Jul 6, 2016

A glorious song of violence || This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Title : This Savage Song
Author : Victoria Schwab
Release Date : July 5th 2016
Publisher : Greenwillow Books

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.

This review is based on an Advanced Review Copy. Quotes featured in the review, might be subjected to change in the final copy.

This Savage Song is a book which I've been dying to read from the moment I first heard about it. Inspired by my favourite quote from my favourite book ( Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human - Vicious ) and written by all time favourite author, this book had everything that would make a story my favourite, and it makes me super happy to tell you that This Savage Song didn't disappoint, rather delivered much more than my expectations!

 Verity is a city which is overruled by monsters. A city which is divided because of its different approach in dealing with said monsters. The South fights them, tries to keep the city away from crime, while the North embraces the monsters, or rather, the man who controls the North does. Enter Kate Harker, the rebellious daughter of Callum Harker, who mans the North, and August Flynn, the adopted son of Henry Flynn, the man who dedicates his life to keep the South devoid of monsters. Their lives couldn't be any more different, but they find themselves entangled in each others' fates, and embark on a journey full of thrill, danger, revelations and the answer to the paradoxical reality of the humanity in monsters and the monsters who wear a clever disguise of humans.

"Stand on the North Side, and you were in Callum Harker's territory. Stand on the South Side, and you were in August Flynn's, Such a simplistic solution to six messy, brutal years of fighting, of sabotage and murder and monsters, Draw a line in the sand. Stay on your half. No wonder it wasn't holding up."

Like all Victoria Schwab books, This Savage Song's world building blew me away! Verity holds three type of monsters -  Corsai, Malchai and Sunai - and they are all born from crime. The clever and thorough development of this concept and the way it delves through the story is nothing short of beautiful! I loved the beauty of the whole idea that human beings leave monsters behind on the wake of their crimes, and they are later hunted and haunted by the same monsters. This metaphorical concept and it's execution is just extraordinary, and I have to say that Victoria has outdone herself with the masterpiece she has delivered!

The writing is as smooth and beautiful as you would expect from a story which takes the form or a classic song. From its vivid descriptions to subtle metaphors, the writing of the book just flows through you, fast paced, energetic, thrilling as well as lyrical.

His face went smooth, and all the tension vanished from his mouth and eyes, the weight falling from his shoulders. His head tipped forward, the black curls swallowing his face as shadows rolled across his skin. They spread out from his chest, spilled down his limbs, blanketed flesh and bone, and for a moment, he was nothing but a plume of smoke. And then the smoke drew in like a breath, began to shift and tighten, carving out the lines of a body, its edges traced with firelight.
Where there had been a boy, there was a monster.

The characters are glorious. Victoria has created another batch of gray main characters, and Kate and August invoked so much feelings from me, that I just wanted to hug them both fiercely and never let them go. A girl who craves attention and a boy who avoids it at any chance. A girl who relishes in the fear she creates and a boy for whom the same effect is the worst nightmare. Both might be polar opposites, but they're equally confused, equally ambiguous, equally vulnerable and equally scared. 

Kate is one misunderstood anti heroine who wants more than anything to prove herself worthy to be her father's daughter - a man who's power and ruthlessness scares her as much as it amazes her. August on the other hand, is a monster, who's power is deadly even in a city where monsters are quite common, but all he wants to be is normal, to be human. Their character portrayals are beautiful, and they make such an impact in the readers, that you'll want to protect them from all the dangers and harm they face throughout the novel. Their journey and self discovery together was an enthralling experience to read, and they didn't even require any romance to have so much chemistry and dynamics between them!

The night Kate Harker decided to burn down the school chapel, she wasn't angry or drunk. She was desperate.

And August wasn't human.
He wasn't made of flesh and bone, or starlight.
He was made of darkness.

In addition, This Savage Song had every single aspect I would call a Victoria Schwab trademark. Diverse batch of characters, ruthless and gray villains, lots and lots of unapologetic violence, deaths and bloodshed, an unique, well developed concept combined with enticing writing, and in the end, a story which will leave you breathless and won't leave your mind for at least a few days!

I would recommend the book to all fantasy fans, and those who like their characters grey, their concepts filled with metaphors and beautiful paradoxes and their stories full of violence and thrill! This Savage Song is certainly one of Victoria's best works, and needless to say, I am burning to read the sequel!

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