Monday, November 7, 2022

The Quarrygate Gambit (Streets of Maradaine, Book 4) by Marshall Ryan Maresca


Release date: November 8, 2022
Subgenre: Epic fantasy, Urban fantasy

About The Quarrygate Gambit:

Mixing urban and high fantasy, the fourth Streets of Maradaine novel follows the crew of outlaws led by the Rynax brothers as they struggle to protect the city they love.

After having thwarted some of the forces responsible for ruining their lives, reformed thieves Asti and Verci Rynax and the rest of the Holver Alley Crew had mostly settled back into sedate lives as upright citizens of Maradaine.  But when they are suddenly arrested in mysterious circumstances, they find themselves in Quarrygate Prison, which tests the limits of their cunning and skill.  While Verci struggles to keep their friends alive and safe in the prison, Asti gets pulled into a mysterious scheme in the underbelly of the prison, teaming him up with some of the most dangerous people in Maradaine.  The cracks in Asti’s tenuous sanity get torn open as he is thrown into a cat-and-mouse game with one of the city’s most infamous killers.
Meanwhile back in their neighborhood, Verci’s wife Raych is desperate to help him and Asti and get them home. When her attempts to go through proper channels fail, she accepts a ludicrous deal from the local crime boss: Verci and Asti’s freedom in exchange for her pulling off a daring, nigh-impossible heist that would challenge even seasoned thieves. Raych doesn’t know how a simple baker like her could hope to succeed at such a task, but she will use every trick and wild idea she has to help her family.  None of the Rynaxes will rest until they are free from Quarrygate and together at home again, no matter the risk, no matter the cost..




 Asti Rynax’s plan was going perfectly—every piece was in place, every one of his people were exactly where they were needed to be, doing exactly what they should. But there were so many details swimming in his head that as he crossed through the back alley to Frost Road he didn’t even see the kid with the knife until it was right at his throat.
“Your coin, old man!”
“Old man, really?” Asti asked.
“You heard me!” the kid snapped. “Hand it over or I—”
“I mean, I only just turned twenty-seven,” Asti said, keeping his voice even. Being called “old” was quite upsetting. “That’s not really old at all, son.”
“What are you on about?” the kid said, pressing his knife up on Asti’s chin. “I told you, coin! Or I cut you!”
“See, you already showed me you don’t want to,” Asti said. “Else you’d just cut me and search my pockets as I bled.”
“I’m serious!”
“So am I,” Asti said. “I mean, who even taught you? You’re not even holding it right.”
Asti didn’t have time for this, but it really was just sad. No form, no technique.
“Look,” Asti said, taking the kid’s wrist and twisting it away from his neck. “You don’t want me to be able to do that. And you let me for a couple reasons.” The kid cried out and dropped the knife, which Asti caught in his off hand.
“Hey, ow!” the kid said as Asti kept his wrist in the lock.
“See, right, that hurts a lot,” Asti said. “You got too close, and that means you had nothing to thrust with, and I could reach past your knife and grab you. Part of the point of having a blade, especially in a situation like this, is you’re able to keep the other person at a distance. They don’t close in on you because they don’t want to get cut.”
“The blazes are you on about?”
“I’m talking about technique, son,” Asti said, releasing the kid and pushing him up against the brick wall. He looked at the blade, checking its edge with his thumb. Dull and nicked. “Did you really just grab any knife you could find and come out to an alley? Honestly, who does that?”
“I was just—”
“Look at this, all wrong,” Asti said, showing the kid the blade. “Especially if you get in close, put it at someone’s neck. You do that, you can only swipe fast to slice my throat, and this blade has no edge for slicing at all. At best you’re going to scratch up someone’s neck and just rise up their temper. Then you’re in for it.”


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About Marshall Ryan Maresca:

Marshall Ryan Maresca is a fantasy and science-fiction writer, author of the Maradaine Saga: Four braided series set amid the bustling streets and crime-ridden districts of the exotic city called Maradaine, which includes The Thorn of Dentonhill, A Murder of Mages, The Holver Alley Crew and The Way of the Shield, as well as the dieselpunk fantasy, The Velocity of Revolution. He is also the co-host of the Hugo-nominated, Stabby-winning podcast Worldbuilding for Masochists, and has been a playwright, an actor, a delivery driver and an amateur chef. He lives in Austin, Texas with his family.


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