Monday, January 13, 2020

"Daughter of Chaos"

Sarah Rees Brennan is the author of The Demon’s Lexicon and Lynburn Legacy series; Tell the Wind and Fire and In Other Lands; and several collaborations with writers Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Kelly Link.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Daughter of Chaos, and reported the following:
From page 69:
“Does everyone do that?” Harvey demanded. “Did you stay pure for Satan?”

A strange expression crossed Nick’s face. Harvey realized, with a burst of delight at this unexpected justice from the universe, that Nick Scratch was scandalized.

“Of course I did! What kind of boy do you take me for?”

Harvey couldn’t answer because he was laughing too hard. Even when Nick huffed and glared, he couldn’t stop.

“Yes, well, anyway—stop laughing, farm boy—that means I’m aware that you can’t have much experience,” said Nick. “What has it been? Like fifty people in your entire life?”

Nick glanced at Harvey inquiringly. Though it had seemed impossible to stop laughing a moment ago, Harvey wasn’t laugh­ing now.

“Was that too few people?” asked Nick. “Was that insulting? Obviously, I know mortals don’t have to save themselves for Satan.”

“I don’t want to talk about this!” Harvey said loudly.

“Actually, the Dark Lord doesn’t specify men must stay pure, but I figured it was only fair.”

“Satan shouldn’t tell women what to do,” Harvey snapped, then worried he might be disrespecting Nick’s culture.
This book is a tie-in with the Netflix series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, the tale of a girl who is half witch and half mortal, raised by her witch family, but part of mortal society... until her 16th birthday, when she has to join the witches, who live an alternate lifestyle and worship Satan. Something Sabrina's not sure she wants to be part of, yet she decides she must be a witch and can't be with her mortal boyfriend Harvey.

Daughter of Chaos is set after she makes that decision, and is told from several perspectives, including that of her mortal boyfriend, who has recently and traumatically found out about the world of witches. To add more trauma, a boy from Sabrina's coven is taking an interest in Sabrina, and wants to learn about mortal love. So Nicholas Scratch applies to Harvey for help, and as we can see above, both are horrified to learn how the other half lives...

To quote Caitlyn Siehl, 'when is a monster not a monster? Oh, when you love it.' Daughter of Chaos is told from two witches' and two mortals' perspectives, and has a lot of fish-out-of-water hijinx in which both sides are appalled and confused by their differences. But at the same time, both sides are trying. Like in this passage where Nick and Harvey, both in their own way, want justice for the women in their lives. It's a story about magic, mischief, and a chance at connection, and I hope the page reflects that!
Visit Sarah Rees Brennan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue