Book Review: Three Mages and a Margarita (The Guild Codex: Spellbound Book 1) by Annette Marie

Thanks to her temper, Tori has a hard time holding down jobs, so, in her desperation, she answers an ad for a bartender only to discover the place is a guild and the members are mages, sorcerers, psychics, and other types of magic practitioners. Tori takes the job, despite being human, but it turns out to be a lot more dangerous than she anticipated.

Book Review: Three Mages and a Margarita (The Guild Codex: Spellbound Book 1) by Annette Marie | reading, books, book reviews, urban fantasy
Title: Three Mages and a Margarita
Book Number: Book 1
Pages: 265
My Rating: 4 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon


*I received an ecopy of this book from the author. This has not influenced my review.*

The blurb says this book is a fun, sassy, fast-paced urban fantasy, and I gotta say, that is actually a highly accurate description!

Tori, our main character, was one of those heroines who is full of sass and attitude and runs her mouth off or does impulsive things even when she shouldn’t, and that’s normally a type of character I’m not fond of. But her short temper was kind of understandable in the situations and was balanced by her determination, hard work, intelligence, and courage, so I ended up liking her and finding her easy to root for regardless.

The other main characters, the three mages mentioned in the title (a pyromage, an electromage, and an aeromage), were fun and sexy and had awesome powers, but they were also loyal and sweet when it mattered. I don’t feel like I got to know them super well, but this was only the first book in a series. My favorite though was Ezra; he was the most kind and soft-spoken of the bunch.

There was also some disability rep since Ezra is blind in one eye. He wasn’t a POV character, but I loved that the author still found a way to make it realistic (instead of just tossing it in as an affectation) and mentioned things like his depth perception not being good.

My favorite thing though was the magic system! It was detailed and organized, and I loved how much thought was put into it. I also loved how it included so many different types of abilities and magic users—mages, sorcerers, witches, alchemists, healers, telekinetics, telepaths, claireaudients, diviners, and more that we haven’t even seen yet.

As for everything else… The pace was fast. The writing was easy to read. Overall, it was a solid start to a new urban fantasy series.


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  1. Greg

    Dude! I just bough this book (Amazon had for 2.99) after seeing it on another blog! I love the idea of her being a bartender in a magic guild, and also the different types of magic as well. This definitely looks fun- glad to hear you liked it!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Tbh, there wasn’t actually much related to the bar/bartending, but it was still fun! And UF and bars just seem to go really well together for some reason!

  2. Lola

    I enjoyed reading your review for this one, especially as I have read this one as well :). I like how Tori’s temper was understandable. I don’t care for characters with a temper usually, but it worked here. Ezra was my favorite as well, the scene where Tori hugged him was so sweet! And indeed it was nice how him being blind in one eye was done realistically with how he had trouble with depth perception, even tough it wasn’t a big part of the book, at least it was done well. I am curious how/if the romance will develop in future books.

    I already mentioned this in Goodreads, but I am usually not a big fan of the everything exist type of magic system as it usually feels to me like it contradicts itself a bit (like say magic is both learned and born and works in different ways depending on the class) and the world building is a bit less neat in my opinion. But I did like how the author still managed to make an overarching thing with the guilds and different paranormal categories for their powers. I have the feeling the world building will be expended more as the series goes on as I feel like there’s a lot we haven’t seen yet indeed.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! I was honestly really worried I was going to hate Tori before I read the book lol, but then her temper did end up being fairly understandable and worked well with the story. It wasn’t *too* extreme. That hug scene was super sweet! I read another book once and the POV character was recently blind in one eye and yet there was no mention of his depth perception, and it bothered me because my depth perception is crap even when I just have one contact out, so I was definitely happy for that being mentioned.

      I don’t feel like it contradicts. I think it’s fun having everything XD I think she found a good way to make it all work together. I really like the guild idea, and I agree the world building will probably be expanded on as the series continues.

  3. Sam@WLABB

    I have to be honest, I had to read this review, because the title of this book made me need to know more. Fun and sassy urban fantasy has me intrigued. Sounds like the author did a great job with the characters, which is usually the most important thing for me.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I’ve read so much UF that I’m finding it hard to find ones that leave an impression. To be honest, this one didn’t leave a huge impression, but it was fun, and I’m willing to give the series a chance and keep reading.

  4. Bookworm Brandee

    Omigosh! I want to read this one just for the title! LOL That the description is so accurate and it sounds like a lot of fun AND has a heroine I can get behind…yeah, I’m gonna read this one, Kristen. πŸ™‚

  5. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Well, this sounds like a fun read and it’s on kindle unlimited so for once I might actually get to read one of the books you review. I do enjoy some good urban fantasy and this sounds like the MC I would usually enjoy (as long as they’re written well). And I love an interesting magic system, I like them to actually feel planned out and that even if a situation hasn’t cropped up they’ve figured out all the rules for how it’s going to work.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about a character with my name. Definitely sounds like a good reason to be interested in a book though πŸ˜‰

  6. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    What a timely review and I’m so glad it’s a positive one too. I’ve been wanting to try Annette Marie’s books for a while now and bought this one on sale for $2.99 at Amazon because it sounded so fun. The magical system sounds fantastic and I also tend to be a fan of characters like Tori, so now I’m even more excited to start this book!

  7. Olivia Roach

    You rated this one four instead of five stars but I wouldn’t actually say that there is anything about the sound of this book which wouldn’t make me want to read it. Tori doesn’t really sound like my kind of character either but then you mentioned that balance, and I really like the sound of it πŸ˜€ I think it would be nice to try and see if I didn’t mind her impulses because of her other traits as well. I also really like how there was some good rep in there. That it wasn’t a main element to the story and was sort of no-fuss in how it was included, but then still managed to be developed as well. The magic system sounds great!

    1. Kristen Burns

      That’s what great about reviews over ratings, they let the reader decide if the book sounds like their kind of thing based on taste! I was definitely pleased that the disability rep was included in a in-the-background-yet-still-realistic way!