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.
I’m new to this whole world of YA Fantasy and to Victoria Schwab’s work. This Savage Song has been repeatedly brought up on different BookTube channels and consistently been listed as favorite books by many different people. Schwab has a strong presence in the world of YA. I couldn’t let these recommendations go to waste, so I promptly went to my local book retailer and purchased my copy of This Savage Song. As soon as I got it home I knew I would be reading it right away. I must tell you; this book DID NOT disappoint.
The dystopian elements along with the fantasy elements weave together to create an alternate version of our world for us to escape to. I love the way Schwab created new monsters for us and didn’t resort to the same old monsters of lore. Obviously the Sunai are my favorite of the monsters. The juxtaposition between monsters who were created out of something terrible happening but then essentially working with the humans to keep the peace is a thing of beauty. She provides a fresh perspective. Imagine a monster that only need sing to steal your soul and kill you, or with a couple of strokes of the bow on a violin, you’re done for. These ideas just blew my mind. A fresh idea to stand out among all the rest. The best part for me was the fact that Schwab didn’t feel the need to overload the book with needless killing just to prove how cool the Sunai were. You see some a couple of kills in the first half of the book, but she teases you throughout the second half of the book leaving you craving to see what happens when a Sunai goes dark.
It bears mentioning the other two monsters in this story the Malchai which are solitary predators that use blood as a form of sustenance. They are weakened by sunlight and to me are like a vampire’s second cousin. Then you have the Corsai which move in swarms like a massive shadow and feed on flesh and bone. They have a hive mentality and everything they do is driven by fear.
This book focuses on two main characters Kate and August. They are from opposing families. She is portrayed as hard and guarded. August, is a Sunai and just wants to be human. These two characters are shoved together under the worse of circumstances and they learn to trust and rely on each other. Many times, throughout this book I found myself comparing them to Romeo & Juliet; however, Schwab doesn’t play the romance card in this book. I thought I was going to be upset about that, but in the end, I think it was smart because it would have detracted from the deeper relationship formed and the story wouldn’t have meant as much, in my opinion. There are several supporting characters like Ilsa, Henry, and Emily that I hope to learn more about in the Our Dark Duet.
I can’t wait to read Our Dark Duet, and I will have it as part of my March reading list for sure. I’m a huge fan of Schwab’s writing style and the depth of her characters. I’ve also added Vicious to my TBR as well as her upcoming book City of Ghosts.
I would love to hear everyone else thoughts about this book, or Schwab’s other books.