Book Reviews

A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe: Blog Tour & Book Review

This is a spoiler-free review.

A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe

Expected publication October 13th, 2020 by Wednesday Books.

My rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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 madness.

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 a revolution looming, Thea is sent to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists.

But 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.

Thank you to the publisher, Wednesday Books & St. Martin’s Press, for inviting me to participate in this blog tour and providing me with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley. All thoughts are my own.

“Some children were raised on stories of saints and filled with the hope of heaven. I was raised on the stories of alchemists and filled with the hope of the Philosopher’s Stone. The Stone could turn any base metal into gold, cure any ill, and ward off old age, perhaps forever.”

A Golden Fury is a YA historical fantasy that tells the story of Thea Hope – the 17-year-old daughter of the famed alchemist Marguerite Hope – in her attempt to create the ultimate alchemical creation, the Philosopher’s Stone in an attempt to cure her mother’s madness. Set during the French Revolution, Thea finds herself in a precarious position when her mother goes mad in the middle of her attempt to create the Philosopher’s Stone.

With tensions rising between France and England, and her mother’s failing sanity, her mother’s benefactor decides to send Thea back to England – a place she hasn’t been since she was very little – to stay with her estranged father, a man Thea did not know about until the moment she was told she must leave. It turns out Thea’s father hadn’t known about her existence either, and isn’t exactly welcoming to the intrusion on his orderly life as a professor of alchemy at Oxford. The sole silver lining for Thea is that her most dear friend – and long-time crush – Will is living in London, and if Thea has the chance to get away from her father, she’ll be able to reunite with him.

“No practitioner of alchemy could ever be satisfied with anything less than its ultimate prize.”

The book was much darker than I anticipated when I first picked it up! Most the characters, with very few exceptions, were conniving, cruel and selfish. Many of them motivated by whatever means necessary to achieve their wants and desired. They prized self serving methods above all else, no matter who they harmed along the way. Because of this it was very hard to care for them, or grow attached.

However, since so many of the characters were so irredeemable, the few who weren’t so undeniably selfish and did things not just for the good of their self interests, but for the good of those around them, stood above the rest so clearly and incontestably that it was hard not to root for them.

This book was very interesting and incredibly unique. The way it demonstrated how the will of those seeking only fame and fortune would crumble in the face of true adversary, but if one’s will was true, and they sought out knowledge and betterment, they would eventually be rewarded, was thought-provoking. And how in the end, it showed there were truly no shortcuts (or magic cures) to finding fulfillment and creating a better world.

“If we could turn pewter and lead into silver, then we didn’t simply have to take the world as it was given to us. We could change it.”

The ending was very ambiguous and open-ended, but I think that worked well for this novel. This story is one where I found I gained the most from it when I sat and mulled it all over after finishing it. It’s not a quick and easy read, but if you’re in the mood for a creative, unique and thought-provoking tale, this may just be the one for you. ✨

About the Author

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.

Samantha’s Twitter | Samantha’s Instagram
Wednesday Books Twitter | Wednesday Books Instagram

If you could create whatever you wanted through alchemy, what would you make?

Let me know!

Liza is a twenty-something book blogger who spends way too much time with her nose in books and feels way too much. She loves cooking, baking, reality tv show watching and, of course, reading. She can be found most often with a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other. Her blog, Literary Liza, features bookish content like reviews, recommendations, and author interviews.


Leave a Reply

Discover more from Literary Liza

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading