Ari Marmell begins the Author’s Afterward to Covenant’s End with these words: “Some of you hate me right now.”
He’s a perceptive man.
Although I have to say he wrapped up this series the only way he could.
This book is another example of why Pyr has made my list of publishers to read each year. I wasn’t able to work in everything they provided review copies of last year. I’m going to try to do better this year. They publish some cool stuff.
Covenant’s End is the fourth and final adventure of Widdershins. In this one she returns home to Davillon. The city is under siege from within. Widdershin’s old enemy Lissette has come back and taken over the Finder’s Guild. She is intent on taking over, and she’s recruited some very powerful and evil allies to help her.
She’s also targeting Widdershins through her friends. Robin, who Widdershins had left in charge of her tavern, has been lamed, her wound matching one Widdershins gave Lissette. Widdershins’ friends who died in the previous books have been disinterred and placed in her safe houses. And she’s wanted for Julien’s murder.
Marmell wraps up the series well. He’s true to the characters and the situations he’s established in the previous books. The outcome is logical. Marmell refuses to take the easy way out, especially where Widdershins’ god Olgun is concerned.
The old humor is there. Widdershins hasn’t lost her snark. But this book is the darkest in the series. Marmell has never shied away from a high body count, and he doesn’t here. He takes Widdershins to her breaking point, and maybe just a little beyond. By the end of the book, she is facing death and has to make a terrible choice. But it’s the right choice, and one that makes perfect sense in the context of what’s gone before.
I’m hesitant to say more. I don’t want to give away any surprises, in the book or any of the previous ones. And Covenant’s End is very much the conclusion of a story arc. You need to read the previous books to fully follow everything that happens.
The Covenant Cycle (as Marmell calls this series) is one of the freshest, most entertaining fantasy series on the market. If you haven’t read it yet, do. You’ll be glad you did. Covenant’s End goes on sale Tuesday, February 3.
I’d like to thank Lisa Michalski at Pyr Books for the review copy.