This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab (Monsters of Verity #1) ★★★★☆
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Kate Harker and August Flynn’s families rule opposite ends of Verity, a grisly metropolis where violent acts summon real monsters: bloodsucking Malchai; clawing Corsai; and soul-stealing Sunai. The truce that keeps the families at peace is crumbling, and August is sent to spy on Kate. But when Harker’s men try to kill her and pin it on the Flynns, August and Kate find themselves running from both sides, in a city where monsters are real…
There was a huge amount of hype around this book when it came out last year, and after recently reading (and loving) A Gathering of Shadows I was excited to pick up another V.E. Schwab book. I was also intrigued to see how her YA work would hold up against her Adult writing.
I really loved the concept of this world, where violence literally creates monsters. But more that that, I love what Schwab then did with that set up. At the heart of it, this novel explores what it means to be human. With the humans in the city carrying out horrific acts of violence, who are the real monsters. I really hope that Schwab continues to expand on that theme through the sequel.
The story is told through two great protagonists. We have August, a monster who just wants to play music. And Kate, who wants to be accepted by her tyrannical father. I love the way their relationship develops through the story (no romance in sight!). They work really well together, learning off each other in a really natural way (given the situation).
While this didn’t quite meet the heights of A Gathering of Shadows, I really enjoyed it and it’s made me excited to continue with V.E. Schwab’s work. It is a great time to pick it up as well, as it’s currently nominated for Best Young Adult in the BooktubeSFF Awards.