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. The books most often found under her desk were Jane Austen, Margaret Mahy, Anthony Trollope, Robin McKinley and Diana Wynne Jones, and she still loves them all today.
After college she lived briefly in New York and somehow survived in spite of her habit of hitching lifts in fire engines. She began working on The Demon’s Lexicon while doing a Creative Writing MA and library work in Surrey, England. Since then she has returned to Ireland to write and use as a home base for future adventures. Her Irish is still woeful, but she feels the books under the desk were worth it.
The Demon’s Lexicon is her first novel.
Nick and his brother, Alan, have spent their lives on the run from magic. Their father was murdered, and their mother was driven mad by magicians and the demons who give them power. The magicians are hunting the Ryves family for a charm that Nick's mother stole -- a charm that keeps her alive -- and they want it badly enough to kill again.
Danger draws even closer when a brother and sister come to the Ryves family for help. The boy wears a demon's mark, a sign of death that almost nothing can erase...and when Alan also gets marked by a demon, Nick is des-perate to save him. The only way to do that is to kill one of the magicians they have been hiding from for so long.
Ensnared in a deadly game of cat and mouse, Nick starts to suspect that his brother is telling him lie after lie about their past. As the magicians' Circle closes in on their family, Nick uncovers the secret that could destroy them all.This is the Demon's Lexicon. Turn the page.
WHOA just WHOA! Usually if you were to say demons I would say no thanks, but you know I think that's changed. The Demon's Lexicon was a lot of fun, I personally loved seeing the relationship between these two brothers and seeing how defined their roles were within their family. Alan was sort of the mother of the family, cooking, making sure Nick went to school, and caring for their mother while Nick was definitely the child but also the protector of the family. But it was also cool seeing them fight side by side. I just liked their relationship.
I also really liked the sort of love triangle that forms between Alan, Nick, and Mae, a girl that comes to them for help for her and her brother. I cannot wait to see where it goes in the next book in the series! I also like Jamie, Mae's brother, I can't wait to see what happens with his character in the next book! I know some people are complaining that this book is too much a set up for the next book but I didn't feel like that, I think it works great as is! It does definitely leave me excited for the next book though!
The book had several great twists that I totally didn't see coming. I'm pretty sure my eyes looked like they were popping out of my head when I read them! They were great! This is definitely a book to be shared with friends, it's one I definitely want to talk to others about that have read it! I'm pretty sure I screamed Oh My God at one point in the book!
I loved the balance of family, chemistry, fantasy, and action. For someone that isn't especially into action packed books right now this really worked for me! The book was just downright funny at some parts, I really digged Nick's raw personality. All in all I'm very much looking forward to the next book in the series!
The Demon's Lexicon was released June 2nd!
Review copy provided by author
And here's an interview with Sarah Rees Brennan!
1. I heard The Demon’s Lexicon is the beginning of a trilogy, where are you in the process of working on the last two books?
I'm currently editing the sequel, The Demon's Covenant. It turned out shockingly long and has a lot of make-out scenes, but I feel that's okay: I've noticed that trilogies often have that structure, so I invented a trilogy rule. Book 1, set up! Book 2, make out! Book 3, defeat evil! If you think about it, a surprising amount of trilogies follow these rules...
That said, it really annoys me when any book is just set up for a series, or just a bridge to a finale. I think every book in a series should be an adventure complete in itself, and I hope mine will be.
2. The idea of Urban Fantasy is interesting, there is fantasy but also real life elements. How do you balance the fantastical with the everyday boring elements?
Urban fantasy is my favourite because of those everyday elements: I think it really helps you believe in the magic. I remember reading Alan Garner's Elidor, which starts out as a normal kids going into a fantasy land book, like Narnia... but then the magic follows them back. I remember being surprised by how much more I believed in unicorns when there was a maddened unicorn chasing the kids through a bad part of town, and dying in a derelict house with sirens flashing outside.
Urban fantasy reminds me of a line in one of my favourite poems, Theodore Roethke's The Waking, which goes 'What falls away is always. And is near.' Some people dismiss fantasy a bit, even though fantasy was the first kind of story human beings started to tell each other: tales about gods throwing thunder and lightning. I love the thought of fantasy as grounded in reality, not something you can dismiss: magic waiting for you on your doorstep, with the milk bottles you left outside the day before. So it really isn't as much of a balancing act as having the two things inextricably intertwined: my hero Nick starts out the book fixing a leaky sink, and being really ticked off because under the sink is where he keeps his favourite demon-slaying sword!
3. What is the most interesting part of the publishing process in your opinion?
I really enjoyed seeing the different covers different countries made for me. The US had a photoshoot to do their cover, and the UK did a drawing of the hero, and Germany did a kind of action-adventure cover that was all foil, and in Japan I have the most gorgeous manga cover. Sometimes I have little cover death matches, but the US one usually wins, because underneath the picture of a boy with a magical talisman, there's a secret cover... a shining sword, lying on some muddy herringbone tiles. Swords always win.
4. What is one thing everything should know about Ireland?
We speak Irish, not Gaelic. It's a common misconception that our language is called Gaelic: actually Scotland got there first, and they speak Scots Gaelic. And here's a sample of Irish for you: go raibh maith agat! (Which means thank you - which I do, for having me on your blog. ;))
5. What is one upcoming young adult release you are looking forward to?
Oh, dear, it's so hard to pick just one! I'm really looking forward to Ash by Malinda Lo, a Cinderella retelling where Prince Charming is a girl. And Catching Fire, the sequel to the Hunger Games, because how brilliant was The Hunger Games? And Holly Black's The White Cat, which is about magical con men, a sort of YA fantasy Ocean's Eleven.
... So that picking just one business, that worked out well for me...