Study Guide

The Demon's Lexicon Chapter 17

By Sarah Rees Brennan

Chapter 17

Knowing the Words

  • In this new state, Nick goes racing through the city, flying up over buildings and beyond the familiar sight of Tower Bridge.
  • He feels warm and safe and free and, after a few minutes of excitement, kind of… well, homesick.
  • More than anything, he wants to go home to Alan, eat some cereal, and crawl into bed.
  • But he's conflicted—he can't go back to being human, can he?
  • He's still trying to figure out his next move when he remembers that he left Alan with a bunch of magicians. That thought sends him racing back to Black Arthur's lair, where he sees Alan lying on the floor beneath Black Arthur's body.
  • Black Arthur is dead, and Mae and Jamie are standing defenseless, facing the rest of the magicians in the room. Since Nick is still in demon form, which must be something like invisible air, none of them know he's there.
  • A renegade magician name Mark says, "We should kill them all!" but Gerald stops him, reminding him who's in charge now that Arthur's dead. FYI: it's Gerald.
  • Gerald gathers the remaining magicians and herds them out, telling Mae and Jamie to remember that he spared their lives and he'll be back to collect on the debt they owe him.
  • Jamie asks him what he plans to collect, and Gerald insinuates that he's interested in Jamie, who he considers one of his own.
  • Nick watches the whole scene without killing any of the magicians—there are enough bodies on the floor for Alan to see when he wakes up as it is.
  • Instead Nick drifts toward the body in the imprisonment circle and slips back into his old skin.
  • He goes over to Black Arthur and takes some of his blood and wipes it on Alan's mark, which fades away.
  • When Alan awakens, Nick remembers one of the things that Black Arthur said about demons—that they are defined by their actions and desires. He tells Alan, "I won't leave you. I don't want to" (17.81).
  • Alan embraces Nick, and Nick begins to feel that maybe this human body can be his again after all.

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