Warning: If you have not read “This Savage Song” or “Our Dark Duet” by Victoria Schwab, do not read this double review if you don’t want spoilers!
I’m back with another book review, and I’m doing a double book review of “This Savage Song” as well as the sequel “Our Dark Duet” by Victoria Schwab! I’ll be reviewing them both individually first, and then I will give the overall rating for the duology as a whole.
“This Savage Song”
Here’s the summary for it first, so we know what it’s about:
“There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.
Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.”
I at first didn’t really like Kate all that much, and thought she was being a rebel just for the heck of it, going and burning down a chapel just because she wanted to come back home. However, she did get some development later on, which was nice. I also feel like August himself lacked a little development initially, though this was remedied later on in the book when he and Kate became friends with each other (after a long, long while of being overly suspicious of each other that is).
I personally think Sloan stole the show, however. Yes, he didn’t have a huge amount of time in this book (though he appears a lot in the second one), but whenever he was around, everyone was on their toes. Everyone knew that something wasn’t right, and whenever Sloan was smirking or being confident, they knew that something had to be up, even though they weren’t sure what it was. He gave me chills, and I really found him intriguing.
Plotwise, I think it was good. The worldbuilding itself was a little slow, but I eventually caught onto it after the first couple of chapters.
Overall, I’m rating this 3.5 out of 5 stars!
“Our Dark Duet”
Here’s the summary for it first so we know what’s going on since the first book:
“THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY.
KATE HARKER isn’t afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it.
AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.
THE WAR HAS BEGUN.
THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING.
Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims’ inner demons.
Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?”
Can I just say again how much I loved Sloan in this book? He had a decent amount of time in “This Savage Song,” but I was glad to see him truly take up the mantle of main antagonist in the sequel! He was ruthless, savage in his own way, but hugely intelligent. Whatever scrap of information he got, whatever people he found useful, he used the best of their abilities to move his goals forward, and his resourcefulness made him a terrifying villain.
Ilsa, a sister of sorts to August, also had a bigger role to play in this book compared to the last one, thought it was sad to see her get killed off, especially after what happens with her in this book. I think she was the one person who truly was completely there for August, that cared for him, and it was nice to read the brotherly-sisterly dynamics August and Ilsa had going on.
Something else I was caught off by was Kate and August getting romantic…only for Kate to get killed off in the second-last chapter for the sake of furthering August’s development. Other than this, neither character had much development overall. I was honestly disappointed by this, and I was hoping Kate would survive just like August did. Both of them had gone through a lot in both books, and it didn’t seem fair not to give Kate a happier-ish ending like August did—though, looking at the ending, it’s not really that happy despite August still being alive, and feels a bit unconcluded.
Overall, I’m rating this book 3.5 out of 5 stars!
As a whole, I’m rating this duology 3.5 out of 5 stars for the worldbuilding and intriguing villain character!