The Beast of Ten

WHEN I BEGIN A BOOK the story always comes first. But then I start paying attention to what music reaches out towards my story, and towards the characters, what songs seem to belong with the words. A few of these songs I find in the process of the first draft, most the second or third, and some are found and added during the seventh or ninth! Finding ties between my writing and the music I love is a significant thing for me, even more so when a character picks the songs themselves.

I USED SPOTIFY to embed the songs. If you don't have an account, you can download one for free. I also typed up a complete list on the bottom of this page, that you can copy if you want to piece the soundtrack together through Itunes, or listen on YouTube. (When you click on it, it may take a moment to load.)

SPOILER ALERT: I have tried to be vague enough, but specific enough, so that the readers know what scene or chapters the song ties to. I would highly recommend you reading the book before continuing. 

Enjoy & Cheers

                THEME SONG FOR                 THE BEAST OF TEN

In my mind, this is the last song on the soundtrack. The final credits. The music that encompasses the beginning to the end. But as I didn't want to risk it not being heard, I'm putting it on the top. This was the very first song on the soundtrack. It came early, and proved itself to be the anthem of this journey. It expresses the heart and soul of the thing well. And when I'm listening to it, I can't help but sing the lines below. 

              "I'm wide awake. I'm wide awake.                I'm wide awake. I'm not sleeping."



"I endure this darkness, petrified..."



Ember. Holding on to home.





This song is about the weight of what is to come, the fear that one may not be enough, and the uncertainty of not knowing one's place in the journey.



This is a song for Astrick. It is mostly about the windows of the Pyre, and his unabashed love for them. It is about some other things as well.



Many, if not all, of the songs on this soundtrack fit several scenes. This beautiful piece touches on some of the feelings Ember has upon learning what is required to become a Beast of Ten. It touches on the realities of what the Bleak has done in this world. It articulates Ember's loneliness. And finds the notes for all of the feelings that stretch so tenuously around all of these sorrows.



This was one of the songs that came after everything was long written. My little sister showed it to me. I listened to it on repeat while preparing the book for publication. It reminds me of Ember's first experience with the Bleak's beleaguered light on his tenth line, how there was nothing more beautiful, and all that ensues in that part of the journey. It follows the maturing of that relationship.

"Then I look in my heart. There's a light in the dark. Still that flicker of hope that you first gave to me. That I want to keep. Please don't leave. Please don't leave."



This was one of the most vivid scenes in the book while I was writing.  It was what happened. I could have done nothing to alter it. I was a silent guest, pen in hand. I have it this song, although this song stretches through many important scenes in this book. The first time I stepped into this scene in the kitchen, I knew I was witnessing something holy. I did my best by it. 



This song canvases many scenes and moments. It abides on different pages. 



The prayers of the Virtus Third were taken from the Latin lyrics to 'O Come O Come Emanuel'. They are also the words used Vespers, the evening prayers used in many Christian litergies. I have always loved this prayer/hymn, the depth and wonder of it, and was happy to find it had such a significant place at the Pyre. The reverence Astrick gives the words is also my own.



The feeling of this song reminds me of how weary everyone grows. Ember. Astrick. Sperro Magna. It reminds me of the side places of the heart, that hurt with a deep breath, a sweet ache.



Someday, when we are very old, I will tell you more of Sperro's reckoning, of his dreams, and of the souls that filled the Pyre. 



This song was one of the first draft arrivals. A story spun by the beautiful voice of Kina Grannis. Settle the beauty of this song wherever you feel it should go. For that is probably where it belongs.



I listened to this song a lot during the final few months of getting the book ready. It was something to run in the background while I worked. My husband informed me it was on his Beast of Ten soundtrack. As it had made it onto mine.

"One chance to get back to the point where everything starts. One chance to keep it together, Things fall apart. One sign to make us believe        it's true."




This song has exactly one, beautiful moment. As you know. 


                     HEARTBEAT                     & THE EPILOGUE

There is a sweetness that comes in the final scenes before the last battle, both earned and graced. Like a heartbeat. It is a twin sweetness to what carries on beneath the epilogue. 



(This was the only cover Spotify would give me for this song. I know. We can all be sad together. Just pretend it's really the Nickel Creek's cover.)

This song makes me think of Astrick's unflagging support of Ember. His ability to stand and be. I love  the lyric, "I'll keep looking up, awaiting your return, and my greatest fear will be that you will crash and burn, and I won't feel your fire. I'll be the other hand that always holds the line..." Astrick was a unique character because he was so undivided, so whole. I meet few people like that, and few characters. The call of the day would be to divide him out, to chip something off. Well, he was that steady. He was that clear. I'm glad he was, too. 


The Complete List

Obliviate * Alexandre Desplat                      JOURNEY TO THE PYRE

Evening Falls * Enya                                              LONG NIGHTS IN THE BELL TOWER

Song for Bob * Nick Cave & Warren Ellis                     I KNOW NOTHING OF THE VIRTUS THIRD

Crystal Village * Pete Yorn                                ASTRICK AND THE WINDOWS 

Symphony of Sorrowful Songs * Gorecki                 TO RECLAIM A BEAST OF TEN                                  & LONELINESS

Rose Garden * Adrian Johnston                                AT THE PYRE

Flicker * Niall Horan                                        NOTHING MORE BEAUTIFUL

I lived here * Martin Phipps                            WASHING SPERRO'S HANDS

O Come O Come Emanuel * Mannheim Steamroller THESE ARE THE PRAYERS

Hero * Family of the Year                                          SO VERY WEARY

Mothers of the Disappeared * U2                          THE RECKONING BEGINS

Winter * Kina Grannis                                          WINTER

Kathy's Song * Eva Cassidy                                    RAIN

Cold Lamb Sandwich * Thomas Newman HEARTBEAT & THE EPILOGUE

When You Come Back Down * Nickel Creek HOLDING EMBER UP

Bad * U2                                                              THEME SONG FOR THE BEAST OF TEN