Lost Covenant (Widdershins Adventure #3)

Title: Lost Covenant

Author: Ari Marmell

Widdershins is on the run, but it’s hard to get away from the memories of those she lost. Even though she ends up in the city of Lourveaux, Davillon’s ghosts still haunt her. But a new city means new problems. Someone’s got the local hoodlums looking for her. This branch of the Delecroix house has come under attack. Oh, and Widdershins has a persistent admirer. Nothing that can’t be handled with a bit of divine intervention, right?

If you’ve made it this far in the series, this book hardly needs my endorsement. Widdershins remains confident, unable to stop running off her mouth, and hysterical. Her allies outside of her god Olgun are few. Mostly it’s just one lovestruck noble who thinks he’s helping.

I thought the lack of familiar faces did hurt the narrative a little. Widdershins doesn’t exactly make friends with the new folks she’s running across, and the semi-frequent flashes back to Davillon only underscore how much she’s cut herself off. That said, the moment she realizes she’s only made things worse by running away was powerful.

The story also continues to darken around her. I like how very human she is underneath all the bravado—that killing is one line she refuses to cross, because she still has a conscience, and what happens when situations force her up against that line. Olgun too continues to show more and more character, as their little spats are going all jagged around the edges and both of them are genuinely getting hurt. Widdershins is see-sawing even more violently to extremes, most likely because she and Olgun continue to reinforce each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

I think the darkness is part of what makes the humor so potent. Someday I’m going to have to walk through and pull out all the quotable bits, but for now here was one of my favorites:

“Shins? What’s the signal if you need help?”

“Screaming,” she said over her shoulder. “Lots of screaming. Probably breaking things. Sometimes, there’s fire.”

It’s a bit premature to say if this book introduced a few things it just threw out or if they’ll show up again in a later book. Maurice, despite his role in the beginning, is pretty irrelevant to the overall plot. I had so been hoping Widdershins would meet the new archbishop, too. And the civil unrest caused by the Church’s appointment is mentioned several times early on, but nothing in the plot really ties back to it, as the ultimate squabble is more of an inter-House feud.

Both of the previous books were pretty good standalone stories, but this one starts off some trouble in Davillon that Widdershins won’t find out about until next book, so there’s more of a cliffhanger than before. Overall, although I liked the previous two better, it’s not like this one takes a giant dip in quality, and it certainly sets up the next book to be another wild ride. I rate this book Recommended.

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