cover image Shield of the People

Shield of the People

Marshall Ryan Maresca. Daw, $7.99 mass market (400p) ISBN 978-0-7564-1477-1

Maresca returns to the bustling streets of the fantasy city of Maradaine in this dense political thriller, the action-packed second in the Maradaine Elite series (after The Way of the Shield). A weeklong festival overtakes Maradaine in the lead-up to Reunification Day, a celebration of the creation of Druthal from 10 formerly independent duchies, packing the city with revelers, reporters, and power seekers. When the Tarian Order sends trainee Dayne Heldrin to act as its press secretary at Parliament, he’s certain the Order is offloading busy work to keep him from his dream of joining its ranks. With elections fast approaching, suffragettes clamoring for the vote, and secessionist groups like the Open Hand conspiring to dissolve Druthal, the Order has schemes of its own, using Dayne as a pawn in a political power play under cover of the city’s celebration. A series of violent rebel threats on the elections and the twisty machinations of both the Tarian Order and the Open Hand ensure enough action and intrigue for any fan of fantasy adventure. Series readers will delight in returning to the rich universe of Maradaine. (Oct.)