Two Minute Backlist Review: False Covenant by Ari Marmell

Friday, October 16, 2015
Title: False Covenant
Author: Ari Marmell
Genre: fantasy
Series: Widdershins Adventures #2
Pages: 281
Published: June 2012
Source: purchased
Rating: 5/5

It’s been over half a year, now, since the brutal murder of Archbishop William de Laurent during his pilgrimage to the Galicien city of Davillon. During that time, the Church of the Hallowed Pact has assigned a new bishop to the city—but it has also made its displeasure at the death of its clergyman quite clear. Davillon’s economy has suffered beneath the weight of the Church’s displeasure. Much of the populace—angry at the clergy— has turned away from the Church hierarchy, choosing private worship or small, independent shrines. And the bishop, concerned for his new position and angry at the people of Davillon, plans to do something about it.

But a supernatural threat is stalking the nighttime streets—a creature of the other world has come to infiltrate the seedier streets of Davillon, to intertwine its tendrils through the lower echelons of society. Faced with both political upheaval and a supernatural threat to its citizenry, the local representatives of the Church are paralyzed and the Guardsmen are in over their heads.

And then there’s Widdershins--who’s tried, and failed, to stay out of trouble since taking over Genevieve’s tavern; who’s known to the Church and the Guard both, and trusted by neither; who may, with some of her Thieves’ Guild contacts, have unwittingly played a part in the bishop’s plans; and who, along with her personal god Olgun, may be the only real threat to the supernatural evil infesting Davillon.

Things to expect in the second Widdershins Adventures book:

higher stakes
kickass and capable female MC
bigger risks
more ships
creepier villain
unexpected betrayal
more muuuuurder
more worldbuilding
political scheming

In what world is that not a perfect sequel? In what world would you hear that and not want to jump immediately into that story? Not in mine because if I really liked Thief's Covenant (and I did!), I really fucking loved False Covenant. It took all my minor quibbles and explained them away -- naturally -- or adjusted the execution to make it all work.

This book is to Thief's Covenant what Crown of Midnight was to Throne of Glass. Adrienne/Madeleine/Widdershins has GROWN UP and is not playing games here in book two. She changes identities as easily as she sheds an opponent's blood. She isn't infallible, but she is really, really good at what she does. She's a great character with great voice and instant chemistry with nearly everyone. The ships, people. This series is hell on ships.

If I am going to push a fantasy series in 2016, I think it is going to be this one. They may be too short for my liking (each is less than 300 pages!) but they are memorable, funny, and damn entertaining.  Fans of Locke Lamora, Six of Crows, Eli Monpress, and Throne of Glass are recommended to give this series a try. 


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