Macario’s Scepter by M.J. McGriff (Magian #1)

Book Blurb:

An unlikely Chosen One, her pirate captain ex-lover, and a nun. A prophecy that unleashes a fire-breathing sea serpent pouring its wrath on the isles. A magical scepter with the power to destroy—or save—the world.

Samara is a ship wrecked at sea. She can’t seem to get anything right, especially her love life. Her former pirate captain, the famous Baz Blackwater, broke her heart and stranded her on an island of religious hypocrites. Samara wants nothing more than to escape to the freedom of the sea, so when her ex-lover shows up offering a chance at a magical treasure—and secret revenge—she jumps at the chance.

Seraphina prays every day for her wayward twin sister to stop chasing the pirate life and find the peace she’s discovered in her own quiet life at the convent. But Samara has nothing but contempt for her sister’s beliefs and religious rituals. Yet when Seraphina uncovers an ancient prophecy revealing the horrifying curse of the treasure Samara and Baz seek, she must leave her convent—risking the wrath of her Order—and search for the truth about Macario’s scepter.

In a world of friendship and betrayal, monsters and magic, seedy pubs and adventure on the high seas, will Samara’s magical powers, Baz’s cunning plans, and Seraphina’s unshakable faith be enough to slay a cursed sea serpent destroying everything they love?

I received this book from the author via BookSirens for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.


A monstrous sea-serpent, pirates chasing treasure, a wayward sister who rejects their god, and a timid nun who tries to talk sense into them all when they want nothing to do with her.

Macario’s Scepter is a fast-paced adventure that never slows down! I was impressed by how much was packed into this shorter novel (262 pages). The chapters were brief (around 6 pages on average) but very rich and fulfilling. Not a word was wasted and though I couldn’t believe how fast the story moved, I never felt as if I missed out on any details or conversations. The pace of the book matches the storyline and the characters very well.

I loved the characters too! I wasn’t sure about Samara at first, but I warmed up to her early on in the book, and I related to Seraphina A LOT as far as a protective, more wise older sister goes (even though they’re twins, I got this vibe). As someone who has 3 younger sisters, I think Samara and Seraphina’s sisterly relationship was very realistic and accurate, making them very alive!

And Baz Blackwater? He’s pretty darn perfect. Rough and tough, blinded by his ambitions to walk in his father’s footsteps as one of the greatest pirate captains, only to realize that he was cut out for oh so much more! I really enjoyed watching his journey of discovering himself in this book and I’m anxious to see more of him in the series!

The only content warnings that I’d like to include are frequent but mild cursing, some sexual thoughts and comments –though they never became more than that– and there’s only a couple of kisses. The action gets pretty intense, so prepare to watch many an enemy fall by sword. Overall, Macario’s Scepter was a fun book to read and this is certainly an author that I will be watching for in the future!

Goodreads | Amazon


Leave a Reply