by V. E. Schwab
“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.”
What I thought:
Look at this stunning cover! Look at it! I really wanted the cover to do the story justice, and it delivered on all fronts.
Because I didn’t love ADSoM and AGoS as much as most other people did, I wasn’t sure what to expect going in. Maybe that helped, but more likely it’s just a really good book which won me over on its own terms!
Where do I start?
I really liked the characters. I wasn’t convinced at first, but once Kate and August met I was hooked. They are very different people, and both interesting in their own right – Kate, who tries so hard to be as ruthless as her father, dying for his approval, and August, who is a monster clinging on to whatever humanity he can grasp.
The writing was also phenomenal. I made a note of so many paragraphs or single phrases that stood out to me, which I think says everything. But let’s have the writing speak for itself, shall we?
Whatever he was made of – stardust or ash or life or death – would be gone.
Not with a bang, but with a wimper.
In with gunfire and out with smoke.
And August wasn’t ready to die.
Even if surviving wasn’t simple, or easy, or fair.
Even if he would never be human.
He wanted the chance to matter.
He wanted to live.
The world Schwab has created is intriguing and the perfect setting for the characters. The different kinds of monsters alone, and how they are created, were interesting to read about, especially Ilsa. Her quiet nature coupled with power (not wanting to say too much here) makes her one of my favourite characters, and I loved learning more about her as the plot progressed.
I couldn’t help but compare This Savage Song to A Darker Shade of Magic. I know I shouldn’t, but I couldn’t help myself. While I enjoyed ADSoM I also felt meh about it at the same time, and I was worried that the same would happen here. I really wanted TSS to excite me, and I’m really happy that it did. I can’t wait for the sequel.
I’ll leave you with another one of those beautifully written moments, the name removed because of spoilers, just in case my review wasn’t enough to convince you:
What came to the surface of the Sunai’s skin, Kate couldn’t process. It was light and darkness, glow and shadow, starlight and midnight, and something else entirely. It was an explosion in slow motion, tragedy and monstrosity and resolve, and it swept over [his] skin, and wove through the monster’s smoke, tracing the outlines of a boy-like shape inside the shadow like lightning in a storm.
Have you read This Savage Song, or would you like to? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!
I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.
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