Lost Covenant (Widdershins Adventures #3) by Ari Marmell
YA high fantasy
Hardcover/eBook, 277 pages
Published December 3rd 2013 by Pyr
This third YA novel starring the young thief Widdershins combines the angst and vulnerability of any teenage girl with the high action of the best fantasy adventures.
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.
I am a proud Widdershins fangirl. I became instantly enamored with Ari Marmell's excellent Young Adult high fantasy series with Thief's Covenant and my affection merely grows. From the wonderfully realized world building to the unique concept of a young girl carrying around an (albeit minor) god inside her and the creative dynamics which ensure due to this bond, to the various characters and creatures she meets and their subsequent conflicts, these are true adventure stories. When I received Lost Covenant, I was under the assumption this would be the final tale of the teen girl from Davillon. It is not so I can continue with my unabashed acclaim for this beloved ongoing series.
At the heart of every Widdershins Adventures is Shins herself and her relationships, especially what she gleams from spending time with this changing cast of names and faces, and what she (and us) discover about her. In the third book, we see a maturing Shins, though she has not lost her zany appeal of bantering with her constant companion Olgun, nor her impetuous ways of jumping into situations without fully thinking them out first. Shins left her beloved town after the tear-inducing climax of False Covenant and now finds herself entering the hometown of her beloved late benefactor, Mr. Delacroix. She meets one of his family members, discovers their land has some type of unknown plight, and suspects there is more to that family's sudden problems than they believe. In usual Widdershins style, she bumbles, falls into, and with Olgun's aid, unearths the real culprits, including typical high-stylized run-ins with the henchmen and the brain behind the ruse to destroy the Delacroix family and homestead.
I understand some have found this third installment slow or not like its faster-paced predecessors. I, on the other hand, loved it. The quiet nuances of character development, the gradual build-up of intensity, the bursts of explosive action and unexpected developments and battles--Shins is growing up, becoming a woman, and yet she still retains some of that innocence despite her tumultuous upbringing and ties to the thieve's guild. There were some characters I missed greatly (they will remain nameless) and I welcomed the opportunity to meet the Delacroix clan and the Carnots. Also, the teasing introduction of a returning character (now powerfully changed) only promises to heighten the tension and action of the next book.
I have thanked author Ari Marmell for creating Shins and impressing me with his stories. I know when I begin any Widdershins book, I will lose myself in its scenery, feel myself fighting along in its many battles, and laughing out loud at the camaraderie between a high-spirited young girl and those she encounters along the way. No matter where she travels, I will always want to go with her for I know she will always return to her makeshift family inside that Davillon bar. In a wonderful way I feel like a part of her family so all I can say is, "Shins, Olgun, make some room for me because I'm a diehard fan and will go any where with you both. Now it's time for the next adventure. Bring it on!"
I only wish this deserving series shared in the popularity and sales along with other well-known and (some) over-hyped YA series. Whenever I sit through any type of action-oriented entertainment, I can't help thinking why hasn't anyone adapted this series for TV or cable? There's plenty of room alongside Katniss, Tris and Elena for Widdershins. Yes, I'm talking to you CW, HBO, Showtime and Scifi. And to the movie companies: Don't give us regurgitated story lines or stretch one movie into an undeserving and boring trio, give us something original--like this! I'd even love to see a video game developed. I'd play that in a heartbeat! Or a graphic novel. **stops shaking pom poms, steps away from podium**
Amazingly, I find the art for each cover gets even more gorgeous than the other. I love the symbolism of the doves and the position of Shins.
I received a promotional copy in return for my honest review. Thank you Pyr Books for satisfying my Widdershins addiction with not only the ARC, but also the hardcover copy. Book number three has a home alongside Books one and two and there's still space for more. I am grateful.
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