Author: Ari Marmell
Release Date: February 21st, 2012
Publisher: Pyr (Prometheus Books)
Source: For Review
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.
High Fantasy? Check. Badass Heroine? Check. Crazy Adventures? Check. Marmell takes you on a wild ride following Adrienne (known on the streets as Widdershins) and her discovery of not only her past, but just what the hell is going on with her future.
I loved reading every minute of Widdershins story. She was funny and charming and incredibly bad ass, as all thief's are. I like that she has that....thieves swagger about her, because it's always amazing reading about a confident and kick-ass heroine every once in a while. But this didn't mean that Adrienne didn't have her weak moments, where she didn't know what to do and was weighted down by the expectations of everyone around her. She was the biggest, baddest thief around, but she was also a teenage girl who lost both her biological family, her adopted father, and her fellow worshipers (more on that later) all in a matter of years.
The setting and dynamic of the world Marmell has created really is rich and believable. The whole mythology and backstory behind the Gods and the Royal families was fantastic and provided the kind of scenery necessary in a High Fantasy; original and creative!
I liked the writing even though it confused me at times. The book is told in third-person but it goes from Real Time to "Two years ago" "Seven Years Ago" etc, etc, through the chapters. And while this opened up an entire backstory to Adrienne that was lovely and heart-breaking, it also made me quite confused as to who was who when it come to the character. Even after finished, there are still some people mentioned that I can't remember who they are. Reading about Adrienne's past though was definitely one of my favorite parts considering it shows you just how much it molded her into the person she is in the present.
The side characters were all incredibly lovely and while there was no romance in this book, i'm expecting something in the sequel! Renard was funny, witty, and he'd do anything for Widdershins, which I loved. Genevieve was a great friend and Robin was a lovely young girl, both fabulous people who helped make Widdershins seem more human than just a cold-blooded thief. Alexandre from her past was an amazing father figure and the villains were quite...well, villainous! And I expect to see a lot more of Julian Bouniard in the future!
Overall, I definitely recommend and I can't wait to see more from this new YA imprint!