Review: False Covenant

False Covenant (Widdershins #2) by Ari Marmell
Release Date ~ June 26, 2012 (although it's available on a few online retailers NOW!)
Pyr Books ~ Prometheus
ISBN13: 9781616146214
ARC received from publisher for review

My review for False Covenant is spoiler-free for the series, but the synopsis itself isn't - you can also check out my review for Thief's Covenant (Widdershins #1)!

Goodreads Synopsis:
A creature of the other world, an unnatural entity bent on chaos and carnage, has come to stalk the nighttime streets of the Galicien city of Davillon. There’s never a good time for murder and panic, but for a community already in the midst of its own inner turmoil, this couldn’t possibly have come at a worse one.

Not for Davillon, and not for a young thief who calls herself Widdershins.

It’s been over half a year since the brutal murder of Archbishop Wil­liam de Laurent during his pilgrimage to Davillon. And in all that time, Widdershins has truly tried her best. She has tried to take care of Genevieve’s tavern and tried to make a semihonest living in a city slowly stagnating under the weight of an angry and disapproving Church. She has tried to keep out of trouble, away from the attentions of the Davillon Guard and above the secrets and schemes of the city’s new bishop.

But she’s in way over her head, with no idea which way to turn. The Guard doesn’t trust her. The Church doesn’t trust her. Her own Thieves’ Guild doesn’t trust her.

Too bad for everyone, then, that she and her personal god, Olgun, may be their only real weapon against a new evil like nothing the city has ever seen.

Can we just talk about how good this book series is for a little bit? And how it seriously needs to be read by more YA readers? The fact that this book series is so unknown is shameful; Ari Marmell successfully balances clever humour, horrific villains, a plucky young heroine in a delightful, charming new favourite.

I adored the first book in this new series, Thief's Covenant, but I'm in awe of Ari's ability to craft an even BETTER sequel to an already outstanding book! Everything I loved about Thief's Covenant was there, just amped up a notch or two; whether that was romance, terror, poetic writing or action. It's all there and it's all incredibly satisfying & enjoyable!

  1. Fun romance... that isn't overdone:
    While Thief's Covenant only HINTS at some blooming romantic feelings, False Covenant is where we finally get to see it acted on (not all of it - I won't spoil who's involved!) which definitely adds a bit more emotional investment to the characters. It's uncommonly sweet and endearing, yet it never overpowers the rest of the story which is where it's true potency comes from. The complications which arise from it are so painful (UGH! Why do authors do this to me?!) and the consequences devastatingly real... yet all are perfectly appropriate for the story, I can't deny that. Did Ari kill me with his ending? Yes, he did. But for some crazy, book-loving reason in me, I sort of love him or it (or hate... I think I have a love/hate relationship right now, because I'm taking this a little bit too personally. But honestly, you'd understand if you just read the books!) It's impossible NOT to care about these characters <3
  2. A writing style specific to an author:
    I actually tend to like this when author's do this, but I enjoy reading books when an author has their own specific style of writing that stands out from other authors. Lauren Oliver is one person I admire for her ability to do this in all her books; no matter how different they are, they still sound like a Lauren Oliver book. Ari's definitely one of those authors as well, who has such a distinct way of writing that appeals to me as a reader. In his Widdershins books, this easily comes across as a witty, precocious young woman with a poetic writing style which works so well for the mystical, creepy ambiance of the book/fantasy world.
  3. Dark, horrific villainry:
    I can't stand it when an evil villain doesn't meet my expectations; I find too often that the bad guys turn out to be incredibly lame and rather mundane. But mundane doesn't exist in Widdershins books. Not one bit! Ari's familiarity with writing horror novels comes across so well in his descriptions of the villains Widdershins comes face to face with; which are such truly terrifying ideas, with graphic descriptions that just come alive right off the page that they're some of the best creations I have ever read in a book. Ever; it's completely brilliant!
  4. Mystery, action, fighting, secrets!
    There is so much excitement for the number of pages this book has; so much happens, and I love that the development of the characters, world, and story continue right along from where Thief's Covenant left off. It's refreshing to read a fantasy book where the author has clearly invested a large amount of time and thoughtfulness to establish such an interesting setting for an equally fascinating story; and even rarer when you find a story that holds both the setting and story to such high standards and both come across as extraordinarily well done. And the fighting scenes are so good, they completely grab (and hold) your attention.
  5. A delightful fantasy world:

    I love the different aspects of fantasy which are incorporated in these books; the religious aspect of the series is extremely important, and the mythology created for the various gods and goddesses and their role in public life is so intriguing. And the way that magic & mysticism are semi-related, yet still separate add to this mysterious facet of the world. Plus, I love that there's a Thieves' Guild, because let's be honest- Thieves' Guilds ALWAYS make things more exciting :)
Honestly, I could go on. And on. But then I'd spoil the whole book for you, and that would be a shame because Thief's Covenant & False Covenant are some of the masterpieces of YA. I'll be quite content if Ari continues to bless us all with lovely fantasy works like this one (more please)!
But honestly, why are you reading my review for False Covenant when you should be reading the book? 
I adored this book that I really don't have any complaints, except that I'm the founder of Julien's fan club. And I'm still a little bit upset on his behalf for what happens to him (read: heartbroken! devasted! I'm not getting over this anytime soon).

Purchase Links
United States


Anna @ Literary Exploration said...

OK, I have to admit I totally skipped this review because I haven't read the first one LOL but I'm glad you love the sereis so much, because I can't wait to start it!!!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I didn't read the summary, because I havent' read any of these books, but thanks for YOUR thoughts. I love a good villian too...and a romance that WORKS and is believable.


Jordan said...

Loved the first book, can't wait for False!

Kat M. said...

Definitely can't wait to read this sequel during the weekend!
Still, I have to wonder what will happen after this? Will there be more Widdershins Adventures?

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