Hi everyone! I’m very excited to be bringing to you today my stop on the blog tour for A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe! This is my first blog tour that has ever happened during #blogtober, which is kind of exciting. I hope you get the chance to check this book out, it was a ton of fun to read!
A Golden Fury
by Samantha Cohoe
Release date: October 13th 2020
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult
Trigger Warnings: Mental Illness/Madness,
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.
This was a really interesting take on the legend of the philosopher’s stone! With this story, there is a curse on the stone that affects anyone who tries to make it, and that curse causes people to go mad. That definitely means there are trigger warnings associated with this book for mental illness and madness, so please keep that in mind!
I enjoyed the setting of France and Oxford for this story, although after further thought, the parts of the story that take place in France didn’t give you the same feeling as the scenes in Oxford of truly being in that place. I also really enjoyed the alchemy and how Thea’s mother is the most famous female alchemist in France which was a nice way to fit in women in power. Thea is her mother’s assistant and is just as talented as she is, although her mother would never admit that and tends to treat Thea very poorly. Thea’s mother ends up going mad during the process of creating the stone very early in the book which sets off the rest of the events that occur, and I was not expecting things to turn out the way they did!
Out of all the characters, I definitely liked Thea and Dominic the most because they both cared more about others than they do about themselves, whereas the majority of the other characters care about creating the philosopher’s stone for themselves. Thea is determined to save her mother from her madness, but doing so would mean possibly sacrificing herself to the curse on the stone.
Things with the plot really start to expand and become more complex in the second half of the book where Thea and Dominic meet up with Will, who was an assistant to Thea’s mother and Thea’s lover/best friend. This is where the pacing picked up for me and I was really reading the book quite quickly, but I was also a bit confused with the whole German soldiers plotline and where that all ended up at the end.
The ending however is why I couldn’t give this a higher rating, because it felt a little rushed, and I had a few unanswered questions about what had happened in the last 50 pages or so. This is a debut though, so I think for it being a first book it was very strong and I’m curious to see what Samantha Cohoe writes next! This book was completely different than anything else I’ve read, and I think if you liked other historical fiction books with a magic, paranormal-esqe twist to it, you would like this one! Plus it’s a standalone so there are no cliff hangers or long waits to get to the next book, which is nice.
A Golden Fury came out yesterday, check it out!
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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.