The Way of the Shield (Maradaine Elite #1) (Mass Market)
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The first novel in the Maradaine Elite series blends fast-paced high fantasy and political intrigue.
Dayne Heldrin always dreamed of being a member of the Tarian Order. In centuries past, the Elite Orders of Druthal were warriors that stood for order, justice, and the common people. But now, with constables, King's Marshals, and a standing army, there is little need for such organizations, and the Tarian Order is one of the last remnants of this ancient legacy. Nevertheless, Dayne trained his body and mind, learned the arts of defense and fighting, to become a candidate for the Tarian Order.
When a failed rescue puts Dayne at fault for injuring the child of a powerful family, his future with the Tarians is in jeopardy. The Parliament controls the purse strings for the Order, and Dayne has angered the wrong members of Parliament. He returns to the capital city of Maradaine in shame, ready to be cast out of the Order when the period of his candidacy ends.
Dayne finds Maradaine in turmoil, as revolutions and dark conspiracies brew around him, threatening members of Parliament and common people alike. Dayne is drawn into the uproar, desperate not to have one more death or injury on his conscience, but the Order wants him to stay out of the situation. The city threatens to tear itself apart, and Dayne must decide between his own future and his vow to always stand between the helpless and harm.
About the Author
Marshall Ryan Maresca is the author of the Maradaine novels, which now consist of four series set in an interconnected world. His work has 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.
Praise for the Maradaine universe:
“Maresca’s debut is smart, fast, and engaging fantasy crime in the mold of Brent Weeks and Harry Harrison. Just perfect.” —Kat Richardson, national bestselling author of Revenant
“Veranix is Batman, if Batman were a teenager and magically talented.... Action, adventure, and magic in a school setting will appeal to those who love Harry Potter and Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind.” ―Library Journal (starred)
"Marshall Ryan Maresca is some kind of mad genius…. Not since Terry Pratchett’s Ankh Morpork have we enjoyed exploring every angle of an invented locale quite this much." —B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog
“A well-conceived and well-written melange of popular fantasy sub-genres: there’s a university with a magic department, there is some vigilante derring-do and thievery.... If you’re looking for an action-and-adventure-filled new fantasy series, then The Thorn of Dentonhill will suit very well.” —Civilian Reader
“The Thorn of Dentonhill is a light-hearted, fun read, and Maresca has introduced a hero with plenty of room to grow, a couple of villains who will provide plenty of conflict in upcoming books. And, most importantly, he’s created a character that I care enough about to continue reading.” —Relentless Reading
“Take the caped avenger of Batman, the teenage-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.” —Kings River Life Magazine
“Maresca brings the whole package, complete and well-constructed. If you’re looking for something fun and adventurous for your next fantasy read, look no further than The Thorn of Dentonhill, an incredible start to a new series, from an author who is clearly on his way to great things.” —Bibliosanctum
“The Thorn of Dentonhill was a fast-paced read with action from start to finish. I loved every minute of it.” —Short and Sweet Reviews
“Definitely a fun read, and one classic fantasy fans will likely enjoy.” —Bibliotropic
“So much of it is terribly exciting and fun.... What I really liked about the ending was how it set up relationships and possibilities for the next book (which I definitely plan on reading).” —Tenacious Reader