Review: Covenant's End by Ari Marmell

Thursday, December 10, 2015
Title: Covenant's End
Author: Ari Marmell
Genre: fantasy
Series: Widdershins Adventures #1
Pages: 271
Published: February 2015
Source: purchased
Rating: 4/5

The thief Widdershins and her own "personal god," Olgun, return to their home city of Davillon after almost a year away. While Shins expects only to face the difficulty of making up with her friends, what she actually finds is far, far worse. Her nemesis, Lisette, has returned, and she is not alone. Lisette has made a dark pact with supernatural powers that have granted her abilities far greater than anything Widdershins and Olgun can match.

Together, Widdershins and Olgun will face enemies on both sides of the law, for Lisette's schemes have given her power in both Davillon's government and its underworld. For even a slim chance, Shins must call on both old friends--some of whom haven't yet forgiven her--and new allies.

Even with their help, Widdershins may be required to make the hardest sacrifice of her life, if she is to rid Davillon--and herself--of Lisette once and for all.

It's a smart author that knows when a good thing has run its course. Though I have thoroughly enjoyed all four books with these characters and gods, Ari Marmell ends his series in good form and with ample resolution for all involved and does so before the series had overstayed its welcome.Though it did feel just a bit rushed at the end, Covenant's End was a really satisfying conclusion for Widdershins and for fans. I finished it satisfied and knowing I want more from this author in this world. Perhaps an Evrard series with cameos from Adrienne and Renard? A Robin-and-Faustine trilogy (also YES to lesbians in YA fantasy!)? Yes, please, to all of that.

Widdershins' adversary is familiar from the books before and less overtly supernatural than her previous foes, if no less dangerous. Widdershins is at top form for nearly all the novel; her trademark wit and banter are evident and no less cutting this time around. Covenant's End has new trials and issues for poor Widdershins to overcome, but it is really the interpersonal relationships at the heart of the story that drive the novel. Shins has once again made mistakes and she has more than just evil to fix in Davillion after her stay away.

Though these books have each been less than three hundred pages for each novel, Marmell has created quite the varied and interesting world for a fantasy series with a mysterious thief as the main character. Each book has its own plot, antagonist, and resolution and Covenant's End is no different from its three predecessors. This finale feels much more... final. There's still room left in this world to explore but Marmell has pretty neatly ended the relationship that powered the series.  It's a fitting and timely end.

This clever series is one that started out strong and only got better from there. The Widdershins show has been consistently engaging, always original, and vast amounts of fun to read. I rarely feel so content wrapping up a fantasy series but Marmell has pulled it off here. Covenant's End is an authentic and believable end for all that came before it. I will miss this world and these characters and plan to keep pushing it on friends and watch for what the author does next.


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