When The Witch’s Kiss came out last year we compiled a list of songs we thought worked really well as a sort of soundtrack to the book, usually because something in the lyrics reflected the mood of one of our characters at one particular point in the story. You can check out that soundtrack here. Figuring out the perfect music was a lot of fun, so we’ve decided to do it all over again for The Witch’s Tears….
From the opening of the book we’re plunged straight into Merry’s grief about Jack. Sure, she and Leo fulfilled their quest at the end of The Witch’s Kiss, and they both came out of it alive. The scars and burns on Merry’s arms have healed. But neither she nor Leo can get past what they experienced, or the death of people they loved. The chorus of this song expresses it really well: These wounds won’t seem to heal, this pain is just too real, there’s just too much that time cannot erase.
Ah, the Black Lake. Merry hates it. But she also, somehow, sort of loves it. It was the only place she got to spend time with Jack. Whether in her dreams or in real life, she can’t quite seem to get away from it. This song captures that dilemma of a place that holds both happy and terrible memories: Is this the place we used to love? Is this the place that I’ve been dreaming of?
Ronan is one of two new characters in The Witch’s Tears. He first shows up as a good samaritan, chasing off Leo’s attackers and bringing him home. But let’s just say that Ronan is… complicated. As it says in the song: Don’t get too close, it’s dark inside… This is pretty much the perfect song for Ronan. Plus, Imagine Dragons!! (cue fangirl screaming).
The second new character is Finn, a teenage wizard with whom Merry is pretty much forced into an acquaintance. They get to know each other, slowly. But how much of what Finn reveals is the truth? And how much is he keeping hidden? Meanwhile, of course, Merry is not exactly being open either… What I wanted most, was to get myself figured out. And what I figured out… was that I needed more time to figure you out.
Tell me I’m safe, you’ve got me now. (Take Me Home)
I was a dreamer before you went and let me down. (White Horse)
Two more songs that catch the ups and downs (and ups and downs) of Merry’s interactions with Finn.
Merry and Leo’s relationship is central to The Witch’s Kiss and The Witch’s Tears. But like any real relationship, it’s affected by all the stuff that the two of them have lived through. Leo is really struggling to cope in The Witch’s Tears, and Merry is stuggling to help him. As events unfold, she worries more and more that she’s going to lose her brother, one way or another. And even worse, it’s going to be her fault… Oh, Lord, what can I say? I’m so sad since you went away. Time, time, ticking on me. Alone is the last place I wanted to be…
Eventually, all of Merry’s worry and guilt ignites into fury. And because she’s a witch, she’s more than capable of translating her fury into action. Inevitably, someone gets hurt. This song is full of despair and revenge, and that’s what Merry’s all about at this point in the book. See, I’ve come to burn your kingdom down. And no rivers and no lakes can put the fire out.
We’re not going to tell you what happens at the end of the book – obviously – so you’re just going to have to trust us that this song works on SO MANY LEVELS. It works for Merry, it works for Leo. Plus, it references BOOKS and STORIES, so it’s clearly perfect. What do you do when a chapter ends? Do you close the book and never read it again? What do you do when your story’s done?
Have you read The Witch’s Tears yet? What would you include on your soundtrack? Let us know!