Mixing high fantasy, urban fantasy and superheroics, this series follows the exploits of Veranix Calbert, struggling magic university student by day and armed vigilante by night, as he seeks to rid his neighborhoods of the drug kingpin Willem Fenmere and his entire criminal empire.
“Veranix is Batman, if Batman were a teenager and magically talented.” —Library Journal
“Maresca’s debut is smart, fast and engaging fantasy crime in the mold of Brent Weeks and Harry Harrison. Just Perfect.” – Kat Richardson, national bestselling author of Revenant
“It takes a fun addictive book that I just outright enjoy for me to read it that fast, and this is that type of book.” – The Speculative Herald
“Fantasy adventure readers, especially fans of spell-wielding students, will enjoy these lively characters and their high-energy story.” – Publisher’s Weekly
THE THORN OF DENTONHILL
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 delivery of 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.
Explore the back alleys of the city in this street-level fantasy adventure, the first novel of the Maradaine series.
THE ALCHEMY OF CHAOS
The saga of the streets of Maradaine that began in The Thorn of Dentonhill continues….
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 IMPOSTERS OF AVENTIL
Summer and the Grand Tournament of High Colleges have come to the University of Maradaine. If the heat and the crowds weren’t enough to bring the campus and the neighborhood of Aventil to a boiling point, rumors that The Thorn is on the warpath—killing the last of the Red Rabbits—is enough to tip all of Maradaine into the fire.
Except Veranix Calbert, magic student at the University, is The Thorn, and he’s not the one viciously hunting the Red Rabbits. Veranix has his hands full with his share of responsibilities for the Tournament, and as The Thorn he’s been trying to find the source of the mind-destroying effitte being sold on campus. He’s as confused as anyone about the rumors.
When The Thorn imposter publicly attacks the local Aventil constables, the Constabulary bring in their own special investigators: Inspectors Minox Welling and Satrine Rainey from the Maradaine Grand Inspectors Unit. Can Veranix find out who the imposter is and stop him before Welling and Rainey arrest him for the imposter’s crimes?
THE ASSASSINS OF CONSEQEUNCE
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.