There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.
Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.
With darkness in every corner, how do you fight your demons?
This Savage Song is a brilliant, creatively dark and deceptive book filled with dancing shadows and thrilling darkness. I breezed through this book and already I can’t wait for the next one! Monsters that are actually bred from violence? Count me in! This is a dark and thrilling adventure, and I loved every minute of it!
The writing really made this book work for me. I was easily dragged in and I didn’t want out. I flipped through pages easily and devoured the story as quickly as I could. My favourite part however, had to be the whole monster aspect. Violence breeds monsters; Actual monsters. You have Corsai, Malchai, and Sunai, all dangerous and dark and deadly. They are all horrifying in their greed and power and strength, but we also get to see a better side of the Sunai via August Flynn, and I really enjoyed that.
Being one of the most deadly monsters in the city, August should be cold, dark, and unforgiving like every other monster in Verity City, but instead he fights to be human, to act and feel like them, look like them. This is what eventually changes Kate’s views on monsters, and what helps her character develop the way it does. It’s a brilliant transformation, and it was very enjoyable to read, especially their interactions!
This book also has a dystopian feel to it. I didn’t expect that, but it explained why the city was divided into two (Flynn’s side and Harker’s side; North and South) and the destruction and violence that occurs, and why they can’t leave, why it’s only their city being affected. The destruction of Flynn’s side and utopia feel of Harker’s side really let us delve into their characters a bit more, to understand why things happened how they did. Suffice it to say, Harker made my skin go cold. He was cruel, malicious, but almost seemed like a hero for letting people pay for his protection! He’s a master liar and manipulator, and his darkness chilled me, but also made me enjoy this story a whole lot more. I loved every minute we got with destruction and horror, which is pretty much the entire novel.
Unfortunately, while you can connect with the characters in a way that you can understand their choices, feelings, and actions, you don’t empathize or care. You see the destruction and horror and know you should feel something, but you can only watch it happen without the empathetic connection. It’s a great read, and I couldn’t put it down, but it wasn’t because my heart was racing in fear for the characters, or aching to know what happens to them. It was because the world and the monstrous aspects and just the plot of it all held me captive while the writing hooked me, and I wanted more of that. That doesn’t mean the characters are bad, because they aren’t. They are brilliant and I loved them all, their strength and bravery, their struggles and confessions, the bad things they had to do… I just couldn’t form that one connection that would’ve made this book a five-star read.
Overall, This Savage Song is a thrilling, mysterious and dangerous adventure that gave me chills and made my dark little heart smile. No one is safe, and hardly anyone is who they seems to be. I loved the writing, the world, and the plot. This is a book I would definitely recommend!