Sunday, 10 July 2011

The Demon's Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan

Bring It
Can I just say that normally I am not a fan of real people on covers? They always look so boringly normal and all I usually see is some tarted up 16 year old doing her best Facebook pout. But I don't see that here, this cover is gorgeous. That girl is totally Sin (look at her smoldering defiance and tremble!) and the burning London background is so very dramatic. And for a Super Bonus Cover Prize, this actually happens in the book! It is so rare these days that YA covers represent the story inside so well and look awesome at the same time.

The Nitty-Gritty
Sin loves the Goblin Market, it's been her home since she could crawl and, apart from her little siblings Todd and Lydie, dancing there is the most important thing to her in the world. She was all set to inherit it from Merris, the current leader. But now Merris has offered the place to Mae as well, a girl who is no more then a tourist and who only ever discovered the market because of Alan and Nick Ryves, Sin's allies in the Goblin Market's war against the Magicians. Now the Magicians have set their eyes on completely destroying the Market and everybody Sin loves. Reluctantly she turns to the Ryves brothers for help, which is less then ideal as she already feels like she owes Alan everything for saving her little brother life, and Sin hates owing debts. Especially to know-it-all, charming liars like Alan Ryves.

So this is the last book in a trilogy and I can't really go into how good this book was without giving away some small spoilers. So if you haven't read The Demon's Lexicon and the The Demon's Covenant go do that now and you can thank me later.

Where to start? How about the fact that this book followed Sin, a character I hadn't really paid much attention to in the first two books. Mainly because she didn't feature as much as the others and also because she always came across a little prickly and cold. So I was a little surprised when I found out the final book followed Sin, and perhaps a little disappointed? Surely, I thought, the third book should have followed Alan? Nick then Mae and finally Alan, this made sense to me because I liked Alan and he was such a main character. But I needn't have worried, Ms Rees Brennan has clearly saved the best character for last. Sin is amazingly likable, admirable even. I may have developed a small girl crush (not unlike Mae) on Sin because she's just so awesome. She loves her little brother and sister and takes care of everything for them while still going to school and dancing at the markets all while dealing with the fact that Merris (a woman she has looked up to all her life) has invited a demon to share her body and is slipping away from Sin day by day. Oh and the fact she is now in direct competition for the leadership of the goblin market with Mae, a girl who has only been to the market four times.

Despite this Sin and Mae still maintain their easy friendship and I was so glad the story never got bogged down with misunderstandings or unaired suspicions. When Sin has very good reason to suspect Mae is actually a danger to the Market, she doesn't keep it to herself letting mistrust fester between them, she lays it out for Mae and asks for the truth. Which was so refreshing! The dialogue in this book is, at times, a little quippy for my tastes. But then I'm not a super master with twin blades or a sword so who knows? Maybe if I was I'd also have time to lay out some comedy gold between taking out enemies.
"She hadn't heard Nick move, but suddenly he was pushing past her, blade in hand, running towards the sound of the gun. Sin hesitated and then ran after him, through the pathways round the wagons to the other side of the hill. She was pulled up short by the dead body at her feet.
Nick was already kneeling by he body, his hand against its chest. He looked from that dead thing up at Sin, and he smiled a wild smile that made him look handsomer than she'd ever seen him.
'You can't be sure it was Alan'
'A shot in the dark, through the heart?' Nick asked. 'I'm sure.'
With some people it was a voice they would recognise, with some people a step in the hall. Sin guessed it was fitting that Nick could look at a corpse and see his brother's skill."
The action is as exciting and fascinating to read as before, it whips along so fast but Ms Rees Brennan writes such detailed explanations that you don't ever feel lost or confused while devouring the pages. In fact I think she writes some of the best fight scenes I've ever read and whatever she goes on to write next I hope she fills it with her awesome brand of fisticuffs.

I was also glad to see that the relationship between the brothers was just as strong in this installment as in the others, they don't have as much page-time together as before, but they're still scene stealers. Especially Alan who spends much of the first two books lying so convincingly to everyone you never really know what he's ever actually like. But Sin (or Cynthia as he insists in calling her) is more then a match for him when it comes to fibbing and together they both begin reveal more of themselves to each other through their lies, so much so that I became rather attached to the pair of them, which was a sneaky underhanded thing for Ms Rees Brennan to do as this book is the last in the series and now I want more!


Holly said... [Reply to comment]

Oh, I LOVE this review. It made me want to pick up this book immediately, which I have a copy of but still haven't cracked.(Maybe I will...)

I, too was worried about Sin as the narrator, since I've never liked her. I love when authors do that though. Make someone you despise likeable. Alan would've been a great POV as well. <3 him :) At least he made the cover of the US edition.

The British covers have been my favorite except for this one. I still love the title font and the background but I miss the drawn character (Nick and Mae were so awesome). I'm open to my opinion changing after I actually read the book though.

Thanks for the awesome review! I can't wait to see what Sarah Rees Brennan writes next.

HollyG said... [Reply to comment]

Thank You! You have nothing to worry about Sin is an awesome character. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!