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A Golden Fury

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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.

352 pages, Hardcover

First published October 13, 2020

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About the author

Samantha Cohoe writes historically-inspired young adult fantasy. She 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 currently lives in Denver with her family and divides her time among teaching Latin, mothering, writing, reading, and deleting adverbs. A Golden Fury is her debut novel.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 768 reviews
Profile Image for jessica.
2,533 reviews32.3k followers
October 5, 2020
i hate comparing stories, but if you enjoyed the ‘stalking jack the ripper’ series, then you will want to get your hands on this book.
the atmosphere, the characters, the storyline, the history - this honestly feels like it could be book #5.

thats not to say this isnt original. i think the story provides a fresh take on the philosophers stone and alchemy. the pacing is on the slower side of things and there arent really any high stakes propelling the story forward, but its the overall vibe of the story like i enjoyed.

overall, a very solid debut and more enjoyable than i thought it would be!

thanks so much to wednesday books/st. martins press for the ARC!

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,194 reviews40.5k followers
March 5, 2023
Choo choo sounds of disappointment train meets with expired baking powder taste of frustration( don’t ask me how I know expired baking powder taste! It’s another prank story)

After seeing this incredible cover and interesting women alchemists’ story waltzes with magical realism and fantasy with horrific delusional vibes and philosopher stone’s growing power reminds us of Frodo’s ring which turns to people more miserable than Gollum and pushes them into burning alive in their own hell by losing their insanities picked my interest from the beginning.

The beginning of the book: We’re introduced with 17 years old Thea and her mother who are talented alchemists and they are so close to create philosopher’s stone. Thea is sick of her mother’s harsh, loveless manners and her narcissistic personality that forces her living under her mother’s growing ego and mental abuse. Without Thea’s help, her mother cannot finish the ending process of creation and as soon as process completed, her mother had a manic attack and destroyed the stone. Thea luckily saved herself from her anger and killing attempt, was sent to Oxford to meet her professor father who hasn’t known her existence.

Thea’s meeting with her father and his assistant Dominic, helping them at the laboratory for the creation process of white elixir puts Thea’s life into danger because getting closer to create the stone brings out the madness of the alchemists. At least that’s the explanation of how the alchemist curse works.

Dominic tries to help young woman to reconcile with her father but when he finds himself in more dangerous situation which completely ruins his life, Thea offers him to runaway with him to London for hiding at her ex lover Will’s place (he was working with her mother till her mother finds out their secret relationship and fires him!) Those action packed and exciting parts of the book earned nearly 5 stars from me.

And after they escape to London to meet with Will and captured by ruthless German soldiers who work for dangerous wealthy business man for paying Will’s debt, the mystery still kept me on my toes.

But especially third part of the book and Thea’s blind love and devotion for Will slowed down the pace and the story started to drown into the repetitive spiral. Especially last chapters were so melodramatic, tasteless and illogical. I wanted to scream at the author for killing all the characters and end this never ending spiral. I felt like she lost her way and she couldn’t decide how she could end the story with satisfying conclusion.

I’m giving the first half: 4.5 stars

And I’m giving the second half of the book: 1.5 stars

Average: I’m giving 3 stars. I felt like I read something that I loved so much at the beginning and I truly hated in the end.

I know it was debut novel and I believe the author has great potential to find interesting plot ideas and she has creative writing skills which hooked me for the first half of the book. So I still want to read her upcoming works. But I wish the last third of the book could be rewritten. Especially those foreseeable romance mystery and long additional escape part just made me lose my interest.

P. S: I have to add: I fell in love with the perfect cover of the book and admired the talent of illustrator.

Special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/ Wednesday books for sharing this arc in exchange my honest opinions.

Profile Image for Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink.
259 reviews4,891 followers
February 20, 2020
Review to come!

Also please be aware of a few triggers such as self harm, an instance that seems like it could be rape, and mental illness / madness referencing throughout
Profile Image for Jasmine from How Useful It Is.
1,290 reviews343 followers
October 19, 2020
This book was an interesting read but slow paced for my liking. I haven't read an alchemy story before so I like the mentioned of Philosopher's Stone because it made me think of Harry Potter. I liked that the main character has a sharp tongue and can think and make decisions on her own. I like reading and came upon info that occurred in other books I read like the revolution going on in France.

This book started in Normandy, France, 1792 following Bee/Thea/Theosebea, 17, told in the first person point of view. There's the revolutionary going on in France and her mom wanted her to leave the country for safety. She has been training to be an Alchemist from her mom and they are near completion to creating the White Elixir. Thea didn't want to leave her mom but something happened to her mom and she had to leave at the last minute. She went to seek her father who also happened to be aiming to conquer the same thing as her mom. Unexpected event happened and she traveled to London to help a friend. The elixir has the power that no one was prepared for.

A Golden Fury was well written, just not for me. A true historical story with fussy fashion and aristocracy. So many situations called for Thea to be angry like her mom kicked her out of their laboratory, her dad's unwelcome attitudes, problems in London, etc and along the way I lose interest. It's good that she can rely on the guys she met but I prefer at least one family member support her without hesitation. I do like how her mom trained Thea so that she would have a talent to survive on her own.

xoxo, Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for more details

Many thanks to Wednesday Books for inviting me to host a blog tour. I appreciate the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.
Profile Image for Claude's Bookzone (on hiatus).
1,501 reviews201 followers
December 5, 2020
Well the last 10% was very good.

I had hoped for more alchemy and action, and less relationship drama. I didn't feel invested in the relationships that did exist and of course *dramatic pause* there was a love triangle. Another novel where a supposedly strong female character's story is largely controlled by the men around her. I did like the writing and Thea herself, it just didn't engage me enough until the final section. I am happy others have enjoyed this novel. Just not for me.
Profile Image for Jenny Moke.
Author 4 books270 followers
April 2, 2019
Listen, it pains me to write this review because Samantha Cohoe and I are declared enemies and there's a duel on the horizon because no one should be allowed to write this well.

Thea's voice grabbed me from page 1 and held me in its lacy-gloved vice grip until we went crashing into the conclusion together. How Cohoe managed to tell a story that had an excellent voice AND set the historical stage of the story at the same time is the Philosopher's Stone of writing some of us are constantly struggling for.

Thea is an adept (an assistant - although maybe don't call her that to her face) to her mother, a famous alchemist in France on the eve of the French Revolution. Alchemy is a dangerous science for more reasons than the volatility of their craft, but Thea's mother is on the verge of a breakthrough. She has discovered the formula for the holy grail of alchemy - the Philosopher's Stone. But she's gone mad and shut Thea out of their laboratory, sending her off instead to England to a father she's never met.

Thea decides to create her own Philosopher's Stone and use it to cure her mother's madness and prove herself worthy of the title of alchemist. But much as Marie Antoinette thought they were all just going to eat cake together, Thea doesn't know all the treachery that lies in wait for her. I spent the majority of the story not knowing who to trust and biting my nails when people showed their true natures to Thea. I just wanted so badly for things to go well for my girl. But sometimes we've got to go through hell to find ourselves.

Do yourselves a favor and get this one on preorder, because this is the kind of historical that will satisfy any kind of reader. It's beautifully staged but not heavy and dry, with an engrossing plot and a complex main character that will have you sending your manicure bill to the publisher by the end of it.
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,154 reviews1,513 followers
August 11, 2021
A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe is a young adult historical fantasy standalone novel. The story in this one takes place in the 18th century, 1792 starting in Normandy, France then onto London with the characters dealing in alchemy.

Seventeen year old Thea Hope wants to become a legendary alchemist and has been studying alchemy under the instruction of her own mother. The ladies have been working on creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone and Thea knows that they are getting close. However, Thea’s mother proceeds with the experiments without her and is cast into a world of madness.

Thea is then sent to London to live with her father, a father who she has never known and who does not know her. Thea’s father is a professor at Oxford and Thea soon learns that there are alchemists there that will do anything to get their hands on her mother’s notes and the stone but Thea quickly learns that the stone is under a curse and is the cause of her mother’s insanity.

When I first saw A Golden Fury I debated back and forth on whether I wanted to pick it up or not with my pickiness when it comes to fantasy reads. More often than not I find things that keep me from enjoying the books, mostly with slow pacing, not enough action or reminding me of other books. This time however I actually found myself enjoying this one with it’s mix of all involved, being historical and taking on alchemy and tossing in some romance to the mix as well. I liked the protagonist in this one and was engaged with the action so I’m coming to the conclusion I’m more a standalone fantasy reader than series it seems.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for Mara.
1,556 reviews3,755 followers
September 24, 2020
This is a tough one to rate, because I think the front half of this book is really strong. I thought the writing was nice, the premise was well realized, and I particularly liked the way the abusive elements of the dynamic between our heroine & her mother were integrated. That said-- I think the second half of this was a noticeable dip in success. It kind of just fell apart. So I'll split the difference & call this a ~2.5-3 star
Profile Image for Heidi The Reader.
1,376 reviews1,431 followers
December 22, 2020
"Do you think I do not know why you wish to send me away? But I will not let you, not when we are near to making the White Elixir! I will not be erased from our achievement!"

Thea has worked her entire life in her mother's alchemist laboratory. Now, she's in love with a former apprentice and ready to begin a laboratory of her own, but her mother is acting strangely. Could it be because her mother is near to the breakthrough of a lifetime or is she having a breakdown? Thea is going to find out.

This young adult, coming-of-age story weaves alchemy and romance in a slow paced foot race to a predictable ending.

The thing that I find so compelling about alchemy, which I felt the author didn't use to its maximum effect, is the spiritual side of the practice. Perhaps, historically speaking, most concerned themselves with alchemy for its elusive promises of immortality and unending wealth. But it is the spiritual treasures of the practice that most interest me and that I feel have the most untapped storytelling potential.

Though there were a few spiritual elements in A Golden Fury, I wanted there to be much more.

"The Philosopher's Stone gave everything humankind wanted but did not believe we could have in this life. With such a reward, it was not hard to see how so many great minds had wrecked themselves in its pursuit."

To be fair, I think the intended audience for this book is younger than I am. However, I believe even young adults can appreciate a story with a little more complexity than A Golden Fury dishes up, especially in the development of the main character, Thea, and the various antagonists.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a free digital copy of this book.
Profile Image for human.
640 reviews987 followers
January 20, 2021
Thank you to Netgalley and Wednesday Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

(actual rating: 2.5/5)

I really wanted to enjoy this one, but I suppose it just wasn't meant to be.

Thea Hope is a budding alchemist under her mother's tutelage in the midst of the French Revolution, working to create the Philosopher's Stone, a fabled stone said to turn any metal into gold and the creator immortal. However, when a bout of madness compels her to destroy it just before their hard work pays off, Thea is sent to Oxford to live with her father for her own safety. But when news spreads that Thea knows how to create the Philosopher's Stone, it becomes apparent that some alchemists will do absolutely anything to attain such power, and that Thea is no longer safe - from both those willing to go to extreme measures to get what they want, and the Stone itself.

The beginning of this book is set up quite well and develops intrigue right away. The book was written so beautifully that it was a definite let-down that I didn't like it. I was interested enough in the beginning, but things quickly started changing for the worse by the time I was halfway through. The book itself is quite slow-paced, and didn't have the action that I felt I was promised in the premise. The ending tried to tie things up with a bow, but I felt that it failed to acknowledge/resolve certain plot points, and overall left me feeling quite unsatisfied.

While there wasn't a lot of plot, I felt that there was a fair amount of character growth and development, but that didn't stop me from disliking Thea and especially her mother. I hated Will with every atom of my being when reading this and still do. While the characters certainly are interesting enough, I wasn't drawn to them; they didn't feel realistic or 3-dimensional to me, and that was a huge hindrance to my enjoyment of this book.

Personally, one of the only redeeming qualities of this book was probably the somewhat immersive-ness of the setting. Even though not much truly happened in the book but for the last few chapters, I liked the way the author wrote about and described the people and the places that were involved in the story. While I certainly felt like this book could have been far better, it wasn't completely horrible either.

Overall, I would recommend this book to someone who wants a fairly slow read but wouldn't mind it, or is looking for the same thing in a YA historical fantasy. It was alright, I suppose. I just didn't like it.
Profile Image for Wren (fablesandwren).
675 reviews1,501 followers
October 6, 2020
Thank you Wednesday Books for letting me apart of this blog tour and providing me with an eARC through NetGalley.

Head over to my blog to read an excerpt on this book! Link is in bio!

Can we just take a moment to appreciate that stunning cover? I love the colors on it and honestly it made me want to read this book even more than the premise!

This is one of those books that you devour in a day.

This book totally started out strong. You meet Thea and automatically know she is not happy with her mother. Her mother comes off as horrendous and cruel right from the start and you are rooting for Thea to get away from her. I mean, she is keeping Thea away from the only person who has every encouraged and cherished her the way she deserves... he just happened to be the apprentice of her alchemist mother. They have been writing letters back and forth and she knows she will see him again.

But Thea is more mad about the fact she and her mother were so close to creating the legendary Philosopher's Stone when her mother locked her out of the laboratory! She did this to take all the credit for herself when she KNOWS she was a key player in the creating of it as well! Little does Theta know that creating such a whispered-about item takes more than just smarts, but it also might take your sanity.

I really enjoyed reading from the perspective of Thea. She is strong, worried about herself and doesn't take no for an answer. She makes some pretty questionable decisions. As I mentioned before, the story started out super strong, but then it started to linger. The romance felt a little forced to me, and towards the end you find out why but the journey there wasn't for me. She felt a little love-struck with Will and I all I felt between them was her worry and desperation to be with him.

Dominic on the other hand, was a breath of fresh air. I loved that he kept trying to get Thea to see the bright side of things, even when there was basically nothing bright to see. Thea just... she just got on my nerves in a few parts. Which, she is a flawed character so that is to be expected, you know?

The writing was absolutely lyrical. I am not usually a big fan of historical fiction, but Cohoe makes me want to try more with her descriptions and the way she weaves sentences together.

Trigger Warnings : Assault (that read as a rape at first), self harm, mental illness and mentions of madness through out the whole book

Samantha’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/smcohoe
Samantha’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/samanthacohoe/
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Buy link for A GOLDEN FURY: https://read.macmillan.com/lp/a-golde...
October 16, 2020
Psychologically unsettling, darkly magical, and patriarchy-smashing, A Golden Fury was a great debut novel. It’s a highly enjoyable, fast-paced read, with an intoxicating blend of darkness, madness, alchemy, history, betrayal, and loyalty–definitely a good way to get in the mood for fall.

There was so much to enjoy about this book! A lot of it, though, comes down to the central element of defying norms.

At the center of this book is a young woman who, by all measures, is far from normal. In the 1700s, she grew up as an illegitimate child who did not know her father, traveled around Europe with her often-unkind mother, only really had one friend, and excelled at alchemy–which, being science-adjacent, was a heavily male-dominated field, and beyond that, was regarded as a less-than-legitimate course of study by most of society. Her struggles throughout the story were compounded by this outsider status she experienced, and Cohoe did a great job of weaving this “outsider” status through Theosebia’s narrative. Always striving to prove herself, to step out from under her mother’s shadow and cement her own place in the world, drives Thea to make some…interesting choices. In a good way. It also impacts her willingness to trust others, and the depth of trust she is willing to allow them.

On a larger scale, there was plenty of commentary in the book subtly (or not-so-subtly) criticizing norms such as Eurocentrism and patriarchy. For example, Thea remarks more than once that part of why she has an advantage over other alchemists is that she can read Arabic, which allows her to study texts outside of the traditional Western canon and exposes her to more specific (and helpful) directions to create the Philosopher’s Stone. Meanwhile, Thea also finds herself struggling to chart her own path, to deal with expectations that women should marry and act a certain way, to untangle her own complicated feelings toward an old friend, and to thrive in a space where there are few other women. (No, seriously, there are only really two other female characters in the book, three if you count one who is mentioned but never on-page. And one of those two/three is her mother.)

But this book also did a nice job breaking some tropes within the YA fantasy genre that, frankly, I was getting tired of anyway. Without spoiling anything, it takes an approach to romance that is not conventional but is entirely fitting for the story. It also was–thank god–a standalone! Yes, that’s right–the ending feels conclusive, and you don’t have to worry about a sequel or a cliffhanger! It ties things up nicely and leaves just a smidgen of room to imagine where Thea’s story will go next, without creating the need for a follow-up story to tell us about that.

There were a few elements of this book that I wasn’t quite as crazy about. While I loved that it was a quick read, there were some parts where the pacing felt off–things that I assumed would take a long time got resolved unnaturally fast. And this led to my other big concern, which was that the story itself sometimes got a little unclear. Characters took actions that didn’t always feel intuitive, or certain “explanations” didn’t quite answer all the questions they claimed to answer. But as a whole, these issues didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment.

In no particular order, a few other things I liked:

- Plenty of twists and betrayals, but nothing that felt so out of left field that it didn’t make sense
- Amazing psychological complexity! The nature of the madness is captured so well in the writing style. Hallucinations, loss of agency, delusions, the whole nine yards. Good stuff.
- General historical atmosphere, including less-than-savory topics like consumption (the illness, not consumerism…)
- Occasional interweaving of philosophy, emphasizing how the Philosopher’s Stone had major implications from a socioeconomic standpoint, in addition to the obvious personal-fame-and-wealth perspective

As a whole, this was a really solid debut, and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of fantasy, girl power, and vaguely unsettling moments of insanity.

Trigger/content warnings: suicide, self-harm, insanity, dissociation, torture (off-page), threat of rape
Profile Image for A Book Shrew.
595 reviews132 followers
May 18, 2021
Alchemy, historical France, clever girls with an impossible task at hand—Basically everything I never knew I needed mashed into a book for me to read.

Thank you so much to Wednesday Books for the physical ARC!

Full review at A Book Shrew

I will admit that right off the bat I feel a tiny bit deceived, and only because I was expecting a historical romp about alchemy in France. However, aside from the first few chapters, the bulk of the book takes place in England. Specifically at Oxford University and in London. The plot centres around Thea and her quest to craft the next-to-impossible Philosopher's Stone. To be able to turn any metal into gold and heal any illness, it is every alchemist's dream. But there's the small problem of that touch of madness creeping in whenever an alchemist gets to a certain part of the process. This is, of course, what happens to her mother, and what kicks off Thea's journey.

Thea was a terribly interesting character. For one, she is unbelievably clever. Gotta love me a girl who knows five plus languages and knows more than all the men in the room. The star of the show was really Thea when a certain madness started creeping in while she worked to make the stone. The shift in her thinking was fabulous! Another stellar part of the cast was the dynamics between them. Between Thea and her mother, between her and her father—all of it was so intriguing.

I really enjoyed the fact that it felt like there were several villains and all times in the story. Like Thea was the only one in this world we as the reader could trust. The author did a fantastic job in blurring the lines of friend and foe. Even family felt like they would be her downfall, and I loved the way all those strings were pulled.

For a large chunk of the book, I was expecting a love quadrangle, but there was only one true love interest and my imagination running wild. In hindsight, I'm not entirely what I wanted out of the romance plot line. The romance itself wasn't the star of the show, and it may not have even be needed. It wasn't shoehorned in, but the story would have had the same kind of clout without it. .

I can't not spend a minute to talk about the alchemy plot, which was such fun. I want to say it's a new twist on the Philosopher's Stone mythology, but is it really new when there are so few alchemy books out there to begin with? It's what drew me to this book in the first place. This felt very well researched and integrated into the story as a whole very naturally. The diversity behind alchemy really sold me, because to learn all the secrets, alchemist need to look to other cultures and languages. No one group of people is superior to another in this craft, despite some believing they are.

Where this book floundered for me was in the pacing. This is very much plot-driven, but it did drag in some scenes, and some events felt repetitive. Normally I can finish a book this size in three to four days. This took me over a week. I just couldn't get into it the way I wanted to. Sometimes I forced myself to finish the chapter so I could do something else. Now, that may be down to the writing style, but it could also be because it wasn't particularly atmospheric, which is something I really need in my TBR right now. And a re-read may change my mind. So for now, 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Profile Image for Stewart Tame.
2,303 reviews89 followers
July 2, 2020
Full disclosure: I won a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

Thea Hope has been training her whole life to be an alchemist like her mother, one of the most famous practitioners of the art in all of Europe. They are so close to the ultimate prize: the Philosopher's Stone! But her mother has barred her from the workshop, possibly intending to finish the task without Thea, keeping all of the prestige and glory for herself. But then there's an accident in the lab. Thea’s mother seems to have gone mad. Her only option seems to be to flee from France to England, to a father she's never met. And it seems that the making of the Philosopher's Stone may carry a terrible curse …

I liked this. Theosebia Hope is a fascinating and believable character. She is young and, perhaps, naive, but not stupid. The story is partly about her figuring out how she wants to live her life and what she's willing to risk for those she loves, whether they deserve it or not. The journey she undergoes during the book is mental as well as physical.

I thought the descriptions of alchemical workings were particularly well done, and the characters were lots of fun. I definitely enjoyed this book. Recommended!
Profile Image for AJ.
237 reviews92 followers
September 8, 2020
Thank you Wednesday Books for contacting me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

"Though all I could feel was shame to be such an object of pity to a man I barely knew."

Let me take a quick moment to say how beautiful the cover is! Gosh that made me even more excited to read this book. The synopsis had me intrigued and the first few chapters sucked me in. My jaw was hitting the floor with some of the things that transpired in just the first half of the book. I found myself unable to put it down until maybe 40-45% through. So I’m a little sad that I didn’t like this book more.

It’s rare for a book to start out with a “bang” especially a debut so I was excited, but then it seemed like the author decided to take a break from the intense plot and the story started to get a little flat. I kept waiting for the action to pick back up but sadly it never did for me.

I love a good mystery and I still much enjoyed the one in this book. I kept trying to figure out “WHY” and I found myself wrong every time haha which makes mysteries all the more better.

I liked Dominic and Thea for the most part, but her decisions and what almost felt like desperation where Will was concerned, made her a bit of a annoying MC. I’m a serious romance junky and I just felt like the romance seemed forced (not by the writer, by the character) and didn’t give me that awe feeling I need to fall for a couple or their story.

What I will say is I loved the authors writing. It was descriptive, had a easy, and beautiful flow and I loved how she made the action scenes in the beginning really come to life. Almost as if watching a movie.

3/5 🌟’s
Profile Image for Judy.
1,091 reviews
September 16, 2020
Alchemy is a fascinating idea - wouldn't it be great to be able to turn common metals into silver or gold? I had to look it up and see if people still believe this can be done and I was surprised to find that alchemy is "making a comeback". I found that alchemy was used to be seen as an occult practice and was lumped in with witchcraft as a pseudo-science. It has an interesting history.

Thea Hope has worked beside her famous alchemist mother all her life and longs to be an alchemist outside her mother's shadow. The goal, to create the ultimate prize, the Philosopher's Stone. It has been said this stone can give immortality and turn any metal into gold. But, there is also said to be a curse that anyone who tries to make it will lose their sanity - what a price! Thea and her mother were living in France, but Thea was sent to Oxford to stay with her father, a man she has never met, due to the threat of the French Revolution.

I mostly enjoyed this debut novel, but at times I found some character weaknesses that I didn't like - but I figure they may fit women of that time period. And some parts I found were a little slow. But, the plot was good and the characters were well-developed and interesting.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press through Netgalley for an advance copy.

Profile Image for Darian.
189 reviews26 followers
August 16, 2021
3.25 stars
I liked this book, but I didn't like how the main character was such a strong female with such a bright mind and she let herself be ruined (for a time) for a lying piece of shit. I cannot tell you how much I hated Will. I never like him from the start. Dominic was a good character, I wish I saw more of him. Her dad, who I hated at first, grew on me in the end. Her mom was also a bitch and ungrateful. I just feel like I didn't like enough of the characters to fully enjoy this book.

BUT I loved the idea of the book and the alchemy was very very interesting with the Philosopher’s Stone/ Science and Magic.

I wanted something more, though, but I don't know what... Maybe a gruesome death for Will?

Good debut and very quick/easy to read and follow.

Also, the cover and end pages are gorgeous.
Profile Image for Kelly.
1,312 reviews502 followers
August 5, 2020
A Golden Fury takes place in 1792. At first, our protagonist lives in France with her mother but when she becomes mad and tries to kill her daughter, Thea has no other choice but to flee to Oxford to meet the father she's never met. However, the man is not the best dad in the world to say the least. Thea is a smart girl living in a man's world but she has one currency: her knowledge.

Like her mother, she wanted to be an alchemist but not just any alchemist. The alchemist who would create the white elixir and the Philosopher's stone. The first is supposed to change all metals into gold and the other is supposed to cure any sickness. But when you get too close to the result... you become mad.

I loved our main character Thea. She was determined and intelligent. Unfortunately, she didn't really have anyone in her corner. Her mother wasn't very loving, her father ... well, I'll let you find out on your own, and Will, the boy she fell in love with put her in danger with the people he owes a debt to. That's not the only thing he did, but again, I'll let you find out. Thea will find out the truth, eventually. Dominic, a young man she met in Oxford was probably the only kind/decent person that she knew.

Overall, this was a compelling story and I liked the plot but while reading, I found myself wishing for something happier. I wanted Thea and Dominic to be happy but this book felt a little too gloomy with all the lies, betrayals and madness going around. The ending didn't give me the relief or satisfaction I was looking for but it was still interesting.

(Thank you for letting me read and review an ARC via Netgalley)
Profile Image for Fizah(Books tales by me).
632 reviews53 followers
November 13, 2020
Thanks to Netgalley and Wednesday books for giving me a review copy.

Philosopher stone, Oxford, Talented Female alchemist. These points instantly caught my attention. Thea Hope is assistant of her famous alchemist mother. Her Mother-Marguerite Hope- kicked her out of the laboratory when she found out her interest in Will. Philosopher stone comes with a price, which her mother had to pay by her sanity. Thea doesn’t have any option except her father who doesn’t know about her. Thea has to go to England and save her mother.

I liked the first half of the story, the world setting and the overall theme was quite intriguing. Thea’s and her experience in Oxford was also quite interesting to read. But with time story started to get dull. I couldn’t relate to Will, and Thea and Will’s relationship was so bland and boring to me. Things started to get muddy and kind of senseless. Many things were introduced in the second half which wasn’t able to catch my attention. The story was running in a circle and I lost my interest and started to skim read it. The ending was unexpected and abrupt.
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,290 reviews215 followers
July 27, 2020
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A Golden Fury was something. In it, you will meet characters that you will eventually hate. Unless you have some insta-hate feelings but I'm not sure if that's even a thing. It should be though because so many people annoyed the living shit out of me. For example, Thea's mom, supposed best friend, and her father.

Speaking of Thea, I loved how she wanted to be a alchemist. No matter how awful her own mother was towards her, she still tried to help her out. Then when she was sent away to go meet her sperm donor, I had no idea what to expect. To say I wasn't surprised by how selfish he was would be an understatement. Thea definitely needs better parents who see her as a human being, instead of whatever they were thinking would float their boats.

Then there's Will. Oh lord, at first I was blind. I didn't see how manipulative this little turd was until it was way too late. Boy, do I hate him so much and I am not satisfied by how this book ended one freaking bit.

Besides that, I did like the whole plot throughout this book. Even if the twists were a bit weird and confused me. I probably would've liked this book a whole lot more if I got a different ending.. but I will accept what I got. I guess.
Profile Image for Tessa.
108 reviews33 followers
July 7, 2020
*My thanks to the publisher for gifting me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review*

A Golden Fury is a YA fantasy with historical elements about a young alchemist named Thea Hope who longs for little more than to be judged by her own merits and not just the scrappings of her mother, who is already a world-famous alchemist They've been working furiously to create the Philosopher's Stone, and just on the heels of a great success of Thea's doing, her mother destroys it before it can be finished. Furious and desperate for answers, she finds that her mother's slow-churning madness wasn't just her cruelty taking over, but that the Stone can make those who are attempting to create it insane.

Sent away to her estranged father and now on the run, Thea must keep the knowledge of the Stone from those who would ignore her warnings in an attempt to make it themselves and will soon be cast with a terrible choice.

This may have started a bit slow, but as the ball got rolling I enjoyed the ride. Thea's main focus was not (always, at any rate) the boy she was in love with, but her craft and her work, which was such a nice departure from what we usually see in this sort of story. This story was chock full of fantastic themes; the struggle for power, politics, betrayal, family dynamics, dramatic, fast-paced escapes, and the refusal to let anyone else take your work from you. Thea's struggle was a mirror of many women in the world who are overlooked for their achievements and the way that she absolutely refused to let that happen endeared her to me more than I could possibly explain.

Alchemy is a subject that I haven't touched on much in personal research, but one theme I know of that has kept within that lore is that the rule of alchemy is that equivalent exchange must be made—and it is often in a way that you would never expect. This story held true to that.

The second half of the book started spiraling a bit, if I do say so myself. Something shifted in the characters; their voices fell flat, the pacing suddenly took an odd sketchy turn, and I was not sure about the ending altogether. I think, as in many debuts, this one just didn't quite land where I would have wanted/expected. Still, it was a solid read all the same.

Conclusion: ⭐⭐⭐ Stars
Profile Image for Madison.
421 reviews4,774 followers
October 8, 2020
"If alchemy was our religion, then we were its priests. We held the power, and we would reap the rewards, but the burdens were ours alone. No one could take them from us."

*ARC provided by Wednesday Books*

This book had so much potential, but it fell flat with a tangled plot.

Thea Hope's mother is a world renowned alchemist. The two have spent years translating texts to create the ultimate alchemist goal, The Philosopher's Stone. But just as they reach the final steps, Thea's mother smashes the developing stone and descends into madness. With nowhere left to go, Thea travels to Oxford to find her father - a man who doesn't even know she exists. Armed with her mother's notes, she is determined to finish the stone and save her mother. But Thea quickly discovers that there is a curse placed upon those who try to create the stone - if they are unworthy of its power, they will lose their minds. Now Thea must fight to keep the stone's formula from other alchemists who want to create it.

I was really excited for this book. The novel started off strong, with Thea trying to figure out what happened to her mother and escaping to England. However, around halfway through the novel, it fell flat. The plot became messy and Thea suddenly became blinded by her love for a boy.

This is a very plot-driven novel and the characters suffered from it. Thea started off as a headstrong woman, but she begun to break apart as the novel went on. We had multiple side-characters, each with their own motives and subplots - which became messy very quickly. Speaking of the side-characters, none of them were fleshed out. Only Thea's character had depth, but that disappeared the second she was reunited with her love interest. It felt like Cohoe was trying to accomplish too much, that everything ended up being surface level.

On a positive note: I liked this take on the Philosopher's stone itself and how it was manifested. The curse and "the last alchemist" were intriguing. The science jargon wasn't heavy for the average reader (although I would've preferred a heavier hand).

ALSO - It is a little weird that this book is marketed strongly as a book set in France 1792 when Thea spends most of the novel in Oxford, England.

There was a lot of potential in the plot, and I think that as Cohoe continues to publishers she will only grow as an author. I will keep an eye out for future novels.
Profile Image for Laura.
772 reviews53 followers
October 22, 2020
"The Stone chooses the last alchemist, but woe to whom it does not accept."

Damn patriarchy! Women are still fighting for validation, equality and representation in the sciences. My daughter has wanted to be a Dr scientist since she was 3 yo trying to foster that with steam projects. And I'm so proud of our local UC Berkeley scientist who just won the Nobel Peace Prize. Thank you for giving my daughter more role models and creating doors for her to walk through.
So it's awesome when there's female against odds characters written, especially in science, ok lol end scene.
Theosebeia Hope was raised to use her mind and work in the field of alchemy. Thea's mom, is respected in their field due to some amazing weapons she produced but her life's work is to create the Philosophers Stone. She treats Thea as an apprentice not as a daughter.
As a war is about to start Thea's mother sends her to England to safety though once she's there it seems like nothing but danger finds her. The knowledge that she gained right before she left France in creating the Philosophers Stone makes her a target.
The power, immortality, wealth, is wanted by many as Thea struggles to figure out who to trust. Her life is at stake, is she worthy to be the maker of the stone? Should she trust those she's gone to for help?
This has some dark creepiness, some mad temporary insanity, torture, love, and lots of alchemy.
This book is hard to put down it moves quickly and I really enjoyed it!

Thank you Net Galley, St Martines Press and Wednesday Books for an arc for my honest review.
Profile Image for Shannon (It Starts At Midnight).
1,138 reviews1,009 followers
October 17, 2020
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

This is definitely a great premise: a female alchemist sets out to save her loved ones by being the first to create the Philosopher's Stone. But at what cost? Of course, that is a very simplified synopsis, but that's the gist. If Thea continues her mother's work to create the Stone, she too will devolve into the madness that claimed her mother's mind. But if she doesn't... well, her romantic interest (and only person she thinks she can count on) Will is likely to die. 

And truly, one of Thea's biggest problems (aside from that pesky inevitable madness) is that she is pretty low on people she can trust. At the beginning, Thea and her mom are in France, being all alchemistic. Her mom is... a piece of work, frankly. Let's just say that no one has nominated her for Mother of the Year, yeah? Thea's father lives in Oxford and apparently has no clue she's even a thing, so that's rough. Will, Thea's closet ally (and dude she kind of is in love with) is in London, and has been in communication only via letters. Once Thea's mom loses her mind, and with the threat of French Revolution looming over their heads, Thea has to take off to find Dear Old Dad. 

I loved the historical city-hopping, frankly! Obviously some of it (fine, all of it) was far less fun for Thea, and her new pal Dominic who she meets in Oxford. I don't want to say much more because where they end up going is a lot of the fun of the book, so I will keep it vague, but I enjoyed it immensely. 

I also loved Thea grappling with trust and loyalty. A lot of reviews I have read said Thea is incredibly cold, and she is! But I also understand why she's that way. It's been Thea and her mom forever, switching locations and clients constantly. And it's not one of those mother-daughter take on the world situations, it's that Thea's mother is controlling and also incredibly cold. So imagine growing up that way! I think it made perfect sense for Thea to have a hard time navigating relationships of all kinds, because no one ever taught her how to do so. 

While I enjoyed most of the book, there were a few things at the end/about the resolution that felt a little convoluted to me. I wish I could say more about them, but I just didn't wholly "get" it, I guess? But the actual end was satisfactory for me, so it all worked out. 

Bottom Line: An alchemical romp through 1790s Western Europe, I quite enjoyed uncovering the secrets of Thea's world. I look forward to the author's future work! 
Profile Image for Celia.
Author 6 books486 followers
June 29, 2020
Thank you, NetGalley for the e-arc!

Rating: 3.5

When I saw this cover and read the synopsis I thought, now this could be a breath of fresh air. A GOLDEN FURY was a well-written book with an intriguing plot involving alchemy (which we don't see enough of) and a girl who will do anything to break free of her controlling mother and absent father.

Thea is an alchemist who has worked with her mother in creating the powerful Philosopher's Stone, but before anyone can use it, Thea's mother goes mad and destroys it prompting Thea to leave the country and stay with a father whom she had never met. After a situation, Thea flees and goes off to find her friend (boyfriend?) Will, who turns out to be someone else entirely and she is forced to create the stone, which

Which, writing this review, is now what I have discovered is the theme of the book. At least, in my opinion.

Ok so this book gave me Tris and Katness vibes and that is to say that the main characters are almost devoid of emotion. Although, let's give Katniss some credit. She'd been through some s#$t. Anyway, the characters all seemed very flat and nothing truly set them apart from one another. Thea made the same mistakes over and over and it was frustrating at times. Honestly, the one one I truly cared about was my cinnamon roll, Dominic.

Although I didn't love the ending, A GOLDEN FURY was a departure from your typical YA. It just did not wholly engage me the way I thought it would. Which is a me problem? I do wish to see more from Samatha Cohoe int he future. She is one to watch!

Profile Image for Aly.
2,605 reviews
July 26, 2020
I've always thought alchemy was interesting and I loved seeing a smart woman in a time where women don't really work and are seen as incapable of understanding things like science. Thea is awesome, she speaks several languages, she knows way more science then I ever will, and she knows what she has to do. When she stood up for herself to her mother, father, Will, and everyone else, I wanted to applaud. You go girl!

The making of the philosopher's stone and the madness it causes was so intense and intriguing. Seeing the madness from Thea's point of view as she succumbs to it was crazy and great writing. The story had a good pace and I read this all in one sitting, I couldn't put it down until I knew if the stone would work.

I was a bit disappointed in the ending, I had hoped for more resolution on a couple things and the couple I was rooting for didn't happen. But it was a fun story and I can't wait to read more from this author!

I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Sarah {The Clever Reader}.
527 reviews75 followers
October 13, 2020
3.5 rounded up to 4 stars

I enjoyed the setting of A Golden Fury and liked that it featured Alchemy. I find Alchemy an interesting premise for a book and would love to read more books that feature it.

Thea finds herself in Oxford facing the father who never knew she existed after fleeing France. Her mother has lost her sanity after making the cursed Philosopher's Stone. She doesn't know if she can trust her father and when he manages to find her mothers notes the greed of wanting to accomplish the task of creating a new one convinces Thea she can't trust anyone.

So much happened in this book that at times it became very confusing. There were moments where it was hard to stay on track with who was who and what was happening. I'm still foggy on what was defined to be the cause of the madness when it came to the stone and had to talk with someone to make sure I was understanding it all.

I think that because the plot felt a bit all over the place I wasn't able to connect with the characters as much as I'd hoped. There was a feeling of some kind of romance coming about through all the chaos but then none. It's ok to have books without romance but I felt like it was setting us up for one and then nothing came of it.

I also felt that the ending left me more questions which is tough when it's a standalone novel because you hope for resolution across the board. Overall I do feel like there are a lot of people who will enjoy this but for me it just fell a bit flat.
Profile Image for spring ~♡.
401 reviews482 followers
October 10, 2020
This one is kinda hard for me to rate. I had really high hopes especially with such a pretty cover.
Unfortunately it didn’t work out for me. There were alchemist, philosopher stone, a clever girl... Basically reminded me of a certain "philosopher stone" book. (Harry Potter, anyone?)
Sadly this book was too slow for me. The starting was really good but after 60/70 pages it felt flat and well..boring. I didn’t feel anything for the characters. Didn’t even feel the need to finish the book. I just wanted to get over with it. This is not how you supposed to be feel for a book.
I guess I was hoping for more mystery and romance.
The author has great potential I believe since this is her debut. I hope her next books are gonna be better than this one.

Thanks to netgalley and the publishers for providing me an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Maria F..
272 reviews22 followers
October 28, 2020
Finished A Golden Fury and this was a very unique read that had major “Stalking Jack the Ripper vibes” in its own unique way. The main character, Thea, reminded me of Audrey Rose in the sense that she’s an alchemist- which many women aren’t known to be alchemists and she’s unapologetic about it (much like Audrey Rose is)
Thea is very clever and has a sharp tongue and temper- her number one goal is finishing the equation that’ll lead her to creating the Philosopher’s stone (but beware: the stone will only yield to the last alchemist and anyone who has ever tried and was not “chosen” eventually succumbs to madness- including Theas mother)
After a few circumstances (involving a sweet boy) lead her to go on the run, Thea ends up in the wrong hands with a tragic predicament- procure the stone and risk madness or doom all those she loves.
I loved reading this book because it was fast paced and something was always happening. I loved Thea’s character and her determination and constant willingness to sacrifice herself for the people she cares about. One aspect that shocked me was how creepy this book was- I did not expect it but I loved this dark element as well.
I wish some secondary characters had developed better and some of her relationships as well but overall I enjoyed it and the ending was sweet and “feel good”.
3.5/5 stars from me 💛
Profile Image for Dianne.
6,766 reviews588 followers
September 11, 2020
Madness, murder, greed and the magic of alchemy will send one brilliant young lady on a frantic journey across Europe to the father she never knew when her mother attempts to kill her. Dark and intriguing, A GOLDEN FURY by Samantha Cohoe pulls readers back in time and gives us a feisty young heroine whose grit and sheer determination to survive in the mysterious world of alchemists who guard their secrets and covet the successes of others with a vengeance.

What starts with a bang and continues with serious twists and the hopes of young love for Thea turn into a world where she learns there may be no one she can trust to keep her safe. Rich with the feeling of something incredible just around the corner, sometimes that turning point gets mired in the little emotional sub-plots along the way. Will Thea succumb to the madness that has gripped those around her in her quest for the greatest alchemical prize? Will she survive the insanity of others?

Definitely entertaining, this tale gets mired in an uneven flow, yet recovers wonderfully. I am looking forward to more from this debut author!

I received a complimentary ARC edition from Wednesday Books! This is my honest and voluntary review.

Publication Date : October 13, 2020
Publisher : Wednesday Books (October 13, 2020)
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
Print Length : 352 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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