Thank you to the lovely people at Wednesday Books and NetGalley for the ARC of A Golden Fury in exchange for an honest review!
Folks, I have a terrible confession to make. Ever since quarantine began back in March, I’ve been in a terrible reading slump. I know it doesn’t make sense. I’ve had more time than ever to read! But somehow for the past six and a half months the thought of picking up anything beyond a graphic novel has felt entirely too much like a chore. But I stand before you today with excellent news. A Golden Fury has banished my reading slump. This book has filled my veins with a desire to read that I had begun to fear I would never see again.
First and foremost, we must discuss Thea. She’s bullheaded and strong willed and listens to absolutely nobody. But that’s not to say that she’s unemotional. In fact, at multiple times throughout A Golden Fury this rational girl seems to make decisions entirely governed by her emotions. Usually I’m not a fan of this, but Samantha wrote this in such a realistic way. Thea’s mistakes and shortcomings were mistakes I could see myself making. Mistakes I have made in the past.
While there are two prominent male characters, those of you who despise love triangles aren’t in any danger here. In fact, I wouldn’t consider any aspects of this novel to include “romance”. Usually I’m more partial to books that at least have some sort of romantic aspect, but with A Golden Fury I found I actually preferred it this way. Instead of focusing on a man, we instead focus on Thea and her personal growth. In fact, I felt that this book focused more on her relationship with her father, than that with any boy. Again, it was refreshing to read something so far out of my norm.
One aspect of A Golden Fury that just made it all the more magical to read was how fleshed out this world was. The alchemical lore was lush and well developed. In fact, these scientific aspects were mentioned so often and in so great a detail they felt like facts I should already know. A well structured world is one of my favorite things to read, so for A Golden Fury to do it so well was a pleasant surprise. Beyond lore, Samantha’s writing lent itself to a richness that made the world feel all the more real.
Perhaps my only issue is that sometimes it felt as though characters were responding to each others’ thoughts. It’s not anything to give you pause until you really stop and think about it, and even then barely detracted from my reading experience. The pacing toward the end did feel a bit rushed as well. However, I much prefer rushed books than those that drag on and on.
This book was such a delightful reading experience, especially coming out of a slump. As a whole, I give A Golden Fury a solid nine out of ten rating. With a debut this captivating, I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for any and all of Samantha’s future works. Overall I highly recommend A Golden Fury to anyone. Especially to those of you who enjoy any sort of historical fantasy, or stories about obstinate female alchemists. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the Q+A I did with Samantha Cohoe!