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.
A Golden Fury originally caught my eye because of that beautiful cover but after reading the synopsis for this one I was immediately intrigued to know more. The story follows Thea Hope, a young girl longing to be an alchemist like her mother. However her mother controls all the aspects of her life and Thea wants nothing more than to help her uncover the secrets of the philosopher’s stone. Whilst looking at her mother’s stones Thea discovers that there is a curse placed on the stone that drives anyone who uses it to insanity. Forced to flee France and live in Oxford, Thea soon becomes entangled with a group of alchemists desperate to steal her knowledge and create the stone themselves.
A Golden Fury is a really enjoyable read, full of mystery and atmosphere. I loved the setting of the story and Cohoe did a great job with the world building. The story is an engrossing one and I was completely fascinated by the idea of alchemy and the possibility of creating the Philosopher’s Stone. It definitely felt like Cohoe brought a fresh perspective to a well known story and I loved learning about the alchemy and the work Thea and her mother did.
A Golden Fury drops the reader right into the middle of the story and there’s plenty to keep the reader hooked. I did feel the pacing was a little off, with it being a bit on the slower side to start. Despite this I really enjoyed this one overall and I really liked Thea as a main protagonist. It was interesting seeing her relationships with her parents and how they changed over time. Thea is quite a likeable character – she’s strong and smart and she stands up for what she believes in.
Overall I thought A Golden Fury was an impressive debut and I would be interested to read more from Samantha Cohoe. Her beautiful writing style and fascinating world had me hooked from the very beginning. If you’re looking for an addictive new historical fantasy to escape in this autumn, A Golden Fury has got you covered.