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This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, 1) Paperback – April 28, 2020

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,113 ratings
Book 1 of 2: Monsters of Verity

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Editorial Reviews


“A violently thoughtful, brilliant triumph of a book that will blind you with its genius.” -- Gaby Salpeter, Books of Wonder

“There are no wasted words here, and the end result is a darkly precise narrative that feels like a shiver down the spine…this taut creation about the nature of humanity lingers long after its disquieting finale.” -- Booklist (starred review)

“Schwab’s latest seems poised to grab both her adult and teen readers; the world is fascinating…the characters complicated, and the political machinations and emotional depths both charged and compelling. …Crackling with energy, just the ticket for an all-night read.” -- Kirkus Reviews

“Schwab explores the natures of justice and humanity in an assuredly built world with a compelling settings and an intriguing music-based magic. And in August and his Sunai siblings, she introduces a type of monster both sympathetic and terrifying. A cliffhanger ending promises a sequel.” -- The Horn Book

“Kate and August both undergo an impressive amount of character development, and fans will like them despite their flaws. Combined with the nonstop action and the author’s immersive writing style, this first purchase is sure to be a hit with older teens and fans of urban fantasy.” -- School Library Journal

“Schwab has built a strange, captivating alternate America filled with offbeat, fascinating characters. …Readers looking for a dangerous and engrossing new world to fall into will find it with this fast-paced, frightening read.” -- Publishers Weekly

“The pacing is fast, the narrative enthralling, but it is the depths of the novel - its acuteness of moral imagination and perception - that will stay with you afterward. My highest recommendation.” -- San Diego Union-Tribune

“Gritty dialogue and realistic scenes of violence will have senior high school students who enjoy The Hunger Games and Divergent series awaiting the next book in this series.” -- Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

“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.” -- Locus

From the Back Cover

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 secret weapon.

Their city is divided.

Their city is crumbling.

Kate and August are the only two who see both sides, the only two who could do something.

But how do you decide to be a hero or a villain when it’s hard to tell which is which?

Corsai, Corsai, tooth and claw,

Shadow and bone will eat you raw.

Malchai, Malchai, sharp and sly,

Smile and bite and drink you dry.

Sunai, Sunai, eyes like coal,

Sing you a song and steal your soul.

Monsters, monsters, big and small,

They’re gonna come and eat you all.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Greenwillow Books; Revised edition (April 28, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 480 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0062983393
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0062983398
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 14 years and up
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 830L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 9 - 12
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 11.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.31 x 1.08 x 8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,113 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
1,113 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on February 27, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2016
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5.0 out of 5 stars I was pretty excited to get into This Savage Song when I ...
By Seoling D. on July 16, 2016
Minor spoilers ahead.

I was pretty excited to get into This Savage Song when I got through A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows. I waited too long to read those books (therefore missing out on ears of awareness that such a great series existed). So I wasn’t going to wait to read This Savage Song when I got my hands on it. This story is definitely a different beast than what I am used to with Schwab. I didn’t really know what to expect after reading the synopsis, only that I was in for a great read. If there is a consensus out there for her books, it’s that she has an amazing ability to make, as Ariadne from Inception would say it, pure creation.

Let me start out by saying that I absolutely love the character of August. If you see my ratting report above, then you are certainly aware. I love him to bits. Maybe not as much as I love Kell from Shades of Magic, but maybe more than I love Alucard or Rhy (which is saying A LOT). He hits me as this sort of anti-hero character and gets himself into a bigger fight than he was expecting. He has so much riding on his shoulders and in a world full of monsters where you too are a monster, all you want is to be human.

I’d like to point out that Schwab is the only person out there that can make monsters sound as equally terrifying as they are huggable and lovable. August is a Sunai, the rarest monster there is that seeks out those with malicious intentions who commit malicious acts. To keep himself out of the dark, he uses his violin and let me just say that I think this was one of the greatest moves on Schwab’s part. For some reason, I thought the instrument on the cover was a guitar (which I have no problem with), but when I had the realization it was a violin, I was ten times happier. There is this moment at the end of This Savage Song that August receives a new metal violin to replace his old wooden one. If there was ever a symbol of character growth and development, it was this. When I read that line about the metal violin, I had to stop and think about what this meant for August. He grows so much and that’s what I love about him. He wants to be part of the peace and be part of the solution, but there are so many things standing in his way that he has to face. I usually identify with the female characters, but in this case, I did with August. He loses so much in the process, but remains more human than most of the human characters. I really can’t wait to see what Schwab has in store for him in the next few books because he has A LOT that I want explored. He has some great potential.

It took me a while to warm up to Kate Harker. Though I will say that her metal tip nails did edge me to warm up a little faster. How badass are those? Nonetheless, she rubbed me the wrong way in the beginning, but I knew that I was conflicted about her. She’s one of those characters that has a skewed moral compass because she wants to prove she’s her father’s daughter. What’s problematic about that is Callum Harker’s got more on his agenda than good intentions. And wanting to live up to a man able to tame monsters and oppress people into obeying him is pretty bad, NGL. The more I got to to know and read about why she thinks/feels/acts the way that she does makes me like her more. The deeper I got into the story, the more she reminded me of Rachel Duncan from Orphan Black. And anyone who reminds me of Rachel Duncan is good in my book. They have so many similarities and even down to the sharp-cut blond hair, it all makes me wild. What makes her so complicated is whether or not I can ever trust her. Is she going to be a vigilante? Pursue the greater good? Or is she going to be ruled by a darker monster? I MUST KNOW.

I was told by my co-blogger, Kristen, that she wasn’t sure that I would like This Savage Song because she read somewhere that there wasn’t much romance (and I am a huge YA romance buff). But take heed if you are like me (but worse): this is no Romeo and Juliet story. This isn’t a love story. This is a story about two very different characters trying to fight their inner monsters and keeping the monsters outside from killing them and destroying everything else in their wake. If you want romance, you’re not going to get it here, but do not let that deter you from reading This Savage Song. In the absence of romance, there is so much more to take away. This book is so unique and will leave you thirst for more (which is a tortuous wait). Plus, it’ll have you singing a new tune, no matter how morbid. ;)
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Top reviews from other countries

Broc's Bookcase
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing world and even more amazing story!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 21, 2017
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4 people found this helpful
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Gemma L. Collins
5.0 out of 5 stars Romeo and Juliet, minus the romance
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 21, 2017
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3 people found this helpful
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4.0 out of 5 stars Worth sticking with it
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 4, 2019
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Cindy (Midnight Blue)
4.0 out of 5 stars Another amazing book from Schwab’s hand and luckily only the first in a series!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 8, 2018
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Kirsty McGhie
4.0 out of 5 stars ... book (I know wtf Kirsty) and it did not disappoint. Verity is a city where monsters are real
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 28, 2018
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