Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab *Spoiler free*

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Publisher: Grenwillow Books

Publication Date: July 5th 2016

Format: Hardcover (July Owlcrate)

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Page Count: 464 pages

Rating: ★★★★★




Goodreads Synopsis:

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 Schwab, a 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.


“Violence begets violence”  only in Verity, when a violent act is committed, a monster forms. A shadow that sticks with you tainting your once pure soul. In a city where violence is rampant, the monsters thrive & outnumber the humans. The city is split into North & South, ruled by two very different leaders with a very different approach to keeping humans safe. After what has come to be known as the phenomenon, there are three types of monsters roaming in the dark: Corsai, Malchai, and Sunai. Each of these monsters have different ways of killing or reaping.

“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!”

Governing the North we have Callum Harker who offers protection from the monster’s for a price. Only the more fortunate families are able to pay & he keeps tabs on those under his protection. Governing the South we have Henry Flynn who protects his side of the city with the help of a task force he’s put together to keep everyone safe. Both these men also utilize the monsters in one way or another. When Kate Harker manages to get herself expelled from 6 different schools, she finally ends up back to where she wants to be…in North City, by her dad’s side. Callum Harker however, much preferred to keep Kate a safe distance away nonetheless, he enrolls her in Harker Hall. Right where she wanted to be. Kate feels she can prove herself to be a real Harker by being close to her dad and controlling the city. Once word reaches the South side of the city, the Flynns decide to enroll their son August Flynn in Harker Hall. The idea being that if ever the truce that has kept both sides at peace were to break, they could use Kate Harker as leverage. August Flynn just like Kate would also like the chance to prove himself to his “dad” by joining the fight or doing something useful. He thought that he could watch over Kate & this would be his contribution since he wasn’t allowed to be physically involved in the fight.

I loved Kate Harker’s character, I never knew what to expect from her since she seems to walk to a dangerous beat. Kate’s suspicious nature made it impossible for August to maintain his cover & once she pieced the puzzles together, I really couldn’t tell what she would do. If I loved Kate…then I honestly ADORED August Flynn! I don’t know why I got Johnny Depp/Edward Scissorhands vibes, but I did & I LOVED THAT MOVIE! so it was easy to make him come to life. Where Kate was true grit, August was a much softer soul which is ironic given his true nature. I loved that Victoria Schwab did not include any love interests as part of the story, this to me was just what was promised, a story about good vs evil. How none of us are 100% good or evil, there is a bit of gray for most if not all. In this book you will NOT find a hero, a love story, a victory. You will however get morally ambiguous characters that you can’t help but love. This Savage Song stands apart from anything I’ve read this year & I’m adding it to my All Time Fave Reads shelf now that it has surpassed my expectations after reading my first Schwab A Darker Shade of Magic two months ago.

Favorite Side Character: August’s sister Ilsa, a Sunai with a beautifully dark song she only uses if absolutely necessary. I need more Ilsa! especially after that ending!

Soundtrack I listened to: Dark Violin Songs by Max Ablitzer (specifically the Ghost Song) even though all throughout the pages of this book, the monsters song which is sung to children as a cautionary lullaby…imprinted itself in my brain & I liked it so if that makes me a bit of a weirdo then so be it! *averts eyes*

I buddy read This Savage Song with Gretchen @Chicnerdreads & devoured it in just a few days as did she! it was so dark & sorrowful yet it lured me in every time I opened it’s pages and even when I wasn’t reading, I was thinking of it. Beautiful & haunting are just some of the words to describe this read, Ms. Schwab has now become an auto-buy author. The wait til Our Dark Duet will be loooong & hard lol.


Author: LairOfBooks

"I didn't choose the Book Life, the Book Life chose me"

40 thoughts on “Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab *Spoiler free*”

  1. This is a great review. I am so glad you loved this book as well. V.E. Schwab is one of my favurite authors and although This Savage Song isn’t my favourite of her books I did think it was brilliant.
    I loved both August and Ilsa, actually I think Ilsa was my favourite character, just her voice and her story were so unforgettable. I can’t wait to read more about her (and Kate and August and everyone really) in the second book! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. These characters are now some of my favorite! I’ve only read ADSOM which I enjoyed but wanted more from those characters. Maybe AGOS is better but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’m gonna need more Ilsa, August, & Kate SOON! I’m usually not a fan of female protagonists in YA Fantasy right away. I grow to like them but Kate had me from page 1 😊💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Same here. Also I definitely think AGOS is so much better than ADSOM so I hope you will as well. The characters are so amazing in the second book.
        God I can’t wait for the second book, I need to know how it ends and what happens next. I can’t wait to find out more about them as well. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This has been on TBR for the longest time now and you’ve just convinced to pick it up sometime soon!!! I love dark novels and this one seems to be the perfect one to quench my dark and twisty vibes! Great review! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I can only imagine the chills down your spine when reading it. Definitely going to look for some creepy instrumentals for this read, and hopefully find the soundtrack you had listened to too! The darker the better!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. OHMYLORD THIS IS HAUNTING MUSIC. I’m actually loving it! hahaha maybe I should wait for Halloween to read this book 😛

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review, but one question before I add it to my TBR: is there really no romantic interests in this book? I kinda like a boy meets girl story, even if it doesn’t consume the book. I just like the element there. (I’m not a romance novel reader, or anything like that…but I love me some good attraction!)
    So is it like, completely free of any love, or even some heavy like?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol! So from what I gathered, this story could be loosely called a Romeo & Juliet re-telling because of the whole Montague & Capulet family rivalry. There is no straight out love interest but there is a connection btwn Kate & August. It can honestly be friendship or something more but it was left open ended. No real reason to say they will be romantically linked going forward. It’s SOoo worth giving it a go so I’ll only encourage you to pick it up 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ok, just curious. I like books that continue, for some reason that I can’t put my finger on. I think it’s because I just can’t get enough of a good thing, you know?
        Thanks for the info!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yay! It’s not just me that feels so that way! I’m hearing a lot more ppl complain about multiple books in a series, as they only want to read one and be done. Not me. I hate the end of a book: it’s like the day after Christmas. Leaves a bitter taste in your mouth!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I find it so cool how you have a soundtrack that you listen to while reading! That is an idea I’ll have to try out sometime 🙂 Though I haven’t read The Savage Song, I am currently reading one of Schwabbs works, and it’s amazing! I really love her as an author, and can’t wait to read this one as well. I love how she deals with bad guys and good guys, and her philosophy on them. Have you read any of her other works? Thanks for the amazing review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Other than TSS, I’ve only read A Darker Shade Of Magic & really enjoyed it. I just really wanted more from those characters. I have A Gathering Of Shadows & Vicious on my shelves and now I want to read them ALL! The instrumentals have become a necessity, living & commuting in NYC w/out them, can make it impossible to read at times. Love my city but I know when to plug in & tune out 😂😂😂


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