I'd like to welcome Marshall Maresca, author of THE THORN OF DENTONHILL to Short & Sweet Reviews Blog!
Check out my 5 star review here, and don't forget to enter the giveaway below!
THE UNDERWORLD OF DENTONHILL
By Marshall Ryan Maresca
Over the course of The Thorn of Dentonhill, our hero Veranix, the eponymous Thorn, gets noticed by far more than his intended target, Willem Fenmere, the drug kingpin of the Dentonhill neighborhood. That’s what happens when you sneak off campus to wage a one-man street war and steal rare magical artifacts. People tend to notice you. Assassins, Mages and Street Gangs all turn their sights onto him.
Assassins: A trio of assassins collectively called “The Three Dogs” come after The Thorn: Pendall, Cole and Samael. Standing nearly seven feet tall and built like an ox, Pendall claims he’s “the strongest man in Maradaine”. Coarse and excitable, Cole is an expert with knives— thrown or at close quarters. Lean and greasy, Samael is a gifted crossbow sharpshooter. The three work together to flush out The Thorn and collect the price on his head.
Mages: The Blue Hand Circle commissioned Fenmere to smuggle two magical artifacts into Maradaine, so they were quite put out when the Thorn not only stole them, but started using them. To a circle of mages convinced in their own righteous purity, this was an incredible violation. Their public face is Fenrich Kalas, a powerful mage with a groomed gentleman’s style, even if he does little to hide his disdain for almost everyone he deals with. The two younger members— Kent and Forden— are not only magical muscle but gifted trackers of numina (magical energy), useful for finding the stolen items. Finally there's their leader, Lord Sirath: the taciturn, emaciated figure brimming with magical power. He barely even acknowledges that non-mages are speaking to him, even when his self-appointed title of “Lord” is called into question.
Street Gangs: While Fenmere has an iron fist on all the criminal activity in Dentonhill, the adjoining neighborhood of Aventil is a different story. Seven gangs control those streets, and despite their enmity for each other, they all agree that Fenmere cannot be allowed to cross Waterpath into their neighborhood. Members of each gang proudly show off their affiliation to anyone who can recognize it. The Rose Street Princes, who control the northern part of the neighborhood near the campus gates, including and especially Rose Street, tattoo their right arm with a symbol of a rose with a crown. Hallaran’s Boys hold the western part of the neighborhood, all wearing green page caps. The Waterpath Orphans are on the east side, holding much of the line between Aventil and Dentonhill, cutting scars on their face to demonstrate their loyalty. The Knights of Saint Julian are in the center of the neighborhood, controlling the blocks around Saint Julian’s church, and trying to push into Prince territory— recognizable in their tall hats and gray vests. The south side of Aventil is controlled by the Toothless Dogs with collars tattooed on their necks and the Kemper Street Kickers, decorating their boots with kerchiefs. Finally, the Red Rabbits, the smallest and weakest of the Aventil gangs, controls only a few blocks wedged between the Princes, the Orphans and Waterpath. They all wear coats lined with rabbit fur.
With Veranix having to contend all this, it actually is amazing he makes it to class at all.
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 deliveryof 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.
Thanks to the wonderful people at Penguin, I have a copy of THE THORN OF DENTONHILL to give away!
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