I would like to start off by wishing the happiest of book birthday’s to Tracy Banghart and her new YA novel, Grace and Fury! I had the lovely opportunity of reading an early copy, which I very much enjoyed! Tracy Banghart will actually be in the Toronto area August 18th, and I hope that I can make it to the event!
Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: July 31st, 2018
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.
*I was provided an ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review!*
This was quite a read. It is not long and yet packed full of lots of information. Set in a world where woman have limited to no rights, this book was full of fierce female characters, fierce fights for justice, friendships, deceptions, a hint of some gladiatorness and your sweet, sweet dose of feminism.
What I Liked:
I am trying to decide which sister I liked the most. *Fun Story* It took me at least a quarter of the book to figure out which girl on the cover was each sister. Anyways, back to Serina and Nomi. They both had their flaws and their good traits. They were both thrust into worlds they were unprepared for and had to deal with the consequences of choices that they made and would make.
Serina had always blindly believed and followed the oppressive rules of society. She was groomed to be a prize for the eyes of the court and an example of what every woman should be. In contrast Nomi was the hot head who went against the rules every moment she could.
As the sisters go through the trials set before them, and experience the challenges of living in this anti-woman society, they grow in their beliefs, they grow in their relationship (albeit distantly) and they learn to fight for change no matter how scary the journey may be. I especially loved that Banghart didn’t make both girls so willing and headstrong from the start. They struggled each in their own way to find the courage within themselves to fight back and fight for each other.
This book was really political. It’s marketed as fantasy but let’s be one hundred percent honest. A world where woman had very few rights? That’s basically the history of the western world! I’m pretty sure you can find that kind of oppression in every history you look at, but especially the Western world. As I was saying this book has a lot do to with demeaning the female sex, making them appear less than man, less than human so that that male population could rule *in peace*. And of course there will always be the people who fight against the law. Those women–and some men– who refuse to comply, who go out of their way to change their world. It is never an easy task, which is brutally outlined in this story, but an important plight.
That being said the world was really drawn out well. You get the sense that the way society works in the country may not be the same for neighbouring nations. It is also Italian-inspired which really shows up in the names of the characters. There is no magic, so it is more of a political fantasy…think The Winner’s Curse, but very different in terms of plot.
The book was quite entertaining. It has it’s very twisty moments straight from the beginning. It has its action—did I mention that Gladiator vibes I was getting!!! None of the characters are as they seem, but the way that Banghart makes you believe all is at it appears is what makes the book fun. I enjoyed the *final battles* quite a bit. There was victory, defeat and death. Nothing is concluded and I am eagerly awaiting the sequel!
What I Disliked:
It’s not a major dislike…but the romance was a tad too insta-love for me. I mean I get why they might have developed feelings so fast, but I was just not feeling it. Things don’t exactly work out for *reasons* in one case and in the other case, I just think things were paced to quickly. I really would have preferred to see that admiration for one another slowly turn into more. But I don’t always get what I want!
And as much as I say this book was entertaining, it suffered its dull moments. Sometimes it just couldn’t keep my attention which is probably why it took me so long to finish! It’s not long, and there is quite a lot of information to swallow at the end…but is it too much to say I wanted a little more pizzazz?
Overall, I enjoyed this book. If you liked your tales fiercely feminist with fights for justice, then I totally think you will be hanging on every word of this book. It’s not a magic fantasy, but it has that political intrigue that will suck you in until the end when you find yourself flipping for more! Luckily there will be a sequel to look forward to next year!
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Let me know what you think! Are you planning on picking this up? Do you have a favourite fierce female character?