Hello lovelies! Today I am so excited to be sharing my post for the A Golden Fury blog tour with TBR and Beyond Tours! Today I’ll be sharing a review, some of my favorite quotes and even an interview with the author, Samantha Cohoe!
Title: A Golden Fury
Author: Samantha Cohoe
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Format: Physical Advanced Reader Copy provided by publisher
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: October 13th, 2020
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.
Where to Buy:
Trigger Warning: Mental health (characters dealing with loved ones or themselves becoming ‘Mad’), visual hallucinations, audio hallucinations, self harm.
In A Golden Fury Cohoe does a wonderful job weaving together history, science, and characters creating a unique story that will enthrall readers.
Cohoe’s characters are interesting, relatable and complicated and watching their stories intertwine and become entangled speaks to just how messy relationships can be, and how navigating them isn’t always a rewarding experience. Watching the character’s relationships with one another develop and change over the course of the book was interesting and also felt very natural. Additionally no character is entirely good or evil and watching them grapple with making decisions and exploring their motives for their actions was gripping and made this book hard to put down.
The book also explores madness which is something I’m always if-y about. Having Bi-Polar Depression and ADHD, I’m always interested, if leery, about how mental health is portrayed in books, books dealing with madness especially. However, Cohoe does a great job dealing with this in her book. Cohoe doesn’t dive super deep, but she discusses this topic well and does a good job relating to her readers what ‘going mad’ can be like. Everyone’s experience is different, but I saw part of my own story reflected here, and Cohoe does a great job handling this topic in my opinion.
Overall I really enjoyed this book and I would recommend it for readers who love historical fiction, and fantasy!
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book!
I really enjoyed how Cohoe explored ideas of power (wealth, emotions, social standing etc.) in this book and those quotes really stuck out me as I was reading.
As part of my post for this tour I also got to ask Samantha about her writing process, inspirations for the book and what her go to snacks are!
When did you first get the idea for what turned into A Golden Fury?
The idea for a book that used alchemy as its magic system started poking around my head in 2015. I listened to a podcast about Isaac Newton that discussed his adventures in alchemy, and it stuck with me.
What were some of your inspirations for the book’s settings and characters?
Oxford and London are both places I’ve been and loved, but also places that were so often the settings of books that formed me. Oriel college, in particular, was a place I studied and stayed, but Oxford always seemed like such a magical, storied place. I wanted my own story there. The worst characters in my book do have real life inspirations, but I won’t name them. Thea was inspired by myself, but also my little sister. And Dominic, who I think might be the most beloved character in the book, is based on my husband Caleb.
What was your favorite part of researching this book?
For sure it was delving into the history and practice of alchemy. It’s such a fascinating subject. As someone who loves philosophy, theology, and the history of science and medicine, alchemy is all those things, but with MAGIC!
Was there a chapter or scene that was harder to write than you had anticipated?
When I was at the mid-point of drafting the novel, I had a very strange experience of disorientation. I now think I was having some sort of allergy, but at the time, I just felt very fuzzy and unable to think straight. It was terrifying. And then I had to write a scene that describes a loss of sanity. My own fear at that time made it both easier to write, and also harder. It was frighteningly easy to sink into the experience.
And how were you able to work through it?
I leaned into it! I let what I was experiencing inform the writing, and I think it made certain elements of the book stronger. But it was definitely not comfortable!
What advice would you give to authors who are working on, or are thinking about writing historical fiction?
Choose a period you have a lot of familiarity with, but don’t let that familiarity lure you into thinking you know things you don’t! Historical fiction readers are birds of prey. They will spot your inaccuracies, no matter how small, and they will attack.
When you were writing A Golden Fury what kinds of music did you listen to help keep you motivated and inspired?
I usually have a playlist for drafting books. For AGF, there was a lot of St. Vincent on there. Some FKA Twigs for the chaotic parts. A lot of The National because I was just really into them at that particular moment.
What’s your favorite food to snack on while writing?
Right now, I’m obsessed with roasted seaweed snacks. This is the kind of food that I always avoided because it sounded like something I would hate, but my kids requested that I get them some and it turns out it’s delicious. I’m eating it right now. So salty. Mmm.
About 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.
Follow the rest of the blog tour by following this link and be sure to check it out over on Instagram too!