Review: Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe (The Streets of Maradaine #2) by Marshall Ryan Maresca

March 12, 2018 Review 0

Review: Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe (The Streets of Maradaine #2) by Marshall Ryan MarescaLady Henterman's Wardrobe by Marshall Ryan Maresca
Series: The Streets of Maradaine #2
Published by Daw Books on March 6, 2018
Genres: Action & Adventure, Crime, Steampunk, Urban Fantasy
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher
Sexual Content: N/A
Reviewed by: Rebecca
3 Stars

Mixing high fantasy and urban fantasy, the second novel of the Streets of Maradaine series follows the Rynax brothers' crew of outlaws as they attempt their biggest heist yet and restore justice to the common people.

The neighborhood of North Seleth has suffered--and not just the Holver Alley Fire. Poverty and marginalization are forcing people out of the neighborhood, and violence on the streets is getting worse. Only the Rynax brothers--Asti and Verci--and their Holver Alley Crew are fighting for the common people. They've taken care of the people who actually burned down Holver Alley, but they're still looking for the moneyed interests behind the fire.

The trail of breadcrumbs leads the crew to Lord Henterman, and they plan to infiltrate the noble's house on the other side of the city. While the crew tries to penetrate the heart of the house, the worst elements of North Seleth seem to be uniting under a mysterious new leader. With the crew's attention divided, Asti discovers that the secrets behind the fire, including ones from his past, might be found in Lady Henterman's wardrobe.

LADY HENTERMAN’S WARDROBE is full of fast-talking one-liners, antiheroes, and complex heists. Despite not having read the first book, I was sold on the promise of thievery, shenanigans, and wit. Although I love a not-so-good gang, the Holver Alley Crew has a lot of members, alliances, and enemies. All of which means that LADY HENTERMAN’S WARDROBE had more plot than it really needed. Too many side characters were held up in safe houses, hunted by the police, or off running another con.

It took a few chapters for me to get comfortable with the setting and the characters. The pace is bogged down by fetch quests before we finally get to the main heist. While there are many steps to create a successful con, all the side trips to fetch plot item A or B meant we don’t get to the Henterman’s until later in the book. In addition to the fetch quests, almost every character had their own B story, which added up to too much plot. I would have loved the plot streamlined and solely focused on the Holver Alley Crew in the Henterman’s house.

LADY HENTERMAN’S WARDROBE shines with its dialogue. There are times when it feels like watching a movie as each character plays off each other. I appreciated that members of the crew weren’t just archetypes, they all wanted someone even if it made them unlikeable. History is also hugely important to the characters and the plot, past cons and past loves affect them all. If you have a deep love of heist films and don’t mind an overly large crew, you’ll get a lot of enjoyment out of LADY HENTERMAN’S WARDROBE.

Series Titles:
  1. The Holver Alley Crew (The Streets of Maradaine #1)
  2. Lady Henterman's Wardrobe (The Streets of Maradaine #2)
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For more heists and ragtag crews, check out Retribution Falls (Tales of the Ketty Jay #1) by Chris Wooding or The Palace Job (Rogues of the Republic #1) by Patrick Weekes

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