This review is about “Covenants” by Lorna Freeman.
The book is about Rabbit, a grunt in the Royal Army of Iversterre, who isn’t all that he pretends to be. One day while his unit is lost in the mountains they meet a Faena – a “magical” – from the Border kingdom. Hoping to save his unit Rabbit enters into a covenant with the Faena, and thusly he and his entire unit are embroiled in the fight against smugglers who are killing the sacred beings of the Border kingdom. And unless Rabbit, his unit and the Faena can stop this somehow the Border kingdom will attack Iversterre – a war Iversterre already lost once.
It is a very good book. The build-up is good, the world is excellently developed and I believe in it and everything that lives there. There are wonderful characters, both friends and enemies, magical and human, and they are well developed. Rabbit isn’t above being reprimanded by his superior, and the idea of Faena and the other magicals is very fascinating. As is the way the inherent magic in everything is starting to affect the normal humans, I loved this part especially.
With smugglers, enemy wizards, distrust between humans and magicals, a long history of enmity between them and the ways humans use items illegally made from magical creatures, well, it is a recipe for disaster. And assassins. And desperate treaties. And elves. Can’t forget the elves. They are very well done in this book.
The only thing that I frown at in this book is the way Rabbit is simply dragged along with everyone else after his first meeting with the Faena. At that point he was an active character, afterwards he became a reactive character. I can understand how a young man could be overwhelmed with the rapid happenings, of course, but it still seems a bit too much. Rabbit seems a bit too willing to follow along.
However, that was the only thing. Other than that the book is well worth the read and I will definitely read the two sequels – “The King’s Own” and “Shadow’s Past” – at one point or another.