This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

IMG_2693Monsters, monsters, big and small,
They’re gonna come and eat you all.
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!

First in what is set to be a duology, This Savage Song is the new YA fantasy from the very talented Victoria Schwab. August Flynn and Kate Harker are on opposite sides of a divided city during a time when violence creates actual monsters. Kate’s father leads by allowing monsters to roam free and protects those who are able to pay for it. Kate is intent on proving herself to her father and showing him that she can lead and follow in his footsteps. August is one of the Sunai, a monster who looks human but is able to steal souls through music, which is part of his nature that he greatly struggles with, wanting nothing more than to be human. When Kate is sent back home to attend the local school, August is assigned to enrol in order to keep an eye on her as the tensions between the two sides of the city are rising.

A fun read with a great concept, This Savage Song is thoroughly enjoyable. It is well written and very easy to sink into, with descriptions and dialogue that flow with ease. I especially appreciate that it is not a story that relies on typical tropes found in YA novels with romantic entanglements and complications. In fact, there is no romantic component, which is a refreshing change. I did find that the novel lacked a certain depth, particularly when it came to exploring this world and questions of good vs. evil and right vs. wrong. As a result I wasn’t as invested in the story as much as I would have liked. However, it is a fun and easy read that provides a nice little escape, and perfectly sets up the next part of the story that is to come in the second and final instalment.

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