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False Covenant, by Ari Marmell Book Review | SFReader.com
False Covenant, by Ari Marmell Genre: YA Fantasy Publisher: Pyr Published: 2012 Review Posted: 5/31/2013 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated
False Covenant, by Ari Marmell
Book Review by Joshua Palmatier
Have you read this book?
Just finished False Covenant, the second Widdershins novel, which I read immediately after receiving it since I liked the first book, Thief's Covenant. These are YA books, which I don't normally read, but the first sounded interesting (kind of like my own Throne of Amenkor series) so I decided to check them out. I'm glad I did.
The premise of this book is that Widdershins, a thief in the city of
Davillon, has taken control of her friend's bar and is discovering that
it isn't as easy to run as she thought it would be. Part of this is
her own lack of experience running a bar, but most of it is because the
Church has declared Davillon off limits to traders and travelers
because of the recent murder of the visiting archbishop. The city is in
desperate need of an economic boost. Unfortunately, after fending off
a summoned demon the year before, another supernatural creature has
begun stalking the streets, preying on everyone but targeting children
in particular. And it appears that Widdershins and her own personal
god Olgun may be the only ones capable of stopping its reign of terror.
But Widdershins is distracted by a budding romance with a local
guardsman . . . and an aristocrat and excellent duelist intent on
killing her for a crime against his family.
As you can see, lots going on, and Widdershins quick wit and sparkling
personality is still front and center here. She's one of the best
parts of these books, but in this case I'd have to say the creature
that's stalking the city steals the limelight. It's what snags your
attention in this novel and keeps you reading. It's cruel and deadly
and the fact that it's main focus is stalking children (not to mention
all of its physical features and voice) is downright creepy as well as
horrific. I'm sure that it will haunt some readers' dreams, even though
this is a YA book.
That said, this wasn't as intense in terms of horror as the first book,
and it certainly didn't feel as fast paced. It rockets right along,
but still felt somewhat relaxed. One aspect that has also changed is
that there aren't multiple timelines with the author having us jump
from one to the other. In the first book, this was rather distracting,
honestly, so the linearity of this book was better. But somehow it
didn't have the same impact as the first. It just wasn't as . . .
gritty and dirty and rough as the first. I rather enjoyed that
So, I enjoyed the book, but it wasn't as satisfying as the first (even
factoring in the sometimes confusing time jumps in the first). This
book was more tame in comparison. A fun read--Widdershins and her
antics with her personal god are always fun--and with a goodly touch of
horror with the creature stalking the streets, but just not as
satisfying as the first.
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