By Ari Marmell
Some are driven by fear, others are drawn to it.
Nearly a year has passed, and on the surface little has changed. Widdershins continues to rob from the rich, tweaking the noses of Guards and fellow Finders along the way. But like the nobles she stalks, Wid’s antics conceal a deeper pain. Death has left its mark on the city of Davillon. Some fight to save it, while others see an opportunity to strike, including a creature of legend, drawn by the sweet bouquet of fear, and a terrible hunger.
Fans of the first book will find this a familiar read. Some scenes could easily fit right into Thief’s Covenant. Widdershins remains the same loveable rogue, struggling once again to unravel a strange mystery, prove her innocence, and escape an otherworldly creature. But there is one striking difference, the tone. Where Thief’s Covenant focused on levity, False Covenant alternates between light-hearted and intensely serious.
Vivid details continue to hint at the rich world of Davillon, while the plot, and its characters, remain single minded, leaving no room for sidelines or setbacks. Scene and summary blend together, guiding audiences on an easygoing adventure that flirts with danger, while always managing to skirt around any lasting consequences.
Chapters continue to alternate between multiple perspectives, humanizing heroes and villains alike (with one exception). Unfortunately audiences can often infer what’s going to happen next. In the absence of uncertain events, relationships became the main source of tension. Characters are pulled from one emotion to another, often with little hint or warning. In the moment each emotion is rich and poignant, but in the larger context of the story as a whole they feel abrupt and isolated, another victim of the narrow focus which makes False Covenant an easy read, for better or for worse.