Featured Review: A Golden Fury (Samantha Cohoe)
About This Book:
In her debut novel A Golden Fury, Samantha Cohoe weaves a story of magic and danger, where the curse of the Philosopher’s Stone will haunt you long after the final page.
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 a revolution looming, Thea is sent to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists.
But 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.
*Review Contributed by Olivia Farr Staff Reviewer*
A GOLDEN FURY is a YA historical fantasy that entrenches the reader in the life of Thea. Thea is a young girl who lives with her mother in Normandy. Her mother is an expert chemist who has been teaching Thea the craft ever since she can remember. They are trying to create the Philosopher's Stone, though Thea's mother is trying to shut her out at the last minute.
After her mother succumbs to madness, Thea goes to live with her father, who did not know she existed, in England. There, alchemy is not really acknowledged, and he teaches chemistry, practicing alchemy in secret. He and his colleagues and working to finish the Philosopher's Stone. Thea knows the path they need, as she and mother had finished the steps, but she soon becomes wary of the madness that gripped her mother, fearing that the creation of the stone is what causes it. However, being a girl, most are unwilling to listen to her.
What I loved: The setting was really interesting, and I love the tidbits about alchemy that we get through the book. This was a new twist on the Philosopher's Stone and it ended up being really clever. Thea was an interesting character having been treated with love-hate by her mother, but raised to follow in her shadow. Her life has not always been easy, and she's developed an interesting attitude as a result. I overall enjoyed her story.
What left me wanting more: The book is a little slow and long-winded in places, and I found it a bit of a slow read for that reason. It was not a book that I found particularly engrossing.
Final verdict: Overall, this was an intriguing YA historical fantasy that tackles some interesting topics. Would recommend for people who enjoy a slower-paced, character-driven read.
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