Book Review: This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab

This is the first book in the Monsters of Verity duology. I listened to the audiobook and I’m really glad I did because the narrator, Therese Plummer, was wonderful. She brought individual voices to the characters and so much emotion to them as well. If you get the chance I highly recommend listening to the book. 

Word of warning: The main characters are teenagers but the situations in the story are definitely adult in nature. So this is not a YA book. It is an adult fantasy book.

This is a duology about August Flynn and Kate Harker and the books are told from their point of view. August is a monster who fights to retain his humanity and Kate is a human fighting her demons. In this book the world is established. There are two families, the Harkers and the Flynns. There was a long war during which a truce was made and split the city of Verity in half. The Flynn’s are in the south and the Harkers are in the north. 

In the south Henry Flynn leads his people and utilizes a special type of monster, the Sunai, who have the ability to use music (either via an instrument or their voice) to bring a human’s soul to the surface. A red soul indicates a sinner and the Sunai reap those souls to not only feed but also ensure monsters are not resurrected from them. 

In the north Callum Harker leads his people and utilizes Malchai to control the city. These monsters are vicious and have no problem killing humans to feed themselves.

The book starts out with Kate Harker getting kicked out of the sixth boarding school because she sets fire to a chapel. August lives with his adopted family, the Flynn’s, and wants to be a part of the war against the monsters. Kate is the only daughter of Callum Harper but August is one of three Sunai and is considered Henry’s son. During the story Kate and August meet and become frienanemies out of necessity.

This all happens in the beginning of the book so I’m not spoiling anything. I just want to give you a foundation so you can decide for yourself if you want to read the book.

I’ll start with what I didn’t like about the book. I would have liked a little more about Henry Flynn and Callum Harker. These were the heads of their families and the leaders of their part of the city of Verity. I wanted to understand more about them and their motivations. This is a very small nitpick on my part and doesn’t take away for the story at all.

Here’s what I liked about the book. The world was so richly developed and built that I was drawn in right away. The city of Verity is a very dangerous place and V.E. Schwab does a wonderful job of depicting the ever present darkness that rules. I also loved Kate and August and their growth. They are both in high school and thrown into circumstances that are intense and violent. I loved the overall story because it was so compelling. Everything makes sense and builds on itself as it progresses. I immediately cared about the characters and hated the ones I was supposed to based on their actions. The ending makes sense and I guessed correctly at what would happen but there is a little twist that sets up the next book that I didn’t consider. All the pieces were there in the story I just didn’t put it all together until that moment.

I think you can tell by how much I’ve written that I loved this book. I went through it very quickly because I literally couldn’t stop listening. I was hooked at the first sentence and it was a thrill ride all the way through. I immediately downloaded “Our Dark Duet” (the second book) and as of this writing have already finished it. I’ll review that next week. I give “This Savage Song” five out of five and highly recommend the book. 

TBR: I’ve already read “Our Dark Duet” and am now reading “Shorefall” by Robert Jackson Bennett. I thought I would finish that last weekend but I had somethings I did with friends online so I couldn’t read as much as I wanted. I just started listening to “Bound” by Benedict Jacka, the next book in the Alex Verus series. I would also like to catch up on the series this month if possible.

Libby has been such a silly girl. She has started getting her head under the blanket that sits on the ottoman and then rolls around rubbing up against it. I have to say I giggle and laugh which feels really good after so much time on my own. She is my blessing.

In my state the stay at home order has been extended to May 28th. The governor is allowing manufacturing to reopen with some very strict procedures. Manufacturing makes up 19% of our economy so it’s important to get that up and running again. I’m a little disappointed with the extension but I also understand why it has to happen in our state.  There is a six phase plan to get to the new normal and that will take time and patience.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this review of “This Savage Song”.  I will talk with you next week with my review of “Our Dark Duet” and look for my review of “Shorefall” the following week. Please stay safe and healthy my friends.


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