The creative writing is superb and very atmospheric. If you've been out of the world of Requiem for a while, it really draws you right back in where you left off. The major theme of "Secrets of the Covenants" is the globalization and advancement of Kindred society. Gone are the days of The Gilded Cage - the Carthian Movement fights major battles across the globe in the footsteps of revolutions, the Circle of the Crone seek cosmic secrets, the Invictus are no longer merely an aristocracy but a grand conspiracy, the Lancea et Sanctum are experiencing a religious revival, and the Ordo Dracul are, as always, on the verge of the next big breakthrough.
"Secrets of the Covenants" does a really great job of expressing the quintessential Vampire ideal of "the more things change, the more they stay the same." It was a great read.
The names of some of the merits are hilarious!
I think this book contains enough food for thought to make storytellers think, and enough new toys to energize players.
My only dislike was that I thought the pacing felt a bit strange. The stories had barely any connection, and the interludes were usually limited to "anyway, enough of that - here's another vignette." I felt like I was looking through a window into the world of Requiem, as opposed to actually being immersed like the Clan books did.
Still, four stars. Recommend.
[4 of 5 Stars!]