Review: A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe

Hi all! Months ago, I saw the cover for A Golden Fury and I was intrigued. Then I read the synopsis and I was OBSESSED. Historical Fantasy? Alchemy? Madness? Count me in!

I’m super excited to be participating in a blog and Bookstagram tour with TBR and Beyond Tours today. A huge thank you to the TBR and Beyond team and the publisher for sending me an ARC of the book! Check out the tour schedule here, and keep reading for my review, an aesthetic moodboard, and a giveaway opportunity!


About the Book

Title: A Golden Fury

Author: Samantha Cohoe

Publisher: Wednesday Books

POV: 1st Person

Genre: YA Historical Fantasy

Release Date: 10/13/2020

Page Count: 352 pages

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Indigo

Synopsis: In her debut novel A Golden Fury, Samantha Cohoe weaves a story of magic and danger, where the streets of Oxford and London come to life, and the curse of the Philosopher’s Stone will haunt you long after the final chapter.

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.


About the Author

Samantha Cohoe 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 attended Thomas Aquinas College, a Great Books college in California, and graduated with a BA in liberal arts. After studying Philosophical Theology at Yale Divinity School, she decided academia wasn’t for her.

In the midst of marriage, child-bearing, and the identity crisis that followed, she rediscovered her early love of writing and adverbs. In 2011, she moved with her family to Denver, where she currently divides her time between teaching Latin, mothering, writing, reading, and deleting adverbs.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


Review

Pros

  • Absolutely STUNNING cover
  • Strong female main character
  • Interesting familial relationships
  • Alchemy, as opposed to the typical magic we see in YA fantasy
  • Good crossover appeal to adult readers (due to the elegant cover and slower pace)

Cons

  • Quite slow at times
  • Not the most dynamic writing style
  • The pacing was a bit inconsistent at times
  • Took a while to get into the action

Ah, A Golden Fury! I’ve been excited for this book for a while, ever since I first saw it’s gorgeous cover. A cover that blends gorgeous hand drawn graphic elements with photography? Omg, yes. Then I found out that it featured alchemy and madness and a quest to create the philosopher’s stone! I instantly needed to read it, and despite not getting approved for it on Netgalley (I’m not bitter at all) I luckily got accepted onto a blog tour with TBR and Beyond Tours and received a beautiful physical arc.

Once I started reading, I was a bit less thrilled. The story is compelling and interesting, yes, but I found the pace to be quite slow at times. There were long scenes with characters I didn’t care for, and while they added to the story, I found myself using an extra bookmark to mark when a chapter would end, which isn’t exactly promising in a book. The pacing did pick up later, but it took a decent amount of time to get to the interesting action promised in the synopsis. And once things start, then things start moving quickly, but almost quicker than I’d hoped. I won’t spoil what happens, but major things happen in very quick succession once action picks up in Oxford.

Luckily, the characters and descriptive text were strong enough to pull me through the novel. Thea was a great main character. I loved how self assured she was, and how she was such a leader, even in this male-dominated historical fiction setting. The author did a great job of making some character’s immediately unlikable and other’s redeemable.

In the end, I’ll give it 3.5 stars. I’d definitely recommend it to fans of slower-paced historical fantasy novels like The Binding, or to fans of alchemy novels like Give the Dark my Love. I think that this one would have really good crossover appeal to adult readers, but might not appeal well to younger YA readers.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Mood Board

I’ve started putting together aesthetic moodboards for the books that I’m reading! I tried to match the books general vibe and aesthetic and made sure to avoid any potential spoilers. Follow me on my Pinterest for more!


If this book sounds intriguing to you, make sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win one finished copy of the book, US only, at http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/fc15a5956/?

Thanks for reading! Are you excited for this new release? Leave a comment and let me know what you think!


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