Book Review: A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe

Book: A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe

Published October 2020 by Wednesday Books|352 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Fantasy

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.

I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve written any reviews…or even picked up a book!  I’m feeling a little rusty after so long, but A Golden Fury was a good book to get back into reading and reviewing.  I liked it, and I thought the concept was really cool!

The whole idea of the Philosopher’s Stone cursing people is really cool, and that was, hands down, my favorite thing about the book.  People lose their sanity if they get far enough along, and it was both frustrating and not at all surprising that no one believed Thea when she told everyone who wanted the Stone what would happen.  I don’t blame her for not wanting her loved ones die, and sacrificing your sanity is a terrible way to get them back.  If no one knew that her mom made it, had notes, and that Thea could make it, she’d be fine.  But we also wouldn’t have a book, so there is that.  Or, at least, it would be a very different book.

It’s scary to think that the Stone takes what it wants from you once you get to a certain step in the process of making it, but I also really liked that.  Yes, there’s immortality and turning metals into gold and silver but trying to get that comes at a price.  Cohoe does a great job at showing what that price is, and how some people are willing to sacrifice everything for their chance to have something so powerful.

I’d rather keep my sanity, thank you very much.

But for some reason, the Stone really likes Thea, and she ends up being fine.  She starts to have a relationship with the father she never knew, and her relationship with her mother changes drastically by the end of the book.  To live in her mother’s shadow must have been horrible, and not a great person to have as a mother.  Now that the Stone is not in the picture, maybe things will be better.  Maybe Thea just needs to be away from her mother, and they can write letters with the occasional visit.  They have a lot of things they need to work through, and it seems like doing that away from each other is a good move.

We don’t see much of Thea’s relationship with her father, and her going to Oxford was quite the surprise for him.  I do get his concern, at least initially, that saying she was his daughter could change things for him career-wise.  Though I understand why he’d say she was his niece, it was also frustrating that he wouldn’t acknowledge her.  He does change his mind about that, in the end, and I hope they end up having a good relationship.

I didn’t care for Will at all.  He ended up being pretty terrible, though, and in the end, I just didn’t get why she went to such lengths to protect him.  Granted, there was a lot about him that she didn’t know, but considering he told people she could make the Stone…that was the first of many things that he did that was absolutely terrible.

I haven’t really talked about Thea much.  I liked her, and she really was determined to do what she had to for the people she cared about- whether it was her mother, Will, or Dominic, she wanted to make sure they were okay.  She was willing to sacrifice so much for them, even when it wasn’t deserved.  In my opinion, anyway.  Still, I want things to be okay for her, and hopefully, they will be.

3 stars.  I liked A Golden Fury, and it was entertaining and interesting.  It was a good book to start of the year and get back into reviewing!

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