Review No.39 – The Demon’s Surrender

The Demon’s Surrender – Sarah Rees Brennan

Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2011

Sin has been dancing at the Goblin Market for almost as long as she can remember – enticing in the customers, calling on the demons, using her charm and her skill to hold her own against the world. But suddenly the rules have changed. Her guardian Merris, leader of the Market, is possessed by a demon and being slowly warped by the contact. Sin’s friend Mae is now her rival for inheriting Merris’s leadership. Nick Ryves, the boy Sin has been dancing with for years, has been revealed as a demon in a human’s body and his brother Alan as the traitor who released him into the world. But Alan is the same person who saved Sin’s little brother from a magician’s mark, and now he’s paying for his generosity. With loyalties fraying and a savage struggle for power only just begun, Sin must trust her life to the hands of a demon, a magician and a traitor. All hell is about to break loose…

Rees Brennan set a very high standard with the first two books of the Demon’s Lexicon trilogy. The Demon’s Surrender is the third and final instalment and it is a wildly energetic ride – I read most of it in one long book binge – but for me it couldn’t match up to Lexicon and Covenant. Having the story told from Sin’s point of view made sense from a plot angle, but it alienated me from the main characters of the earlier books, which combined with the changes in their behaviour made them far less likeable. Nick being my favourite in the series by a fair margin, I was particularly disappointed with his treatment in this book, and Sin’s character didn’t feel entirely consistent either. All that said, Surrender is a solidly crafted and very well written book with an unrelenting pulse of action and reaction that kept me pinned in my chair reading through a throbbing headache. The Demon’s Lexicon trilogy is one of the best series I have read this year, and though if I wasn’t satisfied with the ending, it tied up most loose ends while leaving hope for more in the series one day. And I am all for that.

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