Thursday, October 15, 2020

Blog Tour: A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe + Review!

Author:  Samantha Cohoe
Pub. Date: September 13th, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books (Twitter, Instagram)
Pages: 368 
Find it: Macmillan

“Set in eighteenth century England, Samantha Cohoe’s debut novel, A GOLDEN FURY (Wednesday Books; October 13, 2020), follows a young alchemist as she tries to save the people she loves from the curse of the Philosopher’s Stone. The streets of London and Oxford come to life as this historical fantasy unravels. Weaving together an alluring story of magic and danger, Samantha’s debut has her heroine making messy decisions as she toes the line between good and evil while it becomes blurred.
 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."


A Golden Fury is a daring novel filled with alchemy, impossible decisions, and uncertainty waiting around every corner. 
I'm a big fan of anything alchemy-related, so I won't about that being what initially drew me to this story. However, I was pleased to discover that alchemy was only one part of this dark story about ambition and bravery in the face of uncertainty. A Golden Fury begins with Thea Hope and her famous alchemist mother (and one of the only female philosopher's at that) as they inch closer to developing legendary Philosopher's Stone--that is, until her mother descends into a violent madness that destroys the stone and drives Thea away. 

A Golden Fury is a slower-paced story that focuses quite heavily on character development and relationships between characters. There is a minor bit of romance, but it is not heavy nor the sole focus of this story and I was pleasantly surprised by how Cohoe worked it into the narrative. Although there are high stakes at play--namely, the creation of the Philosopher's stone and it's ramifications, as well as the madness that seems to occur when making it--the story itself didn't feel as though there were too many outside forces putting pressure on the situation. The main external conflict that affect Thea's circumstances are due to the fact that this story is set around the eve of the French Revolution, which allowed for some great historical backdrop and a way to bring in the politics of the period  that affected all of our characters in various ways. I really appreciated how well Cohoe worked all of this together, including all of the wonderful historical details she weaves throughout.

The character development was well done for most of the characters, and I particularly liked that Thea was never really what I would consider a consistently "good" character. Her ambition to create the Philosopher's Stone and to be a great female alchemist really overtook her actions at times, and I appreciated that she wasn't perfect in her decisions and how she let things affect her. And then there is Will, a character that I still can't quite decide what to think about. I liked how Cohoe introduced his character, as well as how his development played out (though I can't say much about it!). Watching his relationship evolve with Thea was extremely interesting to watch. I found a few of the characters we meet later into the story a bit more perplexing in their roles, which I also felt in regards to a few of the plot points, and I wasn't quite as enamored with them as I was with others. 

Overall, I found A Golden Fury to be a compelling story of passion and determination and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, stories with alchemy, or simply a fairly dark and atmospheric story that will easily draw you in. I've given it four stars and I look forward to seeing what's next from Cohoe!


“Sharply written with a crackling, compassionately determined heroine, A Golden Fury is a vivid ride through eighteenth century Europe with darkness and dread creeping at its corners. Utterly enchanting.”- Emily A. Duncan, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Saints

"An engaging concoction of fantasy, romance, and historical fiction." - Booklist"Cohoe situates the supernatural among the historical, referencing the French Revolution and the Enlightenment while...keeping a sense of urgency as Thea struggles with the magical, demonic pull of the Stone."- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"The attention to detail in the story is excellent.    Thea herself is a confident lead with a strong voice. A solid fantasy toflesh out the world of alchemy that most readers know only from 'Harry Potter.'" - School Library Journal

“Cohoe transmutes the legend of the Philosopher's Stone into a dark, intoxicating tale of ambition, obsession, and sacrifice. Prepare for a magic that will consume you.”- Rosamund Hodge, New York Times bestselling author of Cruel Beauty and Bright Smoke, Cold Fire

“Steeped in mystery and magic, Samantha Cohoe’s A Golden Fury immerses readers in beautifully rendered world where magic and science mix, and where the intoxication of power can be deadly. Whip-smart Thea is a heroine readers will root for.” - Lisa Maxwell, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Magician


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.

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