Review and GIVEAWAY: Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe by Marshall Ryan Maresca
Series: The Streets of Maradaine #2
Also by this author: The Thorn of Dentonhill
Published by Daw Books on March 6th 2018
Also in this series: The Holver Alley Crew
Mixing high fantasy and urban fantasy, the second novel of the Streets of Maradaine series follows the Rynax brothers' crew of outlaws as they attempt their biggest heist yet and restore justice to the common people.
The neighborhood of North Seleth has suffered--and not just the Holver Alley Fire. Poverty and marginalization are forcing people out of the neighborhood, and violence on the streets is getting worse. Only the Rynax brothers--Asti and Verci--and their Holver Alley Crew are fighting for the common people. They've taken care of the people who actually burned down Holver Alley, but they're still looking for the moneyed interests behind the fire.
The trail of breadcrumbs leads the crew to Lord Henterman, and they plan to infiltrate the noble's house on the other side of the city. While the crew tries to penetrate the heart of the house, the worst elements of North Seleth seem to be uniting under a mysterious new leader. With the crew's attention divided, Asti discovers that the secrets behind the fire, including ones from his past, might be found in Lady Henterman's wardrobe.
Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe is the latest in Maresca’s on going series in the Maradaine universe. It’s the sequel to Holver Alley Crew, which I have to admit is my favorite book 1 in any of his series so far. I’m happy to report that this follow up is just as exciting and fun as the last one. I’m also really excited to share that we have a GIVEAWAY for The Holver Alley Crew, so be sure to enter below!
Verci and Asti are still working with their crew, with the ultimate goal of finding whoever was responsible for the fire that destroyed Holver Alley. They have all had to make some adjustments as they have been displaced by the fire, they also are keeping their huge payday from the last heist underwraps, and living the modest lives that might be expected, trying to not draw attention to the themselves.
There is tension as Verci’s wife wants him to live a clean and straight life, and blames his brother Asti for always dragging him into the less than legal activities the Rynax brothers always seem to find themselves a part of. And really, who can blame her? He is her husband and the father of their child. The consequences if they get caught impact more than just Verci, as opposed to Asti who’s only commitment in life seems to be exacting justice on whoever is responsible. To widen the mystery a bit more, someone has begun buying up all the properties that were destroyed in the fire. Who and why? Well, Asti is determined to find out. And Verci can’t let his brother go at it alone, so the happy band of thieves is at it again, but while they may be thieves, their motivation is pretty honorable.
We get to learn more about Asti’s backstory in this one, and it is definitely interesting (and full of betrayal). So pair that with all the excitement of heists and going undercover? This book left me completely happy and wanting more. The team dynamics again are fun and diverse and I enjoy all the characters that show up in this series.
This may sound superficial, but honestly my only complaint with this book is not so much anything within the book itself, but the title. I feel like its such a nitpicky thing to bring up in a review as it really has no bearing on my enjoyment of the book whatsoever. You know that saying, Dont Judge a Book by its Cover? Admit it, we all do it to some degree. even if we know we shouldn’t. An amazing eye catching cover gets more attention, a lackluster one gets over looked. That’s hardly a ground breaking revelation, but while I’ve never heard a Dont Judge a Book By Its Title rule, I think I need to make that a new rule and hope people follow it for this book. For me, this title sounds like a completely different type of book than it is. It brings to mind a materialistic histoical fiction maybe? Probably with a strong romance element? I would never suspect it is a book about a group of thieves attempting pull off a major heist and get vengeance for a fire that destroyed their lives and community. And that’s my concern with the title, that it sounds so far from the type of book it is, that it could deter readers. Having read the book, I get the connection, the title is not completely random, but for a first impression I feel like it’s not the best choice. The largest consolation with that is that this is a book 2, and anyone who read Holver Alley Crew should know what’s in store in this book. Who knows, maybe I am alone with this concern, if so, ignore me, but if not, just ignore the title and dive in, you wont regret it.
I sometimes feel like calling a series or book “fun” almost sounds too simplistic. But when it comes down to it that is the trait that stands out for me most with the Maradaine books. It is a highly desirable trait in books like this, one that can be hard to pin down and one that not everyone can easily achieve. Maresca again gives us a book that is just a pleasure to sit back, read and enjoy. Have fun with it.
Don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY for the first in this series: THE HOLVER ALLEY CREW!