Hello readers! Welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour for A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe! Thank you to Wednesday Books and the author for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this tour.
Title: A Golden Fury
Author: Samantha Cohoe
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Published: October 13th, 2020 (Wednesday Books)
Synopsis: 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.
Thank you to the publisher, Wednesday Books, and NetGalley for providing this eARC as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review.
Thea Hope has worked at the side of her famous alchemist mother all her life and longs to build a name for herself. Their goal, like all alchemists, is to create the ultimate prize, the Philosopher’s stone which can turn any metal to gold and cure all illnesses, and they are closer than ever before, when her mother suddenly goes mad and tries to kill her. Looking through her notes, Thea finds out that there is a curse on the Stone which causes any alchemist not deemed worthy to go insane during the process. France is not safe for her anymore, not with the threat of Revolution, so she makes her way to Oxford to find her father, whom she has never met. But even in England, danger still looms, as alchemists will stop at nothing to steal Thea’s knowledge of how to create the Stone.
Alchemy is such a fascinating backdrop for a story, and this story provides a unique spin on the Philosopher’s Stone. This version of the infamous quest was so unique, and I really liked the concept of the Stone having a mind of its own, in a way deciding which alchemist would be allowed to create it at all. When I have previously seen alchemy mentioned in books, it has always been as something in the background, and the minutiae are mostly left to the imagination. Though it is all fictional, this book delves much deeper into the process and I found it to be very intriguing. The setting was quite interesting, but did not play a big part in the story. I felt that the real historical events taking place in the background were merely what set Thea’s path in motion, taking her from France to England in search of safety and a way to restore her mother’s sanity.
This was a relatively short book, so personally, I didn’t have time to get a grasp on any of the characters apart from Thea. I honestly thought Dominic would play a more central role than he did, as he seemed like the only truly good, unselfish character in the entire book. Will on the other hand, felt untrustworthy from the beginning, and I found it odd that Thea never thought to question a single thing about his story until much, much later. The stakes were kept very high throughout the story, and that final twist was something I definitely did not see coming.
Thea is a great character, intelligent and determined, but her naivety was so frustrating at times. It’s quite obvious that she knows how important the knowledge she possesses is, yet the first thing she does in Oxford is give away some of that critical information – to virtual strangers, no less – and even after being betrayed once, repeats the same mistakes. But then again, if she’d been as cautious as she ought to have, I guess there wouldn’t be a story at all.
The ending did leave things a little up in the air, particularly regarding Will’s fate and Dominic’s future, but I find it nice to have a few things to wonder about once I finish reading a book. Overall, this was an excellent read and a very well written one, especially considering that this is the author’s debut novel. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more books by Samantha Cohoe in the future. Engaging and perfectly paced, this is one you will not want to put down. Highly recommended!
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.
*A Nerd Daily YA Debut to Watch Out for in 2020*
“Sharply written with a crackling, compassionately determined heroine, A Golden Fury is a vivid ride through eighteenth century Europe with darkness and dread creeping at its corners. Utterly enchanting.”
– Emily A. Duncan, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Saints
“An engaging concoction of fantasy, romance, and historical fiction.”
“Cohoe situates the supernatural among the historical, referencing the French Revolution and the Enlightenment while…keeping a sense of urgency as Thea struggles with the magical, demonic pull of the Stone.”
– Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The attention to detail in the story is excellent. Thea herself is a confident lead with a strong voice. A solid fantasy to flesh out the world of alchemy that most readers know only from ‘Harry Potter’.”
– School Library Journal
“Cohoe transmutes the legend of the Philosopher’s Stone into a dark, intoxicating tale of ambition, obsession, and sacrifice. Prepare for a magic that will consume you.”
– Rosamund Hodge, New York Times bestselling author of Cruel Beauty and Bright Smoke, Cold Fire
“Steeped in mystery and magic, Samantha Cohoe’s A Golden Fury immerses readers in beautifully rendered world where magic and science mix, and where the intoxication of power can be deadly. Whip-smart Thea is a heroine readers will root for.”
– Lisa Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Magician
Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!