Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe! Thank you to the lovely folks over at Wednesday books for including me on this tour and for the review copy of A Golden Fury. Be sure to check them out on Twitter and Instagram. Be sure to order your copy of A Golden Fury here.
I was thrilled when the folks over at Wednesday Books reached out to me about reading A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe – it was immediately clear that this book was unlike anything I had read before. Alchemy is a topic you don’t see often in YA fiction, so needless to say, I was excited to dive right into it. Also, not that you should ever judge a book by its cover, but oh my god this cover is stunning – kudos to whoever the designer was.
Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone—whose properties include immortality and can turn any metal into gold—but just when the promise of the Stone’s riches is in their grasp, Thea’s mother destroys the Stone in a sudden fit of violent madness.
While combing through her mother’s notes, Thea learns that there’s a curse on the Stone that causes anyone who tries to make it to lose their sanity. With the threat of the French Revolution looming, Thea is sent to Oxford for her safety, to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists.
But in Oxford, there are alchemists after the Stone who don’t believe Thea’s warning about the curse—instead, they’ll stop at nothing to steal Thea’s knowledge of how to create the Stone. But Thea can only run for so long, and soon she will have to choose: create the Stone and sacrifice her sanity, or let the people she loves die.
A GOLDEN FURY and the curse of the Philosopher’s Stone will haunt you long after the final page.
The only issue I had with this book was the pacing – the first half of the book was a bit too slow for me. There was a lot of world building that had to happen in the first half, but it seemed to come at the expense of significant plot events. The second half really picked up speed and kept me more glued to the pages. That being said, Samantha Cohoe certainly built an immersive atmosphere – within the first couple of pages I could practically see Normandy in the spring. Also, she is great at writing tension – there were scenes where my heart was racing at the thought that a glass might shatter – not something I normally get excited about.
Thea was a great character – she was a strong, independent young woman who was self-reliant and incredibly intelligent. From the first pages her ambition is clear – as too is her yearning for her mother’s praise. When everything goes awry, she becomes a fish out of water and quickly proves just how much of a scrappy survivor she is. Even through hardships, she was a bad ass, take-crap-from-no-one type of character – my favorite. Throughout the course of the book her character evolved and developed – she went from seeking the praise of her mother to someone wise and self-sacrificing for the greater good. I thoroughly enjoyed her character arc and hope I get to read about her in a future book.
A Golden Fury is filled with mystery, is atmospheric, and tackles the fascinating topic of alchemy. I loved how well it set the scene, and how immersive it was – there were scenes that had my heart racing even though they weren’t necessarily action scenes. I’ve never read a book about alchemy before, and after A Golden Fury I hope to read more. I can’t wait to read whatever Samantha Cohoe writes next. 4/5
About the Author
Samantha Cohoe writes historically-inspired young adult fantasy. She was raised in San Luis Obispo, California, where she enjoyed an idyllic childhood of beach trips, omnivorous reading, and writing stories brimming with adverbs. She currently lives in Denver with her family and divides her time among teaching Latin, mothering, writing, reading, and deleting adverbs. A Golden Fury is her debut novel.
Order your copy of A Golden Fury now: https://read.macmillan.com/lp/a-golden-fury/