There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.
Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.
Disclaimer: There are some minor spoilers ahead – although that depends on your view of what a spoiler consists of.
Why we chose it: Victoria Schwab. The end.
Review: We knew that when we saw Victoria Schwab was writing a book called This Savage Song we’d have to have it. It would be wicked. It would be epic and monstrous. There would be dark creatures lurking between the pages and they would be beautiful.
The book didn’t disappoint.
It’s important to note at this point that Victoria Schwab is a monster, she lulls you into a false sense of security and the destroys you…there’s a song about it too.
Victoria Schwab hides and writes, Her crimson hair shines in light,
She’ll tell you lies and steal your soul, She’ll leave you wrecked, you won’t be whole,
Author, Author mind of pain, Reader, Reader you’ll end up slain.
We absolutely loved the world Victoria created – it’s amazing how she took real world events like murder and terrorists attacks and even general violence and created monsters. The Corsai, the Sunai and the Malachai. It was such an original take on our world that we couldn’t help but be hooked.
The characters of course were epic too. The wonderful August, a monster and yet not. A teenager and yet not. His personality and his take on his world were very different to ours but relate-able at the same time. He questioned his existence and his reasons for being. He wondered if he could just fade away some day. He was captivating and we were with him throughout the novel. Seeing how he changed into someone…..something more powerful and confident. Harder because the world demanded it.
The book is told by two individuals and the second is the glorious Kate Harker. A girl who’s the enemy of August simply because he lives in South City – a territory not controlled by her father. She knows she should be his enemy, be like her father as she wants to be, but there’s a humanity to Kate she can’t truly weed out. Despite having being kicked out of six boarding schools, despite having multiple faces she shows to the world. Throughout the book we also Kate develop into a truer version of herself. Someone that’s always been there deep down.
The secondary characters were also fleshed out and we can only thank Victoria Schwab for giving everything in this novel the depth it deserved.
A plot that’s been the basis of many a book, but perfectly unique because of the world and the characters. How the interacted with each other, how they made life changing decisions. To us as readers we never experienced any stereotypical tropes. The book didn’t turn into some awful love fest. It was grittier than that.
There was however something we almost had a problem with. The way the novel ended, or at least half of the way the novel ended with Kate Harker almost reminded us of how Delilah’s arc concluded in A Darker Shade of Magic. We realised though on further reflection that it wasn’t at all similar due to the character’s reasons behind their actions.
These are our thoughts on this wonderful novel, let us know what you think in the comments and don’t forget to follow us on:
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