The Demon's Covenant

The Demon's Covenant - Sarah Rees Brennan

I liked this book, but there was less of a focus on the first book's greatest strength — Nick and Alan's relationship. When I found out that this book was from Mae's point of view, I was unsure how much I'd enjoy it. She was my least favorite character from the first book, and I had several problems with her. I didn't think getting a whole book of her would change that, and I was right. Mae's point of view was not as interesting for me as Nick's had been. And many of the problems I had with her in the first book came up in this book as well.

We are once again reminded how dangerous dancing for demons is; experienced dancers

like Sin's own mother

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die doing these dances. Yet we have Mae, who was allowed in the first book to dance without having ever seeing the dances before that day. At her second time ever to the Goblin Market in this book, she is once again allowed to dance, this time even getting to cut the circles without anyone teaching her how to do it. In fact, when she is asked by Alan to dance later, she gets outraged at him for insisting he cuts the lines because he's been going to the Market since he was 4 and knows what he's doing. It is difficult to seriously see the dancing as dangerous when Mae can so easily do it without error immediately. And she also gets angry that Alan would suggest using a speaking spell so he can talk for her to the demon. However, this suggestion isn't so ridiculous when you take into account the fact that she has repeatedly spoken to the summoned demon without thinking. The first time in this book, it leads to her making a promise to a demon without hearing all the terms. The second time, she almost gets possessed.

And then there is her relationship with Nick. From the start, Nick makes it very clear that he is not interested in her. He is not human and does not want to be. As far as he's concerned, Mae should go after Alan. He tells her all of this. And we get mixed messages on this from Mae. She claims in her point of view that she understands this, but then she goes and kisses him in the middle of the book. Nick's response? To push her away and say no. She admits that Nick has made it very clear that he is not interested in her in the way she wants. Mae just keeps ignoring it. Even when Nick is yelling at her or threatening her, she keeps excusing his behavior and trying.

I also didn't like her treatment of her brother Jamie when it came to two things. First with Seb. Seb has made Jamie miserable. Mae witnesses Seb bullying Jamie at one point. She decides to kick his ass, but changes her mind because she likes Seb and decides to give him a second chance. That's fine. It's her choice. What's not fine is her trying to get Jamie to get along with Seb repeatedly. Jamie has made it clear that he does not like Seb, and he has every reason and right to not like him. Mae should respect Jamie's wishes for this, but she doesn't.

The second thing with Jamie had to do with a plan she hatched up.

Mae believes that Alan is going to strip Nick of all of his magic so that he can't hurt people. She is angry about this and hatches a plan to foil it. As part of the plan, Mae intends to kill a group of magicians that Jamie has grown close to because she feels they're bad for Jamie. While she's right that they are dangerous, what she is doing is similar to Alan's plan — she's taking away what she deems as being dangerous to her little brother without his knowledge.

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I also find myself questioning why

Merris feels like Mae would make such a great leader for the Goblin Market. Sin has been raised for that role, but Mae goes to the Market twice and comes up with a battle plan, and suddenly she's the perfect candidate. That just feels so insulting to Sin. I felt like Sin was suddenly made to look a bit incompetent at leading to make Mae seem better. Sin was raised to lead, and Merris seems the type to make sure her successor is perfectly prepared, so I find it difficult to believe that Sin would be so unsuited for the role and that it would only be discovered now

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I have more problems with Mae, but those were the big ones. Despite my complaints, I did enjoy the book. I still love Nick and Alan's relationship. I just wish this book focused on that more.