I am back on the book spree and have found myself more absorbed in the world of BookTube than ever before.
Back on this wagon, I picked up V.E. Schwab’s first book in the Monsters of Verity duology: This Savage Song.
First off, a basic blurb:
Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city, a grisly metropolis where the violence has begun to create real and deadly monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the inhabitants pay for his protection. August just wants to be human, as good-hearted as his own father but his curse is to be what the humans fear. The thin truce that keeps the Harker and Flynn families at peace is crumbling, and an assassination attempt forces Kate and August into a tenuous alliance. But how long will they survive in a city where no one is safe and monsters are real…
What sold me on this book was the first page. Schwab’s characters were well-formed and while for some they could be considered cliche, they are still interesting. The book opens following Kate as she burns down a chapel… yes, you read that right.
Kate is a great main character in that she is a strong, emotionally volatile young woman who is desperately trying to make her crime boss father proud. She has been expelled from multiple schools outside of her hometown, Verity and is desperate to return home. Verity has one unique attraction – it’s full of monsters who are allowed to run free and won’t attack you if you have bought protection from Harker, Kate’s father.
August is the other main character, who is also great. He is a tortured monster who wants to be human. He is a monster (without giving away the plot) and he has fought it his whole life despite the fatal consequences of rejecting his very being. He is also kind and thoughtful. He thinks everything through – which is great.
These characters are forced by the actions of those around them to embark on a journey to change their city.
Now I’ve explained a bit more than the basic blurb, I just want to say I really enjoyed this book. I really enjoyed the main characters and I particularly liked Kate – which I wasn’t sure about from the start. The relationship between the two main characters is warm and hints at romance without actually giving it to you.
The main characters could be together but can’t be because, let’s be real, when there’s so much happening in the external and larger conflict, there is no time to get together. There is no time amongst the conflict, tension and violence to suddenly declare they liked each other. I loved it! I am so tired of characters in tense situations flirting with each other or trying to make out when they’re on the run.
The world created by Schwab is complex but not so complex that you have to learn 100 pages of backstory and context. There is a lot of interesting and new (to me) concepts for the world – especially the main magical creatures being “evil” and involved feeding off the humans in the world. The creation of the monsters is the truly inspiring part of the world building by Schwab.
The plot is interesting and you root for the characters to survive. The only negative thing I have to say about this is that it was very clear in the last maybe 50 pages that there was going to be another book (which I am currently reading). I just didn’t appreciate that as we got towards the end of story of this book.
Overall, I would give this novel 4 out of 5 stars.
Thanks for reading x