Fantasy DNF at 50%

A Murder of Mages: A Novel of the Maradaine Constabulary - Marshall Ryan Maresca

I tried. It’s not really a bad story: the pace is fast, the mystery intriguing, and the writing utterly professional, but I didn’t care for any of the characters. Everyone is cold, bitter, irascible, and aggressive. Nobody has any emotional softness or tenderness or love for anyone. No whiff of compassion. No hint of affection. Perhaps they are all hidden deep inside of the characters’ hearts, but the reader is only allowed into their heads, and only to see all sorts of negative cogitations.

Satrine couldn’t stop being angry. She had attempted to curb this by hitting random bystanders when the Riot Call was made, but it wasn’t helping.

This one quote on page 176 reflects the entire book. The protagonist is angry (for a legitimate reason, of course) so why not hit everyone in her way? She is a policewoman, she has the right to beat people – so she does, with very little provocation. Maybe that’s how men feel, or at least some men? Maybe that’s how most policemen feel and act? I don’t know. But I should’ve known better than to read a book by a male writer. I never liked men writers in the past, with rare exceptions, and this book just confirmed my dislike.


Note: Terry Pratchett is an exception. I love Pratchett, especially his City Watch series. The comparison comes to mind because both Pratchett's series and Maresca's novel take place in a fantasy world in a city, and in both the main characters are policemen, but that's all that unites the two. Sam Vimes and his cohorts at the City Watch have emotions, and we are allowed to share them. Neither Sam Vimes nor the other policemen would ever hit the citizens of Ankh-Morpork just because, while Maresca's policemen do it all the time. Yuck!