Beaulieu, Brad 2/7/2017 Magic of Blood and Sea Clark, Cassandra Rose 2/7/2017 Amberlough Donnelly, Lara Elena 2/7/2017 Dr. Potter’s Medicine Show Fischl, Eric Scott 2/7/2017 Norse Mythology Gaiman, Neil 2/7/2017 The Turn Harrison, Kim 2/7/2017 The Stars are Legion Hurley, Kameron 2/7/2017 All Our Wrong Todays Mastai, Elan 2/7/2017 A Perfect Machine Savory, Brett 2/7/2017 The People’s Police Spinrad, Norman 2/7/2017