Plot: Sin has been the star of the Goblin Market and its best dancer since her mother’s death. It has long been understood that she would one day inherit the leadership of the market. But now she has a rival in Mae (who is only a tourist with a dangerous magician for a brother) and a powerful magician’s circle threatens her home. She will have to ally herself with her traditional enemies – pipers, necromancers, demons and the magicians themselves – in order to protect her position and everything she holds dear.
This is a wonderful conclusion to a remarkable series. You really need to read the first two books to understand any of it but if you have you will not be disappointed in the ending. The excitement, humour and emotions are as intense as in the second book and the characters become even more fleshed out. The story remains tragic and hard, nothing is resolved without a lot of pain and sacrifice but it comes to an end that I think everyone can be happy with.
Sin is another great narrator. She is a woman who truly owns herself and her body, one who always charges ahead and who is not ashamed of her ambition. Where Mae is a strategist, Sin is a fighter which allows for some really exciting fight scenes. Meanwhile her romance with Alan is perfect and heartbreaking. They are both actors and liars and they can accept each other in a way no one else can. Rees Brennan skillfully portrays the way in which Sin’s feelings for him slowly grow from annoyance to grudging respect and finally love.
The second book, however, remains my favorite of the trilogy. Seeing the story from Sin’s POV meant missing out on some storylines that I had really been looking forward to, especially those involving Jamie. At the end of The Demon’s Covenant, Jamie infiltrates the magician’s circle. We get hints of the danger this puts him in, the temptation he faces but we never see it. Nor do we get to see him fall in love. We also miss out on one of my favorite relationships: the friendship between Jamie and Nick. I truly enjoyed The Demon’s Surrender but I feel like I’ve missed out on a whole other novel.
(As a side note, this was my favorite cover of the series. That’s exactly how I imagined Alan. I only wish he would smile. ^_^)
Sarah Rees Brennan has truly become a writer to watch out for. I’m looking forward to her next series (The Lynburn Legacy) which as I understand it is a gothic ghost story staring a budding young female journalist. The first book, Unspoken, is due out in 2012.
Challenges: Quirky Brown Challenge (7), GLBT Challenge (8)