I remember when I was still toying around with the idea of book tube, bookstagram and a book blog, the Monsters of Verity Duology was all over the place, as in literally everywhere. Yet still I managed to avoid the spoilers. Did I know I’d read this one day, maybe, perhaps, who knows?
Ok enough about that. This Savage Song follows the lives of human Kate Harker and monster August Flynn. Verity is a city in which the most gruesome acts by human beings leave monsters in their wake. If you ask me, Verity may be synonymous to planet earth. That’s if you are asking.
This book is broken up into six parts, and honestly the book only truly begins after part 2. It is discouragingly slow to start. V.E. Schwab labours way too hard to portray to us the difference between the two families (Harker and Flynn) which are foils of each other in this book. However, when she thinks we get it (I think), she really delves into the story which proves to be a million times worth the wait.
August Flynn is a Sunai, a rare monster created from very catastrophic human acts. To live on earth he has to feed off the souls of sinners, so basically he is a reaper of sorts. He is part of the Flynn family. They live on one section of Verity where human Henry Flynn is the patriarch in a house filled with Sunia – perhaps the most gentle and close to human of the monsters. August wants very badly to be human. He has been kept secret since his creation, enclosed in the Flynn home save for a few occasions. His first assignment has come – and it is the thing that carries our plot along. There are a total of 3 Sunia living with the Flynns, two are good and one is terrible. The manner in which Schwab juxtaposes the three against each other and against humans and other monsters is nothing short of spectacular. And even at their worst we cannot shake off the truth – there is something magically magnificent about this specific monster.
Kate Harker is a rebel and the daughter of a villain who has found ways to use the monsters for devious ends. Callum Harker (the villain) lives on the other half of Verity with monsters (Malchai to be exact – a terrible bunch might I add) he has used for his pleasure and humans he has persuaded to trust him to protect them against his own monsters. As the only child of Callum, Kate has been striving to prove herself as ruthless as her father who sees her as nothing more than just a child.
This Savage Song is a colliding of the Flynn and Harker family amidst a revolt they are both clueless about. It is an entwining of parallel lives, forced to need each other for survival. It is also a ball of twists and incredible moments.
What plays out is truly a tale of adventure, suspense, action, family and loyalty. It is a story that forces us to introspect on what we deem right and wrong, what sets monsters apart from humans, and in the end the big question is – who are the actual monsters? Us or them?
V.E Schwab brings life to the fickleness of humanity, our pride, fears, and darkness in such a splendid account.
You cannot help but wonder what monsters you have left in your wake and if indeed they deserve the name or is it best suited for you.
I also put up an IGTV review of this book on my Instagram Account.