From the Publisher
"Punctuated throughout with keen humor and heartbreaking emotional resonance, it’s a stunner."Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, September 2011, *STAR
"The conclusion to an outstanding urban-fantasy trilogy."Kirkus Reviews
"Rees Brennan wiles readers with taut plotting and sensual descriptions of both romantic entanglements and deadly swordplay."Horn Book
"[It] will keep you staying up late to find out what happens."VOYA
“[Readers] will enjoy the witty dialogue and the fast-paced plot.”—SLJ
Children's Literature - Peg Glisson
Sin's world is complicated. The Goblin Market, part of an alternative London in this urban fantasy where Sin dances to summon demons, has been its center; but so much is changing. Her mother's death makes her responsible for her two young step-siblings, the older of whom possesses some powerful magic; she and Mae are vying for the leadership of the Market while the evil magicians are fighting to take it over themselves; the enigmatic, inscrutable Ryves brothers, whom she has disliked for so long and who have declared open warfare on the magicians, become central to her survivaland love life. Alan, the older of the two, is being tortured by the magician Gerald for not giving over brother Nick, a coldly calculating demon. Gerald would like to wrestle control of the magicians from Celeste. Mae's brother Jamie is now with the magicians, but who knows where his loyalties lie? Having trouble keeping up? Therein lies the problem with this final entry in the "Demon's Lexicon Trilogy." The multitude of plots and characters lack focus and make the book inaccessible to those who have not read the first two. While Sin is the narrator, this continues to be as much Nick's, Alan's, and Mae's story as hers. Ever the dancer concerned about appearances, she is often on the fringe, observing, and eavesdropping, rather than advancing the plot through her thoughts and actions. She is relaying what is happening without drawing the reader to her persona. However, the last quarter of the book is riveting, as these young people fight for the family members they love. There is betrayal, despair, danger, suspense, romance, snark, and even humor. Despite super-human odds, the ending is quite upbeat, in spite of knowing demons and magicians still surround them. Reviewer: Peg Glisson
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—The Ryves brothers-charismatic, bookish Alan and brooding heartthrob Nick-are back for the closing volume of Brennan's urban fantasy trilogy. This time the narrative centers on Sin, dancing diva of the Goblin Market, who contends for Market leadership with Mae, a "tourist" (i.e., outsider). Meanwhile, the villainous magicians are torturing Alan in an attempt to gain control over Nick. The Demon's Lexicon (2009) focused on Nick and his complex relationship with Alan; The Demon's Covenant (2010, both S & S) did the same for Mae and her wizard brother, Jamie. Unfortunately, Sin pales in comparison with the previous protagonists. Frankly, she is not an appealing character. Her actions and inner thoughts can often be trite and superficial. In the competition for Goblin Market supremacy, many readers will root for likable Mae over Sin. However, Brennan's skilled plotting and evocative setting win out in the end. Fans of Jonathan Stroud's "Bartimaeus" series (Hyperion) will enjoy the witty dialogue and the fast-paced plot. To appreciate the finely drawn dynamics among Nick, Alan, Mae, and Jamie, teens should read the previous titles before tackling The Demon's Surrender.—Sam Bloom, Groesbeck Branch Library, Cincinnati, OH
Demons aren't the worst evil stalking a gritty alternative England in the conclusion to an outstanding urban-fantasy trilogy.
Dancer Cynthia "Sin" Davies is a true daughter of the Goblin Market, the motley alliance of folk on the magical fringe. When the Ryves brothers—charming, manipulative Alan and vicious, inscrutable Nick—instigate open warfare with a Circle of murderous magicians, Sin finds herself competing for Market leadership. Sin's complicated background and her current dilemma provide almost too many plot conflicts, as she juggles loyalties to her families, her community, her friends and herself. Unfortunately, half the story is weighed down by romantic dithering before it finally explodes into a relentless rollercoaster of magical intrigue, deception, betrayal, counter-betrayal, violence, tragedy, heartbreak and sacrifice. Against impossible odds, the (more-or-less) heroes manage to pull off an ambiguously upbeat ending. But Sin remains a strangely shallow protagonist, ever the consummate performer and obsessed with appearances. She dances chameleonlike through all the mayhem, observing and reacting, rather than instigating and resolving, as too many pivotal events occur off-page. This odd detachment diminishes the fiercely intimate exploration of family love that gave the first two books their emotional power.
Flashes of quicksilver humor and a tentative Happy-For-Now don't quite overcome the ominous reminder that, when treating with demons, they "always take more than you can afford to pay."(Urban fantasy. 14 & up)