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False Covenant [Hardcover]

Ari Marmell
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 18.50
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Book Description

June 26 2012 Widdershins Adventures
It’s been over half a year, now, since the brutal murder of Archbishop William de Laurent during his pilgrimage to the Galicien city of Davillon. During that time, the Church of the Hallowed Pact has assigned a new bishop to the city—but it has also made its displeasure at the death of its clergyman quite clear. Davillon’s economy has suffered beneath the weight of the Church’s displeasure. Much of the populace—angry at the clergy— has turned away from the Church hierarchy, choosing private worship or small, independent shrines. And the bishop, concerned for his new position and angry at the people of Davillon, plans to do something about it. 

But a supernatural threat is stalking the nighttime streets—a creature of the other world has come to infiltrate the seedier streets of Davillon, to intertwine its tendrils through the lower echelons of society. Faced with both political upheaval and a supernatural threat to its citizenry, the local representatives of the Church are paralyzed and the Guardsmen are in over their heads. 

And then there’s Widdershins--who’s tried, and failed, to stay out of trouble since taking over Genevieve’s tavern; who’s known to the Church and the Guard both, and trusted by neither; who may, with some of her Thieves’ Guild contacts, have unwittingly played a part in the bishop’s plans; and who, along with her personal god Olgun, may be the only real threat to the supernatural evil infesting Davillon.

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Product Description

Review

 “[G]enuinely adolescent (including occasional idiotic and immature behavior) high fantasy is rare enough that this stands out…A romp with an edge and a feisty female lead: Fans will rejoice at the indication that this series has even more to come.”
-Kirkus Reviews
 
False Covenant changed my status from "loyal fan" to "die-hard, I need every book Ari Marmell has ever written, obsessed-fan-girl."… This is a series not to be overlooked. It has everything a fan of fantasy could possibly want, and even those afraid to venture into high fantasy will love it. Anyone looking for a great story, check out the Widdershins Adventures novels.”
-What’s Your Story (YA)
 
“I liked the first in this series well enough that I jumped this one up the stack a good ways and I'm glad I did. In theory this is a young adult series, but it reads just fine for this not quite so young adult.”
-Don D’Ammassa’s Critical Mass

“[E]nthralling. It’s easy to get caught up in Widdershins’s adventures. The mystery and suspense makes for an exciting read. With plenty of drama and a bit of humor and several surprises along the way, this dark fantasy series is decidedly charming.
-SciFi Chick 
 
“The descriptions and dialogues are often funny in an understated, subtle way, full of whimsical humor, banter, and funny similes…The 14-year-old me would have loved these books, because they’re immeasurably better than some of the ghastly media/RPG tie-in fiction I ended up reading as a bridge between children’s books and fantasy for adults. Even now, well past the target age for YA literature, I had a blast revisiting Davillon and Widdershins.”
-Tor.com blog 

"Marmell successfully weaves in enough backstory to keep new readers interested, but they will be clamoring to read Thief’s Covenant, and will eagerly await the next books in the series."
-School Library Journal 

“What it does have in common with the first novel though is a fast-paced plot and a good selection of characters. The supernatural killer Iruoch is truly creepy and enough to make you nervous of the dark. …This is another very good story from Ari Marmell and I’m looking forward to the next volume.”
-SF Crowsnest 

“I enjoyed the book…A fun read--Widdershins and her antics with her personal god are always fun--and with a goodly touch of horror with the creature stalking the street.”
-SF Reader forum 

About the Author

Ari Marmell (Austin, TX) is a fantasy and horror writer and the author of several original novels including The Goblin Corps and three Widdershins adventures, Thief’s Covenant, False Covenant, and Lost Covenant. He has also written gaming tie-in novels such as In Thunder Forged: Iron Kingdoms Chronicles (The Fall of Llael Book One) and worked as an author of role-playing game materials for games such as Dungeons & Dragons and the World of Darkness line. Although born in New York, Ari has lived the vast majority of his life in Texas—first Houston (where he earned a BA in creative writing at the University of Houston) and then Austin. He lives with his wife, George; their cat; and a variety of neuroses. Visit the Widdershins page at facebook.com/Madeleine.Valois, and visit Ari at mouseferatu.com, at facebook.com/pages/Ari-Mouseferatu-Marmell/181576062390, or on Twitter @mouseferatu.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than the first! July 1 2012
Format:Hardcover
Cover:
I love these covers! I don't know how many times I've said this, but with all the YA books lately, I'm really missing illustrated covers. I think it's a very accurate illustrations of Widdershins, especially the clothes!

Writing:
Marmell's writing never ceases to amaze me. From the first pages I'm sucked into the world. His narrative is well-written and detailed, with plenty of humor and wit. What always annoyed me to no end in fantasy series was the many point of views. A lot of times, I really didn't care about all these side and sometimes random characters, and I just felt like skipping them. But I never felt like that when reading False Covenant. I was invested into the story from the major characters like Widdershins, Renard, and Julien's perspectives and even the side and new characters that appear in the book.

Setting:
Set in the Galicien city of Davillon, Marmell took a step away from the overused Medieval setting and instead gave us a French Renaissance with the nobles' hoop dresses and wigs, the guards' plumed hats and flintlock pistols, the architecture, and the names. This is my first time reading a book in that setting, which is a real shame, considering how good it is. The people of Davillon worship gods in the 147 Hallowed Pact. It was intertwined with the story so well and I found myself absorbed in it (which is a very good thing considering how central the religion is to the series, if you haven't already figured it out by the title).

Plot:
The plot kept me on my toes the entire time, I had no idea what would happen next. I was very tense and anxious with the suspense of it all. I enjoyed the first book but I have to say that the second definitely tops it! But, god, that ending was heartbreaking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Review from Esther's Ever After June 13 2012
By Brenna TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
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!

Reasons to Read:

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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! Love Widdershins!! July 5 2012
By Latoya - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Two Words: Amazing and Insane! Widdershins is back and trouble has found her once again! I love Widdershins, she is a tough chic that can hold her own and everyone else's too and with such snarky wit. I found myself smiling at her antics and her saucy honesty. Marmell has created an intricate and fantastic world in Davillon, with rich characters that have emotional depth that anyone can relate to dealing with loss, friendship and love. The story begins six months after the fiasco in the first book without the past and present narrative. The Church has abandoned the city and everyone blames Widdershins for what's happened.
Wanted dead by many and loved by some, Widdershins is about fed up with it all. She is not exactly herself since the death of her best friend and is a tad rusty on her thievery. She seems more distracted and less observant of her surroundings. Now in addition to everything she is going through, she is being stalked by a mysterious aristocrat, plus tasked with discovering the origin of the dark and mysterious creature, playing fright factor with the residents of Davillon. What she discovers is more than she or her god bargained for; can she survive to save them all? There is a hint of romance in this book but it's not the primary focus of the book. Renard is a thief that is secretly in love with an oblivious Widdershins and Julien is a guard that has arrested her on several occasions but somehow, I think he likes her. Both of these guys are great choices and very cute but Widdershins just hasn't caught on to that, yet. She has another admirer but I won't tell who. Overall, this is a great action-packed adventure.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than the first! July 1 2012
By Fantasy's Ink - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Cover:
I love these covers! I don't know how many times I've said this, but with all the YA books lately, I'm really missing illustrated covers. I think it's a very accurate illustrations of Widdershins, especially the clothes!

Writing:
Marmell's writing never ceases to amaze me. From the first pages I'm sucked into the world. His narrative is well-written and detailed, with plenty of humor and wit. What always annoyed me to no end in fantasy series was the many point of views. A lot of times, I really didn't care about all these side and sometimes random characters, and I just felt like skipping them. But I never felt like that when reading False Covenant. I was invested into the story from the major characters like Widdershins, Renard, and Julien's perspectives and even the side and new characters that appear in the book.

Setting:
Set in the Galicien city of Davillon, Marmell took a step away from the overused Medieval setting and instead gave us a French Renaissance with the nobles' hoop dresses and wigs, the guards' plumed hats and flintlock pistols, the architecture, and the names. This is my first time reading a book in that setting, which is a real shame, considering how good it is. The people of Davillon worship gods in the 147 Hallowed Pact. It was intertwined with the story so well and I found myself absorbed in it (which is a very good thing considering how central the religion is to the series, if you haven't already figured it out by the title).

Plot:
The plot kept me on my toes the entire time, I had no idea what would happen next. I was very tense and anxious with the suspense of it all. I enjoyed the first book but I have to say that the second definitely tops it! But, god, that ending was heartbreaking. I was in shock for a while, I really didn't expect the author to pull that in the end. All I have to say is that, lately, there haven't been a lot of books that moved me like False Covenant did at the end.

Main Character:
Widdershins is her usual reckless and sassy self. She can kick butt and is someone to be reckoned with. But kicking butt aside, Widdershins had (gasp) a personality! She had traits and characteristics that made her a loveable character. She had a bad habit, that when she was angry or nervous, she would keep talking and talking until someone snapped her out of it. She had zero conscience when robbing somebody (to be fair, she only robs people who have wealth to spare) but would never hurt anybody (that is, if they didn't deserve it) and had a kind heart. She's confident in her abilities and always has something to say but she can be reckless and can let her emotions get the best off her. It was also funny, how she would insert the word figs, instead of swearing (something she was banned from doing). I could go on and on, but my point is with strong female characters, authors seem to think literally strong characters. Female characters that fight are fine, but honestly, give them a personality. Being good at fighting does NOT = personalty! Nor does making them perfect and untouchable. Sorry about the rant.

Villain:
I enjoyed this villain more than the previous one. I don't want to spoil, but with this villain, more myth was brought into the story other than the gods. And I'm kind of wondering what else there is in store in this world.

Other Characters:
Widdershins wasn't the only great character. Olgun and Widdershins' relationship is starting to become closer and closer as time passes (although they're already extremely close). Although I didn't have any special feelings for Robin in Thief's Covenant, I found myself enjoying her presence more as she expands her role as Widdersins' friend (sometimes I really miss Genevieve though). Renard was his usual theatrical self. And we saw plenty more of Julien (I think he's my favourite character), he sticks to the rules and is dutiful and loyal to his job as a major and guardsman but is still flexible when he thinks something is wrong. Ancel Sicard, the new bishop, also had a lot of depth to him. I liked the fact that many people of the clergy in this series were pretty honorable instead of the overused deceitful and scumbag ones in usual fantasy.

Romance:
Like everything else in this book, I thoroughly enjoyed the romance. It wasn't annoyingly slow and didn't hit us out of nowhere either. It was a rather pleasant surprise as I didn't quite see it coming.

Other Comments:
There will apparently be two more books in the series. I feel so sorry for Widdershins and I'm wondering what's in store for her next but I can't wait to read more. This is definitely one of my top favourite fantasy series (and one of my favourite series in general as well).

Overall:
With incredible writing, a well-crafted setting, characters that will undoubtedly touch you and a heroine you can't help but love, this is a fantasy series I recommend to not just fantasy lovers but any book lover. Although targeted at young adults, I think this is a series that both teens and adults will enjoy.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific sequel to Thief's Covenant June 29 2012
By Bookfanatic - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ari Marmell gives us another outstanding story with this sequel to "Thief's Covenant." Widdershins is up to her neck in more trouble and as irreverent as ever. This book has it all: action, adventure, mystery, suspense, humor, sorrow, great characters, scary monsters, and a well thought out fantasy world.

I won't go over the plot, as others have already covered that. Just trust me. Try this series; you won't regret it. I rarely post reviews, as I'm usually too busy reading a good book to want to spend time commenting on it. But I just finished both "Thief's Covenant" and "False Covenant," and I was so entertained and enthralled, I just had to comment in the hope that lots of positive reviews would encourage the author to write more books in this outstanding series. Are you listening, Mr. Marmell? Write more, and soon, and fast. I really can't wait to read another book in the Widdershins Adventures series.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damn.This.Book. Feb. 16 2013
By BookY - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Yes, I gave it 5 stars, but still, damn.this.book. because:

-that twist near the end was just -- ugh, nevermind, I don't want to talk about it!
-the next book is not out yet. Where the hell is it? I need to know what happens next!

I loved this book even more than the first one, and I liked the first one a lot. The story is excellently paced with enough action and adventure to appease even the most impatient reader. Also, in comparison to the first book, I found a vast improvement in the character development, in particular, I liked Widdershins a lot more in this sequel. In Thief's Covenant she had that spunkiness that, yeah, was cute and all but to me bordered on childish a lot of the time. Not to say that she's changed so much here that she's no longer our familiar sassy thief, rather, I was just able to take her more seriously this time around and was very happy with the result. I also liked that we got to know the supporting characters on a less superficial level, especially Robin and Julien.

so, in conclusion...where the hell is the next book? I read this one as soon as it came out, which feels like a really long time ago and -- oh, and I just checked and oops, it was only last summer. but whatever, I want the next book already! Highly recommend this series.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Second Book 4.5 Stars Aug. 30 2012
By leesaw - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Just a heads up, this contains spoilers for anyone who hasn't read book 1 yet.

I read hundreds of books a year, and honestly, they're pretty much all written by women. The genres I lean towards are mostly dominated by female authors, so rarely do I even try samples of books from a male author. I actually surprised myself when I decided to buy the first book but I am SO glad that I did.

Now, after reading book 2, the Widdershins series has become a favorite. It has everything I look for in a series. A strong ass kicking female lead, action, humor, some romance, and writing that paints a clear picture in my mind without bogging me down with info.

I love the characters, especially Widdershins. I can't help but be drawn to her. She's had it rough, yet still goes on with her life and tries to help her friends along the way. It's very commendable. Old characters return, plus we get to meet some new ones. I was very intrigued with Evrard, I hope we get to see more of him in the future. I liked this book better than book 1. I'm all about romantic elements in what I read, so I was happy to see more of it here. It was the perfect amount, just enough to add to the storyline, not take away or over shadow it.

I also have to give props to Mr. Marmell for creating, hands down, THE creepiest villain I have ever read. Parts of this book totally had me freaked out, and that normally doesn't happen to me. I swear this thing was created straight out of my own personal nightmares. The only thing that would have made it worse was if there had been a ventriloquist dummy thrown in somewhere. I'm freaking myself out just thinking about it. I also love how he's not afraid to kill off main characters, as we saw in Thief's Covenant. I rarely see that, so while it's sad, it's also refreshing.

Overall, this is a fantastic series that I would definitely recommend reading. I can't wait for the next one, especially with how this one ended.
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