(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by Hachette Children's Group on July 26th 2018
Genres: Epic, Fantasy, Love & Romance, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction
In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.
Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace--someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir's eye, it's Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding.
Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.
Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart is one of those books that drew me in with the cover and then once I started reading I found I didn’t want to put it down. This story has some interesting characters and a focus on a society that celebrates the oppression of females.
The chapters in this book alternate between the perspectives of the two main characters, Serina and Nomi, sisters who are from an industrial city called Lanos. They are very different from each other and I liked how Banghart set the stage for these two sisters and the potential conflicts.
Being chosen as a potential Grace is something that Serina has been groomed for her whole life and when she is chosen to go to Bellaqua to be presented to the Heir as one of his potential three Graces he will select, Serina sees the opportunities she can give her family whereas Nomi only sees the restrictions and things she will be losing. I can see both sides but what I wasn’t happy with was how Nomi puts everything and everyone at risk with one action…just because she wanted to.
I have to admit, and this might not make me popular, but I was angry at Nomi for most of this book. She acted recklessly without considering how her actions might impact Serina and then when it was too late, she regrets what she did. With that in mind, I felt Serina was justified in her anger with Nomi. Because of her actions, the one thing that Serina wanted was taken away from her in a flash and then to add to the insult, she was accused of something in Nomi’s stead and forced to face the punishment. With all of that said, because of those actions, both sisters were put in a situation that they had to survive.
There was plenty of character growth for both of the sisters, but I think Serina changed the most. Being left on Mount Ruin as her punishment and from day one thinking there was no way to survive gave her some motivation. It also helped that there
The secondary characters added some depth to the story that was needed. In Nomi’s world we have Asa and Malachi, the sons of the Superior. Malachi is the older son which makes him the Heir but Asa has a pretty critical role to play in this story. As he befriends Nomi and promises to help her save her sister, Malachi becomes the bad guy which creates some challenges for Nomi. I have to admit, I figured out this part of the story pretty early on, but it was still interesting to see what was going to happen and how Nomi was going to react.
In Serina’s world there are not only the women in her crew that help her but there’s also Val. I loved how her friendship with Jacana and Val developed and I can’t wait to see how things go for her and the remaining women on Mount Ruin.
Overall, I found this to be an interesting and engaging story. Yes, there were parts that felt obvious but, in the end, I don’t think it hurt the book. I know I didn’t go into a lot of the detail and that is mostly because I don’t want to ruin any part of the story for you but just know that you will get a great mix of action, character development, and danger with this one. Also, I am happy to say that this is now listed as a series in Goodreads which makes me happy because with the way this book ended, I’m going to need to know what happens next. I’m looking forward to book two and encourage you to pick this up if you are looking for a book that will keep you turning the pages.
Thank you to the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.