Cover Image: An Import of Intrigue

An Import of Intrigue

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Member Reviews

Maybe I shouldn't have started at Book 2 in the series, but I had this from Netgalley and the first book wasn't available. This is a police procedural blended with fantasy and a secondary world gritty urban setting. It features the most unpopular inspectors in the Maradaine Constabulary: exposed fraud Satrine Rainey, and Uncircled mage Minox Welling. Rainey and Welling get the job of solving the murder of a foreign dignitary while the diverse neighbourhood rapidly approaches flashpoint. Rainey is coming to terms with her previous life and her unconventional entry into the force, while looking after her family – in particular her disabled husband, a former officer. Welling is an untrained magician who barely understands the power burning through him. Between them they have to not only solve a murder, but also to stop a civil war.

Police procedurals, even fantasy ones, are not usually my thing, but this had good characters (primary and secondary) and a well-built world. I'd like to read more about Maradaine.
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The Maradaine Constabulary books are (thus far) my favorite in the Maradaine universe. Maresca's world-building is so rich and detailed you can imagine the exact scenery as the mystery unfolds! I've read each of Maresca's novels as they have been released, and I can't wait to see what he comes up with in the future. The standout feature of his writing, to me,  is that all of his series take place in the fictional world of Maradaine. The stories' timelines and characters even overlap - the cameos from book to book are extra fun little easter-eggs for those in the know.
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The strength of this novel lies in its exceptional world-building, especially the depiction of multiple cultures. Living cheek-by-jowl in geographically confined area, yet all subject to the same host-culture laws, these various races are bound to misunderstand and antagonize one another. So it’s no wonder when the Constables of Maradaine are called to investigate a murder that they encounter one baffling cultural obstacle after another. Added to that, the two principle characters, partnered investigators, each hide a secret: Rainey began life as a thieving street waif and basically lied her way on to the force; Welling’s forbidden magical powers threaten both his sanity and the lives of those he loves. Part of a series set in the rich, complex city of Maradaine, An Import of Intrigue is part murder mystery, part police procedural, part psychological thriller, part clash of cultures. It’s not the first volume, and at times I found the number of characters, their races and relationships, a bit overwhelming, so I recommend starting at the beginning for a richly rewarding adventure.
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It's good to see Tricky & Jinx in action again! Maresca expands the Maradine hugely in this one, the plot has plenty of good twists, and the wider, over-arching story gets significant development without taking away from this book's mystery.

I have a minor complaint about the rate of the expansion--sometimes all the different cultures were almost overwhelming in the rate of reveal--but I'd rather that than an underdeveloped monoculture.

Maresca's Maradine books are good in general, but this is by far the best. I can't wait for more in this series!
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