In her debut novel A Golden Fury, Samantha Cohoe weaves a story of magic and danger, where the streets of Oxford and London come to life, and the curse of the Philosopher’s Stone will haunt you long after the final chapter.
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.
Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours and Wednesday Books for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. To see the rest of the tour schedule click here! Also, stay tuned towards the end of the post to receive info about our giveaway!
Samantha Cohoe accomplishes something with this novel that can be difficult to accomplish. She made alchemy understandable and enjoyable for someone like myself who is not well versed in any sort of science at all. I haven’t been this interested in alchemy in literature since reading Angie Sage’s Septimus Heap series. Cohoe’s writing perfectly explains the base process of being able to create the Philosopher’s Stone, while not getting too technical with the details. I really enjoyed learning some of the history behind alchemy and some of the people who originated the process. Thea made for a very interesting and likeable character. Her thought process in being able to guess the motives of the people around her was very impressive and I expected nothing less from a protagonist as well read as herself. The way that Thea handles herself in difficult situations also made the pacing of the book superb. I flew through this book in two days because of how well Cohoe was able to hook me into it and make me want to know what happens next. There were so many questions that I had while reading this story, but the answers were revealed at perfect intervals within the book. This novel touches on the subjects of familial ties, friendships, feminist ideals, and coming of age in the shadow of someone else. I loved every bit of the themes represented in this novel. Samantha Cohoe’s novel was wonderfully written and I wouldn’t want the story changed in any way.
Meet the Author
Samantha Cohoe was raised in San Luis Obispo, California, where she enjoyed an idyllic childhood of beach trips, omnivorous reading, and writing stories brimming with adverbs. She attended Thomas Aquinas College, a Great Books college in California, and graduated with a BA in liberal arts. After studying Philosophical Theology at Yale Divinity School, she decided academia wasn’t for her.
In the midst of marriage, child-bearing, and the identity crisis that followed, she rediscovered her early love of writing and adverbs. In 2011, she moved with her family to Denver, where she currently divides her time between teaching Latin, mothering, writing, reading, and deleting adverbs.