This Savage Song by VE Schwab
Synopsis From Goodreads:
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.
Rating: 4/5 stars!
Ever since the Harry Potter saga ended, I’ve always been on the look out for authors who would give me that wistful, magical feel of…well, magic. A lot of authors attempt it, but only a few succeed.
I think this is exactly why VE Schwab is fast becoming a favorite author. I read A Darker Shade of Magic earlier this year with no expectations at all. Needless to say, I ended up being a fan. So naturally, I tried to devour her other books and ended up with This Savage Song.
The title kind of speaks for itself. To quote the younger millennials, this books is savage AF. But in the best way. First, world building is savagely wonderful. Raw, gritty. It took a while for my mind to catch up, though. VE Schwab is the kind of author who shows, not tells so you really have to pay attention to the details. You can’t be a lazy reader.
The characters are wonderfully complex. Kate Harker is a girl who wants to be just as ruthless as her father. August Flynn is a monster who just wants to be a boy. And all around them are forces who are at each others’ throats, vying for power and survival. I love the complexity and depth of the characters in this novel. I love how flawed Kate is and how seemingly innocent August is. They have a lot of differences but the nuances in their character tell you they have a lot more in common. There are no Mary Sues here; just humans (or monsters) in all their imperfect glory.
I love the villains, too. No, that’s not right; I love how you really can’t tell who the actual villain of the story was. Was it the monsters, who ruled in the dark? Or was it the humans who were slowly tearing each other apart? I can’t quite fathom how Ms. Schwab built all these up in her mind, really. It gives me The Walking Dead feels even if 1. I haven’t seen a single episode of TWD and 2. there were no zombies involved in this book AT ALL. That, I think, is a feat in itself. 😀
The plot is this adrenaline-pumping, twisting thing that I really enjoyed. Most of it is built on running and slashing and killing which was wonderfully executed. I loved the quiet parts in between all the chaos, the little everyday things that were thrown here and there. They provided a stark contrast between the world they were living in and the world they want to live in and I think that was lovely.
I really wanted to see more sparks from Kate and August. That was the only thing that I kept looking for in this book. I know both Kate and August have a unique chemistry but somehow I was looking for more. Anyway, I think that’s beside the point, really, given that this wasn’t exactly a romance novel. 😀
All in all, a really great read. I can’t wait to get my hands on book two, Our Dark Duet.
Loved This Savage Song? Let me know what you think in the comments below!