Sharply written with a crackling, compassionately determined heroine, A Golden Fury is a vivid ride through eighteenth century Europe with darkness and dread creeping at its corners. Utterly enchanting.” Emily A. Duncan, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Saints
"Cohoe transmutes the legend of the Philosopher's Stone into a dark, intoxicating tale of ambition, obsession, and sacrifice. Prepare for a magic that will consume you." - Rosamund Hodge, New York Times bestselling author of Cruel Beauty and Bright Smoke, Cold Fire
"A Golden Fury is beguiling and unpredictable. Cohoe weaves an international adventure set against a rich historical backdrop, and alchemist Thea faces adversaries both human and magical with wit and grit. A compelling debut from a writer to watch." - Hannah Capin, author of Foul is Fair and The Dead Queens Club
"Alchemists used many methods to hide their secrets, but Cohoe has deciphered their riddles and uncovered a truth far darker and more complex than a miraculous rock. She lures you in with a promise of gold, then delivers something far more valuable: an intricate tale of ambition and sacrifice, loyalty and betrayal, the quest for knowledge and the wisdom to use it correctly." - Marie Brennan, author of The Memoirs of Lady Trent
"I adore Thea - her fierce ambition, her intelligence, and the warmth she so desperately wants to share with someone worthy. This is an alchemical wonder of a book. It takes all the elements of a good story - mystery, magic, devastating stakes, compelling relationships and impossible choices - and weaves them into pure gold." Catherine Egan, author of Julia Unbound
“A GOLDEN FURY invites you into a world of intrigue, magic and ambition. Set against the backdrop of the French revolution, it follows a talented, driven heroine, raised by her famous and overbearing mother to pursue alchemy’s ultimate dreamthe Philosopher’s Stonein a time when women had little rights of their own. Cohoe’s prose is flush with clever dialogue and flawed-yet-sympathetic characters, so realistic they leap off the page. First loves, family secrets and shocking betrayals abound as our heroine pits her intellect against a curse of madness in this impossible-to-put-down debut.” Ellen Goodlett, author of Rule
"Full of rich historical detail, clever world-building, and tumultuous relationships, A Golden Fury transformed me. Cohoe's debut proves we are in the hands of a deft and dangerous creator. I sat up half the night thinking about it, and the other half longing to see her next book." - Tracy Townsend, author of Thieves of Fate series
Gr 7 Up—As the novel opens in Normandy, France, Theosebia Hope is her mother's apprentice in the science of alchemy. The two of them have been incredibly thorough and ambitious with their studies. They have learned many languages so that they may draw from the findings of Europe as well as the Islamic world. It appears that during the wee hours, Thea's mother pressed on by herself, perhaps finding success, but not without a price. Legend has it that the final step in the process—the smelting of the philosopher's stone—is really a crucible for alchemists; that the stone will choose its master; and that the unworthy will be destroyed—driven mad. It also appears that Thea's mother did not make the cut, and she is completely unhinged, attempting to kill Thea. With this backdrop, Thea sets out to meet her father (an alchemist at Oxford) who doesn't know she exists. Soon after her arrival in England, it is evident that her father's interest in her is only academic, as he too scrambles to create his own philosopher's stone. The attention to detail in the story is excellent. Period costumes and locations are well imagined. Likewise, the pacing is good as the excitement clips along. There are perhaps too many characters at play, and occasionally readers may have difficulty recalling which Prussian they are encountering, as torturous tough guys who speak German abound. That said, Thea herself is a confident lead with a strong voice. VERDICT A solid fantasy to flesh out the world of alchemy that most readers know only from "Harry Potter."—Leah Krippner, Harlem H.S., Machesney Park, IL
A debut historical fantasy mines unexpected territory.
Fair-skinned, dark-haired English teen Theosebeia Hope is a scientist and a scholar. At the side of her single mother, who has leaped from patron to patron in late-18th-century France, Thea has learned languages (including Arabic) and alchemy in their single-minded pursuit of the Philosopher’s Stone, the legendary substance said to cure all ills. Talk of revolution recurs, especially from firebrand and love interest Will, but seems more like set dressing than fully realized historical milieu, an impression encouraged by anachronistic references and behavior. The plot careens from France to England, from madness to murder to imprisonment and more madness, as Thea seeks to finish the work her mother began (and work out their complex but almost never on-page relationship) before she too succumbs to the Alchemist’s Curse. The madness and the science are, of course, magical in nature, as the reader knows alchemy to be and as Thea gradually realizes. Despite the original premise and avoidance of many tropes (the romance, in particular, follows an interesting and unexpected course), Cohoe never quite pulls together her ideas or fully develops her intriguing characters, although she seems to be aiming for a discourse on magic, revolution, and science à la Frances Hardinge’s much more effective The Lie Tree (2016).
A pleasant, if lightweight, diversion. (Historical fantasy. 12-18)