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Friday, May 28, 2010

Book Review: The Demon's Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan


Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 440 pages
Publisher: Margaret K.
McElderry; 1 edition
(May 18, 2010/May 27, 2010)

The Demon's Covenant is the sequel to The Demon's Lexicon. Mae was always in control, but suddenly everyone she trusted is lying--and in danger

The covenant is binding. There is no escape.

Danger is closing in all around Mae. In one corner the magicians lie in wait, biding their time until Jamie is inducted into their circle-whether he wants to be or not. Alan, secretive as ever, considers a disastrous bargain with a demon, knowing full well the ramifications of his actions. Meanwhile, Mae can’t help but be lured in by the seductive pull of the Goblin Market, But Mae is not a magician. She's just an ordinary girl thrown into a maddening world of magicians and magic. And once again she must face some difficult decisions. Except this time the stakes are even higher. Can Mae stay alive long enough to save them all?

The Demon’s Covenant solidified Mae as one of my all time favorite literary heroines. Nick, being the main point of view character in The Demon’s Lexicon was unable to provide the type of introspection that Mae could easily bring to the table. While I identified with Nick, I tended to view the others as he did - with a detached annoyance. With Mae it was different. Through her eyes, I got a deeper understanding for not only her character, but for all of those surrounding her. It was a smart move on the part of Sarah Rees Brennan and in my opinion, brought the series to a whole new level.

Strong, feisty and loyal to the end, I respected the depths of Mae's courage. The choices she was faced with were not easy. But she handled them in a believable way. I sympathized with her and rooted her on the whole time. In fact, from page one I was on her side. When things got really dicey, I wanted to jump in and help her. I loved how there was nothing she
wouldn’t do to save her brother, I admired that. Bonds of family love ran deep in this book. Which brings me to Alan and Nick. The diary allowed tremendous insight into Nick and Alan's relationship. Heart-breaking and illuminating, I walked away from this book with a renewed appreciation for just how much Alan sacrificed for his brother. It was the most compelling component of the novel for me.

Sarah Rees Brennan impressed me with her use of strong imagery and world building in
The Demon’s Covenant. There were so many examples of vivid imagery in the book, it was hard to pick just one to illustrate. In this example below, I could actually feel the sensation of being under a magician’s spell; my arms and legs held frozen by the will of someone with dangerous power.

“The magician brushed by Mae and suddenly she could move, as if she was made of ice and his touch was hot enough to change her to water." - page 11

Humorous moments like this next example helped balance out the dark aspects of the story and give the reader a chance to catch their breath.

"The magic bounced off Jamie and earthed itself harmlessly in the ground at his feet.

Jamie jumped back all the same, and Mae found him catching her hands, grip desperate for a moment until he remembered himself. Then he stepped away.

“Thanks, Laura” he said unsteadily. “I always wondered what a tiny heart attack would feel like, and now I know. Very refreshing!” - page 56

What does it mean to be human? How far would you go to protect your family? The Demon’s Covenant is so much more than a fantasy novel about demons and magicians. It’s one with numerous layers to peel back, examine and reflect upon. Throughout its pages the bonds of friendship will be tested, family loyalties will be defined, and alliances formed.

What about the romance? Fans looking for romantic tension won't be disappointed. A strong undercurrent runs rampant throughout the entire novel, ratcheting up to a fever pitch in the final pages.

My understanding is that book three will be told from Sin’s point of view.
Sarah Rees Brennan- I can’t wait!

SARAH REES BRENNAN was born and raised in Ireland by the sea, where her teachers valiantly tried to make her fluent in Irish (she wants you to know it's not called Gaelic), but she chose to read books under her desk in class instead. After living briefly in New York and doing a creative writing MA and library work in Surrey, England, she has returned to Dublin, Ireland, to write. Her Irish is still woeful, but she feels the books under the desk were worth it.

To learn more about Sarah Rees Brennan and her books, visit her Official Website and Blog.

Read an excerpt of The Demon's Covenant.

Purchase The Demon's Covenant at Amazon.com.


Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Great review and post. I like feisty characters :)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

PS Happy weekend :)

Emma said...

I am quite excited to read this. Great review.

Michelle said...

I so adored this book too! Alan and Nick just float my boat.

Carson said...

I loved this book so much!

Mae was such a relateable character too me. My love of Jamie was just solidified. And Alan and Nick continue to kick ass and take names. Team Alan all the way! :)