Ari Marmell

When Ari Marmell has free time left over between feeding cats and posting on social media, he writes a little bit. His work includes novels, short stories, role-playing games, and video games, all of which he enjoyed in lieu of school work when growing up. He’s the author of the Mick Oberon gangland-fantasy-detective series, the Widdershins YA fantasy series, The Goblin Corps, and many others, with publishers such as Del Rey, Pyr Books, Wizards of the Coast, Omnium Gatherum, and Titan Books.

Ari currently resides in Austin, Texas. He lives in a clutter that has a moderate amount of apartment in it, along with George—his wife—and the aforementioned cats, who probably want something.

Find Ari on his website, or follow him on Twitter @mouseferatu.

Bibliography

  • Standalone
    In Thunder Forged: The Fall of Llael: Book One
    Ari Marmell
  • Standalone
    The Goblin Corps
    Ari Marmell
  • The Corvis Rebaine Series
    The Conqueror’s Shadow (#1)
    Ari Marmell
  • The Corvis Rebaine Series
    The Warlord’s Legacy (#2)
    Ari Marmell
  • Widdershins Adventures Series
    Thief’s Covenant (#1)
    Ari Marmell
  • Widdershins Adventures Series
    False Covenant (#2)
    Ari Marmell
  • Widdershins Adventures Series
    Lost Covenant (#3)
    Ari Marmell
  • Widdershins Adventures Series
    Covenant’s End (#4)
    Ari Marmell
  • Mick Oberon Job Series
    Hot Lead, Cold Iron (#1)
    Ari Marmell
  • Mick Oberon Job Series
    Hallow Point (#2)
    Ari Marmell
  • Mick Oberon Job Series
    Dead to Rites (#3)
    Ari Marmell
  • Mick Oberon Job Series
    In Truth and Claw (#4)
    Ari Marmell
     

Reviews

Standalone

In Thunder Forged: The Fall of Llael: Book One
“Marmell sets a tone that combines flash and action with solid characterization and clever humor. Marmell’s characters are memorable and compelling, and his creativity and originality within the steampunk fantasy genre makes him a remarkable storyteller. This one is a keeper.”

Library Journal

“Worth a read for anyone interested in the steampunk genre or military fantasy. Marmell is a skillful writer and keeps things moving briskly.”

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“Marmell pulls off a fine tale that juxtaposes the action that fans of the Iron Kingdoms Chronicles have come to expect with a high-paced level of storytelling that make for an engaging read.”

AstroGuyz

“If you’re a fan of dark, gritty military fantasy, then IN THUNDER FORGED is the book for you. Ari Marmell is a superb writer, and he’s at the top of his game.”

AdventuresFantastic

The Goblin Corps
“The funniest genre novel of the year […] it was a blast.”

Mad Hatter’s Bookshelf & Review

“Ari Marmell mixes the best ideas of [Jim C. Hines and R.A. Salvatore] with the grittiness of Joe Abercrombie in THE GOBLIN CORPS [...] It’s exceptionally clever and wonderfully enjoyable to read.”

Grasping for the Wind

“Bloody, savage fun.”

SF Signal

“Will appeal primarily to those looking for a light, fun read.”

SF Site

“Marmell has cleverly turned the bad guys into good guys without cleaning up a single drop of blood or amending anyone’s ill manners. THE GOBLIN CORPS serves up gore and guile with a side of amusement—a great read for anyone who’s ever wondered what the world looks like from the sinister side!”

Kevin Hearne, author of The Iron Druid Chronicles

The Corvis Rebaine Series

The Conqueror’s Shadow (#1)
“This action-packed, morally gray fantasy has an intriguingly twisty plot, full of magic and political intrigue.”

Booklist

“Superior storytelling and deft dialog make this a top-notch choice [...] filled with dark humor as well as scenes of brutal battle and high magic.”

Library Journal

“Ari Marmell has a remarkable flair for the sinister.”

Scott Lynch, author of The Lies of Locke Lamora

“THE CONQUEROR’S SHADOW is a powerful fantasy, with well drawn heroes and delightfully wicked, yet complicated, villains. Ari Marmell has made his mark in the genre.”

Paul S. Kemp, author of the Erevis Cale trilogy

“THE CONQUEROR’S SHADOW offers readers a tale that begins where most stories end and features a most unlikely protagonist. Twists of humor leaven this story of desperate people in dangerous times, as a conqueror discovers that perhaps those who live by the sword are sometimes doomed to face the business end of one. A great mix of character and action.”

Robin Hobb, author of Dragon Keeper

“It’s not often that a fantasy starts off with the victorious conqueror of a city and a land almost immediately and deliberately vanishing at the height of his victory—but that’s exactly what happens with THE CONQUEROR’S SHADOW. From that decision flows a plot jammed with action, repercussions, a tender love story, and a most humorously intriguing conclusion.”

L. E. Modesitt, Jr., author of the Saga of Recluce

The Warlord’s Legacy (#2)
“The sequel to THE CONQUEROR'S SHADOW fills a vital niche in the fantasy adventurer genre, one occupied by the heroes of Michael Moorcock’s Elric Melniboné novels and C.S. Friedman’s Coldfire Trilogy.”

Library Journal

“All a reader could ever ask for in a bloody, hack and slash sword and sorcery.”

Grasping for the Wind

“THE WARLORD’S LEGACY is another thoroughly entertaining offering from Ari Marmell and one that any fantasy fan will have a lot of fun with.”

Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review

Widdershins Adventures Series

Thief’s Covenant (#1)
“For teens already reading adult fantasy but wanting something a bit more on their level, this hits the spot perfectly.”

Kirkus

“Marmell knows how to write a compelling book: smart, smartmouthed irreverent, and bold female thief with an vivid world for her to inhabit and a memorable cast of characters. It is swashbuckling fun to watch Widdershins make her way in the world.”

Night Owl Reviews, a 2012 top pick

“Widdershins is not your average heroine. Adept with her blade and her wits, sassy and sensitive, she should appeal to older teens both male and female.”

RT Book Reviews

“Like a gateway drug for GAME OF THRONES […] There is a wonderfully rich flavor to this YA fantasy, with its Renaissance inspired setting, personal pantheon of deities, and dark tone (it even dips a toe in the realm of horror). This is a story with satisfying heft, texture, grit and originality, and I really, really enjoyed reading it.”

Book Yurt

“A fantastic new fantasy full of swashbuckling adventure, interesting characters, and a plot that unfolds like a mystery. This new series has a lot of potential with plenty of action, humor, drama, and magic. This series is marketed toward young adults, but more mature fantasy fans will enjoy this fun and enchanting story as well.”

SciFi Chick

False Covenant (#2)
“A wonderfully macabre bad guy […] beneath the action lies a deeper, if unsubtle, tale of loss and love […] genuinely adolescent (including occasional idiotic and immature behavior) high fantasy is rare enough that this stands out. A romp with an edge and a feisty female lead: fans will rejoice at the indication that this series has even more to come.”

Kirkus

“I highly recommend this series if you love adventure, intrigue, magic and mayhem. 4 and ½ stars to this brilliant sequel!”

Night Owl Reviews, a 2012 top pick

“A spectacular climactic scene that’ll have you on the edge of your seat […] The descriptions and dialogues are often funny in an understated, subtle way, full of whimsical humor, banter, and funny similes […] for a young adult readers and especially as a gateway to fantasy, THIEF'S COVENANT and FALSE COVENANT are wonderful. The 14-year-old me would have loved these books, […] Even now, well past the target age for YA literature, I had a blast revisiting Davillon and Widdershins.”

Tor.com

“This is another very good story from Ari Marmell and I’m looking forward to the next volume. I think he may be onto a real winner here if he can maintain the quality of the stories.”

SFcrowsnest

“Widdershins remains an interesting and engaging heroine […] a solid follow-up.”

SF Signal

“Enthralling … with plenty of drama and a bit of humor and several surprises along the way, this dark fantasy series is decidedly charming.”

Sci-fi Chick

Lost Covenant (#3)
“Marmell’s writing has tightened considerably but stayed colorful […] giving fans everything they want in a Shins story.”

Kirkus

“Another solid entry in the continuing story of Widdershins from Marmell.”

SF Signal

“Marmell’s prose is brisk and funny […] I was delighted by LOST COVENANT.”

Fantasy Literature

“As usual, this latest installment of the series is a perfect mix of light and dark, balancing out the touching humor with plenty of horrors as well […] LOST COVENANT was a satisfying and entertaining adventure.”

Bibliosanctum

“Lost Covenant is, far and away, the best book of this series yet. Marmell keeps topping himself, and this book is a fantastic showcase of his skill.”

Bookworm Blues

“The deeper I get into the Widdershins series, the more I’m impressed by Ari Marmell […] LOST COVENANT is an important third book in the Widdershins series. It adds depth to the series by showing the growth a character is capable of going through without losing her charm […] [I] recommend this book to anyone who loves a character-driven fantasy story that’s not afraid of a little action.”

The Qwillery

Covenant’s End (#4)
“A fitting finale for a series that has concerned itself with the growth of its protagonist. The prose is purple, the stakes are high, and the ending is exactly right. Smart fantasy with heart and enough bad puns to last a lifetime.“

Kirkus

“I had high expectations and Marmell did not disappoint! […] I really enjoyed this book. It was smartly written as both an action story and as a coming of age story. This was the best possible way Marmell could have ended this series.”

Kobold Press

“The action in COVENANT’S END is close to non-stop […] The book is fast-paced with a plot that is just complicated enough […] This is a fun premise with an engaging pair of characters.”

Fantasy Literature

”Ari Marmell couldn’t have written a better conclusion to the series in my opinion. With each new book in the series he seems to have outdone himself but with COVENANT’S END he really did it […]The Widdershins Adventures is an amazing series and couldn’t have gotten a better conclusion than what Ari Marmell wrote in COVENANT’S END […] Highly recommended.”

The Book Plank

“[The Widdershins Adventures] are unlike any YA I’ve ever read (in a good way!); the fact that there is great mix between the light and dark, with plenty of humor balanced with some grim and heavy themes; the fact that we have an extraordinary premise based around the partnership between our protagonist and her own “personal god”; and of course, the fact that Marmell is utterly fearless when it comes to doing what’s right for his story.”

The Bibliosanctum

“Marmell wraps up the series well. He’s true to the characters and the situations he’s established in the previous books. The outcome is logical. Marmell refuses to take the easy way out, especially where Widdershins’ god Olgun is concerned […] [This] is one of the freshest, most entertaining fantasy series on the market.”

Adventures Fantastic

“I have enjoyed all four ‘Widdershins’ novels and would recommend them to anyone, young or old. So, go on and treat yourself and get all four books. You won’t regret it.”

SFcrowsnest

Mick Oberon Job Series

Hot Lead, Cold Iron (#1)
“In this gripping fantastical investigation, Marmell creates an engaging world and an unlikely hero […] The potent mix of gangsters, magic, Fae politics, and a strega on the warpath makes for a ride that never touches the brakes. Marmell expertly maximizes the thrills, leaving the reader with a lingering desire for a magic wand and a glass of warm milk.”

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Intriguing and sufficiently original.”

Kirkus

“Fantasy meets period detective-gangster drama […] Marmell provides a rollicking take […] [The voice] quickly becomes likable, full of grumpy asides and funny turns of phrase.”

SFX Magazine

“Marmell does an excellent job of mixing urban fantasy and Noir […] This book is a fun ride and any reader of urban fantasy will love it. It’s also a great entry into the genre for readers of pulp fiction, mysteries and detective stories. The action is non-stop, and the glimpses of Otherworld Chicago are compelling.”

Seattle Pi

“There are enough subtle and surprising elements involved in the world to enchant readers, and Oberon is an absolutely delightful protagonist […] He has an uncanny way of paring opposing elements – a strong, fast, bold […] with stunningly subtle and incredibly well crafted world building elements […] It’s a lot of fun, and Marmell is an author I really want to hit it big. He deserves it, and this book shows a lot of his strengths.”

Bookworm Blues

“An urban fantasy well-suited to lovers of historical fantasy, especially of Gangster-era Chicago […] it’s an extremely entertaining historical / urban fantasy that I read quickly and eagerly.”

SF Signal

“The first “Mick Oberon Job” gives the hardboiled genre a truly magical revamp […] It is populated by vividly eccentric characters, both from the world of crime and from the world of magic […] Yet it also offers a glimpse of what family is all about, a picture that is heart-warming and beautiful while at the same time touched by disturbing weirdness.”

MuggleNet

Hallow Point (#2)
“It’s a fascinating concept, and a solid foundation for yet another gripping story […] a highly enjoyable ride; the writing takes its reader into the heart of every scene […] It’s a great read, reinvigorating the tropes of two genres to enable them to rise above cliché status. With final revelations that imply a larger conspiracy, it seems Marmell has plenty more up his sleeve for his hero, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for Mick Oberon in the future.”

Starburst Magazine

“The once again breakneck pacing story and the marvelous character that is Mick Oberon, and the whole setting of the book, make HALLOW POINT a more than great follow-up. Ari Marmell doesn’t let you as a reader took look away once from the story.”

The Book Plank

“Irresistibly entertaining [...] It’s among the best urban fantasy novels I’ve ever read.”

Rising Shadow

“Marmell has written another enjoyable read – sharp, enjoyable, intriguing, colourful – and I’m looking forward to the next one.”

Clandestine Critic

Dead to Rites (#3)
“The third entry in the inventive series about a 1930s private eye who also happens to be one of the Fae mixes supernatural investigations and Al Capone’s Chicago for an irresistible combo.”

Library Journal

“Marmell makes his premise convincing [...] He’s also good at varying his tone [...] [and] has a gift for unusual imagery.”

Publishers Weekly

“An incredible adventure of mystery and danger in one of the most thrilling supernatural reads I have ever had the chance to experience. If you are looking for a fantastic read that takes you through a dark world full of supernatural elements mixed with the action-packed thrill of gangsters and guns, then DEAD TO RITES might be the book for you.”

Bio Gamer Girl

Awards & Accolades

Standalone

The Corvis Rebaine Series

Widdershins Adventures Series

Covenant’s End (#4)
USA

Book Plank: “Best Young Adult Novels of 2015”

Mick Oberon Job Series

Hot Lead, Cold Iron (#1)
Hallow Point (#2)