Title: The Demon’s Surrender
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Publisher: Simon Pulse UK / Margaret K. McElderry US
Publication date: June 9 2011 (UK) / June 14 2011 (US)
Paperback/Hardcover: 400 pages
The Goblin Market has always been the centre of Sin’s world. She’s a dancer and a performer, secure in her place. But now the Market is at war with the magicians, and Sin’s place is in danger. Keeping secrets from the market she loves, struggling with a friend who has become a rival, Sin is thrown together with the Ryves brothers, Nick and Alan – whom she’s always despised. But Alan has been marked by a magician, to be tortured as the magician pleases, and as Sin watches Alan struggle to protect the demon brother he loves, she begins to see both brothers in a new light. But how far will brother go to save brother – and what will it cost them all?
Stand alone or series: The final book (WOE!!!) in the Demon’s Lexicon trilogy
How did I get this book: Review copy from Simon Pulse – when it landed on my doorstep, unannounced, I started to dance. Yes, I did.
WARNING! This review contains necessary spoilers for books 1 and 2 in this series, although I will try my best NOT to spoil this one. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Oh, where do I even start? With another warning: I shall be breaking out the Caps Lock of Love. I am sorry but I am afraid that it is beyond my control, when I love something so much, the compulsion to use caps lock OVERTAKES me. Anyways, onwards!
If you have been reading this blog for the past few years, you probably saw me as I fell completely in love with The Demon’s Lexicon then with The Demon’s Covenant, the first two books in the Demon’s Lexicon series. If you are new to this blog, hello my name is Ana and I LOVE this series.
Now, having loved the first two books so much, I was in tenterhooks to read the final instalment, excited and terrified at the same time. Because I mean, could this book live up to my expectations? Could the series end well but without cop outs? Above all, could these characters that I love so freaking much, have the send-out that they deserved?
I know that I asked basically the same questions last time and the answer back then was something like a “million times yes”. This time around, the answer is still an enthusiastic yes, but perhaps not asunreservedly as before.
The story picks up after the events at the end The Demon’s Covenant when shit hit the fan, big time. Jamie went off to be a Magician (never a good thing) and the Magicians want to conquer the world via Demon (which is a terrible thing), Alan was marked by a demon (also, totally not a good thing), Mae and Nick were not quite together but Mae was marked by Nick (oh my, yes, you guessed, SO not a good thing) and then there was the tension between Mae and Sin, a dancer from the Goblin Market, set to be their new leader until Mae came along being so smart and amazing and capable.
One of the things that I love about this series is how each book has a different narrator – the first book was from Nick’s point of view, the second from Mae’s. Now it is from Sin’s point of view that we follow the story. I was a little bit preoccupied about that because we knew so little about Sin but I should know better by now: because once again, Sarah Rees Brennan knocked my socks off with her incredible talent for writing awesome characters. Because OH MY GOD, words can not describe how much I loved Sin: Sin who loves the Market, Sin who loves her family, Sin who loves to dance, Sin who is a warrior, so independent and confident.
Also, Sin who sees through masks better than anyone else, because she too wears them. And if you have been reading this series, you know who wears more masks than anybody else, which means that Sin sees right through this person which makes it for awesome reading and my heart, folks, my heart was beating at the connection between the two.
Going back to the narrative a bit, even though there are different narrators throughout the series, there are two things that connect them so well: one is how each has a degree of detachment, always looking from outside in. Nick, as a demon trying to figure out humans; Mae as a non-magic, non-warrior person trying to fit in; Sin, though has the worst time of them all, because even though Mae was removed from the inner circle of the Alan-Nick bond, she was closer, far closer than Sin was to start with. At times, I was heartbroken, nearly desperate for them to let her in and be a part of the AWESOME club. There was so much tension between Sin and Nick; and Sin and Mae and Sin and Alan. The other thing that connects them all (and this is true about the non-narrator characters as well) is how they would do anything for their siblings. And I do mean anything.
I have said this before but it bears repeating: this is a series about sibling love and I just LOVE this so much. But do you know what I love even more? That this urge to love and protect siblings is not only the connecting point of all the characters but also what places them firmly in anti-heroes (and anti-heroines) territory. Exactly because they would kill, main, con, unleash demons and what-nots into the world so that their siblings can live and live well. It is amazing how can something so unselfish can beget the most selfish actions. This series lives in a grey arena and the ending only proves it. There is a heavy price to pay to live in peace and with each other – and they are willing to pay whatever it costs.
Not everything is ponies and rainbows though. I mentioned that I had some reservations about the book. Although I loved the characters and their arcs completely, I did have some problems with some aspects of the worldbuilding and the final resolution of the main conflict. I thought that some of the scenes that involved all of them against the magicians were convoluted and I absolutely did not buy the role that Jamie played in the end. I was willing to suspend disbelief about many things (and even believe in redemption of certain persons) but not about that (I am trying so hard not to spoil).
Overall,The Demon’s Surrender may not be a perfect ending but it is a worthy ending of this fantastic series. I have loved these characters and will continue to love them with all my heart for years to come, I have no doubt and I was SO happy when
Alan they got the ending that I was hoping for (although not easily, nothing ever comes easily in this world). I am OVERCOME with sadness to say goodbye to them. The one thing that keeps me going (I am the drama queen today) is to know that Sarah Rees Brennan has a new series coming out and I can not wait to be introduced to what will be, I have no doubt, another set of awesome characters.
Notable Quotes/ Parts:: I can’t begin to express how some things in this novel are so swoon-worthy. This is only one of them (also, double entendre for the win):
I don’ lie to you. I lie with you.
Rating: 8 – Excellent
Reading next: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
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