Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 308
Fast paced historical fantasy
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Thea Hope has learned alchemy as her mother's apprentice, forced into the shadows when all she wants is equal credit and to be respected in her own right. For years, they have been trying to create the Philosopher's Stone. Just when it seems possible they might have succeeded, Thea's mother flies into a rage, destroys the stone, and attacks Thea. Thea finds a passage in her mother's research that indicates a curse to whoever makes the stone. With this in mind and the threat of revolution on the way, Thea is sent to Oxford to her father, whom she has never met, who studies alchemy as well. As the pressure builds to recreate the Stone, deadly threats lurk around every corner who want the information Thea has at any price.

What I Loved about A GOLDEN FURY:

-The pace- From the first chapter, A GOLDEN FURY takes a quick pace and doesn't let up. There are twists and intrigues building on one another throughout. This is definitely the kind of book you could be compelled to read in one sitting.

-The premise- I love historical fantasy, and Cohoe's France and Oxford feel realistic, the alchemic ideas fitted snugly in the setting. I particularly enjoyed how we got to see France on the verge of revolution as well as Oxford where many people were headed to escape the chaos.

-Thea's passion for science- It's always wonderful to see characters with a passion for STEM areas, historical or otherwise, and Thea's dedication to science is one of her best characteristics. You can feel her passion for it and her desire to contribute to the field and make a name for herself. She is well aware of the limitations society has on women but she perseveres anyway.

What Left Me Wanting More:

Unfortunately, outside of Thea, most of the secondary characters felt flat. They seemed to have little depth or development. There were some scenes where it felt we were finally going to get more from some characters only to have it cut short. While I liked Thea, it would have been nice to have the secondary characters rounded a bit more.

Something about the story left me wanting more. I'm not sure if it was the resolution or the relationship development or quite what it was exactly, but at some point, the promise of the premise didn't match my expectations at the end. As with any review, I definitely think this is subjective and plenty of readers could walk away completely satisfied.

Overall:

If you want a story that takes on the concept of alchemy, places it in historical France/Oxford, and throws in high-stakes/lives-at-risk kind of plot lines, A GOLDEN FURY is for you.
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