Monday, December 16, 2013

ARC Review: The Shadowhand Covenant


The Shadowhand Covenant (Vengekeep Prophecies, 2) by Brian Farrey, October 22, 2013. 375 pages. Published by Harper Teen. Source: ARCycling.
Trouble is brewing in the Five Provinces. Mysterious magical artifacts have gone missing from the royal vaults. Master thieves from a secret society known as the Shadowhands are disappearing. And without explanation, the High Laird has begun imprisoning the peaceful Sarosan people. Jaxter Grimjinx suspects all these things are connected, but he knows better than to get involved. Then a summons from the Shadowhands thrusts Jaxter right into the heart of the conspiracy.
First Sentence:
It was exactly the funeral Nanni always wanted. 
The Shadowhand Covenant has turned into one of my favorite middle grades of 2013. I just wish I had been able to get my hands on book one, The Vengekeep Prophecies, before starting in on book two. Hopefully one day I'll be able to see where the story begins.

Sometimes you come across a bunch of meh books, but then you find that one book that restores your love for reading with all its wonderfulness, like Brian Farrey's The Shadowhand Covenant
    I admit, I've been in somewhat of a reading funk the last month or two and have not really found too many books that make me want to zoom through or savor.  So, when I dug into book two of the Vengekeep Prophecies I was so happy to discover a world and characters that made me excited to sneak in extra pages when I should have been accomplishing other things. It also doesn't hurt that Brian Farrey's writing is sharp, with a quick paced plot to keep you interested in the outcome.

I don't know what this says about me, but I do love a well written book that happens to have a family of thieves. From the moment the Grimjax's were introduced, I knew that I was going to love reading about them because they had such a solid bond, and the way Nana was introduced was both cleaver and enlightening. 

While Jaxter may not seem like the day-saving type, I loved reading about his quest to save his friends and family from the conspiracy that the kingdom was riddled with. He also made me laugh as you got to see him struggle with the things he learned about his former childhood friend turned enemy. I may still be on the fence when it comes his frienemy, but the pairing of those two along with their captors made for some interesting reading as the lines were blurred as both sides tried to figure out who was in the right and who wasn't.
I love that there's nothing negative for me to say about The Shadowhand Covenant. It was just such a fun, thrilling read with characters and story line that made me excited to read. Seriously, this book was so well written and edited that the pages just flew by as I was pulled into the world that Brian Farrey created.
   There are so many things I would love to mention about the story-line and plot, but I'm going to hold off lest I spoil everything for those who have yet to read it. Just know this, it was one of the best middle grade fantasy books I have ever read. 

Again, nothing negative for me to comment on, which is a nice change.

Final verdict: The Shadowhand Covenant- A Thrilling fantasy featuring a family of thieves, a mysterious thieves guild, and conspiracies.  

The Shadowhand Covenant earns5 out of 5 pineapples.

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