Hello, people of the internet!
Well, yet again, here’s a book I bought a year ago and have only recently read. It was one of the books I bought myself for surviving University. I was in the mood for something different – something fantasy but different. After I read the blurb, I thought it wasn’t like anything I has previously read.
So is This Savage Song that different sort of fantasy I had hoped for?
Title: This Savage Song
Author: V. E. Schwab
Publication date: 7th June 2016
Publishers: Titan Books
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.
Okay, I’ll start off by saying that This Savage Song was definitely the different kind of fantasy I was looking for. To have monsters created from violent acts conjures both an interesting concept for a story as well as something to leave you thinking after you’ve read it – in that violent acts leave consequences. I will be honest though as say that the blurb alone confused me a little. I couldn’t picture what this world was like- don’t get me wrong, I was intrigued nonetheless, but if you had asked me there and then what it was about, I couldn’t have given you a decent answer. It did make me want to read the story, but I knew that there would be a lot of information needed, about this world and its humans and monsters, for anyone reading to fully comprehend and appreciate it. As I began reading it, I couldn’t picture the world straight away, but as more information was given steadily and at a pace that wasn’t rushed, I began to understand this world a lot more. This was the best way to not only introduce information about how the world works, how the monsters are created, what the history of the world is and so on, but also introduce characters and the plot itself. Because of this, this book is definitely more of a set-up. That isn’t a problem and how V. E. Schwab writes it is perfect: not only do I understand the world she created, but I also connect with its characters and I follow the plot.
When I was reading it, I couldn’t put it down. I was so engrossed with the whole book – I wanted to know more about the world and I wanted there to be peace – that whenever I was doing other things, I couldn’t wait to have a moment to myself and read the rest of it! Yes, there wasn’t much of a plot as there was a lot to set up, but I was still enjoying it. There was a lot of action, but there was a lot of quiet moments too. That meant the plot was evenly paced and didn’t feel rushed. I honestly can’t say anything negative about the plot itself.
As for the characters, they weren’t as complex as I would like, but I expect more characterisation from the sequel (which I honestly can’t wait for!). Of course, they are written well and the narratives from both Kate and August were nice to read. I liked them both and were good protagonists to read about. The other characters were well-written too, in that I could tell who was who and they had their distinct personalities. Again, they weren’t complex, but at least they weren’t written terribly.
I really enjoyed this book and I adore V. E. Schwab’s writing. I believe she really does have a talent for creating a complex world with fantasy elements and presenting them to the reader in a way that doesn’t feel you’re being continuously hit in the face with a sledgehammer, knocking you out – in that there is so much information that you’re expected to know at once that you can’t remember what you’ve just read, like you actually did just black out. Luckily, V. E. Schwab doesn’t do that with her writing. Therefore, I will definitely read more of her work!
I will give This Savage Song 4 out of 5 stars. It is a book that sets up for the rest of the series in terms of plot and character, but it is still an enjoyable read.
Thank you for reading!