This Savage Song Review

thissavagesong.jpgThis Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, Book 1) by Victoria Schwab

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.

About the Author: Victoria “V.E.” Schwab is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, she has been known to say “tom-ah-toes”, “like”, and “y’all”. She currently lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, and when she is not wandering in search of buried treasure, fairy tales, and good tea, she’s tucked in a cafe, dreaming up monsters.

Genre: young adult, fantasy, paranormal, dystopian, science fiction

More Info: hardcopy, 427 pages, published by Greenwillow Books on July 5, 2016



I read This Savage Song for Aentee’s (Read at Midnight and @readatmidnight) #ReadThemAllThon. Here is my TBR pile for this reading challenge. I was reading this to achieve the Cinnabar Island: Flame Badge – read a book with a red cover. It was easy to chose This Savage Song for this challenge. It was one of my highly anticipated reads and I realized I don’t have that many red books. Here is my current trainer’s card, updated to the point that this review is published (8/18/16 at 10:00):


{Trainer’s Card graphic:

Pixel Charmeleon graphic:}


This Savage Song is fantastic! This is the first book I have read by this author and now I want to read all of her books. This review might seem disorganized and frantic. That is because I have so much to say and I don’t know how to write as elegantly as Schwab. Sorry.

A city divided…that sounds dramatic, but it is true nonetheless. In the territory of Verity lies V-City. V-City is split into two halves, North and South. After 6 years of war, they drew a line in the sand and made a treaty. Now, Callum Harker runs the North and Henry Flynn runs the South. The history: First came the Phenomenon. Then, the United States divided into 10 sections, territories.

And then the monsters came. Most common: Corsai. Common: Malchai. Least common: Sunai. Three types of monsters, all born from some tragedy, ranging in the level of catastrophe.

August Flynn is one of these monsters. He is a Sunai, only one of three. He resents his non-human status. After he fell two time previously, he holds guilt over the innocents he killed. Each day without going dark he receives a tally mark on his skin, flowing over his arms and shoulders. His “father” is the leader of the South, and August wants to join his resistance. Despite having 3 monster children of his own, Henry’s mission is to kill the Corsai and Malchai whom slaughter humans viciously. To take action, August attends school in the North to keep a watchful eye on Kate, the enemy’s daughter.

Katherine Harker is the daughter of a dangerous and unfeeling man. He has pawned her off to school after school after her mother died but all she wanted was to be at his side, so she rebelled. Finally she gets her wish and life becomes a little more perilous. She wants to rule at her new school. That means being feared and knowing everything about everyone. So when Frederik Gallagher (aka. August) puzzles her, she is determined to figure out his secret. Bad decision. In the process, other monsters attempt murder her. Lovely.

August ends up tangled in Kate’s problems, so they end up running together while both being hunted. Kate can’t trust anyone and August starts to lose himself along the way. There are those on both sides trying to break the treaty. Meanwhile, tensions are rising, monsters are defecting, and the peace is lost. There is no rest for the wicked.

I see echoes on both sides, parallels between north and south, Harker and Flynn. The “families” are so similar, yet so different in their motivations. August and Kate, Henry and Callum, Leo and Sloan. They are two sides of the same coin.

I liked how Schwab introduced the setting, plot, politics, monsters etc. She creates her world over many chapters. It wasn’t till 1/3 or more into the book that I fully understood the conflict and intricate details. I was glad she did it in this fashion. It is a lot of information, and learning it all at once would be hard to process.

This isn’t your typical YA book: there is no romance! (…yet, we’ll see what happens in book two.) I mean, this book seems to be set up as a Romeo and Juliet trope, but there is no kissing, sex, etc. This book is more focused on the politics, the monsters, the action, and the struggle of the main characters. They don’t fall head over heels in love with each other at first glance, or slowly get drawn in by the other. They become friends, or maybe acquaintances, along the way. After a rough beginning and major distrust, they help and aid one another.

Schwab’s writing is flawless. I mean that in the sense that every word, every sentence blended together perfectly. I was in love with her diction and syntax. I was fawning over certain phrases and glued to each paragraph that contained variation. I cannot express how much I love her prose.

The ending was a slight cliffhanger, leaving me very interested to see what happens in book 2, Our Dark Duet. I loved the character development by the conclusion. I especially loved August’s new perspective, I just hope his acceptance won’t change who he is over the course of time.

The price is totally worth the book. Oh, wait. The book is totally worth the price. 😉

Buy it here:









This quiz, all questions, answers, and results, belongs to EpicReads. Click the picture to take the quiz for yourself.


How many tattoos do you have (or want)?
  • No tattoos for me!
  • Tattoos all over!
  • Just one or two tattoos.


You’ve been out in the sun all day, how bad is your burn?
  • My skin can totally handle the summer sun.
  • I’m a little red, but it’s not too bad.


Can you read this sheet music?
  • Yes.
  • Not even a little.


Which classic monster have you dressed up as for halloween?
  • The Mummy.
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon.
  • Dracula.
  • Bride of Frankenstein.
  • The Werewolf.
  • Frankenstein’s Monster.


How cold are your hands right now?
  • They are normal temperature????
  • My hands are always cold. 


Were there actually monsters under your bed when you were a kid?
  • Um, duh!
  • Nah!


Which TV show gives you the Netflix and chills?
  • Hannibal
  • The Walking Dead
  • Scream
  • Hemlock Grove
  • The Strain
  • Penny Dreadful


How big is your squad?
  • It’s just me and my bestie.
  • 4+ members.
  • Forever alone.


Have you read this [This Savage Song] book yet?
  • Not yet but it’s on my to be read pile!


You are a CORSAI! These wraith-like creatures, more shadow than solid, move in swarms, and feed on flesh and bone. They have a hive mind and are drawn to fear. Bound to solid darkness, they can never see the light of day.



Have you read This Savage Song? Have you read any other of Victoria Schwab’s books? Do you have any recommendations for which of her books I should read next? Let me know in the comments.



16 thoughts on “This Savage Song Review

  1. Jessica @ Pore Over the Pages says:

    Maybe the word “no” is too harsh. Like I said, there is a Romeo and Juliet trope embedded in the book. There is some general hand holding and maybe even flirting. There is a tension between the two but no kissing, sex, etc. The banter between August and Kate is witty and entertaining. I would still give the book a chance.
    Happy reading!

    Jessica @ Pore Over the Pages


  2. mayathebookexplorer says:

    Fantastic review! I’ve heard so much about this auhor and I have yet to read her books but since everyone is telling me how good it is, I will obviously read it. Have you read Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet? It’s NA/fantasy book and it’s amazing. Also, anything from Laini Taylor is a must read.


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