Monday, March 16, 2015

Thief’s Covenant by Ari Marmell

-      Do you know one of the fastest ways to get me to snap up a book? Put ‘thief’ in the title. Seriously, I’m such a sucker for thieves, I might just pick the story up blind. And this is what happened when I stumbled across ‘Thief’s Covenant’ in a pile of books at Shared Worlds creative writing camp. But outside of my biased love of thieves, did the rest of the book hold up? Let’s take a look.

The Plot- 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. (Summary according to goodreads)

Characters- I just love Widdershins because she strikes a perfect balance between serious and sassy. Oftentimes with YA novels, characters can try too hard with humor. Widdershins has humor, certainly, but her sarcasm feels genuine. She isn’t just a character, she’s a person. And she’s just so likable. I love reading about her at all ages, from child to teenager. I love Olgun as well, who speaks to Widdershins not with words but feelings. And yet he has so much personality and I love their banter. The other characters are great too, but Olgun and Widdershins are the focus, and they are satisfyingly interesting and fun.

The Good Points- The writing style is engaging and the sense of humor subtle but fun. Besides the characters, I think the world works very well, especially with its view on religions and various gods. It’s a very interesting perspective I haven’t read before. The book also makes a non linear story line work. There are a lot of flashbacks that explore Widdershin’s life and that’s hard to pull off, but this book does an admirable jobs. I liked the time jumps. I also appreciate that there was only a hint of possible romance. Any books with a female protagonist that don't focus on the romance are fine by me!

The Bad Points- I was expecting more from this book, especially from the plot. As interesting as the characters and the world were, the plot was kind of weak and typical. It felt small. I wanted it to be as unique and fun as the surrounding elements. Still, it’s only one black mark on a strong rest of a novel.

Overall, this is a strong novel from Marmell, and a really fun read. I hope to read the next book in the series soon.

Final Rating- 4/5 stars

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