One of my all time favorite Canadian writers Annette Marie published the first book of a book series called “The Guild Codex: Spellbound Series” in 2018. She will publish 8 books in this series. At first I was hesitant to read it because I thought it was a reverse-harem type of book – let me clear the air, it is NOT a reverse-harem series. This series is simply an Urban Fantasy book with 3 hot mages, a sassy human bartender, and more surprising characters. What else can a girl ask for in an Urban Fantasy mystery romantic book? An Urban Fantasy series with all 5-star rating books. Unfortunately not all the books in this series deserved my 5-star rating.
Important Note: the reading order might get confusing with the other Guild Codex series called “The Guild Codex Demonized” interwoven in this series. So I advise you to stick to the reading order as written down at the end of this book series review.
Our Main Character is Tori Dawson, aka a common human, who comes from a broken home and finds a job as a bartender in a supernatural(!) bar of a Guild. Woops! Against the supernatural rules, but with the support of the Guild, she keeps her job and lands herself in all kinds of trouble with a handsome trio of mages. Hence the title of the first book 3 mages and a margarita. I really like Annete her reading style, it is fast paced but not too fast paced. It has romantic influences but the romantic story line(s) doesn’t seem to be in the lead, the supernatural mysteries and adventures are definitely the glue that holds the story together. You can also easily picture the whole scene while reading the book.
I am still not 100% sure about the MC Tori Dawson, she seems a bit too “everyone is against me” and therefore I have an excuse to use vulgair language and the sassy comments turn a bit into a pathetic attempt at being the tough woman. It was a bit difficult to identify with, but it was not annoying in the way that I was distracted from the overall story. But that may just be because the MC and I differ in personality.
When I started reading book 1, I got really enthousiastic about this series. Book 2 “Dark Arts and a Daiquiri” was a disappointment. The reason of that sentiment is the fact that 75% of the book is stated in the alternate protected world from the mysterious rogue Zak. The 3 hot friends are nowhere to be seen, suddenly we meet a lot of new characters and it just didn’t grab my attention the way book number 1 did. A 3-star rating for book number 2.
Book number 3 “Two Witches and a Whiskey” – thank you Annette, I liked this storyline way better than the latter. But it also pops the question “Where is Zak”?? I mean, he took over book number 2 and now he is nowhere to be seen. It just gets confusing. What character do we like? Who do we blacklist and who is our friend? And one of the most disturbing facts – what is going on with our main character Tori? She annoys the crap out of me during book number 3. Mature she is not. And maybe that’s why I struggle to connect with our MC, I mean I am almost 29-years old, and this character seems 15 in her behavior. Still let me say – Annette Marie still keeps my Urban Fantasy Heart pumping, because that woman can write an interesting plot and keeps the Guild Codex Universe alive for me. 4-star rating for book number 3.
Book number 4 “Demon Magic and a Martini” – and she is back with fantastic writing! I love book number 4 so much. It is well worth he 5-star rating I gave it on Goodreads. We get to enjoy Ezra and a whole lot of information about class Demonica (which is of course a runner up for the new series The Guild Codex Demonized – book #1 Taming Demons for Beginners).
Book number 5 “The Alchemist and an Amaretto” – again a fantastic 5-star rating book for me written by Annette Marie. We get a closer look into Aaron’s family and home at THE Sinclair Academy. I love the fact that it takes place in a University setting. In addition it has a great supernatural plot, evolving female friendships and the slow burning romance from Tori’s life is still going strong as well. It leaves you wanting more!
Book number 6 “Druid Vices and a Vodka” – not as dazzling as the previous book, so a 4-star rating for me. Our favorite druid Zak makes a reappearance and the question remanes – is he good or bad? The answer is probably gray, but you’ll need to read this book to judge for yourself. I would have liked to see Zak on the background a bit more and Ezra and Tori on the forefront – I need to know how it will end! It was a good story but not great. And please Annette Marie give me some more insights about Exra and Tori, I cannot wait how their story evolves.
I cannot wait to read book number 6 in the Spellbound series called Lost Talismans and a Tequila!
Let me know what you think about this Book Series and leave a comment.
FYI: I will review the Demonized series in a different Book Review Article.
Reading order Guild Codex Universe
- Three Mages and a Margerita – Spellbound Series
- Dark Arts and a Daiquiri – Spellbound Series
- Two Witches and a Whiskey – Spellbound Series
- Demon Magic and a Martini – Spellbound Series
- Taming Demons for Beginners – Demonized Series
- The Alchemist and an Amaretto – Spellbound Series
- Slaying Monsters for the Feeble – Demonized Series
- Druid Vices and a Vodka – Spellbound Series
- Hunting Fiends for the Ill-Equipped – Demonized Series
- Lost Talismans and a Tequila – Spellbound Series (not published yet – 2020 expected)
- Delivering Evil for Experts – Demonized Series (not published yet – 2020 expected – final installment)
- Damned Souls and a Sangria – Spellbound Series (not published yet – 2020 expected – final installment)