Onceshe was Adrienne Satti. An orphan of Davillon, she had somehow escapeddestitution and climbed to the ranks of the city’s aristocracy in arags-to-riches story straight from an ancient fairy tale. Until one horridnight, when a conspiracy of forces—human and other—stole it all away in aflurry of blood and murder.
Today she isWiddershins, a thief making her way through Davillon’s underbelly with a sharpblade, a sharper wit, and the mystical aid of Olgun, a foreign god with noother worshippers but Widdershins herself. It’s not a great life, certainlynothing compared to the one she once had, but it’s hers.
But now, in themidst of Davillon’s political turmoil, an array of hands are once again risingup against her, prepared to tear down all that she’s built. The City Guardwants her in prison. Members of her own Guild want her dead. And somethinghorrid, something dark, something ancient is reaching out for her, a past thatrefuses to let her go. Widdershins and Olgun are going to find answers, andjustice, for what happened to her—but only if those who almost destroyed her inthose years gone by don’t finish the job first.
In the past I have been rather vocal about mydislike of the young adult genre. I think having a baby is changing me. While Istill struggle with some young adult books, I’m enjoying them more now than Iever have before. I read young adult books and think of the ones I’d like mydaughter to read when she’s old enough. That makes it fun for me and haschanged my overall feeling toward the subgenre. Furthermore, I am alwayspleased with the books Pyr publishes, so their new young adult collection issomething that has me pretty excited.
Many readers will feel that Theif’s Covenant is rather familiar. Themain character, Widdershins, is a resourceful street urchin who seems destinedfor more despite the odds stacked against her. There’s nothing new with that.Furthermore, N.K. Jemisin popularized the idea of gods walking among men, sothat aspect of the story isn’t as unique as it would have been several yearsago. However, despite that, Theif’sCovenant is filled with gripping, fast paced action and a heroine thatreaders can really cheer for.
Widdershins is a delightful character tofollow. She’s smart and resourceful and never seems to let go of her slightlyunderstated humor. Theif’s Covenant takesplace in a familiar fantasy world which mirrors many other medieval fantasyworlds that many books use. This is both a strength and a drawback. Thefamiliarity of the world will allow many readers to become absorbed in thestory easily, while others might yearn for something a little more unique.Furthermore, the timeline can get rather confusing as chapters switch betweennow to two years ago, four years ago and more. It’s hard to keep track of howold Widdershins must be during many of these chapters, and I often felt thatshe didn’t seem as young as she should have been in many of these flashbackchapters. These flashbacks can often serve to distract the reader from theoverall character development.
Despite my few reservations, Theif’s Covenant is fast paced and theopening chapter sets the reader up for some high stakes action. Widdershinsreally shines, despite the fact that her rags-to-riches-to-rags story is ratherfamiliar. Most of the book is told from her perspective though it does switchto others. Widdershins is the most developed character, while others often palebeside her. Some of the secondary and opposing characters are a bit toostereotypical, but the fast paced, action filled plot will serve to help manyoverlook any character qualms that might arise as they read.
Despite the familiarity many may feelregarding the secondary world in Theif’sCovenant is vibrant and often times Marmell utilizes incredible atmosphereto set the stage for further action/plot twists. The rich atmosphere and thewell realized world really succeed at making Theif’s Covenant read well for young adults and adults alike.
Theif’sCovenantis a quick read. It is a young adult book that adults will feel comfortablewith. The world is vibrant and the atmosphere is wonderful. Widdershins is anentertaining character to follow, despite the fact that her story is a ratherfamiliar one. Theif’s Covenant is anexcellent foundation for a vibrant young adult fantasy series.