By Ari Marmell
Running from her past, clinging to his memory.
Grief has driven Widdershins from her home of Davillon, but after six months wandering from place to place, she has found a reason to stay. The last vestiges of the Delacroix family are under attack. Someone is striking at the fields that are their very livelihood. After losing so much, Widdershins is determined to protect what remains of the family that once saved her life. Nothing will stop her, not even the Delacroix themselves.
What follows is another light-hearted adventure, pitting Widdershins against arrogant nobles, eager to assume the worst, and an organization whose sole purpose is to provide a steady stream of enemies for Widdershins to easily overcome. It’s a story full of wall climbing, guard dodging, and covert meetings with reluctant allies. At first it all sounds terribly familiar, all except for Widdershins herself.
On the surface she’s the same whimsical rogue, but every so often something slips, and audiences catch a glimpse of terrible anger, or terrible grief. This inner turmoil provides some much needed tension, in contrast with the story’s primary conflict.
Scenes move at a good clip, switching between witty banter and decent action, although it’s hard to worry when Olgun continues to ensure that every opportunity works out in Widdershin’s favor. The occasional alternate perspective helps, but questions are what really carry the story. Information is carefully measured to prompt fresh questions, though some may see what’s coming. Unfortunately the answers don’t quite live up to the hype. In the end, the scenes that stood out as the most interesting and engaging had almost no relationship to the actual plot. They were the little moments that hinted at a larger world, even as the story remained focused on a simple conflict, in a single city.
Characters mature. Conflicts do not.