**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-ARC of the below in exchange for an honest review as part of a tour hosted by Wednesday Books.**
Title A Golden Fury
Author Samantha Coho
Release Date October 13, 2020
Publisher Wednesday Books
Set in eighteenth century England, Samantha Cohoe’s debut novel, A GOLDEN FURY
(Wednesday Books; October 13, 2020), follows a young alchemist as she tries to save the
people she loves from the curse of the Philosopher’s Stone. The streets of London and
Oxford come to life as this historical fantasy unravels. Weaving together an alluring story
of magic and danger, Samantha’s debut has her heroine making messy decisions as she
toes the line between good and evil while it becomes blurred.
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.
A GOLDEN FURY and the curse of the Philosopher’s Stone will haunt you long after the final page.
I was super excited to receive an ARC of this book on NetGalley and even more excited to be chosen for the blog tour hosted by the publisher. I love stories that involve historical fantasy and alchemy has always interested me as well.
Some Things I Liked
- Valentin as a charismatic villain. I loved him. I never even really thought of him as a villain. I was thrilled to see his development and even had moments where I wished he and Thea would fall in love.
- Morally grey characters. Every character with the exception of Dominic was incredibly grey. Whether that be because of clouded judgement in pursuit of the stone or because they were just selfish people at their cores, I loved seeing the plot twists that resulted in the greyness of these characters’ actions.
- Historical fantasy. I also really enjoyed the historical tidbits dropped throughout the story. The main plot was not around history so I was pleased to see that the plot was not driven by historical events, but I was also happy to see that they did influence the characters and the story.
One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About
- I was disappointed in the lack of development in the romance plot. Thea struck me as a lady of science who wouldn’t have been easily swayed by the charms of Will. However, despite their brief “affair”, she fancied herself in love with him. Furthermore, I found Dominic to be a perfectly suitable partner for her but he was relegated to minor character status relatively early on. I would have liked to see more development in the romance department.
I can’t see much more to this story in the form of sequels. And, unfortunately, we didn’t get to learn enough about the side characters to merit and kind of spin-offs.
However, I would like to read more of Samantha Cohoe’s works. I think this debut has a lot of promise and I’d like to see more.
I enjoyed this book. I rated it a bit more leniently since it was a debut but overall, I found many things that I liked about the story. It lacked romance but I think the story was one that I would recommend and found interesting.
Recommendations for Further Reading
- The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae – if you liked the idea of a troubled villain who you can almost feel sorry for (and dare I say it, but, almost root for), try this new release.
- Splinters of Scarlet by Emily Bain Murphy – if you enjoyed the historical fantasy vibes with morally grey characters, try this standalone.
Samantha’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/smcohoe
Samantha’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/samanthacohoe/
Wednesday Books Twitter: https://twitter.com/wednesdaybooks
Wednesday Books Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wednesdaybooks/
Buy link for A GOLDEN FURY: https://read.macmillan.com/lp/a-golden-fury/