Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Review: Lost Covenant by Ari Marmell

Lost Covenant
Author:  Ari Marmell
Series:  Widdershins Adventures 3
Publisher:  Pyr, December 3, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 250 pages
List Price:  $17.99 (print)
ISBN:  978-1-61614-811-9 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher
Cover Illustration:  © Jason Chan

It's been six months since Widdershins and her own "personal god" Olgun fled the city of Davillon. During their travels, Widdershins unwittingly discovers that a noble house is preparing to move against the last surviving bastion of the Delacroix family. Determined to help the distant relatives of her deceased adopted father, Alexandre Delacroix, she travels to a small town at the edge of the nation. There, she works at unraveling a plot involving this rival house and a local criminal organization, all while under intense suspicion from the very people she's trying to rescue. Along the way she'll have to deal with a traitor inside the Delacroix family, a mad alchemist, and an infatuated young nobleman who won't take no for an answer.

Brannigan's Review

The deeper I get into the Widdershins series the more I'm impressed by Ari Marmell. He's been able to walk along a knife's edge, on one side I find his books mixed with humor and fun adventure, and on the other side he puts his heroine through some pretty dark events and creates some seriously wicked villains. It's this perfect balance between the fun and the dark that keeps me coming back to the series. If he went too far to either side I think I would have lost interest long before now, but instead I'm dying to start the next book.

I found Widdershins at a crossroads in this book. She's running away from the guilt she feels from the friends she's lost and from the responsibility of the friends she left behind in Davillon. She ends up trying to make amends by helping a noble family discover why they're being attacked. She also has an inner struggle of how much of herself is she willing to give up to aid those around her. I saw Widdershins grow up a lot by the end of the book.

There are two separate storylines in this book: one takes place in and around Aubier with Widdershins, and the other takes place in Davillon and involves the friends Widdershins left behind. The second storyline is short chapters interspersed through the main storyline, laying a foundation for book four. I found these smaller chapters acting as a giant hook that I eagerly swallowed, however it split my attention as I tried to focus on the main story, part of my mind wondered what was going to happen in the next book. If there is a fault in this book, its that I found these teases more interesting than the main storyline, outside of Widdershins' inner struggle.

Lost Covenant is an important third book in the Widdershins series. It adds depth to the series by showing the growth a character is capable of going through without losing her charm. There are acts of violence and language, so I would recommend it to older teens and adults. I would also recommend this book to anyone who loves a character-driven fantasy story that's not afraid of a little action.

See Branigan's reviews of Thief's Covenant here and False Covenant here.


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