Today I’m excited to be taking part in a blog tour for A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe! Thank you to Wednesday Books for inviting me to take part in the tour and for providing an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
About the Book
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.
Two of the quickest ways to get me to pick up a book are a gorgeous cover and a female protagonist in STEM, so it should come as no surprise that A Golden Fury had me hooked before I even turned to the first page.
Our protagonist, Theosebia (Thea) Hope, is the daughter of a renowned alchemist and a talented practitioner in her own right. She is ambitious and intelligent, unafraid to speak her mind or stand her ground. I loved her strong will and her determination to carve out a place for herself in a world where women do not have a lot of agency.
A Golden Fury also provided a new, interesting take on the Philosopher’s Stone. In Cohoe’s hands, the Philosopher’s Stone wasn’t just a tool that could provide great wealth; it was a character in and of itself, reminiscent of the ring in Lord of the Rings or the black stone in A Darker Shade of Magic. The act of creating such a powerful object requires sacrifice, and I loved reading about both the alchemy process and the resulting descent into madness.
The romance in A Golden Fury was secondary to the main alchemical action, though it did help pave the way for Thea to begin her work on the Stone. It’s a reunion romance, which is one of my favourite tropes, and I appreciated how Cohoe took the relationship – and potential love triangle(s) – in a much different direction than I had expected. Thea grew up in a fairly insular environment and had few friends or close connections to speak of, so even though most of the lead-up to this relationship occurred off-page, I understood why her attraction and loyalty were there.
Overall, A Golden Fury was a strong debut that I finished in one sitting. I can’t wait to read more from Samantha Cohoe, and would happily read more of Thea’s adventures.
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.