There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.
Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.
Over a year ago I put up one of my first book reviews on this blog of This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab, and I've recently re-read it. It's been so long and I feel like I've become myself a bit more when it comes to both my thoughts but also in the way my reviews are set up and how they look. So, I decided to redo my review. I don't plan on deleting the older review (which I'll link here, if you're interested in seeing the difference between my reviews then and now) because I like seeing the ways I've grown as both a reviewer and reader. However, I felt like I needed a more up to date review of this amazing book, plus I wanted to re-read it before I read Our Dark Duet (which I am hoping to do sometime this spring/early summer.
I ended up reading along this time while listening to the audiobook, which I borrowed from my local library. It was available to borrow randomly as I scrolled through the app and I grabbed it on a whim, deciding I needed to finally re-read this book instead of just saying I would about a thousand times without making a plan to do so. I really loved the audiobook. The narrator, Therese Plummer, did an amazing job with narrating with such emotion in her voice. Sometimes audiobooks can feel like I am being read to by someone, and other times, like this one, it feels like it's being acted out. And it made the story that more magnetic. I could not stop listening and between the narration and Schwab's captivating writing I continuously kicked myself for waiting this long to re-read This Savage Song.
I love August as a character so much. He is so pure, and he wants to do so much good. I had no problem loving him. The way he loves and interacts with his family was so sweet and the contrast between him and his brother Leo was striking. Kate is a character I really enjoyed but didn't always love. I guess I never really understood why she wanted to be like her dad, when her natural instinct and her heart continuously proved that she didn't. It's definitely an interesting aspect of her character that I really enjoyed. She did drive me a bit insane sometimes. She's incredibly stubborn and her walls are up because of the stuff she's been through. It's reasonable why she's the way she is but I definitely still felt myself annoyed with her. But not in a bad way. Her teaming up with August was another super pure thing. In my last review I mentioned I wouldn't mind if they ended up together because their friendship is so solid, but now that I've read the book again I hope they never become anything more than friends because I really like their friendship. I don't think there needs to be a relationship in this story between them. Of course, if I finally pick up Our Dark Duet and they end up having a relationship, I trust Schwab that she'd do an amazing job. I just don't think it's necessary at the time. I loved August's sister, Ilsa, and I wish we got more of her. I loved her sweet relationship with August and I am excited to see what happens next when it comes to her story line.
Just like last time I read this book, I loved the idea that violence created monsters, actual monsters. It's so cleverly done and I love the world Schwab has created. I am not sure what it is about this concept but I am itching to read more. I know there is only one more book in this duology but I'd love to get more perspectives in this world. Schwab does a great job with the world building and I tried looking, but I wonder if there is a map of this new North America with the different monster territories in Verity but also the different new locations out of Verity. I only would love a map because I am so interested in this world. I am definitely excited to see where the story goes and if we get more of the Corsai, Malchai, and Sunai.
Victoria Schwab is probably my favorite writer. I feel like this changes monthly, but I have never been disappointed by Schwab's writing or storytelling. I am always interested in the worlds she creates and her writing catches my attention almost immediately. I haven't read all her books but I definitely plan to, and she's definitely an auto-read author for me. I'd say auto-buy but I don't buy many books.
I recommend This Savage Song to everyone. I think the characters, writing, and story are all perfectly done. If you're in the mood for a dark but charming story I say definitely pick this book up. It's definitely worth the read and I am so excited to finally read Our Dark Duet. I cannot believe it's been over a year since I've read This Savage Song and I had to re-read it because I waited too long to continue the series. I definitely do not plan for that to happen a second time and I am hoping to read Our Dark Duet and get the review out in the next few months.