Cover Image: A Parliament of Bodies

A Parliament of Bodies

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Member Reviews

As this series, and the larger Maradaine series, comes barrelling to its endgame, it becomes more difficult to review each installment without considering the whole. A Parliament of Bodies, as the last of the three "Constabulary" books, is a ton of fun as a fantasy police procedural, and also brings in several characters from the other Maradaine series more than ever before. But it doesn't satisfy as a conclusion; it leaves far too much hanging open, because it assumes that readers are also reading the other 3 concurrent series (probably especially "Maradaine Elite," which features the most heavily here). And... we have! Well, at least I have, so I guess that's why it's so hard to judge.

This book is pretty tightly plotted, and Maresca's writing continues to evolve nicely. It's still workmanlike rather than in any way lyrical, and that is more than fine for this type of book. The focus is still mainly on Inspectors Satrine Rainey and Minox Welling, now heading up the new citywide Grand Inspection Unit but still battling internal reviews, and personal demons, as well as solving crime. In particular, they're working on the Gearbox Murders, which are awesomely gruesome and directly relevant to Dayne Heldrin from the "Elite" series. Dayne and his young associate Jerinne are featured almost as much as Rainey and Welling, and that is all to the good. I should add that the sexist undertones of some of the earlier Maradaine books are completely gone. That is obviously also to the good! 

So I expect more crossover in the remaining Maradaine books, of which there are only 3 left out of the total 12. And I'm pretty excited to read them all.
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Satrine Rainey and Minox Welling are back as they have to solve many  gruesome murders.  I love these two.  Both have problems that impact their lives.  In spite or because of they have formed a interesting and working partnership.  This time many are in danger, there is some resolution but mostly the story is a set up for the danger in future books.  Great story with more complex world building and backstory.
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I love Maresca’s Maradaine novels. There are multiple subseries at this point, tackling different viewpoints of situations (with a little bit of crossover every now and again, which makes things that much more interesting), and as far as fun fantasy novels go, this is one of my favourite series! This latest one is part of the Maradaine Constabulary series, which reads like a fantasy police procedural/mystery, and I’d saw this one in particular has shades of Saw throughout, but honestly, it’s more than just shades. Maresca pulls a lot from Saw and has characters trapped in clockwork/gearbox equivalents of the torture machines found in the Saw franchise, delicate arrangements of terrifying technology, and it’s up to Rainey and Welling to figure out who the Gearbox Killer is and what his motivations are. Preferably before half the government is killed.

I’m not much for the torture-porn aspect of the Saw franchise, to be honest, but Maresca keeps the balance by not eliminating blood and gore but just toning it down so that it fits better with the style established in other books of the series. Instead, the focus is the sense of urgency. How to free people from the Gearbox Killer’s traps before timers run down, how to save as many people as possible. Maresca’s books are page-turners for me anyway, but this just heightened the urgency I felt to keep going, to get to the next development and see where the story would take me. I wouldn’t recommend this as a starting point for breaking into the Maradaine novels (too much essential info about the characters is established in prior novels), but it’s certainly a great fantasy novel, and it made me want to give the whole series a reread.
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The Gearbox Murders have Inspectors Satrine Rainey and Minox Welling stumped. There appears to be no connection or motive between the killings other than a coded message Minox believes is hidden in the names of the victims. However, neither inspector is prepared for what is coming next as the Gearbox Killer stages a complex scene at the floor of the Druth Parliament. Now every investigative party is fighting for jurisdiction, but this is only the beginning of the madness. Meanwhile, Kendra Morad has arrived in town and to conduct an inquest that could leave Minox shackled in mage chains forever.

A PARLIAMENT OF BODIES is the third book in the Maradaine Constabulary series. The story focusing around the Gearbox Murders stands on its own merits although some of the other details, such as the unusual condition of Minox’s hand, have been building over the course of the series. However, the recap of Minox’s career by Kendra Morad is helpful for new readers who are unfamiliar with the previous books in the series. Fans of Marshall Ryan Maresca will also note that there are several series set in the Maradaine world and the pieces are starting to intertwine, some more noticeably than others.

The Maradaine Constabulary series is my favorite amongst all the series set in Maradaine and A PARLIAMENT OF BODIES has quickly vaulted to my favorite of all of Marshall Ryan Maresca’s books! The diabolical nature of the crimes is almost unfathomable, even more so as the story unfolds and we begin to see the other pieces surrounding the Gearbox Murders. I love that we get to see glimpses of characters from some of the other books as the greater conspiracy underlying Maradaine is emerging. The lines between the sides of justice and the criminal enterprises controlling the streets of Maradaine are starting to blur, and I suspect we are going to see even more interesting alliances in the near future.

A PARLIAMENT OF BODIES is brilliantly executed! Complex world building, multidimensional characters, and one heck of an intriguing story line all packaged together with enough emotional wallops to set your heart racing with fear for the fate of quite a few beloved characters. Marshall Ryan Maresca warns us in the beginning acknowledgments of A PARLIAMENT OF BODIES that he does some mean things to his characters that will break our hearts and oh, what an understatement! The next book can’t come quickly enough as I want to know what happens next!

*review is in the editing queue at Fresh Fiction*
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A Parliament of Bodies is the third installment in author Marshall Ryan Maresca's The Maradaine Constabulary series. The Maradaine Constabulary series unveils a different layer of the city, on the side of the law, as opposed to the criminal underbelly in the Maradaine novels and Streets of Maradaine. This series features Satrine Rainey and Minox Welling, two detectives in the constabulary who protect the city of Maradaine from crime. 

I should probably warn readers: you are encouraged to read The Way of the Shield which is a brand new series, but features characters that you WILL see in this book. As I say that, the story opens with Dayne Heldrin who spent 2 years in Lacanja before returning in The Way of the Shield. He is now in sort of another exile as the liaison between the government, King's Marshal's and the Taran Order. Dayne has been plagued by one particular character since Lacanja, and now that character seems to have followed him back to Maradaine. 

Dayne knows that Inspectors Minox Welling and Satrine Rainey are in charge of the Gearbox Killer investigation. So, when shit really truly hits the fan, it is Satrine and Minox that are called in to help solve and uncover who the Gearbox Killer is and what he wants. If you are a reader of this series, you know that Satrine and Minox's partnership has been anything but smooth. Satrine is generally hated by almost everyone, including Minox own family, and Minox is under investigation for being an untrained Mage who also works for the Constabulary. 

So, while Satrine and Minox are investigating the Gearbox Killer and his victims, Minox must come to a realization that he might have to rethink his future. Minox, Satrine, Dayne, Jerinne also find themselves being roadblocked at every turn which makes their jobs even harder. There are some other characters that I have come to follow closely, including Corrie Welling who was promoted to Sergeant and now works for the Special Response Squad. She, at least, gives Satrine the benefit of the doubt that she can handle herself. 

After all, Satrine spent years working for Druth Intelligence and is trying to take care of an invalid husband and two daughters. I really wish, however, that the author would do a backstory telling Satrine's story when she was at Druth since a surprise was revealed in this story and things are getting very, very interesting. No Spoilers! This is a story that is really character driven. I've already mentioned Dayne, but there is also Jerinne Fendall who is a 3rd year initiate Tarian Knight who has worked alongside Dayne. 

I want to make something clear. I love the addition of Dayne and Jerinne. They added a depth that the story probably didn't need, but it was nice to see Satrine and Minox getting allies that they can trust. I mentioned that the ending broke my heart and I am even more befuddled that I am going to have to wait a bit longer until we get another book in this series. I am also curious about Minox's relationship with Joshea, another untrained Mage who seems to be getting more and more involved.

So, in closing, and for those keeping track:  

The Shield of the People releases later this year; 
The Fenmere Job (Streets of Maradaine) which means the return of Asti & Verci along with the Thorn is 2020. 
People of the City (2020) is apparently a book that is going to bring all of the author's characters from all of the authors series together to solve the current situation that is subtly upturning everyone's life upside down. I hope! According to the author's web page, this will be the end of Phase I. 

If you are a fan of mixing high fantasy with mystery, then you should be reading this series!
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I'm a huge fan of the world Marshall Ryan Maresca has created. Each character in every series is multi-dimensional and the slow build towards the larger plots is intricately crafted. A Parliament of Bodies moves us another step closer to the complete interweaving of the seemingly disparate series set int he same world. I'm still waiting for that moment where Satrine Rainey and Asti Rynax cross paths. 

This latest installment in the world of Maradaine is the third book in the Maradaine Constabulary series. Of the four existing series, the Constabulary is my favorite (although the Streets of Maradaine is a VERY close second because HEISTS). Satrine and Minox are underdog characters who have found there way and found much needed support within each other. A Parliament of Bodies provides such a clear example of the importance of the relationship. It also shows us the greater support Minox Welling, an untrained and potentially unstable mage, has with his friends and family. Which also makes this book hurt your heart that much more.

I never expected the title of the novel to be literal, but it is. And somehow that isn't nearly the most wrenching part, which is saying a lot. This book expertly begins to slowly put the pieces together from the larger conspiracy working it's way through all of Maresca's novels. So much so, that Dayne and Jerinne, the Tarians from The Way of a Shield play an important role. As does Verci Rynax - though you'd only know it's him if you've read the Holver Alley Crew. But that isn't necessarily a requirement which is the brilliant part of things. 

This book stands on its own from the other three Maradaine series. There is enough explanation to allow you to grasp all that is happening without the other series. That said, this book is infinitely more meaningful and more enjoyable with that larger understanding. And it makes me clamor for the next book, particularly the next in the Streets of Maradaine. The larger intrigue and conspiracy is so tantalizing. I want more and I want it now. But until that happens, I will gladly reread A Parliament of Bodies to ponder over every clue and work out the connections, much like Minox Welling would himself. 

Do yourself a favor and start reading all of Marshall Ryan Maresca's books, especially The Maradaine Constabulary series, so that you can read this book. It's beautiful in the way it wrenches your heart as the love and support each character has is tested and reinforced.
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Wow! A gripping read, this book had me up past my bedtime wanting to know what happened next.

While this book succeeds as a standalone work, the greater joy for the reader is to see more of the overarching mystery that has been woven through the series since book 1. Some mysteries have been finally answered, but greater mysteries are still ahead. I can't wait to see what happens next!
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It starts off slow and kind of dense, but once the action begins, it's hard to resist the story as it drives forward. It reads as a true epic, one that makes you feel the world really has been reshaped as you read it. Would recommend.
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