This Savage Song

Hardcover | July 5, 2016

byVictoria Schwab

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#1 New York Times Bestseller * An Amazon Best Book of the Year

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from acclaimed 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, This Savage Song is a must-have for fans of Holly Black, Maggie Stiefvater, and Laini Taylor.

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. In This Savage Song, Victoria Schwab creates a gritty, seething metropolis, one worthy of being compared to Gotham and to the four versions of London in her critically acclaimed fantasy for adults, A Darker Shade of Magic. Her heroes will face monsters intent on destroying them from every side—including the monsters within.

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From the Publisher

#1 New York Times Bestseller * An Amazon Best Book of the YearThere’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from acclaimed 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...

From the Jacket

Kate Harker wants to be as ruthless as her father. After five years and six boarding schools, she’s finally going home to prove that she can be.August Flynn wants to be human. But he isn’t. He’s a monster, one that can steal souls with a song. He’s one of the three most powerful monsters in a city overrun with them. His own father’s se...

Victoria Schwab is a fantasy writer best known for her novel Vicious.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:464 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.41 inPublished:July 5, 2016Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062380850

ISBN - 13:9780062380852

Customer Reviews of This Savage Song


Rated 4 out of 5 by from This was great :) This book was good, but not as much as I thought it would be. I had high hopes, which is my fault, but it still was great. There were a bunch of slow paced times for the majority of the book. Although, when there was action it was condensed. Those parts were exciting to read. By the end, before the elegy, was such a great ending! Events happened that I would not have thought of! In the elegy however, that was a little predictable. I love how Kate Harker was human but wanted to be monstrous as much as her father and August Flynn was a Sunai (1/3 types of monsters, born by horrible situations humans made, such as killing) but wanted to be human. The contrast between the two characters was awesome. Also, I have to mention the no romance thing! How refreshing is that? ;) Overall, this was a great book, could've been done a little better, but I can't wait until the sequel/ending book comes out and see what a chaotic mess will happen in that story.
Date published: 2017-01-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Slightly Disappointing I have only read one other Victoria Schwab book and that is Vicious, which i loved, so I went into this with pretty high standards especially because everyone was saying how much they loved it. I just felt that some parts got boring after a bit. The beginning is confusing because you aren't familiar with the world, but it's slowly introduced. But maybe around the halfway point I just didn't feel like much was happening even when i knew things were happening (if that makes any sense). Also in the beginning it goes back and forth between the main characters, August and Kate, but for the later chapters they were blended together and i found it difficult to tell, for the first bit of the paragraphs, who it was about. I didn't hate this book, but i definitely don't love it as much as everyone else does although the world is extremely creative
Date published: 2017-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW! I must admit that I love everything Victoria Schwab. This book was no exception. It's great and I can't wait for the second book!
Date published: 2017-01-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book I received this novel in the Owl Crate box and was not deceived! I loved the characters development and the thrilling action!
Date published: 2017-01-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Victoria Schwab proves herself once again as a wonderful writer. I love her world-building and the sinister setting of this novel.
Date published: 2017-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Victoria Schwab is honestly someone is an automatic read for me every time. This book was amazing and through you through a loop every turn. This book looked at a lot different things than just there being monsters in the world. It looked at what makes you a monster and what makes you human. It was just so good and the characters had such depth to them.
Date published: 2016-12-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Thrilling, Dangerous Adventure With darkness in every corner, how do you fight your demons? This Savage Song is a brilliant, creatively dark and deceptive book filled with dancing shadows and thrilling darkness. I breezed through this book and already I can't wait for the next one! Monsters that are actually bred from violence? Count me in! This is a dark and thrilling adventure, and I loved every minute of it! The writing really made this book work for me. I was easily dragged in and I didn't want out. I flipped through pages easily and devoured the story as quickly as I could. My favourite part however, had to be the whole monster aspect. Violence breeds monsters; Actual monsters. You have Corsai, Malchai, and Sunai, all dangerous and dark and deadly. They are all horrifying in their greed and power and strength, but we also get to see a better side of the Sunai via August Flynn, and I really enjoyed that. Being one of the most deadly monsters in the city, August should be cold, dark, and unforgiving like every other monster in Verity City, but instead he fights to be human, to act and feel like them, look like them. This is what eventually changes Kate's views on monsters, and what helps her character develop the way it does. It's a brilliant transformation, and it was very enjoyable to read, especially their interactions! This book also has a dystopian feel to it. I didn't expect that, but it explained why the city was divided into two (Flynn's side and Harker's side; North and South) and the destruction and violence that occurs, and why they can't leave, why it's only their city being affected. The destruction of Flynn's side and utopia feel of Harker's side really let us delve into their characters a bit more, to understand why things happened how they did. Suffice it to say, Harker made my skin go cold. He was cruel, malicious, but almost seemed like a hero for letting people pay for his protection! He's a master liar and manipulator, and his darkness chilled me, but also made me enjoy this story a whole lot more. I loved every minute we got with destruction and horror, which is pretty much the entire novel. Unfortunately, while you can connect with the characters in a way that you can understand their choices, feelings, and actions, you don't empathize or care. You see the destruction and horror and know you should feel something, but you can only watch it happen without the empathetic connection. It's a great read, and I couldn't put it down, but it wasn't because my heart was racing in fear for the characters, or aching to know what happens to them. It was because the world and the monstrous aspects and just the plot of it all held me captive while the writing hooked me, and I wanted more of that. That doesn't mean the characters are bad, because they aren't. They are brilliant and I loved them all, their strength and bravery, their struggles and confessions, the bad things they had to do... I just couldn't form that one connection that would've made this book a five-star read. Overall, This Savage Song is a thrilling, mysterious and dangerous adventure that gave me chills and made my dark little heart smile. No one is safe, and hardly anyone is who they seems to be. I loved the writing, the world, and the plot. This is a book I would definitely recommend!
Date published: 2016-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So enjoyable Even though it doesn't have romance in it, I still enjoyed it oh so much! Very dark and funny and the twists were wonderful! Cannot wait for book 2!
Date published: 2016-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING! This Savage Song was so good! Its a bit of a slow start but the second half the book is really where its at! Such an interesting concept and such DARK DARK DARK characters! I was not disappointed with this read.
Date published: 2016-12-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was okay I love this author, but this is the first of her YA books that I've read. It was typical YA stuff, but Kate was a fresh character and I liked that there was no romance.
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It! I can't wait to see how the duology will end!
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Plot Twist I hear the ending is a cliffhanger
Date published: 2016-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I quite enjoyed it! I wasn't entirely sure if I was going to like the book or not, even though I know the author's previous books have received terrific reviews. The plot seemed too "out there." Not believable enough for a dystopian society. Like at all. I also didn't think I was going to like Kate, but she proved me wrong. Kate and August are great characters that I quickly connected with. I found it difficult to put the book down as they raced to save each other, and then themselves. One thing I loved about this book was that there was very little romance. A friendship is building first, which I find wonderfully refreshing. No insta-love or "I love you more than my own life" after a month of knowing each other. As a couple and as individuals, Kate and August are a great duo. AND THAT ENDING!!!!! I can't wait for the next book!
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from omg I love Victoria Schwab's writing and just the way she invented this world is breathtaking. I cannot wait to read other books by her!!!!!!
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Everyday monsters? This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab. This book takes place in V-city, a city that is now divided by a truce. A truce between monsters and humans. Can this truce hold or is someone planning another war? Hungry monsters can only be so patient. First, we are introduced to August, a boy who loves music and reading, a quiet soul. August lives in a compound safe from the outside of the city with his family. Until he is proposed with a plan, a way to finally escape these 4 walls of his bedroom. To attend school on the other side of the city, enemy territory. Getting close to the enemies daughter, Kate, a human. This is his chance. But August is not your typical high school boy, although he may look human, he is a rare kind of monster. Sunai’s eat souls, sinners souls. Will he be able to hold it together and make sure the truce hold? Monsters get hungry. I enjoyed this book and I do plan on reading the next one!
Date published: 2016-11-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Monsters and Bad ass females. Enjoyed this book and so happy Victoria Schwab signed it for me!
Date published: 2016-10-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Everything you need in a Monster Novel What I loved the most about this book is that it played up a number of tropes—bad private school girl, isolated boy, dystopian city—but Schwab did not overly rely on them nor did I feel like the story was predictable. This book captured my interest in a way that no book has in quite some time. I was totally hooked, I kept thinking about it when I wasn’t reading it and still thought about it for some time after I finished it. I absolutely can’t wait until the next part comes out (I also really like that it’s a two part series and not a trilogy, those were getting overdone). It was dark, there was violence but just enough to fit in the world Schwab created and there is just the right amount of chemistry between our protagonists. I would highly recommend this to someone who is hesitant about the fantasy genre but still wants a complex story.
Date published: 2016-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from More Monsters Please! I am a huge Victoria Schwab fan. I am head over heels in love with her Shades of Magic series and am still waiting for the third book in her The Archived series *taps foot patiently*. This Savage Song is yet another masterpiece from her. This Savage Song is a dark beauty. The story was chilly and gritty brimming with emotions. Each character was haunting and gripping in their own way. I plunged completely into the world while I read. Ms. Schwab conveys all the feels with her writing. Kate and August are both tortured souls. One fighting to be tough, the other battling within to stay sane. They struggled for acceptance. No amount of safety and/or protection helped. They wanted to find their own identities. Circumstances led them to depend on each other but on instinct they were cautious of one another. I love the genuine care they develop while in each other's company. It set the tone of their relationship and I am eager to see if it'll remain platonic or become something more. Though I have no doubt they will ignite some flames (romantic or not) in the sequel. What I found most fascinating about This Savage Song is the monsters. Born from violence, the kind coming into the world depends on the type of violent act commited. Bit by bit Ms. Schwab carefully gives us the relevant background to each kind. Controlled by Kate's father, the Corsai and Machai terrorize the North half of the city while the rarer Sunai reside in the South protected by its leader, August's dad. The truce between the two halves is as fragile as ever as forces make a play for power. Kate and August become pawns in a game but neither is naïve or innocent. It was a dangerous game but they played well. This Savage Song made my emotions spin. I couldn't put my finger on exactly what I felt for most of the characters. I felt so much. I had warring emotions for the villains. Should I be disgusted by their actions or pity them for the circumstances that made them so? I both loved and hated feeling the unsure. When the story reached its high point, I was nervous but so excited to see how things would play out. I thought it was clever of Victoria to exclude a certain piece of information regarding the monsters. The omission caught me off guard. I didn't think much right up until that moment but it is key to the turnout of the story. Was that intentional? This Savage Song had a satisfying wrap up. At the same time the story very directly shows us there will be more. That makes me happy. Only Victoria Schwab can make one want more monsters. I need more monsters please.
Date published: 2016-07-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This Savage Song This Savage Song is a story of monsters and the monstrous, of humans and humanity. Of what makes us and what defines us, of intent and intentions. Kate is cold, hard. Ruthless. She wants acceptance from her father, faith that she can be just like him. That he needs her around. That she can be the one to carry on his name. She waits for the day when he can let go of the past, of the sudden loss of her mother. Until then, she'll be hard as nails, shielding herself in armour. Waiting for the day to prove herself, waiting for the day her father will welcome her back. August is looking to help his family, to help protect those who are preyed upon. He's looking to be human, even with his monstrous origins. He doesn't want to be like the others, like his older brother. He looked up to his father, a protector. He lives his life locked away, alone, hiding his hunger. Wishing it wasn't there. Wishing his past wasn't there, full of death and sorrow. What are monsters? Who are monsters? What defines them? Can they be humans who assault and murder, drug and abuse and steal? Or can they only be fantastical creatures with sharp teeth and darkness in their eyes? What if one of those creatures is struggling to hold onto their humanity with both arms, both hands. Fighting every day to keep the shadows hidden, to control the hunger. This book is dark, full of things that go bump in the night and creep out of the shadows, ready to claw your eyes out. It's a deep look at humans and monsters, the acts that make us human and the acts that make us dangerous. It's also a look at the relationships the main characters have with their fathers. Both Kate and August look at their fathers as something to strive for, whether it be in terms of power or compassion. They want to prove to them that they can be trusted, be used in the oncoming battle. If you're any kind of monster fan or complicated character fan or Victoria Schwab fan, then you should give this book a read.
Date published: 2016-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Riveting New YA Dystopian Novel A few months ago I read the author's adult series (A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows) and proclaimed them my favourite fantasies since Harry Potter. I stand by that statement, but I'd like to add this book to that honour. It. Was. Riveting. I've rarely encountered an author who can construct such original, compelling, artful, and tangible worlds. Her characters are flawed, progressive, realistic, memorable, and entirely enchanting. The stars of this one, August Flynn and Kate Harker, are so utterly endearing (for all their faults) that you cannot help but love them. The plot too is ingenious. I never knew what was coming and could hardly stand to put the book down. Moreso, this book made me feel. I rooted for the characters and hurt with them. The tension in parts had adrenaline coursing through me. For me, this is the best thing a book can offer. I absolutely loved the first installment to this to-be, two-book saga. I cannot wait for the next one, or any of the author's future projects. Consider me a very, very ardent fan.
Date published: 2016-05-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent read! Schwab does an excellent job of building her fictional setting and describing the novels various monsters. Each is terrifying in its own way, playing on common fears often experience by humanity (darkness, tainted souls and vampires). Overall a must-read novel that is gruesome, action-packed and will stay with the reader long after they have finished the last page. Comparable to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, with the romance being replaced by friendship.
Date published: 2016-04-29

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Editorial Reviews

“Unique, thrilling, and impossible to predict, This Savage Song is something entirely new, and fans of YA will want to seek out this dark and powerful novel. ...Schwab has written a book with moments of cruelty and bleakness that also includes high adventure and heroic achievements.”