Widdershins, the heroine of Ari Marmell’s “Thief’s Covenant,” released Feb. 14, 2012, makes me want to be a thief. Unfortunately, since I’m a klutz, I’ll never become one.
Widdershins is a great thief because of the heathen God living in the back of her head. She steals from the rich, keeps most of it for herself and only forks over the Thief Guild’s share of profits when she has to.
Widdershins has few friends, and when details from her past re-emerge and the Guild begins to move against her, she has no choice but to stop running and to turn and fight. Considering she’s also a former noblewoman wanted for the supposed murders of two dozen people, fighting seems to be well within her range of abilities.
If books were diamonds, Widdershins would have stolen “Thief’s Covenant” long ago. Fantasy lovers, pay attention and pick this up! There’s nothing to hate: no glittery romantic figures, no heroines who depend on the other characters to save them and no poorly developed worlds stuffed with random paranormal elements.
If anything, “Thief’s Covenant” reads like a well-made video game. It’s chock-full of kick-ass characters and bad-ass fight scenes. The world is beautifully and vividly crafted, and the plot (oh, the plot!) will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Its only downfall is its tendency to flip around in the timeline. Every now and then the narrative will slip back in time and show a flash of Widdershins’ past before flopping back to the present. It’s fun to watch everything unfold slowly. But, if you’re a reader who doesn’t really pay attention to the headers of sections, it can be jarring to switch time periods. However, if you’re used to popping your head out of British police boxes and being in a different time period every time you turn a page, you’ll be able to handle the book just fine.
The newly-released book may still be a fresh-faced unknown, but I have faith that this may be one of the best fantasy young adult novels to hit the shelves this year.