This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab | Weaving Pages: This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab

Monday, 12 September 2016

This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab

Title: This Savage Song
Author: Victoria Schwab
Series: Monsters of Verity #2
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: July 5th 2016
No. of Pages: 464

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 Schwaba 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.
4 stars
There is something quite extraordinary about V.E. Schwab’s novel, This Savage Song, and I would accuse its ability to be absolutely ruthless and yet utterly entrancing of being the reason. It’s a strange chord of gore and eloquent prose that is absolutely satisfying, and I can’t help but want to demand that all dystopian and fantasy novels are written in the exact same way.

Undeniably, This Savage Song’s defining element is its rich, rich writing. Schwab hits on the head exactly the kind of writing that needs to be included in YA novels, particularly those that veer more towards action and adventure plots. Contemporary novels often require liberal amounts of description to get across the emotional focus of the story and this should apply to all other genres too. Many times, I don’t feel there has been any heavy investment in building upon imagery and emotions or that the author has forgone the use of their brilliant linguistic skills in favour of a fast pace and some suspense. To me, this is an absolute shame because it’s when you combine all these elements that you get gems like This Savage Song.

The bottom line is, skilful prose can make or break a novel, and for me it’s inclusion definitely makes it. Yet the most intriguing part is the way the lovely intricacies in Schwab’s writing offset the violence and carnage, and surprisingly compliment each other. This is a book who’s contents support it’s title; it is savage, and I love that. Though I didn’t find myself being too impressed by the plot or the characters (don’t get me wrong, they were both great, I just didn’t have my mind blow by them) I did adore the moral ambiguity, the perpetual grey that invaded the scenes. Everything was as murky and harsh as the city itself, and for me this created a really great atmosphere to continue that melding of good and evil throughout the story.

If there is one thing I know, it’s that This Savage Song will be a perpetual itch in my mind until I read its sequel, and for that I have to applaud V.E. Schwab for her epic tale.

rita xo

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