Singing the Praises of This Savage Song

Sarah Clark, Senior Editor

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This Savage Song is a fantasy fiction novel written by Victoria Schwab and was published on June 7, 2016. The book alternates point of view from the two main characters, August Flynn and Kate Harker. Victoria Schwab has also written other novels in series such as the Shades of Magic series, Everyday Angel series, and The Archived series. This Savage Song is the first book within the Monsters of Verity series and the second novel in the series, Our Dark Duet, was released in the summer of 2017.

The novel is through the viewpoint of two teenagers whose parents run different halves of a city. In the novel, there are three different kinds of monsters: Corsai, Malchai, and Sunai. Sunai are the rarest form of monster as there are only three existing Sunais in the novel. Sunais can only be made through large tragedies such as a bombing. August Flynn happens to be a Sunai, along with his two other siblings. The city has become so divided that monsters are being bred and roaming free. Mayor Harker, Kate’s father, wants to take over the other half of the city and get his hands on a Sunai. Both Kate and August desire something completely opposite of one another. August’s only wish is to be able to help the innocent and be as kind as his “father,” which is difficult because he is a Sunai. Kate longs to be as ruthless as her father and prove to him that she is of Harker blood. When Kate returns home from her final boarding school, she and August meet at a school they were both sent to. The catch is that August has been sent there to “keep tabs” on Kate. It is only a matter of time before Kate discovers August’s secret of who he is, and in a twist of events, the two must choose whether or not to depend on each other when everything else seems to be against them.

One of the biggest things I liked about the novel was something that was written on the cover. Words on the cover state, “there’s no such thing as safe,” which makes more sense after reading the novel. Plus, the setting of the book is genuinely interesting to think about, a world where a city is torn apart and monsters are roaming the streets. I also really liked the plot development and the circumstances that the two characters met under. I also enjoyed the concept of the tallies on a Sunai’s body and the action of “going dark.” Going dark is a phrase that Sunai undergo for different reasons, and whenever it happens something terrible happens. Each Sunai has different reasons for undergoing this process, and for August he struggles with trying to stay normal when he is hungry, which means he has not fed on the souls of people who have done wrong actions. The tally marks on a Sunai’s body indicate how many days they have existed without going dark. I also liked the background of Kate that is revealed in the novel. She has been kicked out of six boarding schools in an attempt to return home to her father, so she can prove her worth to him. He had sent her away to “keep her safe” from the issues of the city. Personally, I also was entertained by the cliché concept that the two leaders of the two sections of the city hated each other in this particular novel. Another positive to me personally about this book is that it is not really a romance novel, more or less a journey of survival.

Although I genuinely enjoyed the book, there were some things to me that stuck out or could have been better. At a few points in the novel, I felt as if the plot dragged on a little too much, but that is about the only issue I had found with it. I also think that the beginning of the book could have been a little better at setting the plot and development; however, given the complicated setting, it wasn’t a poor introduction.

As a whole, I would highly recommend reading this book because it was an interesting and well planned out novel. If you have any interest in apocalyptic worlds, I strongly suggest giving this novel a chance; however, even if it seems like you would have no interest in a series set in an apocalyptic world, I would still suggest This Savage Song, as it is very captivating. Plus, it is not a series that drags on unnecessarily as it is only a two book series, so it can be read fairly easily.

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