Title: A Golden Fury
Author: Samantha Cohoe
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical
Rating: 4/5 paws
Goodreads Synopsis: 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 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.
I’ve always been a big fan of reading both fantasy and historical fiction and A Golden Fury is such a great combination of those two genres! The setting of 18th century Europe was atmospheric and the perfect realistic backdrop to weave a fantastical through. This story provides an original take on alchemy and the legend of the Philosopher’s Stone. The main character, Thea, is on a journey to create the Philosopher’s Stone in order to try to save her mother and the boy she loves, Will. Every alchemist who has attempted to previously create the Stone has gone mad, including Thea’s own mother.
This was definitely one of the darker young adult fantasy novels that I’ve read in a while. It took a deep look at how far people are willing to go for power. There were many manipulative characters and twists and turns in the plot that kept things interesting. The character arcs were compelling as their true colors came to light over the course of the book. I found myself to be more interested in that internal struggle of the characters than the external conflict. Some pieces of the plot were a bit repetitive but this made for a fast-paced plot overall.
The world-building was done so well! It was very immersive and I felt myself transported to that time while reading. The magic system was also intriguing to read about, but I did find myself a bit lost at some points. I liked the original idea of the magic but I would have appreciated a little more background on the more intricate workings. The magic was subtly woven into the story, but because it was such a big driver of the plot I wish there had been more focus on it. I did really appreciate the focus on the side characters, such as Dominik, which definitely added an extra layer to the book.
If you’re looking for a sinister and magical fall read, check out A Golden Fury HERE!
Thank you to Wednesday Books for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!