“Monsters, monsters, big and small,
They’re gonna come and eat you all.”
August Flynn is a monster. More specifically, he is a Sunai, a monster with the power to devour souls through song. He looks like a human, acts like a human, wants to be human, but at the end of the day, August must take his violin and walk the streets of Verity City in search of guilty souls to steal. It’s what Sunai do, and he hates every second of it.
Kate Harker has one last chance. She returns to Verity to prove to her father once and for all that she has inherited his iron fist and can help him lead Verity, its people, and its monsters, and take control of the divided city. And when she discovers a Sunai who has infiltrated her school and is posing as a classmate, she has the opportunity to do just that.
This Savage Song is the first book I’ve read by Victoria Schwab, and I must say I now count her as one of my favorite authors because of it. Music, monsters, danger? The story pulled me in instantly. Very dark, very eerie – just as it should be since, well, here be monsters. The world-building was great too, though nothing we haven’t heard before. The United States has been split into sections, and in those sections, cities are named after virtues, like Verity, Grace, and Hope. The names make the cities seem inviting and safe – when the complete opposite is true. Monsters lurk in the shadows, ready to devour anyone not under the protection of either Henry Flynn or Callum Harker, the two leaders of the divided city of Verity.
One thing I really liked is that there was no romance! It sounds like the kind of book that would have a plainly obvious romance – a forbidden love between a tough-as-nails girl and a quiet monster? Surprisingly, romance was not a theme in This Savage Song, and it was very refreshing.
August was my favorite character, though I wish there were more scenes featuring his sister, Ilsa, because she was a close second! She’s crazy and beautiful and broken. I hope there are plenty more Ilsa scenes in the next book, Our Dark Duet.
Back to August…his introduction is one of my favorite beginnings to a book. “Not with a bang, but a whimper.” The deep thinker in me really enjoyed that first chapter (and all the rest of August’s chapters). It was just beautiful and sad and introspective, and it set up August as a pensive, troubled monster trying to attain something he can’t have – humanity. Not all monsters are evil. And August is the kind of monster you just want to hug and promise everything will be fine.
In the beginning, I wasn’t at all fond of Kate. She was cruel and gruesome, then suddenly she’d change and have a big, soft heart, then she’d go back to mean old Kate. She didn’t seem to regret any of her actions. I didn’t really understand her for the first part of the book. But as the story went on, her character began to develop more and she turned out likable.
The writing was very good. Every sentence had purpose. And there were quoteables like this…
“He wasn’t made of flesh and bone, or starlight.
He was made of darkness.”
“It was a cruel trick of the universe, thought August, that he felt human only after doing something monstrous.”
“…most people want to escape. Get out of their heads. Out of their lives. Stories are the easiest way to do that.”
So many beautiful and philosophical quotes throughout this book! I am not one for characters with mediocre thoughts or boring internal conflict, and this book has anything but those. I would recommend This Savage Song to anyone who loves quoteables, deep characters, and stories with meaning. But honestly, if you’re one to write down quotes you love, there will be a lot in this book!
My rating: 4.5 Stars
Curse words ranging from mild to extreme scattered throughout. Violence, including torture, reoccurs frequently. One character burns down a chapel as a “last resort.”
Have you read This Savage Song? What did you think of it?