The Captain’s Log – mennik thorn series (Patrick Samphire)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I don’t read a ton of self-published novels but have been interested in the SPFBO ever since I started blogging.  One of me crew, Matey Lynn is a judge in the contest.  Every year I make a list of those nominees that interest me, based on her reviews, and I am slowly working through them.  Book one was a finalist in the 2020 contest.  I had so much fun that I immediately read the second book too.

This series follows Mennik Thorn (“Nik”) who is a second-rate mage.  I love him.  He works as a mage-for-hire and generally does very poorly for himself.  He agrees to help his best friend Benny (a thief) with a job and all hell breaks loose.  Nik scrambles to get himself and his friend out of trouble.  I enjoyed this combination of his ineptitude and his too nice for his own good self.  Nik does have skills when he lets his brain catch up with his mouth.

I really enjoyed the magic system, world building, and characters.  Benny’s daughter in particular is a hoot.  The magic system has some familiar elements but was still unique enough in how it was used.  Dead gods play a part.  The world is a port city that is gritty and cutthroat. I really enjoyed how the Ash Guard (a force that polices magic) worked.  That element added major fun to the story.

Book two is a bit more of the same, in a good way.  Nik has to pay some debts from the first book, gets in massive trouble, and has to work his way out of it.  I really enjoyed the mystery aspects of this one.  He has to solve a weird murder that happened with lots of witnesses.  The solution at the end was just a bit off for me but I loved the ride.  I found both books in the series to be humorous and fun.

The series could be done with book two.  But I wouldn’t mind some more.  Arrrr!

Side note: Check out Matey Lynn’s review of the first novel.

Goodreads has this to say about book one:

A dead god. A brutal murder. A second-rate mage.

It was only supposed to be one little job – a simple curse-breaking for Mennik Thorn to pay back a favor to his oldest friend. But then it all blew up in his face. Now he’s been framed for a murder he didn’t commit.

So how is a second-rate mage, broke, traumatized, and with a habit of annoying the wrong people supposed to prove his innocence when everyone believes he’s guilty?

Mennik has no choice if he wants to get out of this: he is going to have to throw himself into the corrupt world of the city’s high mages, a world he fled years ago. Faced by supernatural beasts, the mage-killing Ash Guard, and a ruthless, unknown adversary, it’s going to take every trick Mennik can summon just to keep him and his friend alive.

But a new, dark power is rising in Agatos, and all that stands in its way is one damaged mage…

To visit the author’s website go to:
Patrick Samphire – Author

To buy the book go to:
shadow of a dead god – Book 1

To add to Goodreads go to:
Yer Ports for Plunder List

7 thoughts on “The Captain’s Log – mennik thorn series (Patrick Samphire)

  1. I didn’t realize one of your Mates is a SPFBO judge! That’s a big deal, since I believe Mark Lawrence hand-selects judges, yes? It’s been a long time since I’ve thought of the SPFBO – it just doesn’t get the publicity it deserves, I think.

    I’ll definitely check this series out. Thanks for the awesome review! Any recommendation on where/how to acquire the series?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, yay! I haven’t picked this one up yet, but I intend to. (In my case, because I’ve seen his work promoted by his wife, Stephanie Burgis, whose work I love.) I saw that he has a free short story in this series if you sign up for his newsletter, if you’re interested.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I want the short story. I will have to do that. I just read Stephanie Burgis’ books. Coincidence as I didn’t know they were married. I will write the review for those later this week.
      x The Captain


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