Sarah Rees Brennan is the author of the Demon’s Lexicon trilogy, her debut series. She is also the co-author, with Justine Larbalestier, of Team Human and of The Bane Chronicles and Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy alongside Maureen Johnson, Robin Wasserman, and Cassandra Clare. Her latest series begins with “Unspoken”, a romantic Gothic mystery about Kami Glass […] a sassy girl reporter determined to discover all the secrets that have been kept from her. The whole of The Lynburn Legacy series is out now! Sarah’s new book Tell the Wind and Fire— a fantastical adaptation of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities–is out April 6th! — [X]
Was it daunting, the process of adapting one of your favourite classics? What aspect of Tell the Wind and Fire drew you in so completely that your reservations faded into the background?
It was daunting, in that I’d be like ‘Oh no, Charlie D, you put that so well! Damn sir, if I was getting paid by the word I would’ve ruined that sentence with a few more adjectives! Man, if I had written this at a party with a pet raven flying around my head (how Charles Dickens actually did a lot of his writing), it would have come out worse.’ Turns out Charles Dickens is a really good writer? (Breaking news: Shakespeare also pretty talented.) That was intimidating, though I also shamelessly stole one of his great phrases for my title. ‘Tell wind and fire where to stop, but don’t tell me,’ says the villainness of A Tale of Two Cities, and I was like ‘Thank you Chuck! Yoink!’
I think the first thing that occurred to me in thinking up the retelling was Lucie’s magic rings. I had real issues with Lucie in A Tale of Two Cities, a character not really given the chance to be a character—doesn’t get to speak much, doesn’t get told much, doesn’t get to do much—and I really liked the idea of putting power into her hands. Then came the idea of literalizing that: of giving her magic rings that glow and change the world, as well as giving her a storyline in which she makes mistakes and gives speeches and saves people. That inspired the world, and the girl!
Thank you for your words, Sarah! Readers, mark the 6th on your calendar:
Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised. Lucie alone knows the young men’s deadly connection, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.
Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself? — [X]