by Terrance Mc Arthur
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Thorn of Detonhill, along with a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL and indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy.
Take the caped avenger of Batman, the teen-age-superhero angst of Spiderman, the street-gang bravado of West Side Story, and toss in the magic of Harry Potter, and what have you got? Marshall Ryan Maresca’s The Thorn of Dentonhill.
Veranix Calbert is a student of magic by day, dozing through some of his University classes. By night, he runs across rooftops, tracking down the drug dealers who turn people into mindless husks. He is known as the Thorn, and he’s sticking it to Willem Fenmere, crimelord of the region, by destroying the drugs and giving away the dirty money. One of his raids gets him some magical objects that increase his powers…at a price. The problem is, now Veranix is being tracked down by thugs, assassins, mages, his dormitory prefect, and the street gangs that are feeling pressure from Fenmere.
Veranix has a few allies: the pretty groundskeeper of the college (who shares his hatred of Fenmere and is thought to be the reason he disappears from his room at night), his magician roommate who suspects only some of the truth, a kindly/concerned/crusty professor of the mystic arts, and begrudging help from a gang captain who wishes he knew less.
This is hang-on-to-your-toothpicks adventure with a mystery bent as Veranix tries to learn how to control the new magic he has and discover why some powerful people want to kill him for it. It’s action-oriented—swashbuckling Indiana Jones meets the burglar Bilbo Baggins of The Hobbit—but the characters have a warmth and conflicting goals and attitudes that make them worth following.
Maresca’s debut novel introduces readers to the city of Maradaine, looked over by a pair of moons, where street kids and drug-runners have more control over the neighborhoods than the constables do. Veranix is plucky, resourceful, and a trained acrobat. Fenmere is merciless, mercenary, and disgusted by his sorcery-minded business partners. We learn some of the history and geography of Maradaine, but there is world-building to come in further books and another planned series.
My first look at the book was less than exciting: an okay cover, a back blurb that echoed a number of styles. But once I started reading, I was like a forty-pound blue catfish after a herring bait—hooked! Catch this one, folks.
To enter to win a copy of Thorn of Detonhill, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Thorn,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 21, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.
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Use this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore: