Review and Interview: Marshall Ryan Maresca

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The exciting debut to Marshall Ryan Maresca’s Streets of Maradaine fantasy series!


ABOUT THE BOOK

The Rynax brothers had gone legit after Asti Rynax’s service in Druth Intelligence had shattered his nerves, and marriage and fatherhood convinced Verci Rynax to leave his life of thievery. They settled back in their old neighborhood in West Maradaine and bought themselves a shop, eager for a simple, honest life.

Then the Holver Alley Fire incinerated their plans. With no home, no shop, and no honest income—and saddled with a looming debt—they fall back on their old skills and old friends.

With a crew of other fire victims, Asti and Verci plan a simple carriage heist, but the job spirals out of control as they learn that the fire was no accident. Lives in Holver Alley were destroyed out of a sadistic scheme to buy the land.

Smoldering for revenge, burdened with Asti’s crumbling sanity, the brothers and their crew of amateurs and washouts swear to take down those responsible for the fire, no matter the cost.


ENCHANTED REVIEW

The Holver Alley Crew is the first in a new series set in his existing Maradaine world, and it’s a great start to a new series!

Having read some of the others in this world, reading this one is like visiting a familiar place but going somewhere new. The world-building is one of my favorite aspects of Maresca’s work (as evidenced in some of my interview questions below!) and The Holver Alley Crew does not disappoint. We get to see a different side of the world in Holver Alley, the not-so-nice-don’t-buy-a-suburban-ranch-in-this-part-of-town kind of side.

The Rynax brothers, Asti and Verci, couldn’t lead more different lives if they tried, and when their futures area irrevocably altered by a fire, they have tough decisions to make. In the spirit of not spoiling the book, I will say that they plan a simple heist, but their plan takes a very different turn as they learn that the truth about the Holver Alley fire.

I highly recommend The Holver Alley Crew and give it my highest rating: five lanterns!

5 Lamps


AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Enchanted Alley: Welcome to the Alley! We’re certainly glad you’re here.

I’ll start off with an easy question. If you had to choose one book or series to read over and over for a lifetime, what would it be and why?

Marshall Ryan Maresca: You mean, other than the combined Maradaine books?  Because that would be the obvious answer.

Real answer: Watership Down by Richard Adams.  I’ve read it many, many times, and I keep coming back to it.  It’s deep, rich fantasy filled with mythology, adventure, a heist and a war.  But with rabbits.  And it’s amazing.

EA: That is a great book and author. Good choice! Speaking of great books and great writers, what are your “must have” tools for writing? Can you give us a glimpse into your process?

MRM: In terms of tools: I need my laptop with Scrivener on it, and a good set of headphones that let me tune out the world.  Add in coffee in the morning or rooibos tea in the evening, and that’s the core of “what I need”.

Now, if I have space to sit, lay out my notebooks and outline materials, all the better.  But if I have my laptop and headphones, I can work just about anywhere.

EA: If you could live in the world of The Hover Alley Crew, what your life be like?

MRM: So, if I lived in Maradaine, I probably wouldn’t live in North Seleth, the neighborhood where Holver Alley Crew takes place.

Ideally, I would live on the other side of the river in neighborhoods like High River or Fenton, which have their share of artist communities, coffee shop and wine clubs, and is near one the fancier institute of higher learning.  A perfect place to write, engage in the arts and talk philosophy into the late hours while drinking coffee or wine.

But North Seleth wouldn’t be terrible: it might be a poor neighborhood, but it’s a community where people know each other and take care of one another.  There certainly are worse places in the city to end up.

EA: High River and Fenton are my kinds of towns. That’s one of the best things about books, getting to visit places you wouldn’t otherwise!  Up next, how long does it take to plot and write a novel? Which part of the process is your favorite? Least favorite?

MRM: It varies, but the plotting/outlining process is usually about a month, and then the writing process from five-to-eight months, depending on what else is going on.  Of course, since I have many projects going forward, at any given time I have different things in different stages.  But my favorite part is definitely that end-stage of drafting, where all the elements have come together, and it’s mostly a process of letting it race out of your fingers into the keyboard.  Worst part?  That middle phase, where even though I know what needs to happen (because: outline), it still feels like pulling teeth.

EA: I’ve heard the middle is a least favorite part for lots of writers! Okay, so which character is your favorite to write?

MRM: Oh, this is one of those “which child do you love most?” questions.  But OK, I’ll pick.  In all the Maradaine books, it’s probably Corrie from the Constabulary books.  She’s an absolute hoot.  If I narrow to just the Holver Alley Crew, then I’ll go with Helene.  Actually, Corrie and Helene would probably get along pretty well, if they weren’t on opposite sides of the law.  That could be a fun pairing….

Yes, that would be fun! I’d love to read that (hint, hint…)

Thank you so much for coming to hang out with us at The Enchanted Alley. We love your work around here and can’t wait to have you back again. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Marshall Ryan Maresca grew up in upstate New York and studied film and video production at Penn State.  He now lives Austin with his wife and son.  His work appeared in Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction and Rick Klaw’s anthology Rayguns Over TexasHe also has had several short plays produced and has worked as a stage actor, a theatrical director and an amateur chef. His novels The Thorn of Dentonhill and A Murder of Mages each begin their own fantasy series, both set in the port city of Maradaine. For more information, visit Marshall’s website at http://www.mrmaresca.com.


Essential Information

29097931

Title: THE HOLVER ALLEY CREW

Author: Marshall Ryan Maresca

Series: Streets of Maradaine #1

ISBN: 9780756412609

Release Date: March 7, 2017

Publisher: DAW MASS MARKET

List Price: $7.99

Blog Tour: An Import of Intrigue by Marshall Ryan Maresca

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Enchanted Review

I enjoy fantasy, but true High Fantasy has never really been my thing. Maresca takes high fantasy and combines it with three things that I really do like: dark and gritty world building, a solid mystery, and great characters.

I fell in love with this series when I read the first book, A Murder of Mages (review coming soon), but the second installment is even better. The stakes are higher, the world is darker (a change in setting contributes to that) and we get to see some things we thought we’d figured out turned around on their heads (no spoilers!) to really push the complexity and depth of the characters.

I will definitely read the next installment, and I will go look for his other books set in the  port city of Maradaine.

5 Lamps

Enchanted Rating: Five Lanterns


About the Book

This second novel in the Maradaine Constabulary series blends high fantasy, murder mystery, and gritty urban magic…

The neighborhood of the Little East is a collision of cultures, languages, and traditions, hidden away in the city of Maradaine. A set of streets to be avoided or ignored. When a foreign dignitary is murdered, solving the crime falls to the most unpopular inspectors in the Maradaine Constabulary: exposed fraud Satrine Rainey, and Uncircled mage Minox Welling.

With a murder scene deliberately constructed to point blame toward the rival groups resident in this exotic section of Maradaine, Rainey is forced to confront her former life, while Welling’s ignorance of his own power threatens to consume him. And the conflicts erupting in the Little East will spark a citywide war unless the Constabulary solves the case quickly.


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AN IMPORT OF INTRIGUE

Maradaine Constabulary #2

By Marshall Ryan Maresca

November 1, 2016 | ISBN: 9780756411732

DAW Mass Market | $7.99 | 400 pages


About the Author

7179557Marshall Ryan Maresca grew up in upstate New York and studied film and video production at Penn State.  He now lives Austin with his wife and son.  His work 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. His novels The Thorn of Dentonhill and A Murder of Mages each begin their own fantasy series, both set in the port city of Maradaine. For more information, visit Marshall’s website at http://www.mrmaresca.com.