Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Alchemy of Chaos by Marshall Ryan Maresca

Title: The Alchemy of Chaos
Author: Marshall Ryan Maresca
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Maradaine #2

Mass Market Paperback, 385 Pages
Publication: February 2, 2016 by Daw

Source: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. 

Veranix Calbert is The Thorn—the street vigilante who became a legend to the people of Maradaine, especially the gangs that run the neighborhood of Aventil. The Thorn continues to harass Willem Fenmere, the drug kingpin of the Dentonhill neighborhood. Veranix is still determined to stop Fenmere and the effitte drug trade, especially when he discovers that Fenmere is planning on using the Red Rabbits gang to bring the drug into Aventil.

But it’s also Exam Week at the University of Maradaine, where Veranix is a magic student. With his academic career—and future as a mage—riding on his performance, Veranix needs to devote himself entirely to studying and participating in a fellow student’s thesis experiments. There’s no time to go after Fenmere or the Red Rabbits.
Then a series of strange pranks begin to plague the campus, using a form of magic that Veranix doesn’t recognize.

As the pranks grow increasingly deadly, it becomes clear that there’s someone with a vendetta against the university, and The Thorn may be the only one capable of stopping them. Between the prankster, the war brewing between the Aventil gangs, and the flamboyant assassins Fenmere has hired to kill him, Veranix may end up dead before the week is out. Which just might be preferable to taking his exams…. 

The Alchemy of Chaos is the second novel in the Maradaine series following Veranix, a magic student at the University of Maradaine by day and a crime fighter by night known as The Thorn. There is certainly no rest for the wicked as Fenmere hires one of the gangs, The Red Rabbits, to distribute effite in Aventil and female assassins to take out The Thorn.With it being finals week, it’s almost impossible for Veranix to be everywhere at once. Things go from bad to worst when a string of deadly pranks occur all over campus making it that much harder to keep Veranix’s true identity a secret. With Fenmere, The Red Rabbits, assassins and the constable after The Thorn, it’d be a miracle if Veranix passes his exams all while keeping the city safe.

This is my fourth book by Maresca and I still can’t get enough of the world and characters. Maresca actually has three series set in the world of Maradaine. I’ve yet to read the latest series but what I have read (Maradaine and The Maradaine Constabulary) they’re excellent and expand greatly on the world. In the first book we were introduced to life on campus and the crime lord Fenmere. In this latest installment, Fenmere is still a problem but he takes a backseat this time around and has hired help going after The Thorn. I thought the additions of the lady birds were a nice touch and it definitely amped up the stakes because they were skilled at their job and on several occasions had Veranix running for life (literally)…plus they were total bad asses. There were also a lot of new characters introduced, from the other gangs beside the Rose Princes to Veranix’s classmates such as Phadre and Jiarna. But let’s not forget Delmin and Kaiana, their roles were crucial this time around as they helped Veranix stop the pranks on campus.

The Alchemy of Chaos was a great addition to The Thorn/Maradaine series and I already have the third book on my shelf ready to go. I just need to figure out the world/book order! And how cool is it that there’s going to be a crossover in The Maradaine Constabulary series! I never seen it done in books, so it should be interesting! All in all, this was another enjoyable, quick action packed read. If you’re looking for a fun, lighter side of fantasy story then I recommend checking out this series.

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