Monday, October 19, 2015

Lost Covenant by Ari Marmell | Young Adult Fantasy | Book Review

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. *source* Pyr

Blurb might contain spoilers, toggle to view. ( Toggle may not function in email and some feed readers.)

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. *Source* Pyr

*Blurb source *Pyr
Lost Covenant by Ari Marmell | Young Adult Fantasy | Book Review
Book Source: Contest Winner

Young Adult Fantasy Book Review by Mulluane

In the midst of all of her angst and high adventure, Shins learns a valuable lesson. Geographic cures do not work; you always carry your problems with you... And then find new ones.


The Basics

Worldbuilding: As Widdershin's attempts to run away from her nightmares, we get to view some different types of landscapes. First up is Lourveaux, the home of the Basilica of the Waking Choir, the seat of power for the Hollowed Pact of 147 gods. And as Widdershins observes, it is much like Davillon only richer and more pretentious.

Next up is the ostentatious estate of the aristocratic House of Delacourt, ruled over by a no nonsense, extremely protective matriarch.

From there her adventures take her to Aubier, which Shins describes as either a town bloated to the size of a small city or a small city that nostalgically called itself a town. Either way she wasn't very impressed. Not that much impresses our dear thief or her god.

Magic: There isn't much in the way of "new" magic in this tale of horror, adventure and mayhem. There are some things going on that nobody can explain and the source makes for an interesting switch. Plus there is always Olgun, Widdershin's personal god, who often grants her some amazing abilities that are just plain fun to watch.

New Characters: 
Young Adult Fantasy Review of Lost Covenant by Ari Marmell
  • Cyrille Delacourt is a distant relative of Alexandre Delacourt, Widdershin's deceased adoptive father and mentor. Young, naive and hopelessly enamoured of Widdershins.
  • Jourdain, guard captain for Cyrille's large dysfunction family. 
  • Ivon Maline, leader of the Thousand Crows, the top gang of thieves in Aubier, a town near the Delacourt estate.
  • Fingerbone, Ivon's insane sidekick.
  • Lazare Carnot, head of Carnot House. Rivals to House of Delacourt.
  • Jose Tremont, slippery and not just a little creepy, servant of the Carnot family. 
  • Rosselin Veroche, Reeve of Aubier and my favorite (though relatively minor) new character. 
Again there are also some familiar faces from previous books. Strange doings are going on in Davillon and Robin plus the various members of the Finder's Guild, all play a role.

And of course, there are plenty of other characters, both major and minor. Some of which I'm not going to mention. You'll have to read the book to see who else pops up.

My Synopsis

The Story: After wandering the countryside for 6 months, Widdershins finds herself heading to Lourveaux to visit the tomb of her friend, William de Laurent, deceased archbishop of Chevareaux, in a desperate search for solace.

But Shins can't even find peace in a cemetery. She is found by the archbishop's former assistant and it appears that once again, the church needs Widdershin's help.

To make matters worse, there also appear to be people who are after Shins herself! But how did they know to watch for her in Lourveaux when she didn't even know she was going to visit there herself? And why is anybody looking for her in the first place?

The search for answers will spin Widdershins straight into another adventure of epic proportion.

Meanwhile, something sinister is going on in Davillion, Shin's hometown, and the friends that she abandoned in her grief are in serious danger.

My Opinions 

Thoughts: There are two storylines going on here but they are so distinctly different that there is no problem in following them both. The confusing part (atleast for me) is that there really started out being three, only one was pretty much dropped before it even got started.

Yeah I know. Kinda cryptic. But I don't want to give away too many plot details. Just suffice it to say don't be surprised when the story takes off in one direction, takes a left turn and never circles back around.

There is also a cliffhanger ending to this tale so it could be that the circle will be completed that way. I can't wait and find out.

Those two things aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this book! What a perfect Halloween read. Flawless mix of humor, adventure, horror and teen angst. There are thrills, chills, betrayal and sinister plots. There are twists, turns and switchbacks which will leave you breathless. That is if you have any breath left after laughing until it hurts.

There are characters to love, characters to hate, characters to feel sympathy for and through it all, events that keep you endlessly entertained.

Even the writing itself is entertaining. Ari Marmell paints wonderful pictures with his words. The horror is horrible and leaves nothing to the imagination. The scene descriptions are flawless. And he allows Widdershin's to put her unique perspective on every vista. Not sure if there is a stronger word for immersive but if there is, it would describe this book.

Favorite Scene

""Hey Cyrille."

The resulting sound wasn't quite a squawk, wasn't quite a yelp, wasn't quite a gasp. As best as she could describe it, it sounded like an angry chicken slapping a puppy with a fish.

"Could you repeat that?" Widdershins asked. "Define it? Possibly spell it for me?"


Conclusion

Summary: If you are into the Halloween spirit and like a dose of chilling horror in your fantasy, I can't think of a better series. Like Halloween it is full of both humor and villains. High adventure and danger lurks around every corner. You'll experience daring escapes and close calls. Insanity and cold logic. And in the background, the most dysfunctional family I've ever had the pleasure to dislike.

Now if you will excuse me, I must go read the fourth Widdershin's adventure, Covenant's End. There is a promise of more horror, danger and mayhem to come and I can't wait to see what is going to jump out of its pages and scare the pajamas off of me. In between giggles of course.

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Lost Covenant (Widdershins Adventures, #3)
Author: Ari Marmell
Cover Art: Jason Chan
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Sword and Sorcery
Content: Magic, Gods, Mystery, Horror
ISBN 13: 9781616148119 
ASIN: B00DACWB02
Publisher: Pyr (December 3, 2013)
Print Length: 280 pages
Kindle: Lost Covenant: A Widdershins Adventure
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Rating: 5/5 Stars

Already read the book? Please share your own opinion in the comments below!

Young Adult Fantasy Review of Lost Covenant by Ari Marmell - Reviewed by Mulluane on October 19 2015 - Rating: 5 of 5



Mulluane is a 56-year-old proud grandmother of 4, who is passionate about her pets, blogging, traditional fantasy, and tinkering with webdesign. She is obssesively photo shy but she uses an avatar that accurately represents her dreams. ♥ You can also find her on:

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