‘This Savage Song’: a fascinating, action-packed backlist pick from an all-time fave

December 15, 2022

TITLE: This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1)
AUTHOR: V.E. Schwab
GENRE: Fantasy/Dystopia
PAGES: 416pg
PUBLISHER: Greenwillow Books 
(Collector’s Edition published by Titan Books)

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city, a grisly metropolis where the violence has begun to create real and deadly monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the inhabitants pay for his protection. August just wants to be human, as good-hearted as his own father―but his curse is to be what the humans fear.

The thin truce that keeps the Harker and Flynn families at peace is crumbling, and an assassination attempt forces Kate and August into a tenuous alliance. But how long will they survive in a city where no one is safe and monsters are real…

goodreads button

It was a cruel trick of the universe, thought August, that he only felt human after doing something monstrous.

I’ll admit that this book had a rocky beginning for me, but I should know by now to never doubt V.E. Schwab. She’s one of my all-time favorite authors for a very good reason, and while this wasn’t my favorite book of hers, it definitely won me over by the end and I had such a good time in this world. If it tells you anything, my buddy read partner and I finished this today and are starting the sequel tomorrow (and I never read series installments back-to-back, so that’s a big deal for me!).

“We are the darkest acts made light.”

First of all, I enjoyed the setting and world-building immensely, but I wish we’d had more of it. I’m really hoping the second book explains the backstory a bit more, because I need to know more about what happened to turn the United States into this wasteland full of sin-spawned monsters! I did really love that we gradually got explanations for how the Corsai, Malchai, and Sunai were created, and I found the concept of the Sunai in particular really interesting: this idea that they were entities born of massively violent events was so sad and thought-provoking.

He wasn’t made of flesh and bone, or starlight.
He was made of darkness.

As far as the characters go, Kate took a while to win me over, and even by the end of the book, I can’t say I loved her, but I did enjoy watching her grow. August, on the other hand, had my heart from the moment we met him and that feeling only solidified as the book went on. He’s such an angsty, sad, soft little cinnamon roll and I hope we get to see him find peace by the end of this duology, because if anyone deserves it, August does.

Not with a bang, but with a whimper.
In with gunfire and out with smoke.

Overall, I thought This Savage Song was a really fun read. It didn’t quite match up to V’s writing in their other works, in my opinion, but I didn’t want to put it down and felt like the pacing was perfectly done so that the story flew by me. I think it would make an incredible film and I’d love to see that happen someday. 🤞 This was a 4.5-star read for me, but I can easily justify rounding up because of how much I adored the ending. I can’t wait for book 2 tomorrow!

Buddy read with the incredible Misty! 💖

content warnings →

violence, death, fire, minor bullying, parent loss, grief

representation →

Kate is deaf in one ear


twitter | booktok | bookstagram goodreads

More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

    1. Great review Destiny you said it perfectly. I’m really enjoying buddy reading this with you and I really hope things turn out good for August in the end!!

Say hello! ♥

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.