Hi everyone, and welcome to my stop for the Three Mages And A Margarita Blog Tour!
I have been a huge Annette Marie fangirl ever since I picked up and fell head over heels in love with her Red Winter trilogy (check out my post on Ten Reasons Why Red Winter Is THE Hidden Gem YA Fantasy Series). I quickly devoured her other series: Steel and Stone and The Night Realm and loved them all just as much. Naturally, when I got accepted to be an Xpresso Blog Tour Host for Annette Marie’s newest fantasy book, I was ECSTATIC! Yes, give me all the Annette Marie books please, and I will gladly talk about them all!
So without further ado, please scroll down to see my review and thoughts on Three Mages And A Margarita, as well as the fun tour-wide giveaway!
I received an advanced reading copy through Xpresso Book Tours. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Check out the other stops on this blog tour here.
Title: Three Mages And A Margarita (The Guild Codex: Spellbound #1)
Author: Annette Marie
Publisher: Dark Owl Fantasy
Release Date: September 14th, 2018
Genre: New Adult – Urban Fantasy
My rating in stars: 4 stars
My rating in words: Liked it a lot!
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
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 asshole right back. That’s the definition of fitting in, right?
I expected to get thrown out on my ass. 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-shit 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.
Note: The three mages are definitely sexy, but this series isn’t a reverse harem. It’s 100% fun, sassy, fast-paced urban fantasy.
Tori has no problem getting herself into trouble in every book in the Guild Codex series, but each one is a complete adventure—no cliffhanger endings.
MY THOUGHTS (SPOILER-FREE):
Okay, let’s start this off with a confession: as much as I adore Annette Marie’s books, I was a little hesitant about Three Mages and a Margarita. There was just a tiny voice in the back of my head that said: “Uh, urban fantasy? Fiery readhead? Three cocky guys? Episodic series instead of overarching plot? Am I sure I will like this, because it doesn’t really sound like my cup of tea…?” But there was also a stronger voice that said “Trust in Annette Marie. You were hesitant about her Steel and Stone series as well and ended up loving that one, didn’t you?” And let me tell you, am I glad I listened to voice number two because I did indeed end up LOVING Three Mages and a Margarita.
Sure, it’s urban fantasy and I’m more of an epic fantasy kind of girl, but if there’s one author who can get me into an urban fantasy mood, it’s Annette Marie. As a matter of fact, I ended up in love with this world. If you love good worldbuilding, Three Mages and a Margarita has you covered. Though the book takes place in our world, it quickly delves into a hidden world full of magic that is super intriguing and well thought out. There are different classes of magic users that operate in guilds which form an entire society within our society that regulates and polices themselves. There is a lot to take in, especially since this is the first book in the series, but it still never felt like an infodump. Since our main character Tori is new to this magic society as well, we learn everything together with her in a way that felt natural and perfectly paced. Talking about Tori…
Sure, our main character Tori is a fiery redhead, but she’s so much more well developed than just her temper. She’s a realistically written, well-rounded and multi-dimensional character who definitely has an impulsive, fiery spirit and a lot of sass, but that’s just part of the reason I ended up loving her. She’s also such a hard worker and she is determined and courageous so I quickly adored her and rooted for her all the way. Plus, she is funny. This is a funny book. So I am so in!
Sure, the titular three mages are kind of cocky. But they are also so vivid, intriguing and endearing. Just like she did with her other books and characters, Annette Marie managed to create these characters that just seemed so real they almost leapt out of the page. These mages each have their own, distinct personality and I found myself struggling to choose a favorite. There’s Aaron, the other fiery redhead who’s full of sass and the most talkative of the trio. There’s Ezra, the quiet and mysterious guy who’s a huge softie but has a hidden past we have yet to discover. And Kai, the badass playboy who immediately captured my heart even though he hates pineapple on pizza while I love it and he has been the least developed so far of the trio.
I loved each and every one of them, but most of all I loved their friendship with eachother and their growing friendship with Tori. The interactions between all four of them were some of my favorite scenes and I already know they will become one of those EPIC fictional friend groups I will swoon over for a long time.
Talking about swooning, I am having fun trying to figure out just who the love interest will be, because everything is still possible! Though I have my ideas, so time will tell if I’m right or not… Though there isn’t much romance in this book yet, I know Annette Marie writes the best chemistry and slow-burns so I am so pumped for everything still to come on the romance front in future installations.
Sure, the episodic format is… not like the trilogies or series with one huge, overarching plotline that I’m used to. But hey, it means no cliffhangers, which is a definite plus, right? As long as the characters are so vivid and endearing, the world is so well plotted, the action is entertaining and the romance is swoony, just like what I’ve come to expect from Annette Marie books, I will keep on coming back for more, be there three books or fifteen!
Basically, if there’s one thing I have learned by now, it is to trust Annette Marie. I mean, we’re now thirteen books in and I have loved EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. So I will just eagerly anticipate the release of the second book in this series, Dark Arts and a Daiquiri and in the meantime just stick to my regularly scheduled program of Annette Marie love and raving.
Check out the Three Mages yourself:
Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.
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Great review, Lindsey! This sounds like such a fun, compelling read. And very well written overall!
While epic fantasy is more my jam, I do love a good urban fantasy now and again. I’m so glad that you enjoyed this one!
Thanks for sharing,
~Brittany @ Brittany’s Book Rambles
Such a great review, Lindsey! I know how much you love this author and to be honest this is probably the book I would start as my first one of hers. It sounds like so much fun and I loooove urban fantasy. 😀
Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I haven’t read this one yet but I absolutely loved her Spell Weaver Series! I can’t wait to read more from this author!
Thank you for your review, Lindsey.
I had also some doubts about this book but now it is my next to read ?
I’d love to win and read these books
Just like you’re more of an epic fantasy girl than an urban fantasy one, I’m a high fantasy kind of girl but I still totally agree with you, Annette Marie helped me realize that urban fantasy is actually pretty fun with her Spell Weaver #1 and I’m so ready to continue reading that world and to check Three Mages and a Margarita afterwards!
What a great review and I couldn’t agree more with your take on the gang! I am so excited for the next few books to see what other adventures they get into and to learn more about their world. Thank you for the give away!
Annette Marie has such a way with words! I’ve also learned to trust her enough to pick up her books without knowing a thing about them. Great review! 🙂
Great review and giveaway.
I love Annette Marie so much! Thanks for the tour and giveaway! =)