October 14, 2021

#BookReview: A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe

Synopsis: 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.


Rating: 3 Stars
My Review:  Sadly this one was a hit or miss for me.  I liked parts of the story but others just didn't work.  The drama that was in this one totally didn't work at all for me.  I felt like this one was missing something to make it stand on its own.  Its just too close to other titles that did it better. 

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up-As the novel opens in Normandy, France, Theosebia Hope is her mother's apprentice in the science of alchemy. The two of them have been incredibly thorough and ambitious with their studies. They have learned many languages so that they may draw from the findings of Europe as well as the Islamic world. It appears that during the wee hours, Thea's mother pressed on by herself, perhaps finding success, but not without a price. Legend has it that the final step in the process-the smelting of the philosopher's stone-is really a crucible for alchemists; that the stone will choose its master; and that the unworthy will be destroyed-driven mad. It also appears that Thea's mother did not make the cut, and she is completely unhinged, attempting to kill Thea. With this backdrop, Thea sets out to meet her father (an alchemist at Oxford) who doesn't know she exists. Soon after her arrival in England, it is evident that her father's interest in her is only academic, as he too scrambles to create his own philosopher's stone. The attention to detail in the story is excellent. Period costumes and locations are well imagined. Likewise, the pacing is good as the excitement clips along. There are perhaps too many characters at play, and occasionally readers may have difficulty recalling which Prussian they are encountering, as torturous tough guys who speak German abound. That said, Thea herself is a confident lead with a strong voice. VERDICT A solid fantasy to flesh out the world of alchemy that most readers know only from "Harry Potter."-Leah Krippner, Harlem H.S., Machesney Park, ILα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


BOOKRIOT, "New Fall 2020 YA Books To Add To Your TBR"

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EPIC READS, "The 19 Most Anticipated YA Books to Read in October"

GOODREADS, "October's Most Anticipated YA Reads"

THE MARY SUE BOOK CLUB, "October 2020: Spooky Season Is Out in Full Force"

 "20 SFF YA Debuts To Watch Out For In 2020"

POPSUGAR, "Best New YA Books of October 2020"

"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 

"If you liked Belle Revolte by Linsey Miller or All That Glitters (previously Enchantée) by Gita Trelease, you will love A Golden Fury." - NerdSpan 

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

“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

"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

"A Golden Fury is beguiling and unpredictable. Cohoe weaves an international adventure set against a rich historical backdrop, and alchemist Thea faces adversaries both human and magical with wit and grit. A compelling debut from a writer to watch." - Hannah Capin, author of Foul is Fair and The Dead Queens Club 

"Alchemists used many methods to hide their secrets, but Cohoe has deciphered their riddles -- and uncovered a truth far darker and more complex than a miraculous rock. She lures you in with a promise of gold, then delivers something far more valuable: an intricate tale of ambition and sacrifice, loyalty and betrayal, the quest for knowledge and the wisdom to use it correctly." - Marie Brennan, author of The Memoirs of Lady Trent

"I adore Thea - her fierce ambition, her intelligence, and the warmth she so desperately wants to share with someone worthy. This is an alchemical wonder of a book. It takes all the elements of a good story - mystery, magic, devastating stakes, compelling relationships and impossible choices - and weaves them into pure gold." - Catherine Egan, author of Julia Unbound

“A GOLDEN FURY invites you into a world of intrigue, magic and ambition. Set against the backdrop of the French revolution, it follows a talented, driven heroine, raised by her famous and overbearing mother to pursue alchemy’s ultimate dream―the Philosopher’s Stone―in a time when women had little rights of their own. Cohoe’s prose is flush with clever dialogue and flawed-yet-sympathetic characters, so realistic they leap off the page. First loves, family secrets and shocking betrayals abound as our heroine pits her intellect against a curse of madness in this impossible-to-put-down debut.” - Ellen Goodlett, author of Rule

"Full of rich historical detail, clever world-building, and tumultuous relationships, A Golden Fury transformed me. Cohoe's debut proves we are in the hands of a deft and dangerous creator. I sat up half the night thinking about it, and the other half longing to see her next book." - Tracy Townsend, author of Thieves of Fate series

"I fell for this thrilling tale of madness and murder, alchemy and obsession― and the fiercely determined Theosebeia Hope who will stop at nothing to get her heart’s desire. I could not turn the pages fast enough!" - Gita Trelease, author of Enchantee

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