by Samantha Cohoe
Published by Wednesday Books
Release Date: October 13th 2020
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Format Read: ARC
Buy on Amazon
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 received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
What initially attracted me to this book, besides the beautiful cover, was the alchemy aspect. Alchemy is such an interesting, mythical topic. I’ve heard of the Philosopher’s Stone and its powers, but I haven’t read many books about it. A Golden Fury not only discusses alchemy and the Philosopher’s Stone, but our main character is an alchemist herself.
Thea has grown up her whole life learning about alchemy. Her mother is one of the most renowned alchemists in the world. However, things between Thea and her mom are tense at the beginning of the book. Thea’s mom has basically kicked Thea out of the laboratory, prohibiting her from helping her further. This enrages Thea because her mother wouldn’t have gotten as far in the process of creating the Philosopher’s Stone if not for Thea. Soon, Thea realizes things are far worse than she thought. Her mother has gone mad from the Alchemist’s Curse, and the only thing that can save her is the Philosopher’s Stone.
Thea reminds me a lot of Audrey Rose from the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. They’re both strong, determined young women ahead of their time. However, in the second half of the book, Thea loses her strong will for a boy. If I had liked Will’s character and saw chemistry between him and Thea, then I might not have minded it so much. Their relationship felt forced to me. I wasn’t invested in it.
A side character I really liked was Dominic. Dominic encouraged Thea to put herself first. He didn’t want her to put her sanity in jeopardy to save others. Dominic also tried to show Thea that some people deserve second chances even if they did hurt you. He was such a ray of sunshine. Dominic needs to be protected at all costs.
Overall, this was an easy read. I blew through it in one day. Cohoe’s writing is very descriptive and each scene flows from one to another. You’ll be done with the book before you know it! One thing I should mention is that this is a plot-driven book. If you’re a fan of character-driven books, then this might not be the book for you. The reader doesn’t really get to know the side characters very well.
TW: self-harm, mention of mental illness, mention of madness, assault, threat of sexual assault, hallucinations, discussion of a suicide attempt
Hi, I’m Skye! I’m a college student by day and a bookstagrammer and book blogger by night. 😉 I’m also fluent in the language of sarcasm, so my kryptonite in any book is great witty banter.
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