Jubilation Lee's Reviews > Thief's Covenant

Thief's Covenant by Ari Marmell
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There was something niggling away at my brain as I was reading Thief’s Covenant, and it wasn’t until I read the author’s bio on the back flap that I realized what it was.

He has also worked as an author of role-playing-game materials for games such as Dungeons & Dragons and the World of Darkness line. His earliest novels were written as tie-in fiction for the games Vampire: The Masquerade and Magic: The Gathering.

That’s it, guys! That’s why this book seemed so familiar! It was like I was back in college, listening to my friends flesh out their character sheets!

Don’t you see it?

We’ve got the dapper, over-the-top thief who loves clothes and wine but who also (view spoiler), and who may be harboring a deep romantic secret!

And the buxom bar owner, friend to thieves and vagrants, who doesn’t like all the danger and stuff but is there to provide a bit of a safe haven and a place for people to get drunk and narrate what’s happening in the plot up to that point!

And the morally upright Guardsman who rose quickly through the ranks and has a mustache so people think he’s older, who knows Widdershins from when she was younger, who may also be harboring a romantic secret, and whose courage is unmatched throughout the realm!

And a wise archbishop type, whose soul glows with the power of goodness and truth but who also carries his staff like he knows how to use it, who dispenses sage advice to younger characters and who instantly knows their innermost secrets. Also presumably he has a very majestic beard.

And our protagonist herself, balancing two or three back stories, able to scale tall buildings and pick the most protected of purses, possessed of her very own northern-type god, and who doesn’t know she’s harboring a romantic secret but give her another book and it’ll come out I’m sure!

All we needed for a full-on RPG was, you know, a half-demon, abandoned in the human world but forced to live always alone, trapped between two cultures, who clearly is either a tracker or an expert bowman, and who perhaps has a sidekick in the form of a telepathically-connected animal and/or a dwarf and/or minstrel.

Or a star elf half-vampire. For example.


The book wasn’t perfect—I thought the internal dialogue between Widdershins and her patron god was occasionally a little stilted, as though the author was in desperate need of witty banter and resorted to having our main character basically talk to herself for lengthy periods of time.

And there were so, so many bad guys. And good guys. And kind of bad guys. And morally upright but trapped-by-the-structure-of-government guys. I’m out of practice with the fantasy worlds, friends—I can only keep twelve or thirteen characters straight in my head at any given time. All these minor thieves and underlings and people with a couple different names… I almost resorted to keeping a flow chart.

The completely nonlinear timeline may have added to that confusion, honestly. Every chapter was “Four years ago!” or “Now!” or “Two years ago!” or “Still Now!” or “Back to two years ago!” for the Entire Book. This meant that characters with different names in different time periods were leaping from one point of view to the next and from one year to the next. Plus, it was inevitably timed so that chapter breaks happened right when that part of the story was really getting good and I didn’t really give a damn what happened four years ago because I wanted to know what was happening now. And my brain basically exploded.

However, however.

I’ve done that thing I do where I complain for the whole review, but really, this was a freaking fun book.

Widdershins was a highly sympathetic character who didn’t sit around wallowing but got up and kicked ass and stole shit and kicked more ass and then jumped off rooftops and had a god in her head and presumably looked good in leather, if the cover of the book is anything to go by. My kind of girl.

The rest of the populace of the novel were diverse enough to stay interesting, even when they sort of slipped into stereotype.

And I really did like the witty banter.

Count me in for book two… but please, Mr. Author Sir, please look into that schizophrenic character/timeline issue I mentioned? Huggles!
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Reading Progress

02/08 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Eileen I LOVEd the timeline changes - high suspense and high adrenaline. Kept us guessing until the end.

Jubilation Lee I'm glad you liked them! :)

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