Look, I know you’ve all probably heard me rave about The Guild Codex series by Annette Marie at some point. However, I’ve mostly been raving about each book individually and not yet about the series as a whole. So I fully understand it may still be a bit overwhelming for new readers to just pick up a series like this. You may be thinking, but what is this series even about? You may be thinking, but what if I’m not into urban fantasy? You may be thinking, but I have no idea where to even start with this?
Well, with the state of the world right now and all of us in dire need of some distraction AND with the next book in the series being released in April, I thought now would be a perfect time to put my raving to good use and tell you why you should pick up this series, right now!
First up, the basics:
From Annette Marie’s website:
The Guild Codex currently includes two linked series: Spellbound and Demonized. Both series are ongoing and will include 12+ books and 3 bonus stories.
They can be read in publication order, chronological order, as individual series, or in Annette’s recommended order, which is listed below.
- Three Mages and a Margarita
- Dark Arts and a Daiquiri
- Two Witches and a Whiskey
- Demon Magic and a Martini
- Taming Demons for Beginners
- The Alchemist and an Amaretto
- Slaying Monsters for the Feeble
- Druid Vices and a Vodka
- Hunting Fiends for the Ill-Equipped [Apr 2020]
- Lost Talismans and a Tequila [Jul 2020]
- Delivering Evil for Experts [Fall 2020]
- Damned Souls and a Sangria [Fall 2020]
(I didn’t mention the short stories and novellas, just to keep it easier for any newbies. However, know that yes, there are even some short stories/novellas and you can find all info on them on Annette’s website.)
A third spin-off, The Guild Codex: Warped, is on the way too, of which the first book is scheduled to land this year still as well! The main character of this spin-off is introduced in the short story A Little Warped at the back of The Alchemist and an Amaretto. So plenty of goodies on the horizon 🙂
The spellbound series
For the sake of keeping it simple, I’m focusing this post mostly on the Spellbound series, since this is the series that started it all. However, I love the Demonized series just as much (if not more) and will briefly rave about that one some more below.
For now, here’s the blurb for Three Mages and a Margarita, the first book in the Spellbound series:
Broke, almost homeless, and recently fired. Those are my official reasons for answering a wanted ad for a skeevy-looking bartender gig.
It went downhill the moment they asked me to do a trial shift instead of an interview—to see if I’d mesh with their “special” clientele. I think that part went great. Their customers were complete dickheads, and I was an ***hole right back. That’s the definition of fitting in, right?
I expected to get thrown out on my ***. Instead, they… offered me the job?
It turns out this place isn’t a bar. It’s a guild. And the three cocky guys I drenched with a margarita during my trial? Yeah, they were mages. Either I’m exactly the kind of takes-no-*** bartender this guild needs, or there’s a good reason no one else wants to work here.
So what’s a broke girl to do? Take the job, of course—with a pay raise.
7 Reasons Why You Should Read This Series
Tori Dawson. Bad-ass human.
Tori is one of those main characters who couldn’t be more different from me. And yet, I feel like she and I could be great friends. Even though I was a little unsure about Tori at first, she has grown on me so much. She’s fierce, brave, funny and badass in her own non-magical way! Though she may be a mere human girl who ended up working in a magical guild by accident, she can handle herself and stands her ground in scary situations. And she does it all with the necessary humor, sass and fun observational insights about her three hot friends.
The three mages. Hot, dark and electric. Literally.
Though Tori likes to comment on their hotness, rest assured that though the three mages may be hot, they’re also so much more than just eye candy and are actually three unique and well-developed characters. We have Aaron, the fiery redhead, who is the best friend you can have and can match Tori’s sass without a hitch. There’s Ezra, the kind-hearted and good-humored mage with a dark past we are slowly unraveling. And we have Kai, the electrical warrior-playboy with a heart of gold (he’s my favorite mage but ssst don’t tell the others). I fall a little more in love with both Tori and the three mages every book.
The magical world. Worldbuilding at its finest.
The world of The Guild Codex is so multi-faceted and complex, and with all the magical systems and creatures out there, there’s always more to discover. I can’t wait to learn more of this world that feels so vividly real and is slowly becoming yet another one of my favorite fictional worlds out there. Though the story takes place in our regular human world, there’s a whole world of magic out there to discover. From mages, witches and druids to demons, fae and werewolves, hellooo dark and intriguing setting! Add in some fun twists on creatures you think you know already, and you’ve got all the ingredients for another fun adventure with Tori and the gang.
THE EPIC FRIENDSHIP! Make me cry, why don’t you.
I’m a sucker for friendships so let me try and explain this without turning in a rambling, sobbing mess. The friendship between Tori, Aaron, Kai and Ezra is PERFECTION. Whether it’s a fun, light-hearted scene full of banter and humor or a heartbreakingly raw and emotional scene, whenever these four are together the story just transcends written words and becomes real somehow. I can’t count the tears I shed because of them, both happy and emotional tears. It’s such a tight group of friends who become an actual family for Tori, and I’m a sucker for the ways in which these characters are so obviously loyal and devoted to eachother. The way these four characters have grown to rely on each other, support each other and lift each other up is the beating heart of this entire series.
The humor. LOL for sure.
This is such a FUN series. Sure, it has its dark moments. But they’re balanced out with a lot of humor as well and that’s how I like it. I love being in Tori’s head. I love watching her experiences, and though part of me is thinking “Girl, what are you even doing?”, another part is just sitting back with some popcorn and enjoying the show, because one thing’s for sure: Tori will make you laugh. Out loud. Whether it’s her own sassy way of seeing the world or just the situations she gets herself into, the girl is a lot of fun! I mean, half the time she’s in grave danger but at the same time also thinking about how hot the men around her actually are, and normally I would find this super annoying, but with Tori it’s just HILARIOUS. (And girl, I get it). The story is filled with little moments that will have you giggling or snorting or at the very least smiling uncontrollably.
The romance. Make me cry, why don’t you, part 2.
From the start, it’s been clear that this would be a slow-burn romance. Which I say is cool, because as mentioned it’s the friendship that’s at the heart of this series, not the romance. But rest assured that the romance we have is a typical Annette Marie heartwrencher. It’s sweet, sexy and swoony but it’s also an emotional punch to the gut. Be prepared for all the feels.
The Demonized spin-off
Besides the Guild Codex: Spellbound series featuring Tori and her friends, there is also a spin-off series called Guild Codex: Demonized and… I may like it even MORE than the original one? I mean, I keep changing my mind about which one I like more, so let’s call it a very strong tie right now. The Demonized series takes place at around the same time as the Spellbound series, starting at the fourth book and are best read together because they do intertwine more and more as both series progress. This spin-off features Robin Page, a magical history nerd, a shy bookworm who hates confrontation but gets herself in quite the mess when she becomes an accidental demon contractor. The contract between her and her demon, Zylas, is based on cookies (you read that right) and the old-married-couple-style-banter between the two of them is pretty much the light of my life. However, don’t let the cookies and the banter fool you, this spin-off is quite a bit darker than the original Spellbound series. But dark in the most delicious way! Though dark and creepy, it’s fun and hopeful at the same time. It’s a compelling tale of two underdogs from enemy worlds forming an unlikely partnership through curiosity and cookies. Not to be missed!
In a nutshell:
If you’re looking for a new urban fantasy read, something filled with fantastical creatures, firecracker heroines, vivid and intriguing (and sexy) characters and a good dose of humor balancing the darker moments, I strongly urge you to try The Guild Codex series: Spellbound, Demonized, and the upcoming Warped books. You won’t regret it.
Excuse me while writing this post has got me itching to re-read…
Have you already tried any Annette Marie Books?
Do you think the Guild Codex series might be your thing?