Thea Hope longs to be an alchemist out of the shadow of her famous mother. The two of them are close to creating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone—whose properties include immortality and can turn any metal into gold—but just when the promise of the Stone’s riches is in their grasp, Thea’s mother destroys the Stone in a sudden fit of violent madness.

While combing through her mother’s notes, Thea learns that there’s a curse on the Stone that causes anyone who tries to make it to lose their sanity. With the threat of the French Revolution looming, Thea is sent to Oxford for her safety, to live with the father who doesn’t know she exists.

But in Oxford, there are alchemists after the Stone who don’t believe Thea’s warning about the curse—instead, they’ll stop at nothing to steal Thea’s knowledge of how to create the Stone. But Thea can only run for so long, and soon she will have to choose: create the Stone and sacrifice her sanity, or let the people she loves die.

Whew, y’all. I can honestly say A Golden Fury was unlike anything I’ve read before: The premise alone was enough to catch my attention, but the lore surrounding the stone and the dire motivation for Thea to obtain it had me hooked. Set against a historical backdrop and a racing clock, A Golden Fury was a brilliant mix of science and legend that had me tearing through the pages. Cohoe took the idea of a dark academia setting and its characters— those who would do anything  to find the answers they seek, their willingness to push the boundaries of nature and science for their craft— and ran with it. It’s a story of descent into magic and madness, and a girl who will go to the ends of her sanity to save the ones she loves, and I LOVED every moment.

I mean, the concept of a journey into uncharted science to obtain a legendary stone is an enough to make me want to yell about this book from the rooftops, but it’s strengthened tenfold by Thea’s grit and quick-wit and sheer badassery. Thea is a heroine who knows who she is and what she is capable of— which is a powerful kind of magic in and of itself. She’s a self-assured, clever alchemist, but is saturated in an environment that doesn’t want her to be— that is, until she’s the best chance of creating the Philosopher’s Stone. Thea navigates the boundaries of science and myth on a quest to create the legendary Philosopher’s Stone, and it left me utterly obsessed. A story of a clever and quick-witted heroine dabbling with uncharted science to create a legendary artifact is everything I’ve ever wanted, and it was brilliantly delivered.  My final verdict? Cohoe clearly already has some kind of Philosopher’s Stone, because this book was pure gold. This isn’t one you’ll want to miss!

Make sure to check this book out either on Goodreads or on Macmillan’s website!

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