The Dagger

The Madigan Chronicles Book 1

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
307 Pages
Reviewed on 11/29/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Marieke Lexmond reads tarot cards, loves food, photography, and travel. She has two sassy little dogs that she likes to take everywhere and have their own Instagram account @urbandogsquad. Her background in filmmaking enabled her to travel and live around the globe. Storytelling is in her blood, from saving her allowance from a very young age to buy books to her master's degree from the Dutch Film Academy. Fantasy and science fiction are her favorite. She prefers to write fun and mystical stories. Her attraction to nature and places with a magical history brought her to New Orleans and the West Coast of Ireland. As a pagan, she felt an instant connection to the land; it feeds her imagination and has become the inspiration for the Madigan Chronicles. The Dagger (Madigan Chronicles #1) releases in Fall 2020, followed by The Magical Tarot Deck (Madigan Chronicles #2) in Late Spring 2021.
You can follow the witches on IG and FB @underthewitcheshat and Marieke on her IG account @Mariekelex

    Book Review

Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite

When a powerful magical artifact is stolen, a family of witches scrambles to locate it before the thief wreaks havoc on the world in the exciting fantasy novel, The Dagger (The Madigan Chronicles Book 1) by Marieke Lexmond. The Madigan family has been hiding a secret for centuries. They are keepers of a wand, one of four artifacts imbued with the power of the elements. Traditionally turned over to the oldest daughter for safekeeping, it has been handed down from mother to daughter for hundreds of years. However, when twins Tara and Lucy are in line to inherit the wand, their mother chooses Tara to be its caretaker, even though Lucy is a few minutes older. Angry, Lucy skirmishes with her mother, resulting in her banishment from the family and their home. Nearly six decades later, Lucy tracks down another one of the artifacts, killing the protector, and absconds with it. Now, Tara's children and grandchildren must locate Lucy and retrieve the dagger before Lucy unleashes its power and unleashes catastrophic events upon the world and humankind. Can Tara and her family set aside their differences and unite to stop Lucy? Or are they already too late?

The Dagger (The Madigan Chronicles Book 1) by Marieke Lexmond is a sensational urban fantasy. With thrilling scenes, a dramatic story arc, and an astounding conclusion, the book is riveting from the first page until the last. A captivating novel with an engaging plot and exciting action-filled scenes that include witches, spells, and a trip through the fairy world, it is an enthralling tale that is the perfect book to curl up with during inclement weather. Entertaining and superbly written, it is an enchanting novel that will captivate fans of urban fantasy who enjoy stories with magic related to witches in our modern era. As the first episode in what promises to be a spectacular series, fans of paranormal urban fantasy will not want to miss this thrilling new series.

Lit Amri

In The Dagger (The Madigan Chronicles, Book One) by Marieke Lexmond, Bridget Madigan is a Boston detective who comes from a family of powerful witches. When a murder case has a clear link to her lineage, she returns to New Orleans to meet with her estranged family to find out the truth. Responsibility and greed divided the witches for centuries due to powerful objects inherited from the elemental powers: the Pentacle of Growth, the Cup of Plenty, the Wand of Wisdom, and the Dagger of Consciousness. Bridget learns about the tragic secret of the Madigans and how two sisters become enemies. She is chosen to be the new guardian of the wand. However, imminent danger is upon them as a dark witch is coming after the elemental objects and their guardians.

Witches in the modern world is a beloved story concept and Marieke Lexmond gives it a fresh, exciting premise through the first book of The Madigan Chronicles. The Dagger takes readers to a number of places such as Boston, New Orleans, Utah, and most fascinatingly, the fairy realm. The world-building is a solid combination of the real world and an otherworldly kingdom ruled by a powerful being. I was immediately invested in the depth of the plot and the complex characters. It’s not just about the conflict between witches but also about mending one’s familial relationships. Bridget Madigan has to balance her role as a detective, as a family member of powerful witches, and as a woman who wants to live her own way of life. It's a complicated matter especially when she is handed a responsibility that she's not quite ready to handle. Some unwise decisions were made, causing hurtful consequences to the Madigan family but their bond kept them together to confront any obstacles. Lexmond's clear narrative keeps the plot engaging and tense, and one of my favorite scenes is when Luna - Bridget’s mother - releases a significant number of souls trapped in a witch’s table. Simply put, The Dagger is an enjoyable read with an intriguing ending that promises another thrilling adventure of the witches in the sequel to The Madigan Chronicles.

Lesley Jones

In The Dagger by Marieke Lexmond, the first book of the Madigan Chronicles, we meet three generations of gifted and determined witches from the Madigan family. Tara, the head of the family, struggles between keeping a generations-old secret and loyalty to her twin Lucy, who was banished from the family many decades ago. Some of the women thrive on their magical abilities but for Boston detective Bridget Madigan, being a witch is not something she enjoys. When a woman is found frozen to death, however, Bridget reluctantly uses her powers to witness the murder to help with her investigation. She discovers that someone in her family may be responsible. When Tara discovers Lucy is seeking revenge for past betrayals, she must protect the four elemental objects filled with powers from a historical coven of witches. The objects - a Wand, a Dagger, a Cup and a Wooden Disk - have been hidden for centuries by the coven. If they are found and brought together, it could destroy the world. Will the Madigan women's collective powers be enough to stop Lucy's deadly plans?

The Dagger by Marieke Lexmond is an exceptional story filled with excitement and non-stop action. I loved all of the characters in the story; they were unique, well-developed, and definitely memorable. The author's amazing ability for storytelling and descriptive narrative brought everything to life. Lucy was an amazing character, so vengeful and calculating, and because she had no thought for others, this always gave her the upper hand. Tara's loyalty to her sister was unquestionable and she was fearlessly protective of those close to her. There are so many obstacles the Madigan women have to manoeuvre through as Lucy unleashes her powers against them. I thought the plots twists were brilliant; the story never once lost its intrigue or magic. There are so many different relationships that are developed brilliantly throughout. Family feuds are resolved as past betrayals and deceptions are confronted. The storyline really highlights the rivalry within families and reminds us to treasure loved ones and not take them for granted. I will never look at a deck of tarot cards in the same way again.

Vincent Dublado

The Dagger is the first book in the Madigan Chronicles Series by Marieke Lexmond, featuring a powerful family of witches. Generations have kept them under the radar despite suspicions from the community, and they have always struggled to preserve their secret and to fulfill an age-old promise. But not everyone in the family is a team player, as there is always that one member who is power-hungry and one who is reluctant to use magic. Bridget Madigan is a Boston-based detective who vows to never use magic again, which makes her pretty powerful but rusty in wielding the arcane. But destiny has a way of finding itself back with those who elude it, and when Bridget investigates the death of Alana Jansson, it signals that her past is coming back to haunt her as her bloodline is involved in the murder. This will push her to reconnect with her family, and with the help of Tara, her grandmother, and the matriarch of the Madigan family, they will unearth age-old secrets and struggle to protect the four elemental power objects from falling into evil hands.

The members of the Madigan family are well-developed as individuals and you are even provided with a family tree to trace the lineage of the family’s earliest witches and warlocks. The family’s legacy as custodians of a powerful artifact is explored at the start of the novel, and how it causes a domestic turmoil that leads to ostracism. Some readers may find the concept of a protagonist who resolves never to use her powers, yet uses it at the end as circumstances push her to do so, as clichéd. That said, The Dagger does have a unique charm and an original take on the main character, as she is progressive, headstrong, and positively determined. The plot does have its own appeal with the importance of family in its theme. Lexmond’s first installment has plenty to offer with its ability to build tension and characters that you will be willing to invest in.