I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe
Published by Wednesday Books on 2020-10-13
Length: 352 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2020, 2020 New Release Challenge, COYER All Year 2020
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.
A GOLDEN FURY and the curse of the Philosopher’s Stone will haunt you long after the final page.
When I started A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe, I’m not sure what I was expecting. A historical fantasy? A romance? Intrigue? I got all of those things and more! I’m not one to usually compare books because that usually leads to disappointment, however if you enjoyed Stalking Jack the Ripper you will devour this book. Set in the Victorian period, A Golden Fury takes the reader on a high stakes quest for the Philosopher’s Stone, alchemy’s highest prize.
Thea Hope is the star of this book! Told entirely from her POV, I found myself hooked to her immediately. She is not like your typical heroine of the time period. She isn’t in need of a man to save her. On the contrary, Thea plans to do the saving. She’s smart, distrusting, and slightly desperate. After her mother succumbs to the alchemist’s curse in her attempts to create the stone, Thea is forced out of a revolutionary France into the countryside of England and the home of her unknown father. To say she is happy about any of this is laughable. Thea is angry and wants nothing more than to return to her mother and save her. She knows that she is the only one that has cracked her mother’s code and can create the stone to save her from the curse. But nothing is ever that easy.
Desperate to prove herself among the men, Thea shows her father her mother’s notes. This becomes the catalyst that leaves her and her father’s apprentice, Dominic, on the run. The plot of this one is fast moving. I had a hard time sitting it down once I started. I had to know what would happen. I love the bits of science and alchemy the author throws in with the danger of what Thea must do. It’s all believable, making what occurs that much more interesting. Thea faces a mad scientist, heartbreak, and a gang of Prussians in her quest, and yet that doesn’t stop her.
Overall I really enjoyed A Golden Fury. I liked how science is interwoven with fiction, how the history of the time period affects what happens to the characters, and the bits of romance the author teases us with. I’m not going to lie, I wanted more romance, but it didn’t detract from the overall enjoyment without it. If you like historical fiction with a bit of romance, adventure, and fantasy thrown in, I highly recommend you grab a copy of A Golden Fury today!