Two Minute Backlist Review: Thief's Covenant by Ari Marmell

Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Title: Thief's Covenant
Author: Ari Marmell
Genre: fantasy
Series: Widdershins Adventures #1
Pages: 273
Published: February 2012
Source: purchased
Rating: 3.5/5

Once she was Adrienne Satti. An orphan of Davillon, she had somehow escaped destitution and climbed to the ranks of the city's aristocracy in a rags-to-riches story straight from an ancient fairy tale. Until one horrid night, when a conspiracy of forces--human and other--stole it all away in a flurry of blood and murder. Today she is Widdershins, a thief making her way through Davillon's underbelly with a sharp blade, a sharper wit, and the mystical aid of Olgun, a foreign god with no other worshippers but Widdershins herself. It's not a great life, certainly nothing compared to the one she once had, but it's hers.

But now, in the midst of Davillon's political turmoil, an array of hands are once again rising up against her, prepared to tear down all that she's built. The City Guard wants her in prison. Members of her own Guild want her dead. And something horrid, something dark, something ancient is reaching out for her, a past that refuses to let her go.

Widdershins and Olgun are going to find answers, and justice, for what happened to her--but only if those who almost destroyed her in those years gone by don't finish the job first.

Overall, this was not bad at the start and grew into something entertaining and totally fun. The plot may be nothing special for a fantasy novel but provides a solid beginning for a series to explore and grow from. Marmell does do some creative and new things with his characters and religion - also a highpoint for the book.

The characters need some further work and characterization, but have some definite potential already. Widdershins/Adrienne is snarky and banter-y and shippable with almost too many people. The chemistry between the cast is genuine and believable, but a bit blunt. For now, anyway. I needed more time and care spent with side characters to buy into them as easily as I did with Shins.

The flashbacks are rough and a large part of why this is not rated higher than 3.5. They're confusing and presented in such a slapdash fashion; I can see what the author is trying to do but the execution works against the novel. However, if you can adjust to that, this isn't fun and fast read.

  • creative. 
  • voice! 
  • fun. 
  • SHIPS!  
  • quick moving.
 Fans of fantasy and heists and banter should take note and give this series a chance.

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