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Interview with Sarah Rees Brennan + Giveaway!

You are all quite familiar by now with my obsession with The Demon's Lexicon trilogy (you can read my reviews of the first two books here and here).  I discovered book one at the end of last year and went absolutely wild with delight over the darkly twisting combination of work-their-way-under-your-skin characters and the sinister magical underbelly of the world they live in. It instantly went on my best of the year list and I eagerly awaited the sequel. Today is release day for book two--The Demon's Covenant--and I can tell you right now it is an incredibly awesome read. To celebrate its release, Sarah Rees Brennan agreed to drop in and answer a few of my questions. I think you'll enjoy the results... 
First things first: Hot brothers. We love them. We love you for creating such good ones. Do you have any brothers? Where did the basis for Alan and Nick’s incredibly complex relationship come from?
I too love hot brothers, Angie. Not mine. I mean, I have two brothers, and people tell me they are pretty attractive. However, I do not see it myself!
(Actually when my brother became the Poker Champion of Ireland – I know, who knew that was a real title! – I put up his youtube interview out of sisterly pride, and quite a few people tried to get me to pass on the message that if my brother wanted a good time he should call them. I didn’t pass on the messages, though. His head would get so big, it might explode. Routinely saving her brother from head-explosions: that’s just the kind of sister I am.)
But I tend to like hot brothers in fiction: recently the CW’s Damon and Stefan of The Vampire Diaries, vampire brothers at odds for years, have really appealed to me! I also deeply enjoy the relationship between Cassel Sharpe and his evil older brother Barron, in Holly Black’s White Cat. And this thing goes all the way back to my fondness for Edmund in the Narnia books and another Edmund in King Lear, both the evil brothers in their families. So other books have definitely inspired me to look at the intense feelings and huge betrayals in families: my books focus on two pairs of siblings, and my two most lost characters are explicitly only children.
I don’t have a traditional love triangle in my books (I think of them as love webs – there are a couple different potential love interests for everybody!) but I was thinking about traditional love triangles as I wrote them. Both the brothers do take a certain interest in the same girl: in most of the love triangles you see, the two guys hate each other. I think it’s much more fraught and interesting if they love each other instead.
I don’t have a co-dependent relationship with any of my siblings, and none of them are evil… as far as I know… but they did inspire me to one extent. My siblings are really different from me, and yet we’re close, and it’s really interesting to me how family does that: binds together enormously different people, forever. Two people such as Nick the surly swordsman who never lies, and Alan the talkative bookworm who hardly ever tells the truth, their differences really hurting each other sometimes and making it almost impossible for them to understand each other, and yet they both keep trying. 
How hard was it shifting point of view for The Demon’s Covenant? And what was your favorite thing about being in Mae’s head?
Shifting points of view wasn’t actually very hard, though book two is always, people tell me and I’ve found myself, the hardest one to write. It’s the one you write on the steep learning curve of publishing, when you know what a finished product should be like and what editing entails. But I always have all my characters’ points of views in my heads, like a hundred different stories running in parallel to each other, and I pick the best story to tell.
It’s also always fun to try and show readers the other characters’ stories, in flashes criss-crossing over the one you chose. My favorite thing about being in Mae’s head, I think, was that she’s a very observant girl, especially emotionally observant, which Nick, the narrator of The Demon’s Lexicon, really isn’t. So  it felt like opening up the world a lot to write from her point of view. And since I think sequels should always expand the horizon, like moving forward on a journey, I’m really pleased I picked her story to tell next!
I’m kind of a fan of cryptic, yet meaningful chapter titles. Some of yours are among my favorites. A few gems: Knowing the Words, The Hidden Girl, and Spirit for Your Skin. Do the titles come to you fully formed like Athena from Zeus’ head or do you have to worry at them a bit before they fall into place?
I am so flattered you mentioned the chapter titles. I think of myself as HIDEOUSLY TERRIBLE at naming things (after all, I named my books, which are often referred to as ‘The Demon’s Noun What Does That Mean Why the Heck Did She Call It That’). So I often wonder why I took a whim to name my chapters, as I find it fiendishly difficult! Sometimes a chapter title comes to me and I am so thankful, other times I have to go puzzle over it. I write pretty long chapters, so my editor often splits one chapter into two, and then I scream ‘Noooo, have mercy, now I have to think up another chapter title!’ A few of my chapter titles are quotes, which I like as there’s an extra secret meaning which people who recognize the quotes will get: Spirit for Your Skin, for instance, is a snippet from Aleister Crowley’s poem "A Saint’s Damnation." The verse goes like this 
-you win

The devil's bargain; I am yours to kill,

Yours, for one kiss; my spirit for your skin!
Character names. From sweet Jamie to seductive Sin to shifty Gerald, how do you go about naming your people?
Well, one thing I do is try to always give my characters pretty normal names. I’m always a bit suspicious of books where the heroine is called Elspethina or Silver, and her brother is called Jack: it screams ‘I Was Named By the Author And I Am A Protagonist!’ Plus dude, crazy names get you teased mercilessly at school! So the characters have names like Nick, Alan and Cynthia. The books are set in England, and I wanted that to be important, because I don’t see a lot of urban England in YA fantasy: so everyone has pretty traditional, even old-fashioned, English names.
It’s no accident that most of the major characters of the books have nicknames rather than going by their real names: knowing someone’s true name is a big issue in the books, not just for the old demonic summoning, but because a name has power. Of the main characters in my books Mae has renamed herself, and Alan has renamed Nick: changing the name means changing what you have named.
My favorite thing about your books is that they deal with real families. Well, real families whose members also happen to dabble in magic, evil demons, and weapons of doom. But the everyday familial dynamics, emotions, and challenges are all present and accounted for. What was important to you when you set out to create these very real, sometimes unbearably painful relationships?
Well the very most important thing was my aim to make some people cry.
Ahem! No, not really, though I am always very pleased when someone tells me they cried. (This is possibly a sign I have a cold, dead heart. Which I can accept, pass me a black wimple and call me Maleficent.) When I was writing The Demon’s Lexicon I did feel that I’d read a few too many YA novels in which the romance was the only important thing in the main character’s life, to the exclusion of friends and family. Now, I like romance very much, and there’s plenty of it in my series. But I did think it was weird that family wasn’t a bigger deal in more books, as being a teenager is when you do come to a strong realization of yourself as an individual – and when you also realize you are stuck with all these other individuals, some radically different from you and driving you mad: when emotions run high and you have to start balancing self-discovery, the discovery of others, and love.
Just as bonds of friendship become very intense in war, too, I wanted to write about how families come together in times of say, evil-magician-trauma. Saving your brother is as powerful a motive as saving a damsel in distress: there are all kinds of love stories to be told.
Is there a The Demon’s Covenant soundtrack?
There is, yes! But I do not have it up anywhere, I am afraid, on account of being technologically incompetent. Two songs I listened to a lot while writing The Demon’s Covenant, however, are these!
Sara Bareilles’ "Winter Song." 
This is my winter song to you/The storm is coming soon/It rolls in from the sea/My love a beacon in the night/My words will be your light/To carry you to me.
Neko Case’s "This Tornado Loves You." 
I left them motherless, fatherless/Their souls they hang inside-out from their mouths/But it's never enough/My love, I'm an owl on the sill in the evening/But morning finds you/Still warm and breathing/This tornado loves you/What will make you believe me?
The songs speak to me as a pair because one seems to be about a human loving a demon, and how difficult that is, and the other a demon loving a human, and how difficult that is! (I’m reasonably certain that is not what either of the songwriters intended…) But I like the thought of it, how difficult love between two incompatible beings is.
I have a fierce yellow cat I adopted at one day old from an animal shelter and fed with a bottle. Once he brought me a slaughtered hare, almost twice as big as he was. It was a big gift, a gift of love, an attempt to try and take care of me.
It was totally disgusting, and I screamed the place down. My kitty had murdered Thumper! (I was in no state to differentiate between hares and rabbits…)
Imagine if a cat and a human could talk to each other, had similar levels of intelligence. Imagine if there was something more powerful than a human: if we were the cats.
It would be terrifying and difficult, to love each other. It might be heartbreaking, the destruction a demon could cause, meaning only the best for you, a dead hare brought to a child times a thousand.
It would be terrifying and difficult, but beautiful too, an ultimate victory for love, and for words. It might be worth it.
You write terribly funny blog posts, ones I always look forward to reading. In the age of blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc., do you find it hard to balance your time between writing, editing, promoting, and maintaining your online presence?
Why thank you! Being a writer does mean endless and sometimes really tricky time management, and online promotion is an uncertain thing: nobody really knows if it works or not. Some people might like your blog, some people might be put off reading your books by it: I’ve seen some people talking about not reading my book because they wanted it only to be funny, like my blog, so there are some people who don’t read my books because they like my blog. (There’s a kick in the teeth for you!) I’ve heard publishing people talk a lot about the myth of online promotion, saying ‘Oh, The Hunger Games, yeah, that’s all down to the blog…’ (Suzanne Collins doesn’t have a blog. It doesn’t matter, as what she does have is an awesome series!)
I do find it really excellent to connect with readers of my books, though, to have a place where they can talk to me and I can talk to them about my books, other books I love, things like movies that I like, if they’re interested! Making communication between authors and readers more possible is the beauty of the internet to me. I do think, since online promotion is such a dodgy proposition and I am always short on time, what I do is focus on what I like doing. I like writing blog posts, and I like twitter: they’re fun, and I do think people can tell if you’re having fun, and it encourages them to have fun with you! Also I use blogging and tweeting as a way to unwind from writing sometimes, so it all fits in pretty well!
My husband is a computer gamer and, whenever he sits down for a session, he has to have some “frag fruit” close at hand. Do you have a particular snack or treat you eat when writing that gets your creative juices flowing?
Chocolate helps. Any sort of chocolate. Oh chocolate, sweet inspiration in a shiny wrapper. But what I NEED when I’m writing is tea. When I’m on a deadline I have a thirteen cup a day habit.
It’s the English in me. God save the Queen! Pour me another cup.
What’s the one book and/or series you’ve been gushing about nonstop lately?
I think that would be Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series, as the release date for Magic Bleeds is coming closer and closer. I’m off on a book tour with Holly Black tomorrow (and I’ve been doing a lot of gushing about Holly’s new magical-crime-hot-brothers Curse Workers series starting with White Cat) and I’m praying that one of the shops we appear it will have Magic Bleeds in just a little early. Then I will have a grumpy mercenary and the werelion who secretly, grouchily loves her, all for me.
And just for fun, what’s the first word that comes to mind when I say:
Alan: minx
Books: love
Nick: swords
Music: taylor swift DON’T YOU JUDGE ME
Mae: fierce
Writing: mynewseries!
Jamie: sorry, kid!
Ketchup: delicious with toasted marshmallows! (I SAID DON’T JUDGE)
Sexy: swords
Swords: sexy
YA: the best!
Home: everywhere I’ve ever loved being, and that includes between book covers.

Thanks so much, Sarah! Come back anytime.
Thanks so much for having me, Angie! To celebrate my visit to the ‘ville, I’m giving away signed UK copies of The Demon’s Lexicon and The Demon’s Covenant, to a commenter, chosen at random, who tells me about a cool family relationship in a book they’ve read! The giveaway will be open for one week and will close at midnight on Tuesday, May 25th. This giveaway is open internationally! As always, please be sure to leave a way to contact you either in your profile or in your comment. Thanks, guys!


  1. I really like the relationship between Drustan and Daegus in KMM Highlander Series. They look alike to the point that Gwen mistakenly kisses Daegus instead of Drustan. What I love about this brotherly relationship is that each is willing to sacrifice their life for each other. Drustan when he rides off to save Daegus and Daegus when he tampers with the hands of fate to protect his brother.

  2. Great interview!! I'm so excited to start The Demon's Covenant today! :) The book with a cool family relationship that comes to mind first, is Daugther of the Forest by Juliet Marillier.

  3. Hey, Angie and Sarah, loved the interview. Actually it reads more like a chat around a table with tea and scones. It is though I am right THERE with you.

    : D

    (no need to enter me in the contest).

    ( I love this series)

  4. Cool family relationship...hmm...

    My favorite, because it's so twisted, is probably Clary and Jace from The Mortal Instruments. They're so complicated and if you've read the books, you'll know what I mean. LOL. I can't describe them and their relationship without giving away spoilers. What I will say is their who situation and relationship is so frustrating, it made me want to punch holes in the wall!

    Thanks for hosting this awesome contest!


  5. Hmm, so I've just ordered a copy of the book ;-) BUT my favorite family relationship in a book would have to be in EEW's The President's Daughter series, between Meg and her mother. Not only my favorite, but THE BEST, too.

  6. Nice interview. I've also been gushing about the Kate Daniels series to any one who will listen. :)

    The Spellman Files has a cool family dynamic. They are so wacky. I love seeing what kooky thing they do next.

  7. great interview, angie! SRB is so hilarious.

    i was struck by the family dynamics in emily giffin's "heart of the matter," especially between sister and brother - the brother gives advice even when it contradicts his own experiences. complex and yet so realistic.

  8. Awesome interview! SRB always makes me laugh. I'm anxiously awaiting the release of The Demon's Covenant

    Suite Scarlett and Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson were the first books that came to mind. I absolutely adore Scarlett and Spencer's relationship, but the whole family together is just pure awesomeness. The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta is darker, more serious read that makes your heart ache, especially because you grow to love Tom, Georgie and their family and don't want to see them experience any pain.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    skibunny9197 (at) aol (dot) com

  9. Loved the interview! How funny is Sarah?!

    One family relationship I always enjoyed was Meg's family in "A Wrinkle in Time." There just aren't enough good family relationships in YA anymore

  10. The only family relationship that jumps out in my book memory is the relationship between Clary and Jace in The Mortal Instruments series. Not that it was a very good relationship because (sorry if this spoils it for anyone) they fall in love then find out they are brother and sister and struggle to control/change their feeling for each other over three books (it end good though) but it was very interesting and I couldn't put the books down and I loved the scenes between the two of them. Sorry if that ran on a bit.

    Great giveaway!


  11. I enjoyed the complex relationship between the brother and sister in George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss.

  12. I really like the family relationships in Kelley Armstrong's books, especially the relationship between Jeremy & Clay. Please enter me in the contest- I loved Demon's Lexicon.

  13. Anonymous2:44 PM

    Awesome interview! One of my favorite family relationships in a book is G.A. Aiken's Dragon Kin series. They fight and tease with each other but when the crap hits the fan they all come together to kick butt. It is a really funny series and the family interactions are my favorite part.

  14. Wonderful interview Angie! I'm so pumped to find out that SRB is a Kate Daniels fan! It's one of my fav series and I too am salivating over Magic Bleeds!! Of course, my favorite cool family has to be the Powers family from Ellen Emerson White's The President's Daughter series. They are so normal, yet so dysfunction. Love them all. Thanks!
    mmillet at gmail dot com

  15. Cal and Niko Leandros in Nightlife. They make me laugh, those brothers (:

  16. It's been a while since I read this book, but I remember liking the relationships between the members of the Mortmain family in I Capture the Castle.

  17. I love the relationship between Cat and Gwendolyn in Diana Wynne Jone's Charmed Life. It was one of the first books I ever loved, and a big part of that was the way Gwendolyn used Cat so ruthlessly, and still thought of herself as loving him.

  18. Oh gosh, I loved the Demon's Lexicon and can't wait for book 2!

    Viz family relationships, my youngest just heard for the first time the immortal words "Luke, I am your father!"

    Bookwise...I love the sister/not sister relationship of Charlotte and Emily in Charlotte Sometimes, by Penelope Farmer.

    And viz Misti's comment above-- I Capture the Castle is brilliant!

  19. A family relationship I love, but find a bit odd, is the one between Shaun and Georgia Mason in Mira Grant's Feed (zombies! politics! blogging!), where they're extremely close for a brother/sister pair, with adjoining rooms at home and not at home whenever they can get them (and if they can't, they'd rather sleep in the same room) which raises eyebrows. Their parents aren't really there for them- they were adopted for the ratings after the zombie apocalypse- so they are there for each other.

  20. I've always loved Mark and Colin Langley in Mary Stewart's The Moonspinners. They don't get a lot of time in the book to be carefree or "normal", but there are several moments where the easygoing banter shows through and I love it, and them

  21. Oh, hands-down Felix and Mildmay in Sarah Monette's less-well-known-than-it-should-be Doctrine of Labyrinths quartet.

    Half-brothers who lead vastly different lives (court magician vs cat burglar ex-assasin) and have never met, they are suddenly pulled into each other's lives and have a lot of angsty baggage to work through.

    They care about each other instantly, but are both broken and hurtful in different ways-- the through-line of the story is really about them healing each other and their relationship.

  22. Loved the interview ... and waiting impatiently for a chance to read The Demon's Covenant! :)

    I love the family relationship between Ani, Rabbit, Tish, and Gabriel in Melissa Marr's Radiant Shadows. Throughout the dysfunction, you never doubt how much they love each other.

    Email: flourishxblotts {at} gmail {dot} com

    Thanks for hosting this great giveaway!

  23. Great interview! I can't wait to read Demon's Covenant.

    Hmm, a cool family dynamic huh? You know I really like Cal and Niko from the Nightlife series. They really care about each other and will do anything for each other. It's all kinds of awesome.

  24. Love the interview. I have always loved the fact you book is motivated more on family relationship than romantic ones.

    Anyway my favourite family relationship is Garion, Polgara and Belgarath in the Belgariad. They have an interesting dynamic since Polgara and Belgarath have lived so long they know each other too well yet love each other deeper than anyone else ever could. Then you have Garion thrown into the mix. They are these powerful sorcerers yet they bicker and protect each other like any other family would. It makes for great reading.

  25. Brilliant interview! I agree with Ana, it did feel more like a chat! :D I can relate to Sarah's tea addiction when she's on deadline. Whenever I'm writing assignments for school, I always need a cup of tea with me so I can write. xD

    A family relationship in a book I read... one of my favorites is the relationship Dimple Lala has with her parents in Born Confused. They have a huge presence in Dimple's life and they're just like parents are in real life: they can be embarassing and annoying but overall they just love their daughter :)

  26. Amanda5:23 PM

    Realised I forgot to leave my email, it's

  27. That was a really fun interview! I'd love to meet Sarah in real life sometime, she sounds so funny!

    I really loved the brotherly relationship in Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie. There is something so nice about little boys with big brothers.


  28. great interview. I must put these books on my tbr list

    One of my favourite family relationships is Simon, Derek and their father in the Darkest Power trilogy by Kelley Armstrong.

    bersaba_berkley (at) yahoo (dot) com

  29. Hey, I loved the interview =)

    The book that comes to my mind is Disconnected by Sherry Ashworth. The relationship between Cath and her parents is rather cold, they have no idea what she is going through. I could really identfy myself with that when I read the book. What I loved the most about their relationship was the way it was presented - Cath was used to it, so it wasn't the main issue in her life. I feel that in too many books the characters spend a lot of time and energy dealing with their disfunctional families, when in real life people mostly simply get used to the situation. I'm not saying that's a good thing, however, comming from a disconnected family myself, I understand it. It is refreshing to see this way of (not) dealing with family problems in a book, which is also one of the reasons I'm looking forward to reading TDC - I can't wait to find out more about the Crawfords.

  30. In Enchantress from the Stars by Sylvia Louise Engdahl (I think this will be an obsure choice!) the main character, Elana, is a "military brat" in that all her family to her granparents have always been a part of the Service and she's always known that's what she's going to do. The Service is not really militaristic; they are charged with protecting the Federation and, more importantly, Youngling planets. On their way to a family reunion, a nearby child-stage Youngling planet (Andrecia) is being invaded by an adolescent-stage Youngling race. The story is told as Elana's personal report, after the mission to frighten the Imperials away from Andrecia. She isn't supposed to be part of the mission; she's a stowaway and is only included after disaster strikes. Anyway, that's all setup: the relationship I'm talking about is between Elana and her father. Her father is put into the difficult position of not only being the senior agent in a difficult and dangerous feild assignment, but having along his young, mostly-untrained daughter--who is the crux of his plan! He has to balance his behaviour between protecting Elana as much as he can and protecting his mission, which is more important than any life. I'm not being very clear; there is a lot to this story, far more than appears at first glance.

  31. Great interview!

    I'm going to have to second Felix and Mildmay from Sarah Monette's The Doctrine of Labyrinths series - one of my favorites primarily because of the portrayal of them and their interactions with each other.

  32. Tiffany M.7:03 PM

    Nalini Singh's Psy Changeling Series has one book in particular that focuses on two families... Caressed by Ice. Also, Sarah Addison Allen's books usually have a family theme to them. For YA, I loved Marcus Zusak's Getting the Girl. I LOVED the family in that one. The brothers present are very interesting and complex, while the sister also makes a small appearance. Their interaction seems so real. Also, Homecoming and Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voight have good representation of families.

  33. My favorite family relationships I've recently read were from Wild Ride by Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer. The relationships between Mab, Glenda and her son Ethan were great fun to watch and rang true. And there were demons too, which was fun. Thanks for the contest.

  34. Awesome interview! :) I also read Sarah's blog entries and I find them hilarious. I also discovered Demon's Lexicon last year and I'm really looking forward to the sequel! I hope it becomes available here soon. And because of this interview, I now have more reason to hunt down the Kate Daniels books (as if I didn't get enough pushing from you, Angie :P).

    Oh and an international giveaway of the UK editions! Yay! As for a cool famility relationship, I know both Angie and Sarah are Megan Whalen Turner fans so I'd go with Gen's relationship with his cousin Eddis and also his relationship with his father. ♥ I don't have the books with me so I hope this is accurate but I just wanted to quote this:

    "He had to be forcibly dissuaded from strangling his son."
    "So have we all from time to time."


  35. Loved the interview!

    I love the brothers and sister relationship in Elizabeth Peters' Amelie Peabody series with Ramses, David, and Nefret. Though they weren't actually brothers and sister by blood, they were raised in that way. I loved how they always snipped at each other, but were there for each other in the end.

    Email: saujav[at]yahoo[dot]com

  36. Anonymous9:17 PM

    I am so happy the new book is out! I have been waiting for weeks for the blog post announcing it :P
    That song, "This Tornado Loves You" is beautiful. Now it will always make me think of Nick.

    In a book I read recently, Mr. X by Peter Straub, there is another pair of brothers. The main character, Ned, finds out that he has a shadow self/identical twin brother who was separated from him at birth. His twin, Robert, has been going around impersonating him for quite some time and doing all manner of things. When they get together, its a complex mixture of Robert loving Ned, because he's finally been reunited with his brother, and hating him because he always had everything that Robert didn't. And Ned is torn between dispising the dastardly things that Robert has done, and loving him as a brother anyway. It was one of the things that really made the book.

  37. Love the interview. :) One of the most plot-complicated family relationships that I've read is between Meggie, her father and mother, and great-aunt in Inkheart/Inkspell/Inkdeath. Actually, that whole series is full of interesting family relationships- the villain, Capricorn, keeps his mother with him at all times and she can be scarier than he in some cases. Dustfinger is in love with a woman in the Inkworld and has a daughter there, but he adopts Farid basically as a son. All kinds of complicated! love it.

    contact: (afoolishsomething) (at symbol goes here) (

  38. Oh, gosh. The UK versions? Really? These covers are gorgeous. I'm in.

    I love the sibling friendship in Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson. But I can't help mentioning the family dynamics in Pride and Prejudice - how could anyone not love them?

    hollygrierson at yahoo dot com

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. Gr8 interview/giveaway!
    Okay, here's a list:
    Chris and Remy (Sarah Dessen's This Lullaby)
    Liesel and the Hubermanns (Markus Zusak's The Book Thief)
    Dallas, Florida, Tiller, and Sairy (Sharon Creech's Ruby Holler)
    The Weasley Family (J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series)

  41. Anonymous11:09 PM

    While I've become jaded about The Outsiders as I've gotten older and seen the flaws in the books, I still really love the dynamic between Darry, Soda, and Ponyboy. There's something comforting about the ideal brotherhood in it.

  42. I am a huge, enormous sucker for lovely family relationships, which is why Demon's Lexicon ate me so hard. I mean, brothers! Trying really really hard to be BROTHERS! And Mae and Jamie and their so-true older sister/younger brother dynamic! I loved it.

    Other family relationships I love are Harry and his half-brother Thomas in the Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher; they're just so snarky and hilarious at each other, but when it comes down to the wire, they have each other's backs. I'm also sort of in love with Miles and Mark and their parents in the Vorkosigan series, by Lois McMaster Bujold. Miles and Mark have this weird sibling rivalry thing going on, but fortunately for everyone around them it's less like, "I KILL J00" and more "I SAVE YOUR BUTT HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW" which I find hilarious. And somewhere in the background their parents are facepalming.

    tigerkat at gmail dot com.

  43. Anonymous12:40 AM

    I love tea~ LOL, I don't think I've ever once reached thirteen cups but I do love drinking it nonstop when I have to pull an all-nighter. The fruity and spicy ones are my favorites.

    An amazing family that immediately comes to mind are the Mackenzies in Linda Howard's Mackenzie series. It's such a warm and loving family (with so many hunky men), I loved reading it. I've been thinking about this series today, I want to re-read so bad.

    I would love to see more family relationships in YA books. Great family and friends dynamics would be awesome. :D

    Anna ♥

  44. Just to mention something different,I think the family relationship in the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis between Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy is quite cool.

    Thanks so much for making the giveaway to all worldwide.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

  45. Anonymous3:38 AM

    I really enjoyed this interview. :)
    I am most curious about a new series, Sarah, am I reading this right? :D

    I like brothers Derek and Simon in Kelley Armstrong's the Darkest Powers trilogy. :) They are so very different to one another and yet they love each other and are very protective of each other.

    acjom at hotmail dot com

  46. Definitely Audrey from Robin Benway's Audrey, Wait! They were really comfortable with each other and it felt like they were all best friends just hanging out, which I think is what makes a perfect family:)


  47. Great interview! I really enjoyed that. I love the family relationships in Sarah's book.

    My favorite family relationship is between Francesca and her mother Mia in Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta.

  48. Carson2:12 PM

    Oh I would love a copy of The Demon's Covenant *is poor*
    I loved the relationship between the brothers in Split (which Sarah recommended on her blog)
    And if I manage to win you can emails me at and I shall happily give you my address and such

  49. So I just finished THE RISE OF RENEGADE X, but I love the fact that family relationship plays a big part in the novel. I think it's a great reflection of nowadays common single parent homes and this tug-a-war. But it's more interesting since the father has a family now and that Damien wasn't the child of love, but rather a "mistake". Opps I'm rambling xD

    Anyway I loved THE DEMON'S LEXICON and need to get the sequel (and the UK covers) in my hands! Rawr


  50. I like Elinor and Marianne relationship in Sense and Sensibility.


  51. the only one i can think of reading recently is the argeneau vampire series by lynsay sands. those novels crack me up!

    k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

  52. Anonymous4:04 PM

    The most touching one I can think of right here right now is probably Katniss and Prim in Hunger Games. We didn't get to see much of it, but the tenderness and unconditional love shone through every time Prim was mentioned. Every time Katniss came up against something she was bad at, she immediately thought of how well her little sister would have done. And just the way Katniss, without any hesitation, stepped forward to do what she believed amounted to sacrificing her life in her sister's place. That's beautiful, and something I only wish I could do for my own little sister if a situation where it was needed should ever arise.

  53. I really liked your questions! And I would have to say the relationship between Spencer and Scarlett in the Suite Scarlett books is one of my favs. You can tell that they love each other, and they're so funny together!

  54. Anonymous7:20 PM

    I love the family dynamics of the brothers from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. There's real loyalty and trust between all of them.

  55. When I was a young girl, my favorite book was called Ballet Shoes. It featured three sisters with an strong and wonderful relationship. On that same theme, my other favorite was Little Women - Amy, Beth, Jo, and Meg - how could you not love them. I so wanted a sister, but no such luck.


  56. That's a difficult question! Usually the families in the books I read are either absent or dysfunctional. The one that comes to my mind right now is from Beautiful Creatures.
    I like how quirky and peculiar Lena's family is.

    entrelibros_blog at hotmail dot com

  57. I really like the relationship of Katniss' family from The Hunger Games Series.

  58. When I was younger I liked a Series of Unfortunate Events. The story is basically built on the siblings ingenuity to survive through dangerous situations. They def are compliments.

    patronus89013 at yahoo dot com

  59. I love the Relationship between Thursday Next and Spike. It isn't a romantic relationship just great frinedship - he is an outcast and she is the only person willing to help him.[@]gmail[.]com

  60. Anonymous7:12 AM

    UK cover = <3 *_*

    A list!
    1) Felix and Mildmay from Sarah Monette's series. <-- first thing that came in my mind, even though (because?) they're so DYSFUNCTIONAL.
    Genetic sexual attraction? =D?

    2) Jo and Beth from Louisa May Alcott's Pretty Women. I still childishly hold on a grudge against Amy for a) burning Jo's stories, and b) stealing Jo's man D: D: D:
    Jo/Laurie was my first OTP T_T

    3) Chrestomanci and his wife & children, from Diana Wynne Jones' books. I love how Chrestomanci is pretty and vain and how his whole family just _works_.

    I would include the Pevensies in the list, except my reading of them is too influenced by the movies & fandom by now =P

    Whee, giveaways! Found your blog by googling TDC, btw. =)

    lilian_cho [AT] yahoo [DOT] com

  61. LLOOOOOVVVVING the new book!!!!
    Not quite finished yet.
    Thank you for facing the blinking cursor everyday, Sarah. :)

    Right now, I'm also reading Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta, and the whole family dynamic with Francesca is beautiful and painful and real.
    Her mom is dealing with some really heavy stuff, and Francesca doesn't know how to approach it or help.
    She has been mostly at odds with her mom through adolescence, but her love for her mom definitely shines through in the novel.
    The relationship seems pretty one-sided for most of the novel (because her mom isn't speaking much and isn't leaving the house), but it tugs at your heart to watch (or you know, read, since it's a book) Francesca grow up and begin to believe she can help her mom by being present.

    Thanks for hosting, Angie. :)
    Always a pleasure reading your blog.

    If I win (which I'm desperately hoping I do), you can contact me at:

  62. I'm not entering for the contest, but I just wanted to say that this is a fantastic interview! I love the series too :D
    Swords=sexy. *nods in agreement*

  63. The Spellman family from Lisa Lutz's mysteries are hilarious, close-knit and slightly crazy - I love them!


  64. Relationships in the Bennet family in Pride and Prejudice - mixed and interesting!


  65. Anonymous7:34 PM

    I liked the Berrybender family from Larry McMurtry's books The Wandering Hill, By Sorrow's River, and Folly and Glory. They could sometimes get pretty violent and mean with eachother but it was portrayed in such a funny way.


  66. This will sound totally cliche, but I loved the family life depicted in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I liked that Francie and her mother didn't exactly get along BECAUSE they were so alike, and they came to terms with it eventually because they're family and that's what families do. It was touching and at the same time, not overly cheesy.

  67. There's a pretty twisted one in I AM MORGAN LE FAY by Nancy Springer. Morgan, Morgause, their mother... complicated things.


  68. Great interview!

    My favorite fictional family is in Ellen Emerson White's President Daughter series (which I read on a recommendation from this blog!). She does such a good job making the relationships real and interesting.

    freedachickens (at)

  69. This comment has been removed by the author.

  70. Anonymous4:18 AM

    I won't describe it as cool, but Grace Divine (from The Dark Divine) has a pretty complicated family relationship.

    hanjie.1992 @

  71. Amazing interview, thank you, I enjoyed reading it very much!

    I just recently discovered you Sarah thanks to you prmoting Demon's Covenant, and as everywhere I saw you mentioned it was always praising your novels, I will have to check them out!

    I also discovered the Kate Daniels series recentyl,a nd I agree, they are brilliant! I love how much humour Ilona infused in the novels.

    My favourite family relationships are:
    - Jamie and his sister Jenny in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
    - Rydstrom and Cade in Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series
    - and I love the relationship between all the Valkiries in Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series
    - and another huge favourite is the Weasley family in the HP series

    It's a shame that usually the hero/heroine in UF/paranormal novels don't ahve much family left, as an elder sister to 2 little sister, I would love to read about more sibling relationship!

    Please enter me, I would love to win and read your books!!

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

  72. Really fantastic interview! Great questions, Angie and I thoroughly enjoyed all of Sarah's answers. I would absolutely LOVE to win the UK cover versions of the books!

    I really love the familial relationship between Mercy Thompson and Bran in Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson series. I find it fascinating because she's family... but not quite pack.

    After reading someone else's comment above, I have to also mention the Spellman family in Lisa Lutz's Spellman Files mystery series. Quirky and dysfunctional, but I totally get them! Fun stuff.

  73. Wow! What a fun interview! :)

    Favorite family relationship: Clary and Jace from The Mortal Instruments! not really favorite coz I like them all, LOL. This one's the most memorable maybe :)


  74. How about the entire family relastionship between the Weasleys from the Harry Potter series? They have some great relationships within the entire family, and bad ones as well. Love the Weasleys!

    Great interview, and great giveaway!

    Thanks so much!

    Sherry S.

  75. Great interview. These books are high on my wishlist.

    One interesting family relationships I have seen in books is in the Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot. You get 2 very diverse dynamics in there.

    And I love the Weasleys in Harry Potter. I would just love to be part of that family.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  76. Oh, I love the Weasley's too - hilarious family!

    There's an interesting family realtionship in City of Bones too...

    Great review, btw :)


  77. It's a little older, but The Austins (Madeline L'Engle) are a great family. :)

  78. First of all, thank you for doing this interview. Sarah is amazing and it's great to see someone ask all the right questions. :)

    As for the cool family relationships, even though I live for hot brothers :) it's Sally and Gillian Owens in Alice Hoffman's "Practical Magic" that I love the most. They are the best example of how family love trumps everything.

    Also, I simply have to add the Finches in "To Kill a Mockingbird". Atticus, Scout and Jem steal my heart every time.

  79. One book relationship I really liked was between Hang and Aunt Tam in Paradise of the Blind by Duong Thu Huong. The tenuous bonds of their relationship caused by family duty and blood ties provides a really interesting peer into culture. That Aunt Tam really only loves and lavishes all this attention onto Hang because she is the last remaining inheritor of the Tran family? Uneasy and appropriately chilling.

    (Deleted to add my email address

  80. I love the relationship Anita Blake has with the people she adopts as her family.


  81. I love relationship between Rose and Adrian from Vampire Academy. It's so funny and sarcastic. Fantasic Interview and great Giveaway !


  82. Oh my gosh, I love the character sheet there!! Is it just me, or did the author of Fullmetal Alchemist took on The Demon's Lexicon in manga? o.o

    My fave family relationship novel is Not Suitable for Family Viewing between Robin and her mom.

    faked_sugartone at hotmail

  83. Anonymous1:16 PM

    I've always loved the family relationship in Robin McKinley's Beauty. I loved that they all really loved and cared for each other, and how those relationships form the basis for many of the familiar plots (such as the house near the wood, and Beauty leaving the Beast to visit her family).

  84. My answer is probably a bit corny, but I always loved the Weasley family's relationship in the Harry Potter series. Mrs. Weasley always reminded me of my own mom, and even though they had their disagreements and problems, they really and truly loved each other.


  85. I'm going to go with father-daughter relationships-- Mortmain and Cassandra in I Capture the Castle, chiming in with Misty, and Thursday and Coronel Next. And because I'm thinking about it, in YA TV land, Keith and Veronica Mars were always the best.

  86. Awesome interview!! I have been wanting to read both of these books! I'm a new follower! I'd love to enter :)

    inthehammockblog (at) gmail (d0t) com

  87. great interview - loved demon's lexicon and love Sarah's blog. A family relationship that has already been mentioned but reminds me a lot of the Demon's Lexicon brothers is Cal and Niko from Rob Thurman's Nightlife series.

  88. A good family relationship? I love it when siblings look out for each other. Like in At The Sign of the Sugared Plum, the sisters care for each other, (and into the next book too.).
    Thanks - crossing my fingers!

  89. I loved the brother and sister relationship in Georgette Heyer's the Masqueraders. They were physical opposites but had this charming way of interacting, both getting under each other's skin and supporting each other. Plus the whole regency thing is always fun!


  90. I loved The Demon's Lexicon and can't wait to read your new book. I follow your agent Kristen Nelson's blog too.
    I just read the Thief and Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner. I love the love/annoying relationship between Gen and his Queen cousin Ennis. It was endearing how she had to play matchmaker for him at the end of book 2.

  91. Anonymous3:46 AM

    Awesome interview; I just love SRB, the kinds of things she writes here and in her blog, and in her novels.

    Family relationships--well, I love Mortimer and Meggie (father and daughter) in the Inkheart books, and Sam & Dean (brothers) in Supernatural, and Keith and Veronica (father and daughter) in Veronica Mars...well, and I have to say I really, really loved Nick and Alan's relationship in Demon's Lexicon too. That's not just kissing up, either, since the drawing is random. >_<

  92. I just finished reading The Demon's Lexicon and it was marvelous!

    There's a really awesome family relationship in Mike Carey's Felix Castor series between Felix Castor and his brother Matthew. Felix is an exorcist who "kills" ghosts pretty indiscriminately whereas his brother is a priest who obviously has something to say about that. There's some really angsty childhood backstory and lots of head-to-head conflict, and yet they always come to each other's aid due to the bond of brothers.

  93. Sarah1:22 PM

    well.. my answers are rather stereotypical.. but that just means that the relationships really are amazing. My favorites are Scout & Jem from To Kill A Mockingbird, Sally & Gillian from Practical Magic and.. last but not least, Elizabeth & Jane from Pride and Prejudice :D


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