From the Publisher
"[T]he plot is relentless and the characters likable. . . . [A] classic adolescent journey. For teens already reading adult fantasy but wanting something a bit more on their level, this hits the spot perfectly."
"I wouldn't be surprised if exciting new fantasy authors were one day compared to Ari Marmell."
—Fantasy Book Critic
"Marmell has a clever sense of humor."
“Marmell's debut YA novel is a dark, brutal fantasy set in a complex and engaging world…Widdershins is an intriguing heroine, able to handle herself on the streets, though her naïveté shows at endearing moments. Readers seeking out a strong heroine in a well-crafted fantasy world will enjoy this title and look forward to the second.”
—School Library Journal
"Widdershins is not your average heroine. Adept with her blade and her wits, sassy and sensitive, she should appeal to older teens both male and female."
—RT Book Reviews, Three Stars (ENJOYABLE- Pleasant Read)
“An interesting world is created in Thief’s Convenant, with many twisting conflicts that converge into one. …The setting is a very enjoyable city that every fantasy lover would embrace without a thought. All of the characters are lively, and everyone will love Olgun, Widdershin’s personal god.”
—Sacramento Book Review/ San Francisco Book Review
Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
Born Adrienne Satti in the poorest quarter of medieval Davillon, the brazen thief known to her professional Guild as Widdershins was orphaned at a young age by fire, lifted from poverty by a wealthy widowed benefactor, but is once again surviving by stealing. Living in a time and place that honors a pantheon of gods, Widdershins is somewhat unique in having a god in her pocketso to speak. During those few years when she was being cultivated to participate alongside the wealthiest class of the city, Adrienne was introduced to the worship of an ancient Norse god named Olgun. And when all the followers of Olgun except Adrienne were horribly slaughtered by some demonic creature, the god took a very personal interest in keeping Adrienne alive. Having witnessed the event, but being prevented by Olgun from turning herself into the Guard (police) at the time, Adrienne came under suspicion and disappeared from her former life. A constable who responded to the mass murder, Julian Bouniard, is now a high ranking Guard official and has begun to suspect that Widdershins might be the elusive Ms. Satti. But other, more dangerous enemies are stalking her as well, including the vengeful taskmaster of her own thieves' Guild and, unbeknownst to Widdershins, the ancient dark forces that seek to eliminate the last surviving worshipper of Olgun. Non-stop action, a resourceful young female protagonist, and an interesting cast of secondary characters make this is a quick read. Incipient romance without explicit sexuality is perhaps more suitable for younger audiences, although there is a fair amount of gory detail and violence. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.
Marmell, known for RPG manuals and tie-ins as well as adult fantasy novels, here ventures into the teen market. In a narrative that jumps between "now" and the recent past, readers meet feisty teen thief Widdershins and her companion Olgun, a god not recognized by the church as one of the 147 deities worshipped in Widdershins' world. Four years ago, Widdershins was Adrienne, a scampy street thief adopted into the nobility. Two years ago she was the sole survivor of a massacre (aftermath described in gory detail) that left the rest of Olgun's worshippers dead and Adrienne wanted for the murders. Now, everyone is after her: the thieves' guild, a surprisingly sympathetic City Guard and a mysterious figure called The Apostle who commands a truly demonic creature. This is classic fantasy, both embracing and mocking the genre. Some humor goes astray: Belabored quips and overwrought descriptions can read more like bad writing than skewered tropes ("…ambient sound thick enough to ladle into bowls and serve as a soup course…"), but the plot is relentless and the characters likable enough. And Widdershins' journey from acted-upon victim to acting-upon protagonist is a classic adolescent journey. For teens already reading adult fantasy but wanting something a bit more on their level, this hits the spot perfectly, flaws and all. (Fantasy. 13 & up)