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The Shadowhand Covenant

(The Vengekeep Prophecies #2)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  354 ratings  ·  54 reviews
With more twists and turns than a palace vault and one unforgettable family of thieves, this second book in Brian Farrey's epic and critically acclaimed Vengekeep Prophecies trilogy will leave you breathless.

Trouble is brewing in the Five Provinces. Mysterious magical artifacts have gone missing from the royal vaults. Master thieves from a secret society known
ebook, 400 pages
Published October 22nd 2013 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  354 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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Tommy Hancock
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved book 1 so much. I loved book 2 so much more. Even without having read book 3 yet, I recommend this series so hard. BTW, thankfully the series is finished and I don't have to wait for the last book, because after the end of book 2 that would just be torture.

Read these books. Seriously.
I enjoyed this book and very eagerly await book three.

I feel like I should say more. Jaxter Grimjinx whom we met in book one, The Vengekeep Prophecies, is back in another adventure. This time he's joined by (people) on a quest to figure out (disappearances) and I didn't actually see the ending coming so that was good. I feel like I don't want to give away spoilers especially since this is five months before the actual book release. Some of the content, like the racial persecution of
C.J. Milbrandt
The second book picks up shortly after the events of Bk1, with Jaxter taking a break from his apprenticeship to attend his grandmother's funeral. Secret societies and thieving traditions. Mages and caravans. Daggers and drinking at dawn. Tree bag and bullies and bureaucratic nightmares.

Excellent continuation. Plotty twists. Pithy family sayins and pargoblin proverbs. And I adore Jaxter's snappy retorts whenever the pressure's on. This is a favorite series.
Rick Stuckwisch
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd give it 4-1/2 stars if I had the option, because it really is quite good. Perhaps not quite as fresh and compelling as the first book in this trilogy (and hence my reason for not going with a full 5 stars), but a fast-paced, fun-filled adventure in its own right. The beginning felt a bit disjointed in relation to the previous book, but the dots were all connected for me by the end. Looking forward to the third and final book. The characters are well developed and interesting, the story intri ...more
May 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is loads of fun, like the first one, the Vengekeep Prophecies. Since it ends on a hint of further problems, we can assume that Jaxter and his family and friends (or semi enemy in one case) are in for at least enough problems to take another book to complete. I enjoy the humor in this series, where the good guys are the thieves and the bad guys tend to be anyone else. The thieves are of course, loyal to their own and moral with their own. It is everyone else that has problems with their mora ...more
Karen Arendt
Intelligent, adventurous, and exciting. This is the best fantasy series I have read since Harry Potter. the Grimjinx family is so likable (despite being thieves!) They live by a code of honor and are loving to each other as well. I would recommend this series to all fourth and fifth graders!
Taylor Lara
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At the beginning... I was worried that this sequel was not going to be as good as the first one. I am happy to report that I was mistaken. The end was happily surprising and left a huge cliffhanger for the next one!
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm really enjoying this near-perfect series. I will be on the hunt for the third book.
Barb Middleton
Jan 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, humor
My older brother latched onto certain phrases growing up. "Cool," with drawled out "O's" lasted the longest, but a close second was, "numbnuts" - a phrase hurled at any warm being that he considered a dork. I've been overseas too long and dunno if kids still use that phrase, but it came to mind while reading the riot of made-up words that this author creates for his characters to use with each other. Jaxter Grimjinx's friends and family use phrases like "zoc," "tevrok," and "naff-nut," to name a ...more
Aug 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade, fantasy
The Shadowhand Covenant is a standard “middle book,” in that it introduces a lot of new concepts, new plot mechanics, new characters, and new mysteries to carry over to the third book. The formula works well, but I still wish that people would do a little more to try and stretch the boundaries of the standard trilogy format.

In any case, The Shadowhand Covenant manages to keep a lot of the charm of The Vengekeep Prophecies, although the tone wasn’t quite the same. But I liked the intr
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jaxter Grimjinx has left the family business of thieving to be a botonist. Well, mostly. His current apprenticeship isn't working out too well, and the most powerful group of thieves, the Shadowhands, want to talk to him for some reason. Jaxter tumbles into the middle of conspiracy he never asked for---mysterious robberies, vanishing thieves, and far too much adventure for someone who tried to opt out.

It's been a while since I read the first book, but this one wasn't at all hard to g
Miss Clark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jillian C.
Jaxter's family is all thieves, one day they are summoned by the shadowhands. A son of one of the Shaodwhands tells them about his missing father. Jaxter's parents begin searching for the shadowhands, thieves who have gone missing. The High laird begins arresting peaceful Sarosans, accusing them of stealing his things. Jaxter and an enemy searching with his parents for the shadowhands. Then, the leader of the people kidnaps the search party, and demands that they steal him something from the cas ...more
If the author continues to treat me like an intelligent being till the very end, this book will be awesome. Currently - 29%

Being treated like an intelligent being feels so SO good!
Thank you author, for respecting my basic rights as a reader.

This was better than the first book, but it also gave me a bad bad feeling. Because trouble is brewing, and I don't what anyone to die! *insert a wail of despair*
I adore the Grimjinxes. So lovely a people.

And straight into book thr
I received this free book from the goodreads-first-reads giveaway. It was a wonderful story of adventure for the 4 characters trying to figure out who stole the relics and why they were taken from the high laird. Although I hadn't read the first book, I felt it wasn't necessary since the storyline was well written. I was cheering Jax the whole way and was pleasantly surprised at Kolo's role. I look forward to the 3rd book and highly recommend this one.
Jaxter and the rest of the Grimjinxes are back in this solidly satisfying sequel to The Vengekeep Prophecies. New characters are added - including the entertainingly unpoetic young warrior bard, Holm; and the history and social structure are added to the world building. My only grumble is that the climactic action is a bit of a damp squib as much of the action takes place off stage. Still, I'm in for the next book which is promised by the cliff hanger ending.
Jan 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story-line and the voice and characterization were great. The main character, however, is starting to drive me a little nuts with how often he misses the blatantly obvious. Considering that he's portrayed as a very bright boy and has moments of Sherlock-Holmes-esque logic, I would have expected him to notice more of the things he so obviously missed. Still, I'm very intrigued with the plot as it's set up at the moment and will definitely be reading the third book when it comes out.
Nov 17, 2013 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Just got the Uncorrected Proof version of this book. Looks really cool but I hadn't realized that it is the second in a series, so I'm not sure how quickly I'll be getting into it,(since I would now need to read and buy the first one first)or how much it really is on my 'to-read' shelf necessarily, but since you have to choose one of the 3 options in order to be able to write a review on it ... 'to read' was better than 'read' or 'currently reading'. (11/17/13)
Feb 01, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like books about thieves, secret societies, and nefarious plots, you will probably like this book. If you like books about secret societies of thieves getting caught up in nefarious plots (and don't object to children's books for some strange reason) you will definitely like this book. Read The Vengekeep Prophecies though.
Cecilia Rodriguez
Jaxter returns to narrate a new adventure. When Jaxter and his parents receive a summons from the Shadowhand, he learns that several magical artifacts have recently been stolen. At the same time, several members of the Shadowhand have also disappeared.
A fun adventure with a little mystery to keep the reader turning the pages.
Nov 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A rollicking young adult fantasy sure to grip the attention of the readers for which it is intended. It has friendship, adventures, chills and various nefarious characters and monsters that will be sure to grab the imagination of young teens. This is the second in a series but it was still entertaining as a stand alone book. Kids who enjoyed book one will be sure to enjoy this installment.
Feb 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Jaxter, and he makes a great narrator. This storyline was great, and I love how Jaxter is so perceptive and funny- enough of a thief to sometimes act selfishly (but in ways that make me laugh) and yet enough not that he strikes a good balance between these two worlds that are colliding. The magic system is so interesting, and I really enjoyed the book. Fun stuff!
Jun 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My eight year old daughter loved the first book in this series and I think this second installment is just as engaging. The plot is more complex though, so it took us a bit longer to get through, but as far as she's concerned it was definitely worth her while. There's magic, mystery, suspense, and intense action. She already can't wait to read the third book!
Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent adventure featuring Jaxter Grimjinx! This time his co-adventurers are Maloch, Reena, and Holm. I did miss his family and Callie, but I did grow to like the rest (yes, even Maloch). Some interesting twists and turns happen, and I very much look forward to reading the final book in the series. Such fun!
Dec 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some very fun twists and turns in this sequel that keep adding to the intrigue in Jaxter Grimjinx's young life. Jaxter's enemies become his friends, his idols become his enemies, and very little is what it seems.
Mar 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jax has to go after the Shadowhand Covenant; the biggest, baddest (in that world, anyway) group of thieves. With the guy he's hated for a long time. Whose father is missing. And is a Shadowhand (the dad, not the kid).

Benjamin Boche
Oct 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I felt it was much better than the first book as it expanded the characters and the world much more effectively while also bringing new mysteries into the fold. I also appreciate that the main character has parents and a family rather than the typical orphan motif founds in fantasy novels.
Anne Beardsley
4.5 stars. Engaging, original, and kept me guessing the entire time. Such a great setting.
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked it. It had just as much if not more adventure than the first book. It's funny and full of new secrets, discoveries, and friendships.
Aug 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chapter-books
The second book in my favorite fantasy series since Harry Potter. I can't wait for #3!
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Brian Farrey is the author of WITH OR WITHOUT YOU, a 2012 Stonewall Honor Book and winner of the 2012 Minnesota Book Award for Young People's Literature and the VENGEKEEP PROPHECIES trilogy. His forthcoming middle grade fantasy, THE SECRET OF DREADWILLOW CARSE, will be released in April 2016. He lives in St. Paul with his husband.

Other books in the series

The Vengekeep Prophecies (3 books)
  • The Vengekeep Prophecies
  • The Grimjinx Rebellion