This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab Review

Yet another AMAZING book by Victoria Schwab! So great, that I read the last two hundred pages in one sitting!

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. -goodreads.comsummary

“She cracked a smile. "So what's your poison"
He sighed dramatically, and let the truth tumble off his tongue. "Life."
"Ah," she said ruefully. "That'll kill you.”

Victoria Schwab’s books are so good that, at this point, I feel I need to create their own rating scale. While I LOVE This Savage Song, it falls in my lower rankings of Schwab’s books that I’ve read. This is by no means an insult, it simply means that Schwab has written better books. With that said, This Savage Song, is still probably one of my favorite books of the year, and I will not forget it anytime soon.

All you must do is read one of Schwab’s books to know that she is brilliant when it comes to writing characters, and This Savage Song is no exception. August and Kate are very different characters, growing up in opposite societies, learning to despise each other. But, even from the first pages, I loved both characters. Kate is so determined with her need to prove herself as strong to her father. And August is quite the opposite of a “monster”, always trying to fight his true nature and be as peaceful as possible. The growing friendship of August and Kate always felt natural and worked well in the story, as you see them slowly beginning to care for one another more and more over the course of the novel. Side characters are unpredictable and add to the plot. I enjoyed the family element with August, Isla, Leo, and Henry. The idea that Henry took all of these monster’s in and treated them like family, is really sweet and adds an element of humanity to a family of monsters.

Other than the great characters, the plot wasn’t anything special. I really enjoyed it, and it kept me reading (I read the last two hundred pages in one day) but it simply wasn’t anything groundbreaking. There was one reveal towards the end of the novel and it worked well with how that character had previously been established. But other elements of the climax were simple and predictable, which isn’t always bad, but it isn’t great either.

My only actual complaint is that I wasn’t a big fan of the world building. I know Schwab can do world building well, as demonstrated by A Darker Shade of Magic, but things simply weren’t well explained in This Savage Song. I grasped the concept of this split city fine but it was the details of the monsters that I found muddled. Even by the end of the book, I am still confused how monsters are created, how the tally marks work, and what exactly happens when a Sunai doesn’t eat for a while. This didn’t ruin the book for me, but it was annoying. I hope the world is more fleshed out in the next book.

Overall, I had been looking forward to This Savage Song since when I first heard about it, and it didn’t disappoint. It really delivered on the characters of August and Kate as we see their friendship grow over the novel. The world building was a little muddled but I have faith that it’ll be explained further in the second book, and it didn’t ruin anything in this book. I recommend This Savage Song for EVERYONE but specifically for fans of fantasy! ALSO, do check out Victoria Schwab’s other books, I have loved all that I have read by her!

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