Welcome to my spot on the "A Golden Fury" blog tour!
A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe
Releases: October 13, 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
First of all, I love the cover and the premise of this story! They both had me hooked from the moment I saw it. When I started reading it, I was even more in love with it. However, by the mid-to-late-end, I did not feel as strongly about it. That didn't make it bad read for me, though.
But first, here's a synopsis to set the scene:
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
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.
Sounds interesting, right? I will say that how the story progressed was not how I envisioned it, which was refreshing after being able to guess many things about past books/movies/TV shows of late. Cohoe brings a fresh take on the Philosopher's Stone and takes her characters on a journey that they don't expect when they first start reading.
I really enjoyed Thea as a protagonist, even if I did feel a little meh about her by the end. I think she started off strongly and I had high hopes for her, which she mostly lived up to. I really loved the world she was set into and how it impacted her story. She was strong, and yet naive which was interesting because so many characters feel so much wiser than their age, and I like that she wasn't set up that way. It didn't make her unlikable, just more real.
The other characters, for the most part, were frustrating and I really found myself just wanting Thea to run away from all of them! I suppose that means Cohoe did a nice job of creating them, making them feel real. I think this might have brought me down around the second half of the book, as I mentioned. The fact that the only person I was really rooting for was put a lot of pressure on me (and her?) to like her character and see her win in the end.
Now, the most interesting part for me was a new perspective on the infamous Philosopher's Stone. Not like what we saw in Harry Potter, and not like any other depictions I've seen read, which I appreciated. While it was still famed to bring immortality to its owner, we're also introduced to a curse that will drive any maker deemed unworthy insane. Seeing the characters battle to keep their sanity while trying to make it was an interesting twist, especially when their loved ones hung in the balance if they didn't make it.
While I love a good love story, I'm happy that this book shies away from a gripping tale of young love. I won't give any spoilers, but I liked that familial love and true friendship were what was important rather than a love story, even if the family and friends weren't to my liking.
While it didn't exactly meet my expectations, I really enjoyed reading A Golden Fury, and I think you may be pleasantly surprised if you give it a try.
Read an exclusive excerpt from the book below!
o Twitter: @smcohoe
o Instagram: @samanthacohoe
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.