Blog Tour – A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe

320 pages – October 13 2020

“Claim?”
The word escaped, a low hiss through my violently clenched jaw.
“What claim do any of you have on me?”

ARC, subject to change

(Thank you to Netgalley and Wednesday Books for the review copy)


Content Warning: This book contains talk of madness throughout, a moment of self-harm during madness, and a single implied threat of sexual assault.

Hi, all! I’m excited to be on the blog tour for this book, showcasing a great debut! My review is mostly the same from when I first wrote it, but I really appreciate the chance to help spread the word about Cohoe’s story with my honest thoughts about how it affected me!

First, I do have to give my compliments to the cover designer of this book. It really stuck out to me, and it’s a large reason I decided to read this.

Thea’s mother is a famous alchemist who made imbibed armor for the King of France. Now, as France faces rebellion, English born Thea and her mother must flee just as her mother gets impossibly close to finishing the legendary Philosopher’s stone. Promising to grant health, immortality, and wealth to the one who finishes it, the stone is the end goal for all alchemists. The problem lies in the stone’s curse, unknown to anyone, that drives anyone who gets close to madness unless they prove themselves worthy. Thea’s mother falls into the madness like a stone into water, and Thea must travel to England to visit her (also an alchemist) father and try to finish the stone to save her mother’s life.

Now, this book is one of the most technically impressive debuts I’ve ever read, and I think it’s due largely to how adeptly I think Cohoe sticks to her themes. She clearly has something to say with this book, and it gave a life to sections where I would otherwise have been more frustrated (mainly just the pacing, which is incredibly subjective).

Non-specific book discussion below!

The theme, for me (as all books are subjective), feels to be what it means to have control over yourself, to belong to yourself instead of others. Throughout the book, Thea is claimed and not claimed by people she cares for. Claimed only as her mother’s in regards to her success in training, not claimed as a daughter by her father, claimed for her skills but not her choices, claimed as a means to an ends without thought for her desires. The way she’s pulled to and fro is almost enough to drive anyone mad without the stone’s ill effects.

“Men are always willing to believe in the stupidity of women”

The characters, almost all male, have varying levels of respect for Thea’s person-hood. The purest of them is Dominic, an apprentice of her father’s who only wants to help her be safe. When she helps him in turn his loyalty becomes ferocious, and he’s the only person in this story to not ask something of her. Everyone has a plan for Thea, a use for her, and it’s only when she gains power over them that she gets a single say in the matter.

“She discovered that I wished to belong to myself, instead of her,” I said. “And she found that unacceptable.”

The pacing suffers at times – it is a single day with so much happening without pause at one moment, to a sixteen day period passed in a chapter break (this latter bit is understandable in context, but stands out with how quickly everything with Thea’s father and his lab happens). I bring this up because it DOES exist, but I don’t really hold this against the book or the author as a debut – as I said, this is leaps and bounds ahead of a lot of fantasy debuts just in how cohesive and palatable it is. I would have preferred a little more time with Rahel, perhaps at the end, some closure there would have been nice. Just a small preference.

I really connected to Thea, I liked how much she stood on her own as a character, even in her less intelligent moments. Her internal monologue was strong, served its purpose independent of just remarking on what she saw, and being inside her head was the best part of the book. Her mother also makes a strong impression, which was a pleasant surprise. It would have been easy for a writer to stray too close to stereotypical when writing her, and Cohoe did a good job making her believable instead of cartoonish. The men, save for Valentin, all read as I expected them to – I was the tiniest bit surprised by her father, but it made sense.

“Vellacott wasn’t the first to think that likening me to my mother was the highest compliment he could give me. In fact, it had never occurred to anyone but Will to give me any other kind.”

Mild spoilers but I do really love how romance was handled in this book. I feel any other approach would have detracted from the book’s point, and as much as I am a sucker for an epic and new love story in all of my books, I respect this choice.

End of book discussion!

A Golden Fury is out now, please grab it if this sounds like something you might enjoy! Thank you again to Samantha and to Wednesday Books for first giving me an ARC for an honest review and then letting me be a part of this book tour!

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. (biography from Goodreads)

Samantha’s Twitter | Samantha’s Instagram

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

634 pages – March 30 2020

β€œThe tender hug didn’t fix the world. The pain and anger were still there. But Hawke was so warm, and his embrace was…gods, it felt like hope, like a promise that I wouldn’t always feel this way.”

Jennifer L. Armentrout

I had no idea what really to expect from this book. Two of my friends had read and liked it, but I had never read anything from this author and as much as I want to love vampire books, they’re hit or miss with me.

This one, surprisingly, worked for what I needed to read right now.

Poppy is The Maiden, a role apparently chosen by slumbering gods to ascend and enable to prosperity of her people for generations. She’s not told what will happen to her, just that she’s special and must follow rigid rules to stay that way, and her every day is a routine practice of being silent and unseen by most everyone. When her guard is murdered in front of her, a man Hawke takes his place, and Poppy learns about what she’s been missing in life, as well as the information she’s missing about her past and future.

I knew this was going to be… spicy, but I wasn’t sure I’d like it. Sometimes romance fantasies from smaller presses contain tropes or writing I’m just not a fan of, and I admit I fell victim to that judgement with this book. While I’m not in love with the writing style when it comes to world building and some of the more… formal dialogue, I enjoyed everything else. It really satisfied that need I had for an addictive romance with an interesting fantasy plot line. We learn most things because Poppy is learning them for the first time, and the journey with her enhances the book for me. Poppy has trauma buried deep in her skin that has made her into a tenacious woman who won’t allow herself to be helpless or to give into her fear. She trains to fight secretly, ashamed that she is expected to rely on others for safety. When Hawke comes into her life, she’s facing danger on all sides and a future she doesn’t want. She doesn’t know how to do anything about her situation as The Maiden, but everything else she can maintain a grain of control over, she does.

The romance is cute, intense due to Poppy’s situation, and just as dramatic as you’d expect a guard/virginal charge to be. Hawke is cocky and forward, his humor and amazement at Poppy’s strength jumping off the page. Honestly, their banter was my favorite part of this book, and it reminds me a LOT of the positive feelings I had for Rhysand and Feyre when I first read A Court of Mist and Fury. I found the twists and turns predictable but entertaining, and I wasn’t bored even though it wasn’t anything earthshatteringly unexpected.

I’ve always loved these vampire stories where there are multiple ways to be a vampire, ways to utilize many different characteristics. The vampires in this book are mostly Cravens, the mindless bloodsuckers that have lost their humanity. Their presence is a brute force assault on Poppy’s home, and it’s a good way to introduce the dangers this world faces, before getting into the more dangerous vampires that linger out of Poppy’s sight.

This DOES leave off at a cliffhanger, so if you get into the book you might want to have the sequel on hand.

WWW Wednesday – Week Ending Oct 3rd

This past week went by so quickly! I finally got my new iPad in the mail (after years of really hoping I could get one) and I’m beyond excited to keep reading on it. It’s a huge upgrade from reading ebooks on my phone, and I can already tell I’m going to be more productive.

What are you currently reading?

I really was hoping to get to Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore soon, but I realized I’d want to reread the whole series so there’s nothing I’m forgetting. Graceling has been one of my most beloved books since I read it at release and I love the nostalgia of reading an old favorite. I’m about 35% through it now, and the influence from Tamora Pierce books on it has never been more obvious than it is to me right now.

Also I actually forgot some key things so, shows how much of a stan I am.

What did you recently finish reading?

I read both From Blood and Ash and A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout in the past couple of days. I was originally just intending to read the first book and then see about the sequel in a month or two when my kindle book budget had refreshed, but that’s not what happened ;D. It has some repetitive and drawn out bits, mainly regarding world building and Poppy’s understanding of her circumstances, but it’s a romance fantasy and I was absolutely sucked into the world. I love Poppy and Hawke, and I probably shouldn’t have been in such a rush to devour both books since there’s no release date announced for the third.

What do you think you’ll read next?

After the rest of the Graceling books, I have a new bingo board to tackle, and I’ve started planning for it. I have a few options, and a few ARCs I should really be getting to, but if I’m honest I’ll probably be rereading A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik or trying out Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade. My book club is reading the former for October’s pick, and the latter seems like such a fun fandom romance with body positivity that I’m really eager to get to it. I sure hope I love it.

And that’s that! I hope you all have a lovely week with even lovelier books, and remember that even though politics and the general outside world might be going to shit right now, but you’re worthy and you deserve any moments of relaxation and peace you get ❀

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

512 pages – September 15 2020

My agony has a hunger, I’ve discovered. It doesn’t want the truth. Not really. It just wants to feed itself sorrow until no other emotion is left.

Tracy Deonn

Don’t make your life about the loss. Make it about the love.

You’re a queen, Tracy
5 moons

Content Warning: Parental death and heavy discussions on grief throughout, mentions of blood and medical procedures, gore.


I’m probably going to curse out of wonder a lot during this review, so be warned, but holy SHIT this book was amazing, and I knew I’d love it as soon as I’d finished the prologue. More specifically, I knew I’d love, defend, and champion Bree Matthews as soon as I’d read past the first page.

This book follows my queen, Bree, as she begins her Early College program at the University of North Carolina with her best friend Alice. The first night there, against her better judgement, Bree takes Alice to an off campus meetup where she sees what can only be described as a flying demon. When two students chase the creature down and she gets caught in the crossfires, Bree’s normal college experience becomes very, very complicated.

Continue reading “Legendborn by Tracy Deonn”

WWW Wednesday – Week Ending 9/26

I took a few weeks off, sorry about that. I had a loss in the family and it suddenly became almost impossible for me to do things that brought me joy. But I’m back to reading so it’s the perfect time to check in!

What are you currently reading?

I just started From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I’ve heard nothing but good things from my friends that have read it (and the people on smutty booktok), so I’m hoping it will be an addicting read. It’s a good mix of tropes I love (unwilling chosen one, romance with a bodyguard, and vampires), and spicy books tend to be so much fun to read. It’s a hopeful combination.

This month hasn’t been the best, reading wise, so I need to keep up the momentum!

What did you recently finish reading?

I just finished Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli last night. It was insanely cute, and gave me a lot of high school theater nostalgia. Kate and her best friend usually have communal crushes, and it’s always been fun for them until it suddenly gets too real and people start getting hurt. Albertalli does a really good job at inclusive books, and she’s getting better and better at her books having damn good family dynamics to make all readers feel seen. The romance was beyond adorable too. I gave it four stars.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I have a couple of options, but it will mainly depend on where my friends land when I’m done with From Blood and Ash. I love buddy reading with my friends, and if they’re ready for Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore I’ll start that, if not I’ll probably read the new Tessa Bailey book or Majesty by Katharine Mcgee (I didn’t like the first book but I need to know how it ends).

That is, unless I get off track like ALWAYS and end up reading something insanely off-mark just because I can’t help being a mood reader πŸ˜‰

I hope you’re all having an amazing week, and if you’re having a good reading week I’d love to talk about it!

September 2020 Book Releases I’m Excited About!

September is a really heavy release month for books, so instead of posting all the books coming out, I’m gonna post the ones on my radar that I’m really excited about. It’s a lot of fun to look through new, shiny releases and ignore my TBR, so let’s go πŸ˜‰


September 1

September 8

September 15

September 29


And that’s September! Some of these I know nothing about other than the cover/summary, and a couple of them I’ve read and I’m just excited for my friends to get to them

Are there any books coming out this month you’re hyped up about? Lemme know!

August Wrap Up!

July was a pretty hard month for me, reading wise, so I’m finding myself relieved that I managed to read a good amount this month! This was, of course, the month of Midnight Sun, and it was the kick in the butt I needed to just sit down and read.

I read ten books, eight of which were arcs (I should try for a more even balance from now on), and my average rating for the month was 3.8! That’s pretty good, anything above a 3 means I can’t complain at ALL – and I had a lot of five star reads this month!


Axiom’s End by Lindsay Ellis – 5/5 stars

I love Lindsay’s channel and have for years. It’s no secret that any commitment I have to science fiction usually requires some space wizards, but I absolutely loved this, and did a sneaky reread of this while I was waiting for new books. Ellis worked on this book for years and it shines as a debut. It’s perfect for people who love character driven stories but also can’t stop thinking about movies like Arrival (or The Shape of Water i said what i said)

My Review | Goodreads | Amazon

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer – 5/5 pomegranate seeds

If you’ve been on Twilight Tiktok this month you’ll basically know where my head has been at since I read this book. This was kind of… exactly what I needed this month? With everything so chaotic and stressful, I really needed a book that took me right back to the moments in my teens where all I wanted was the next Twilight book. It delivered such good nostalgia and I loved reading how much of an emo creep Edward was.

My Review | Goodreads | Amazon

Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett – 4/5 stars

This was cute and quick, just what I need from a YA romcom sometimes. I liked the overall message Bennett had about the toxicity that small towns can have, and Bennett does have a satisfyingly blunt way of writing that lets me zoom through her books in one or two sittings. I would say it’s good that I read her books at release, because I do feel like they come across similarly when I think back on them.

My Review | Goodreads | Amazon

Fable by Adrienne Young – 4/5 stars

I’d read Young’s debut and it hadn’t worked for me, it was merely plot choices I didn’t like. So I told myself I’d try her other books, and I’m glad I tried this one. Piracy feels like a character in the story with how it’s actually utilized (I’ve been hurt by pirate books before), and I was impressed by the main character in this book. She stood for something, was malleable under pressure, and took hold of her own destiny. I’m hopefully reading the ARC of the sequel this month, and I’m actually posting this on this book’s release day. If you guys get it, I hope you like it!

My Review | Goodreads | Amazon

Shipped by Angie Hockman – 5/5 stars

You know those books that you can TELL it might be hit or miss with your friends, but you can’t keep your mouth shut and not recommend it? This is like that for me. It sated a desire I had for books like The Hating Game, and I loved the pacing and characters, as well as the fun setting of a cruise. I worry that as a debut it might not work for everyone, but I can only hope that people like it at least half as much as I do, because it’s really cute!

My Review | Goodreads | Amazon

The Project by Courtney Summers – 5/5 stars

Let me tell you, if you’ve read books by Summers and you think you’re prepared for this book, you are NOT. With that, you better preorder it and be ready with lots of tissues and water to re-hydrate. There’s something really special about books that break us open so that we feel so much in such a short span of time. It’s almost therapeutic, the release this book gave me. I guess we just have to be grateful that Summers is evil enough to write them for us.

My Review | Goodreads | Amazon

A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe – 4/5 stars

What a relief to read a witchy fantasy debut and love it! I always have more trepidation with fantasy debuts, just because I feel like there’s more that can go wrong, but Cohoe wrote something here that not only worked but got my brain thinking about the true power of autonomy, and the roles control and freedom have played in the history of women’s lives. This book is out in October and I hope it gives you dark witchy vibes just in time for Halloween.

My Review | Goodreads | Amazon


These three books were all 2 stars for me, but all for vastly different reasons. If you click the book covers they’ll take you to my reviews on Goodreads, but I refrained from reviewing them here because, at least for this month, I wanted to prop up the books I liked and try to have a more positive mindset when I’m blogging. I’m new to this, so I just wanted to keep the momentum going. I’m sure I’ll get into the swing of it and I’ll be posting everything here, good and bad (and I’m not just talking about my review writing ability ;D), but for now I have the reviews just on Goodreads.


And that’s August! I have BIG reading plans for September, so I hope my goals can pan out the way I want and I can read even more (if I’m not ahead of my Goodreads challenge by at least five books I feel like I’m behind).

Did you have a good reading month this month? Did you read anything I did? If I had to pick one recommendation from these, it would be Axiom’s End, but that’s because I’m such a Lindsay fangirl.

I hope you have an amazing month ahead of you.

Hamilton Book Bingo!


Hey Guys! So, every month I work with the other mods in my book club to make a bingo board for everyone. We love making incentives for our members/friends to read, and every month we give away a book randomly to someone who completes a row. I figured it might be fun to share it here, in case you’re like me and love planning out books to read in bingo boards! The prompts are all based on songs from Hamilton:

for the “3+ coven members” part, feel free to just have it be 3 people you know or follow! That’s just what we call our book club members in the Discord (we’re very quirky I know πŸ˜‰ )

I also make a template on google sheets if you’d like to fill out a board that way! You can find it here. You just make a copy of the sheet and get to planning!

Here’s what I have for my board!

I’m starting The Boyfriend Project first, and I’m really excited since a few of my friends have rated it highly and have nothing bad to say about it! I’m excited and scared at the same time to see how I do this month.
I’d love to say I can fill the board but I think the goal I’m gonna make for myself is three rows, which means a minimum of 13 books if my math is correct.

Feel free to print or use this however you want, there are no rules, it’s just here in case you want it! I don’t think you need to have listened to or heard the show, this is just a fun way to frame bingo.

Let’s have an amazing month reading!

Axiom’s End by Lindsay Ellis

384 pages – July 21 2020

“A near-infinite universe, and they were practically next-door neighbors. Looking into his eyes was like looking into ten billion years of history, like she could see the particles and rocks and gasses coalesce over eons, until somehow, impossibly, here they both were.”

5 moons

We have no choice but to stan.

I’ve been watching Lindsay’s video essays for a few years now, and I think I’ve cycled through them all at least three times – they’re really high quality and I learn a lot. But what I didn’t count on was learning Lindsay’s “brand” so well that when I got this book on release day I was able to know where we were going on this wild ride pretty early on and get so HYPED for it that I was almost scared she wouldn’t go there.

But oh yes, she goes there, and it’s amazing.

Cora Sabino(formerly Ortega) is doing her best to avoid anything tied to her father, Nils Ortega, who currently resides in Germany and updates a website consistently “exposing” the U.S. government. On top of being embarrassed of his particular brand of conspiracy theorist, she’s now terrified that he’s going to get her arrested by the CIA after a meteor strikes nearby and he mentions her on the website. When a second meteor lands in the exact. same. spot. and Nils conspiracies start sounding a bit more fact than fiction, Cora finds herself at the center of what has been a decades old cover up with an extremely unlikely job as alien interpreter.

Continue reading “Axiom’s End by Lindsay Ellis”

A Golden Fury – Samantha Cohoe

320 pages – October 13 2020

“Claim?”
The word escaped, a low hiss through my violently clenched jaw.
“What claim do any of you have on me?”

ARC, subject to change

(Thank you to Netgalley and Wednesday Books for the review copy)


Content Warning: This book contains talk of madness throughout, a moment of self-harm during madness, and a single implied threat of sexual assault.

First, I do have to give my compliments to the cover designer of this book. It really stuck out to me, and it’s a large reason I decided to read this.

Thea’s mother is a famous alchemist who made imbibed armor for the King of France. Now, as France faces rebellion, English born Thea and her mother must flee just as her mother gets impossibly close to finishing the legendary Philosopher’s stone. Promising to grant health, immortality, and wealth to the one who finishes it, the stone is the end goal for all alchemists. The problem lies in the stone’s curse, unknown to anyone, that drives anyone who gets close to madness unless they prove themselves worthy. Thea’s mother falls into the madness like a stone into water, and Thea must travel to England to visit her (also an alchemist) father and try to finish the stone to save her mother’s life.

Now, this book is one of the most technically impressive debuts I’ve ever read, and I think it’s due largely to how adeptly I think Cohoe sticks to her themes. She clearly has something to say with this book, and it gave a life to sections where I would otherwise have been more frustrated (mainly just the pacing, which is incredibly subjective).

Continue reading “A Golden Fury – Samantha Cohoe”