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Thief's Covenant (Widdershins Adventure Series #1)

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Overview

Once she was Adrienne Satti. An orphan of Davillon, she had somehow escaped destitution and climbed to the ranks of the city's aristocracy in a rags-to-riches story straight from an ancient fairy tale. Until one horrid night, when a conspiracy of forces—human and other—stole it all away in a flurry of blood and murder. Today she is Widdershins, a thief making her way through Davillon's underbelly with a sharp blade, a sharper wit, and the mystical aid of Olgun, a foreign god with no other worshippers but ...

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Overview

Once she was Adrienne Satti. An orphan of Davillon, she had somehow escaped destitution and climbed to the ranks of the city's aristocracy in a rags-to-riches story straight from an ancient fairy tale. Until one horrid night, when a conspiracy of forces—human and other—stole it all away in a flurry of blood and murder. Today she is Widdershins, a thief making her way through Davillon's underbelly with a sharp blade, a sharper wit, and the mystical aid of Olgun, a foreign god with no other worshippers but Widdershins herself. It's not a great life, certainly nothing compared to the one she once had, but it's hers.

But now, in the midst of Davillon's political turmoil, an array of hands are once again rising up against her, prepared to tear down all that she's built. The City Guard wants her in prison. Members of her own Guild want her dead. And something horrid, something dark, something ancient is reaching out for her, a past that refuses to let her go.

Widdershins and Olgun are going to find answers, and justice, for what happened to her—but only if those who almost destroyed her in those years gone by don't finish the job first.

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Editorial Reviews

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."
 —Kirkus Reviews

"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."
 —SF Signal

“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 pocket—so 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.
Kirkus Reviews
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616145477
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 2/21/2012
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 256,082
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet 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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 15 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2012

    Great story! When I went to the bookstore I was looking for anot

    Great story! When I went to the bookstore I was looking for another book
    but this one caught my eye and I grabbed it and hoped for the best.
    Turns out it was great! It's unlike a lot of books out there. The way
    the author has written the book is very well written. Recommended book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2012

    Can't Put It Down

    Immediately drawn in. Perfect for those young adult readers who enjoy strong female characterd and who often search for well written books but still match the description 'teen'.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2014

    I am so confused!

    I really need some help here! Is this the first book???
    Nome of the books say if it's the 1st, 2ed, or 23 ed!! Can someone PLEASE point me in the right direction?!?! Please answer back to MissPotato!!

    Thanks! ~MissPotato
    Sorry, I don't like to use my real name!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    Ok read

    The story was alright. The constant point of view shifts made it a bit difficult to follow at times. Also I didn't enjoy the sudden climax and ending to the story. Literally, the last two chapters are the climax and end game of the story. All in all not something I'd recommend for what I spent. Still it was a decent read as far as fantasy goes.

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  • Posted December 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I've been keeping an eye on Pyr's new YA division since they fir

    I've been keeping an eye on Pyr's new YA division since they first showcased their new titles at BookExpo America - hello, a fantasy publishing company with an entire YA division? Of course I'd keep an eye on it. Nothing surpasses my love of high fantasy except, perhaps, my love of ice cream.

    This is a great taste of what their new division could have to offer. With brilliant characters and a fantastic world, Thief's Covenant is a story that'll keep you hanging on the edge of your seat from the first page to the last.

    The fantastical elements of the story, when it comes to the god(s) involved, are absolutely fantastic; there's one moment where another fantastical creature comes into play that I didn't really buy. I'd have loved to see it maybe handled another way? But it all came together at the end in an understandable way; it just seemed a little out of place in the story.

    Besides that, though, I loved it - and that's saying something, considering how high I rank my fantasy. Even with its tendency to flip back and forth in the timeline to show more about Widdershin's past ("8 Years Ago," "Now," "Still Now," "2 Years Ago", etc.) I was kept hanging on the edge of my seat, excited to see if she'd survive the next roof-to-roof jump, or the next encounter with one of the Guild, or one of the Guards.

    Maybe it's because I'm on a video game kick lately, but the book read like an RPG game, which made me love it all the more. It had the excellent character development and world building and whatnot that you would see in a regular book, but the action just jumped off the page and came to life around you. Definitely don't start this if you only have a few minutes or so to read - you won't want to put it down!

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  • Posted August 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Chapter by Chapter's review of Thief's Covenant

    Honestly, I have not read anything like Ari Marmell’s, Thief’s Covenant. I mean, come on! A deity who lives and speaks in the mind of thief? Pretty cool, right! And the opening scene…! Wowzah…

    The story follows commoner turned thief turned aristocrat turned to “most wanted”, Adrienne Satti, aka Madeleine Valois aka Widdershins. Due to an unfortunate fire, Adrienne Satti finds herself placed in an orphanage where things just didn’t work out. So off she goes, to live a life on the streets, and eventually learned the ins and outs of thievery. And it’s during one of her acts of thievery, that Adrienne/Widdershins chances upon Alexandre Delacroix who changes her life forver.

    I will admit, when I first started reading Thief’s Covenant, I was so confused. Who was Adrienne talking to in the rafters? Who is this other woman that we are following now? Why is this person she’s whispering to not even answering her back? But after a few chapters, I got into the groove of things, and fell in love with this story.

    I became completely addicted to author Ari Marmell’s writing. The way in which he flipped between past and present, weaving the tale, and filling in the gaps through time causing the story to come full circle was done absolutely seamless! Allowing the reader to fully understand the life of Adrienne Satti, by following her from the day she loses her family to her current situation, made the character seem more real and made it all the more interesting. And don’t even get me started on his descriptions. They were straight out of a horror movie! I was able to easily picture the carnage that occurs in Thief’s Covenant, right down to the sound and smells. Incredibly written.

    There was no need to question how something happened? In the end, all is answered. And boy, were they ever! Thief’s Covenant is chock full of plot twists and turns, and multiple gasp worthy moments. There were things that I honestly did not even think would even happen. There were many “omg, are you serious?” moments during this read, for me.

    I absolutely loved the way in which Mr. Marmell incorporated the used of the different gods that people/homes prayed to. It brought a whole new twist to this already addicting read that I there was no way I could tear my eyes away from the pages. The hilarious one-sided “conversations” that Adrienne has with Olgun, the god that is in her mind were one’s that I always looked forward to. I loved that Olgun didn’t exactly communicate with words, but rather with emotions in which Adrienne some how knew what was being said. It was so fun to see that Olgun had a sense of humor and wasn’t a god who was all self-righteous and proper.

    I also enjoyed the other various characters that we are introduced to in the book such as Adrienne/Widdershins’ best friend, Genevieve who, despite her own handicap, is a strong and self-sufficient woman. And the various male friends that Adrienne has all made me smile with their quick humor, sweetness, and cocky attitude.

    There wasn’t much in the book that I didn’t enjoy and am very much looking forward to starting the next installment, False Covenant. I recommend this book to fans of fantasy, rags to riches type stories, and strong female leads.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2012

    Great!

    Normally I dont like fantasy books, but this one has an interesting plot, amazing characters, and agood overallnwriting style. I read the whole book today and I'm definately going to get my hands on the next one as soon as possible!

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  • Posted April 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    What really struck me as something in the Thief’s Cove

    What really struck me as something in the Thief’s Covenant was the span of time portrayed in the story. Like a jar of marbles, pieces of Adrienne Satti's life slowly come into focus for the reader between present day chapters. As readers move through the book so much is built up upon the character's story and histories together that one cannot be but amazing at the fluid progression and perfectly time divulging of the past inherit in TC.
    Adrienne Satti is a survivor. From childhood brought adult, Adrienne has suffered at the hands of fellow man and t much break she is trying to survive all of her adventures as they twist and turn beneath her feet.
    The Thief's Covenant is a most amazing story of heartbreak and triumph, while surround by luscious world building. The entire book takes place behind the walls of a city named Davillon, and through the eyes of Adrienne the inner workings of the people are revealed. From the rich houses and past the fancy parties to the retch covered streets and the marketplaces Ari Marmell has produced Davillon for readers. Rich in description and details TC has taken on a mantel of fantasy so well that it was hard to put down. With a strong group of characters that have a fantastic voice throughout the story I just did not want to leave their heads. Adrienne Satti keeps sing dealt the low hands in life, but as she struggles to stay alive and also to find it in herself to move on and seek absolution in her faults is fresh. Adrienne or Widdershins trusts little of the world and questions just another everything. With a string attention to detail this character can move stealthily through a world of heavy thievery competitions and a lengthy set of rules.
    Trying to keep away from the jail cells and the assassins, Adrienne struggles to keep herself together but also take on dangerous new challenges. With several supporting character's making appearance throughout the story readers will feel compassion, delight, and heartache alongside the characters as they struggle to right wrongs setting place in their city.
    Readers will delight in this new fresh release that keeps them at the edge of their seats airing for more. With more nicknames than your average person Widdershins will capture readers with her voice and wit while she runs from all sides of the laws. The Thief's Covenant is a new series that is not to be missed.

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  • Posted April 23, 2012

    Fantasy books were my first love; they were the books which orig

    Fantasy books were my first love; they were the books which originally drew my attention to books, and the main reason I became so involved wtih reading. Unfortunately for me, I've found it difficult to find fantasy books I thoroughly enjoy, especially those that fit the YA genre.

    Thief's Covenant is an astounding and charming fantasy book; it's a very well-written and enjoyable story featuring amiable characters and an engaging storyline. This is a new favourite of mine, and I'm eagerly anticipating the time when I can read the sequel! Although it's relatively unknown, this is one YA book that shouldn't be ignored by fantasy fans!

    Reasons to Read:

    1. Talented writing:
    Ari Marmell is no stranger to writing or publishing, with a number of works under his belt already. But his venture into the YA world deserves high praise and I'm hoping to see more from him in the future. The way he writes the story of Widdershins is mesmerizing, and his ability to tell the story from a number of perspectives deserves applause. I was most impressed with his skill to incorporate both humour and horror in the story, making it an excellent, multi-faceted story.

    2. Creative world development:
    Easily one of my favourite parts of the book, I enjoyed discovering more about the world Ari had creatively written about in Thief's Covenant. It was nearly reminiscent of Tamora Pierce's Tortall and one that was rich in details and history, one that came across as being very real yet magical at the same time.

    3. A captivating heroine:
    Widdershins is a phenomenal heroine to read about, and the perfect main character for a fantasy novel. She's clever and precocious, and has that sort of instant charm that's hard to come by as a book character. It takes a special kind of story and writer to create this type of character that really sticks with you, and Widdershins will easily find her way into your heart.

    4. An exhilarating plot:
    The way the story is told in Thief's Covenant, involves a few chronological timelines which jump around back and forth a bit. Although it was a bit confusing at first to keep the details straight, it actually worked as an effective way to gradually reveal the background to Widdershins' story and retain some of the mystery. Plus, there's a good amount of action and adventure to keep your fingers glued to the pages, trying to find out what happens.

    This is definitely an author, and book series, to watch. It's stimulating and thrilling story, one that is soon to be a new favourite for many readers.

    Review copy received from publisher.

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  • Posted March 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    takes some getting into but an excellent story. absolutely love

    takes some getting into but an excellent story. absolutely love the way it reads!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2012

    Good old-fashioned escapist fun!

    Lovable characters and entertaining banter. The switching of time periods was disorienting at times and the way the author communicates the god's speech is a little heavy handed. It's not only fairly violent but also ha some graphic gore in places. Only recommended for 14 and up. Overall this is a great adventure novel with a unique mythology and plenty of twists and surprises. Looking forward to a sequel!

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    Posted August 25, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2013

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