Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

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Publication: July 5th 2016
Publisher:  Greenwillow Books
Pages:  464pages
Source: Bookmobile
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal,
My Rating: ⛤⛤⛤.5

This book has been buzzing around my bookstagram for so long I knew I had to read it. I’ve heard so many good things about Victoria/V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic series, so I thought it might be good to start with her newest book. It was getting rave reviews, so it must be a good place to start, right?

Yes, it was. I really really enjoyed This Savage Song, but I’m really torn about how to rate it. I felt one way when reading the book, another when it was finished, and another way again when I found out it was a part of an upcoming series. So I’m going to keep my 3.5 rating for now, because it seems the best middle ground to sort out my feelings for the book.

This Savage Song takes place in a world where humans exist alongside monsters. The world has become a much darker place, and people have become worse. Whenever a person commits a crime, (from murder to bombing) the act of their crime creates one of three monsters: the Malchai, Corsai, and Sunnai, the last of which are the most rare and most dangerous because they can pass as human.Kate Harker, daughter of the villainous leader Callum Harker of Verity City, returns to live with her father after some mild arson at her previous private school. Kate wants to be the daughter her father deserves and tries to be the dark, violent, uncaring woman she knows she can be. August Flynn lives on the poorer South side of Verity City run by Henry Flynn who opposes Callum Harker’s violent ways. But August isn’t human, he’s a monster, more importantly a Sunnai. With tension on both sides of Verity City, and Flynn against the idea of another war starting, August is sent to pass as a human student at Kate’s school and watch her to make sure a war doesn’t break out.

It’s an incredibly interesting premise, and I think Schwab did an excellent job keeping both Kate and August’s perspectives interesting. Usually when reading a novel with multiple perspectives, one character’s chapters are more interesting than another’s, but I enjoyed reading Kate and August’s chapters equally.

I also became really attached to the characters easily, especially August’s sister Ilsa. Thought she has an incredibly minor role in the novel, her presence is easily felt and I kept hoping that she would appear or have a chapter from her own perspective.

I was really expecting a whole star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet kind of thing and I’m so happy that Schwab didn’t go their. I am so tired of forbidden romances that it was nice to just read about two very different characters who come to understand each other’s different views and become friends and just friends. Because yes, despite what the media tells you you CAN be friends with someone of the opposite gender identity and not have to date them.

While I enjoyed the characters and the plot of the novel, I did have trouble with the pacing. It just went by too fast! I really believe that This Savage Song could have been split up into two novels. I would have liked to learn more details about August and his siblings life, about the different monsters in the city, about Kate’s backstory. While information on both these things were given they were so short. I wish more detail had been given for all these things, but I am happy that This Savage Song is the first in a series so there’s hope that more information will be given.

This Savage Song was a good introduction to all things Victoria/V.E. Schwab, but I look forward to reading the Shades of Magic series.

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