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The Holver Alley Crew
Streets of Maradaine
Marshall Ryan Maresca

March 7, 2017 / ISBN 9780756412609

Reviewed by Jan Fields


With The Holver Alley Crew, Maresca spins a totally new tale in his fantasy world that focuses on the streets of Maradaine. At its heart, The Holver Alley Crew is a heist novel with some cool contraptions and plenty of fistfights thrown in for fun. Though the overall world of the novel has magic and mages, they play little part in this particular tale, which focuses on friends, family and brains. The Rynax brothers grew up as thieves and conmen, but they had high hopes of going straight with the opening of a gadget shop and the birth of Verci's son. But this is not a family that can ever count on plans going exactly as they’d hoped. The shop is burned down, along with most of the businesses on the street. Families lose everything, including loved ones. The Rynax brothers almost immediately begin to suspect there was more behind the blaze than accident. And they are looking for revenge. For anyone enjoying a good caper, the story involves two of them, both complicated and neither working out as planned, but sometimes even the best plans can get skunked. Though the brothers are great, heroic characters, it was really the women in the story I enjoyed most. Asti can't understand why Verci chose Rayche as a wife, but it's not long before the reader sees there's a fundamental strength mixed with flexibility in the young woman. She's not from their world of conmen and thieves, but she's not the weak link either. I also loved the young girl Mila, who never lets her size or youth turn her into a victim, and Helene, whose devotion to family is only matched by her own fierce temper and pride. The Holver Alley Crew is an interesting mix of characters with plenty to carry them through whatever adventures await in future novels.


Reviewed 2017