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Monday, December 26, 2011

Review: Thief's Covenant by Ari Marmell

Thief's Covenant by Ari Marmell
Pages: 240
Publisher: PYR
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: February 14th, 2012
Buy it (Pre-Order): Hardcover

She is Widdershins, a thief making her way through Davillon's underbelly looking to find answers, and justice with a sharp blade, a sharper wit, and the mystical aid of Olgun, a foreign god with no other worshipers but Widdershins herself.
I started just casually reading Thief's Covenant one evening, but from the very first line, I was hooked. Ari Marmell spares us no detail when it comes to the gritty and the gory, but he also can convey a deep sense of friendship and emotion with the flip of a page. Thief's Covenant is an expertly crafted, epic high fantasy adventure that kept me reading for hours. It's nothing like what you'll expect--I promise, it's a thousand times better.

This novel was a breath of fresh air, because not only was it built on an intriguing mythology, but the writing style itself was something unique. Ari Marmell wrote with a tongue-in-cheek tone, quite often making little jokes about his own characters in the narrative that always made me crack a smile, or sometimes outright laugh. This gave the book a bit of charisma, since it felt like some of Ari's personality shown through his words. I also liked how some of the story is told in backwards chronological order. The novel started at a critical point in time, throwing us in without any context, and then slowly backing up and showing us the events that led to it. It alternates between 'Now' and a certain amount of years in the past, which I thought was a great way of telling the story without information overload.

Widdershins was one of those female main characters that I so love--the kind that can fend for herself and give a good ass-kicking if the need should arise. And in Thief's Covenant, the need arise quite frequently. She had the help of her invisible yet always present companion, Olgun, a god whose following has died out, leaving only Widdershins. Their interaction with each other was cute and funny, and provided a lot of the comic relief in suspenseful moments. I give Widdershins a solid 9 on the Bad-Ass Meter. It wasn't all about kicking butt with her, it was also about protecting those she loved, which I really like in a character.

Overall, I really loved Thief's Covenant! I'm extremely eager for the sequel. I can't wait to know what happens to Widdershins and Olgun. Ari Marmell has absolutely secured himself as one of my favorite high fantasy authors. PYR, Prometheus Books' science fiction and fantasy division, has been coming out with some definite winners in YA, so it'd be a good idea to keep tabs on their new releases including this one. 5 out of 5 stars!


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