Title: A Golden Fury
Author: Samantha Cohoe
Page Length: 320
Publication Date: Oct. 13, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Synopsis: Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone—whose properties include immortality and can turn any metal into gold—but just when the promise of the Stone’s riches is in their grasp, Thea’s mother destroys the Stone in a sudden fit of violent madness.
While combing through her mother’s notes, Thea learns that there’s a curse on the Stone that causes anyone who tries to make it to lose their sanity. With the threat of the French Revolution looming, Thea is sent to Oxford for her safety, to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists.
But in Oxford, there are alchemists after the Stone who don’t believe Thea’s warning about the curse—instead, they’ll stop at nothing to steal Thea’s knowledge of how to create the Stone. But Thea can only run for so long, and soon she will have to choose: create the Stone and sacrifice her sanity, or let the people she loves die.
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A Golden Fury is an intriguing story about a young woman’s alchemic quest to save her mother. Thea is a highly trained alchemist apprentice. She was trained by and still works for her mother, who is famous for her skill in the craft. Together, they attempt to create the Philosopher’s Stone, which gives the owner immortality and wealth.
Thea’s mother, in a fit of madness and rage, destroys the stone because the stone turns all who aren’t worthy mad. Desperate to help her mother and prove her worth as an alchemist, Thea travels to work for her father, another alchemist, in again creating the Philosopher’s Stone. However, this time it’s to save her mother’s life.
I enjoyed Thea’s story and thought her character was well-developed. She lives in a male-dominated world and defies many of the gender norms. She is intelligent and brave, and she fights for what she believes in. Though her decisions aren’t always the best, and I questioned her actions sometimes, she showed a lot of growth.
A story about the desire for power, complex familial relationships, betrayal, and the search for identity, A Golden Fury will appeal to readers who like unique and dark stand-alone historical fantasies. Thanks so much to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
“She discovered that I wished to belong to myself, instead of her,” I said. “And she found that unacceptable.”
This is perfect for readers who like dark, standalone urban fantasy set in the 1800’s.