Publisher: Grenwillow Books
Publication Date: July 5th 2016
Format: Hardcover (July Owlcrate)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Page Count: 464 pages
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.
“Violence begets violence” only in Verity, when a violent act is committed, a monster forms. A shadow that sticks with you tainting your once pure soul. In a city where violence is rampant, the monsters thrive & outnumber the humans. The city is split into North & South, ruled by two very different leaders with a very different approach to keeping humans safe. After what has come to be known as the phenomenon, there are three types of monsters roaming in the dark: Corsai, Malchai, and Sunai. Each of these monsters have different ways of killing or reaping.
“Corsai, Corsai, tooth and claw,
shadow and bone will eat you raw.
Malchai, Malchai, sharp and sly,
smile and bite and drink you dry.”
“Sunai, Sunai, eyes like coal,
sing you a song and steal your soul”
“Monsters, monsters, big and small,
they’re gonna come and eat you all!”
Governing the North we have Callum Harker who offers protection from the monster’s for a price. Only the more fortunate families are able to pay & he keeps tabs on those under his protection. Governing the South we have Henry Flynn who protects his side of the city with the help of a task force he’s put together to keep everyone safe. Both these men also utilize the monsters in one way or another. When Kate Harker manages to get herself expelled from 6 different schools, she finally ends up back to where she wants to be…in North City, by her dad’s side. Callum Harker however, much preferred to keep Kate a safe distance away nonetheless, he enrolls her in Harker Hall. Right where she wanted to be. Kate feels she can prove herself to be a real Harker by being close to her dad and controlling the city. Once word reaches the South side of the city, the Flynns decide to enroll their son August Flynn in Harker Hall. The idea being that if ever the truce that has kept both sides at peace were to break, they could use Kate Harker as leverage. August Flynn just like Kate would also like the chance to prove himself to his “dad” by joining the fight or doing something useful. He thought that he could watch over Kate & this would be his contribution since he wasn’t allowed to be physically involved in the fight.
I loved Kate Harker’s character, I never knew what to expect from her since she seems to walk to a dangerous beat. Kate’s suspicious nature made it impossible for August to maintain his cover & once she pieced the puzzles together, I really couldn’t tell what she would do. If I loved Kate…then I honestly ADORED August Flynn! I don’t know why I got Johnny Depp/Edward Scissorhands vibes, but I did & I LOVED THAT MOVIE! so it was easy to make him come to life. Where Kate was true grit, August was a much softer soul which is ironic given his true nature. I loved that Victoria Schwab did not include any love interests as part of the story, this to me was just what was promised, a story about good vs evil. How none of us are 100% good or evil, there is a bit of gray for most if not all. In this book you will NOT find a hero, a love story, a victory. You will however get morally ambiguous characters that you can’t help but love. This Savage Song stands apart from anything I’ve read this year & I’m adding it to my All Time Fave Reads shelf now that it has surpassed my expectations after reading my first Schwab A Darker Shade of Magic two months ago.
Favorite Side Character: August’s sister Ilsa, a Sunai with a beautifully dark song she only uses if absolutely necessary. I need more Ilsa! especially after that ending!
Soundtrack I listened to: Dark Violin Songs by Max Ablitzer (specifically the Ghost Song) even though all throughout the pages of this book, the monsters song which is sung to children as a cautionary lullaby…imprinted itself in my brain & I liked it so if that makes me a bit of a weirdo then so be it! *averts eyes*
I buddy read This Savage Song with Gretchen @Chicnerdreads & devoured it in just a few days as did she! it was so dark & sorrowful yet it lured me in every time I opened it’s pages and even when I wasn’t reading, I was thinking of it. Beautiful & haunting are just some of the words to describe this read, Ms. Schwab has now become an auto-buy author. The wait til Our Dark Duet will be loooong & hard lol.