The Assassins of Consequence by Marshall Ryan Maresca – Review

Published: March 29, 2022

Publisher: DAW

Series: Maradaine #4 (?)

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 392 (Kindle)

My Rating: 4.0/5.0

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The autumn semester at the University of Maradaine is underway, and Veranix Calbert is doing his best to balance the new responsibilities of being a fourth-year magic student under the militant Altarn Initiatives, while still acting as The Thorn, the street vigilante deep in a personal war against the drug kingpin Willem Fenmere. With the help of his friends Kaiana, Delmin, and Mila, he’s been able to strike real blows against Fenmere’s empire.

But Veranix’s fight has earned him more enemies than just Fenmere, including the mad alchemist Cuse Jensett, the imposters Erno Don and Enzin Hence, and the Deadly Birds Magpie and Jackdaw. These five killers join forces to escape Quarrygate Prison and offer an alliance to Fenmere, bringing with them the perfect leverage to seal the deal: the Thorn’s identity.

Once Fenmere knows who Veranix is, he doesn’t just want to kill him, but to utterly shatter him. Calling on everyone in Maradaine holding a grudge against the Thorn, he unleashes a brutal hunt against Veranix. With old and new enemies all looking to claim the bounty on his head, stripped of the security of his secret identity, Veranix faces the most brutal fight of his all too-short life.

So, you know how awful it was for Peter Parker when he was revealed as Spiderman? Imagine that in book form and you can see how The Assassins of Consequence might be a hot mess for Veranix Calbert, aka the Thorn. When five of his enemies escape from Quarrygate Prison together with the sole intent to come after him, Veranix is hard pressed to keep himself and his friends alive. 

This was an excellent natural continuation of Veranix’s tale after the events of the first Maradaine story arc. Plenty of action, so many heartfelt moments, and the resolution to several major plot points made for a very satisfying read. Plus, Veranix has a brother?? Did I completely miss that he has an equally acrobatically talented brother who left the family before Veranix went to University of Maradaine? Trust me, this knowledge will be central to the next and final book in Veranix’s story and I’m very excited for the dramatic family reunion!

I still enjoy the core cast of characters and while I wouldn’t say they get a ton of character growth, there are some moments where they realize how dangerous what they’re involved in truly is. For instance, Delmin has this instance where he makes himself very small and then right afterwards becomes like, 20 feet tall instead of normal size. He freaks out afterwards because being the scholar he is, he’s read about the deadly organ damage this can cause and comes face to face with his own mortality. Many events in The Assassins of Consequence really hit close to home for Veranix, much like for Peter Parker in Spiderman: No Way Home. The revelation of his identity puts his friends and remaining family in danger just by proximity to him.

Overall, I found this to be another enjoyable installment in the Maradaine Universe and while I’m sad that Veranix’s arc is nearly at a close I’m very much looking forward to the final book. I would recommend picking up the earlier installments in the Maradaine series, starting with The Thorn of Dentonhill. Even though this is the start of a new Maradaine phase/arc, you will most definitely need knowledge of the prior books. 

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