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Grace and Fury

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for Grace and Fury

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    ARC provided by Little, Brown in exchange for an honest review. “Serina and Nomi were like any other daughters in the cold, industrial town of Lanos. But Serina had her beauty. And Nomi had her secret.” I didn’t know much about this book going in. I didn’t even read the synopsis. I only requested from NetGalley because a few of my best friends wanted to buddy read it with me. But I went into this story expecting nothing. And as I began reading, I was enjoying, but I wasn’t expecting anything g ARC provided by Little, Brown in exchange for an honest review. “Serina and Nomi were like any other daughters in the cold, industrial town of Lanos. But Serina had her beauty. And Nomi had her secret.” I didn’t know much about this book going in. I didn’t even read the synopsis. I only requested from NetGalley because a few of my best friends wanted to buddy read it with me. But I went into this story expecting nothing. And as I began reading, I was enjoying, but I wasn’t expecting anything great, but the end of chapter three was such an unexpected twist. I never would have seen it coming. And it was when I knew I was going to enjoy this book. Grace and Fury is a story about two sisters who feel like they are on the path toward the only future they can somewhat control. Yet that path gets so twisted and manipulated, so very quickly, right before their very eyes. ➽ Serina has been taught her entire life how to be the most beautiful girl in the room. From music lessons, to dancing, to being the perfect, and quiet, girl. Her family has instilled in her that the only way she can have a good life is to use her looks to ensure a spot being a Grace for the royal heir. ➽ Nomi has been taught how to be her sister’s handmaiden to help her win and keep that spot. But she has never wanted to live her life serving her sister as a royal, all she’s ever wanted is to be treated equally. “It isn’t a choice when you don’t have the freedom to say no. A yes doesn’t mean the same thing when it’s the only answer you’re allowed!” In this world, it is almost like a modern The Handmaid's Tale, but both serve to prove that oppression wasn’t as long ago in history as people like to believe. In this world, women aren’t allowed any choices, and are forbidden to even learn to read and write. When Serina becomes a Grace, she will literally be sharing one man with many girls, and her time will be spent however he deems fit. Girls in this world who aren’t as fortunate to even begin to compete to become a Grace, are sold away to become wives of other men, with their sole purpose being to birth children. Or they can become servants and/or factory workers. “Women were forbidden to read. Women were forbidden to choose their husbands, their jobs, their futures. Forbidden to dive for pearls or sell goods at market to help their families. Forbidden to cut their hair unless a man told them to. Forbidden to think for themselves. Forbidden to choose.” And any woman or girl who speaks out, or does anything that is deemed only acceptable to men, will find themselves on a volcanic island prison that has been abandoned by the outside (besides to bring food and more women there) since the last eruption. And on Mount Ruin, the prison guards rule. They force the women into different clans and make them fight to the death for the food that should be equally distributed. Trigger and content warnings for captivity, a lot of physical abuse, graphic violence, murder, death, hinting of past rape/sexual assaults, brief implied attempted rape, animal abuse and talk of past animal abuse. This story is told from alternating points of view between the two sisters that end up going down very different paths than they ever expected. We get to see both girls explore their grace and their fury, and they soon realize that both can coexist simultaneously. When I first started reading this, Nomi was easily my favorite sister. But the more and more I read, Serina is, without a doubt, my favorite. And I truly did enjoy it, and I loved that first twist so very much, but I feel like the second “reveal” was so painfully obvious that it started to really hinder my reading experience. I still believe that Tracy Banghart created a beautiful set up for what is probably going to be a magnificent series. Yet, I feel like if the second “twist” could have been more secretly woven (like the first), I would have ended up five starring this story. My favorite aspect of this story was definitely the sisterhood. Together or apart, Nomi and Serina always think about the other one, and are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure the other’s wellbeing. Even when things do not go as planned, and even when they are honest about their hurt and their anger, the unconditional love they have for one another always shines through. Overall, I really did enjoy this. The first half was easily five star worthy. I might not have loved one of the sister’s point of view for the other half, but I still think this was a wonderful twist on the “princess locked away in the castle” kind of trope. And I can’t wait to see where the author takes this beautiful, feminist, story next. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication. ❤ Buddy Read with: Lilly | Amy | Jules | Jen This was in the August 2018 OwlCrate box!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Humphrey

    "For every woman who has been told to sit down and be quiet... And who stood up anyway." It felt highly fitting to use the author's initial dedication to highlight the overall theme of Grace and Fury rather than a quote from the ARC, because GIRL POWER DUH. Seriously, this is feminist, Italian-inspired fantasy full of court intrigue, the bonds of family (both blood and chosen), and fighting for what is right and good in this world. We've encountered SO many YA fantasies featured in made up worlds "For every woman who has been told to sit down and be quiet... And who stood up anyway." It felt highly fitting to use the author's initial dedication to highlight the overall theme of Grace and Fury rather than a quote from the ARC, because GIRL POWER DUH. Seriously, this is feminist, Italian-inspired fantasy full of court intrigue, the bonds of family (both blood and chosen), and fighting for what is right and good in this world. We've encountered SO many YA fantasies featured in made up worlds recently that it felt nice to come across something a little more realistic and grounded. Yes, it's still fantasy, but it had a strong historical component to it, while also bringing in themes that people still experience worldwide in other countries, like women not being allowed to really do anything except for reproduce. Here, we have two sisters, Nomi and Serina who couldn't be more different at first glance. Serina has been groomed her entire life to become a Grace, a glorified concubine for the heir to the throne. Nomi has trained to become her handmaiden, but her heart isn't in it. She has secretly been educating herself, with the help of her brother, and feels a life at the palace will be a slow, painful death. Once the girls arrive at the palace, something happens and it is Nomi who is chosen as a Grace, while Serina stays on as her handmaiden. Tension rises and another thing happens, which causes the banishment of Serina to this volcanic island where it's survival of the fittest. Will Nomi be able to work her advantage in the palace to rescue her sister? Will Serina be able to survive and escape to protect Nomi? Duhn duhn DUUUUUUUHHHHHN. Guys, I loved this story. It's a little slow in the first few chapters, because there's a lot of set up to make this story happen, but stick with it; I promise it's well worth your time. You'll think you've read this story before, but once you get to the second "thing" happening, the plot takes a turn into unique territory and I couldn't flip the pages quickly enough. I have the paper cuts to prove it. Going into this, I didn't realize it was the first in a new series, but once I turned the final page I scoured other reviews to make sure there would be more. Because holy guacamole, was that a cliffhanger! The final 20% or so of the book I had to hold on to my britches because it was twist after twist after twist. Lots of gasping and "Oh no he didn't!" going on here.  While the plot was fantastic and the setting was delectable, I found that the characterization is what really made this debut stand out among a sea of fantasy wannabes. You think you know the sisters and their stereotypical casting in the beginning, but after a few instances shift them out of their comfort zone, we see immediate growth that carries throughout the book. Nomi is the one who has always been expected to be strong, and Serina is the delicate flower, but after their circumstances are exchanged and each girl is thrust out of their comfort zone, we see Nomi navigating a precarious line of political intrigue and learning to solve her problems beyond being brash, yet calculating. Serina has to learn very quickly how to physically toughen up and hold her own after being raised a demure lady. These transformations are phenomenal and I can't wait for you to read about them for yourself. I'm going to stop here, as to not spoil anything for future readers, but this is a fantasy that is timely, relevant, and necessary for the world we live in. As scary as it sounds, this "fantasy" isn't too far removed from some females' reality, and it's a healthy wake up call for young men and women alike to take hold of their future, not only for themselves, but for their legacy they choose to leave behind as well. Highly recommended for those looking for a feminist infused tale that will hold your attention, and your heart, captive until the final page is turned. Thanks @TheNOVL for providing my arc for an honest review!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies

    This book wasn't awful, but it was rushed and weird. The characters are stereotypical and dull. The plot is rushed and forced. There is zero depth to this book. There's this world about which we know nothing in which women are chattel. They have no rights. They're not allowed to learn to read or write. They're limited to being wives, factory workers, servants, or Graces. A Grace is their king (the Superior)'s concubine, and three of them are chosen every year. So you have the beautiful and perfect This book wasn't awful, but it was rushed and weird. The characters are stereotypical and dull. The plot is rushed and forced. There is zero depth to this book. There's this world about which we know nothing in which women are chattel. They have no rights. They're not allowed to learn to read or write. They're limited to being wives, factory workers, servants, or Graces. A Grace is their king (the Superior)'s concubine, and three of them are chosen every year. So you have the beautiful and perfect Serena, who has been training in hopes of being a Grace for her life, and her two years younger sister, the unremarkable, spirited, hardheaded, and rash Nomi. When Serena is in competition to be chosen to be a Grace for no fucking reason, after one brief 15 second encounter with the heir to the Superior, Nomi gets chosen instead. Then Nomi fucks up and Serena is punished, then they're separated. It is a weird book. There is almost no world building. We're just expected to believe that this is how things are. There's no questioning their fate (kind of understandable because they're kind of meant to be that way). It is just a very shallow book. The sisters' personality is bland. One is sweet and mild. One is fierce and rebellious. They are boring. There is zero complexity in the writing. It is all action and not much introspection. It is a readable book, but there is nothing in the book that will elevate it to the rank of actual literature.

  4. 4 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    Ohhh I am HERE for these plot twists! I can't even say how hard it is to find books that surprise me these days. (I read too much ok and I cannot stop.) And this had not one, but TWO, twists that had me smiling rather deviously. I mean, it's not a shock-your-socks-off twist but the kinds that make me go "Omgggg yes that is clever." HEART EYES. It's also a huge love letter to women who refuse to be oppressed. And I adore that. I actually avoid books where the theme is "women are just objects to be Ohhh I am HERE for these plot twists! I can't even say how hard it is to find books that surprise me these days. (I read too much ok and I cannot stop.) And this had not one, but TWO, twists that had me smiling rather deviously. I mean, it's not a shock-your-socks-off twist but the kinds that make me go "Omgggg yes that is clever." HEART EYES. It's also a huge love letter to women who refuse to be oppressed. And I adore that. I actually avoid books where the theme is "women are just objects to be owned" because...um. I'm tired I guess? There's enough gross sexism everyday and I want to read books where girls have plots. But I love love the way this handled it. We don't spend the whole book waiting for the girls to fight back. They are fighting from the start. And they're all such complex women. HEART EYYYYYYES SO MUCH. Like we have soft girls and Slytherin girls and angry girls and badass girls. Even the secondary characters were dimensional and interesting (I freaking adore Maris!) and this is just how "strong female characters" should be written ok. It's also a sister book! It's narrated by both Serina and Nomi! Serina is the one who's been brought up to be a Grace (aka a girl who'll be owned by the king-figure for his wife) and her sister Nomi is the fire-spitting defiant one who's been raised to be a handmaiden...if she doesn't get herself MURDERED for learning to read or something. But they aren't just flat out what the book presents them as in the first chapters. Serina's character development is BADASS. Nomi's great, but I actually wish she'd stayed snarkier?! But honestly these sisters !!! They are mad at each other for some awful decisions but they also will die for each other. 10/10 to them because I'd sell my sisters for an avocado. (I'M SLYTHERIN NOT THAT YOU CAN TELL.) Also it's set partially in an awful prison island + partially in a lavish castle. Two kind of cages! Very niiiiice. I also loved the villain and the deviousness going on there. OMG I JUST !! YES IT WAS GOOD. No spoilers!! Honestly the less you know the better! BUT IT WAS GOOD. (I shouldn't like the villain this much though lmao help me.) Also thanks for nothing cliffhanger... I didn't want peace of mind for the next 12 months anyway surely not. So is this a recommend? YES. I had a lot of fun and found myself fully engaged so that I finished it in a day.😂Like 2 sittings. Come to me little boooook. Pacing is excellent and the characters are endearing and THE ENDING IS SCREAMING. (But lowkey have no idea what the genre is??? Epic fantasy? They had guns tho and kept saying "okay" which felt so modern....but it didn't feel dystopian? It reminded me of Only Ever Yours meets Red Queen!) "It isn't a choice when you don't have the freedom to say no. A yes doesn't mean the same thing when it's the only answer you're allowed!" "My mother raised me to never trust other women because we would always be in competition. But it's not true. Look at how we take care of each other here."

  5. 4 out of 5

    Korrina (OwlCrate)

    Totally addictive fantasy read. I loved both of these Main characters so much, and admired their strength through such hardships. Wish I didn’t have to wait so long for book two haha. P.S. I just read this for the second time and loved it even more than the first. It’s a really great story of survival, feminism and family (both by blood and found family). Love!

  6. 4 out of 5

    destiny ♎ [howling libraries]

    This book has been fairly hyped lately, mainly for its claims as a staunchly feminist YA fantasy. You guys already know I’m here for all the feminist reads, so I was pretty excited to pick this one up. When it comes to ARCs, I usually like to go in without knowing much about the story in advance, but a lot of my friends posted reviews for this book over the last week or so, so I had to peek—and found that I ended up agreeing with almost all of them. “You must be as strong as this prison, as st This book has been fairly hyped lately, mainly for its claims as a staunchly feminist YA fantasy. You guys already know I’m here for all the feminist reads, so I was pretty excited to pick this one up. When it comes to ARCs, I usually like to go in without knowing much about the story in advance, but a lot of my friends posted reviews for this book over the last week or so, so I had to peek—and found that I ended up agreeing with almost all of them. “You must be as strong as this prison, as strong as the stone and ocean that hems you in. You are brick and barbed wire. You are iron.” Like many other reviewers, I was genuinely disappointed by Grace and Fury, for a few different reasons. The first and most basic disappointment about the story was the writing voice. It wasn’t noticeably bad, it was just not impressive. There are a couple of good quotes, but if this tells you anything, I usually highlight/tab at least 10 quotes in the average book so that I can choose my favorites for my review—in this book, I only was able to find 4 that I thought were decent enough to use. Women had ruled this country. And history had denigrated them. Erased them. My other, larger problem with the story was the sisters themselves, Nomi and Serina. The perspectives alternate, and while they’re very different characters, 1) their “voices” feel identical, and 2) they both consistently make the worst decisions possible, and it not only harms them, but it also hurts the people around them (most of them innocent, more or less). One choice in particular is made that literally spells out impending doom for hundreds of people, yet the character who makes the decision just doubles down and refuses to show any remorse. I wanted to throw my iPad so many times out of pure frustration with these girls. Every aspect of their world pitted women against each other while men watched. The book does have some redeeming qualities in the sense that it is very feminist, though I’m not sure if it sets the best examples of feminism. As I mentioned before, choices are made—for the sake of the sisters’ perspectives on feminism—that actually hurt people more than they help them. I felt like they were so immature that they rushed blindly into situations without any consideration for how it would affect anyone else, because all that mattered was that they were “rebelling”. “In all the stories, women give up everything.” That said, the book is not a total waste of time: it’s a very fast read, and the ending put things into such a tailspin that, as reluctant as I am to sit through another 300 pages of awful choices and subpar writing, I have to know what happens next. I doubt I’ll request an ARC or purchase the sequel, but I could see myself grabbing it from the library next year just to see where things go next. All of this in mind, though, I can only truly recommend picking up Grace and Fury if you aren’t looking for anything particularly impressive and don’t mind irritating characters. All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to Little, Brown for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review! You can find this review and more on my blog, or you can follow me on twitter, bookstagram, or facebook!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lola

    I did not think I would finish this book—it recycles so much from previously written fantasy books that I was certain it would bore me to death. But, to my surprise, it ended up not being too mediocre. That’s mostly because of the character and story developments. Nomi and Serina are two sisters who were supposed to be together—Serina as a Grace and Nomi as her handmaiden—but Nomi was chosen by the crown prince as one of his girls instead of Serina, who was sent to die, basically. When the sister I did not think I would finish this book—it recycles so much from previously written fantasy books that I was certain it would bore me to death. But, to my surprise, it ended up not being too mediocre. That’s mostly because of the character and story developments. Nomi and Serina are two sisters who were supposed to be together—Serina as a Grace and Nomi as her handmaiden—but Nomi was chosen by the crown prince as one of his girls instead of Serina, who was sent to die, basically. When the sisters are together, little is happening. But the moment they are thrown into unfamiliar situations, things start to pick up. Seeing these two women negotiate with their new environments provided me with some kind of entertainment and added more originality to the story. But this is, by no means, a unique tale. Women forbidden from reading and writing? Oppressed? Treated like sex objects? Constantly belittled, manipulated, mistreated, ordered around, criticized…? Yeah, that’s nothing new. Seed of rebellion planted in the minds of the two leading ladies? Yeah, I HOPE so. I think this book would have surprised me more if Nomi and Serina HADN’T decided to shake things up in their patriarchal society. But, well, no one actually wants passive heroines and of course change is needed. So it was readable, but average. The writing is dry, the secondary characters astonishingly unmemorable, the pacing so-so and the heroines still have a lot to learn. But I did enjoy the life at court, life on Mountain Ruin, Serina’s newfound spunk, and the intensity that could be found in the second half of the book. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’

  8. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    I'm just picking the real cover because I got two different covers from Fairyloot and Owlcrate and they are in the trade in box! And yes, the same book in the same month! Sigh! I might add the box pics later! I told myself that after cancer treatment I wasn't going to waste time on books I'm not liking! I'm gonna start DNF'ing cuz time is short. I'm happy for my friends that loved this and I'm glad I'm not the only one of my friends that didn't like it!!! I reckon that's all folks. I just can't I'm just picking the real cover because I got two different covers from Fairyloot and Owlcrate and they are in the trade in box! And yes, the same book in the same month! Sigh! I might add the box pics later! I told myself that after cancer treatment I wasn't going to waste time on books I'm not liking! I'm gonna start DNF'ing cuz time is short. I'm happy for my friends that loved this and I'm glad I'm not the only one of my friends that didn't like it!!! I reckon that's all folks. I just can't be wasting any moment of my time. No one should actually! Anyhoo, happy reading! Mel 🖤🐺🐾

  9. 4 out of 5

    Warda

    #BookTubeAthon Day 7, Book 6. Challenge: Read a book with a beautiful spine. I liked the overall message of this book. About women standing up for their rights and coming together whilst doing so. The plot, however, felt flimsy to me. It’s only 310 pages, but I’m so tired of some of these books not having a concrete first book where the foundation is laid out properly, then built upon. We barely knew much of the world where these women had their rights taken away. It’s supposed to be a fantasy, y #BookTubeAthon Day 7, Book 6. Challenge: Read a book with a beautiful spine. I liked the overall message of this book. About women standing up for their rights and coming together whilst doing so. The plot, however, felt flimsy to me. It’s only 310 pages, but I’m so tired of some of these books not having a concrete first book where the foundation is laid out properly, then built upon. We barely knew much of the world where these women had their rights taken away. It’s supposed to be a fantasy, yet there were no fantastical elements. The characters were given some groundwork, but their development felt rushed. I think there’s a second book coming out, but I’m just annoyed at how mediocre some YA fantasy books have become for me at this point. I doubt I’ll be continuing on with the series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lena

    *cinematic jaw-drop* Omg?????? Omg!!!!!!!! What just happened?????? What. In. The. Hell. Just. Happened??? I fucking adored this book and omg. I can’t function rn. What the fuckkkkkkkk! Review to come while I try to recover from that wild cliffhanger ending... ―――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――― Post-shock-review: "You must be as strong as this prison, as strong as the stone and ocean that hems you in. You are brick and barbed wire. You are iron." The Selection meets The Hunger G *cinematic jaw-drop* Omg?????? Omg!!!!!!!! What just happened?????? What. In. The. Hell. Just. Happened??? I fucking adored this book and omg. I can’t function rn. What the fuckkkkkkkk! Review to come while I try to recover from that wild cliffhanger ending... ―――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――――― Post-shock-review: "You must be as strong as this prison, as strong as the stone and ocean that hems you in. You are brick and barbed wire. You are iron." The Selection meets The Hunger Games meets Red Queen A solid and strong start to a new and very promising series in the genre! This book was a very pleasant surprise, very pleasant indeed. Going in I didn't know anything about it other than that it was a feminist read about two fierce sisters standing up for themselves in a world where women aren't allowed to read, hell even possessing books is a crime. Too scared to fight back, too beaten down to do anything about it, women are oppressed by the men around them. Sounds awesome, doesn't it?! Little did I know how much more awesome it was gonna get! Serina and Nomi have spent their lives preparing for the palace. Nomi, the rebel and headstrong one of the two, to be her sister's handmaiden, and Serina herself who has been groomed to be a Grace which is considered the highest honor and standard for a woman and would secure her wealth and well-being in the king's palace itself. It would also mean dedicating her life to a man she doesn't even know. But only the luckiest and prettiest one gets the chance to be the heir's grace, someone dedicated to pleasing him, standing by his side as the perfect example of a woman. When Serina gets chosen to be one of the Graces, she cannot believe her luck - A life in the palace??? Excactly what her parents always wanted for her! When Serina gets caught with a book by mistake, the king sends her to an island prison where women are forced to fight to their deaths. Nomi, however, is to take Serina's place as a Grace against her will. Both girls are condemned to live a life that no one could've predicted. They have to be strong and cunning, but most of all they have to be iron if they’re to have any chances against the dark forces at play... Can we pls talk about these extraordinary women???? I fucking adored both Serina and Nomi for different reasons and admired their incredible strength and will of mind to endure what they had to endure in this book. I cannot wait for the sequel next year and wished I could speed up time to get my hands on it sooner tbh. I absolutely loved this book with all its flaws and edges and amazing characters! THE HEART POUNDING ROMANCE!!! Be still my ever beating fangirl heart. The romance in this book I just so good. so so good i have lost the ability to even... Not too much to overshadow the girls' story, and not too less to leave me feeling unsatisfied i'm not gonna tell you anything more about it though. It's best if you don't know ;) MY DAUGHTERS, OUT TO WREAK HAVOC This deserves so much more hype you guys!! Everything in this book was gold. Everything was so worth my time. EVERY. SINGLE. SECOND. I SPENT. READING. Yes it has clichés and tropes but who cares, I don't care. The story was original, the setting slightly resembled an italian royal city and that volcano. DAAAAAAMN!

  11. 4 out of 5

    chloe ✨

    "For every woman who has been told to sit down and be quiet... And who stood up anyway." This is the first novel in a new feminist fantasy series, so of course I was so excited to read this book! Unfortunately I was a little disappointed. I did really enjoy reading it, but I did have a few problems. My main problems were with the writing style (a little too simplistic for my personal taste), and I didn't feel super invested in the story/any of the characters. I enjoyed reading about them, but did "For every woman who has been told to sit down and be quiet... And who stood up anyway." This is the first novel in a new feminist fantasy series, so of course I was so excited to read this book! Unfortunately I was a little disappointed. I did really enjoy reading it, but I did have a few problems. My main problems were with the writing style (a little too simplistic for my personal taste), and I didn't feel super invested in the story/any of the characters. I enjoyed reading about them, but didn't necessarily care what happened to them. What I loved: - THE FEMINIST THEMES & THE FEMALE EMPOWERMENT - Reading from the perspectives of Nomi and Serina - I found both of their perspectives really interesting to read from - The character development we see in Nomi and Serina - The relationship between Nomi and Serina (I always love reading about sister relationships!) - The story is super fast paced and is definitely a quick & easy read Overall, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a quick feminist fantasy read. Thank you so much to Hachette Australia for providing me with an ARC!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart is the first book of the young adult fantasy Grace and Fury series. So yes, being the first book of a fantasy story this one will leave you with a cliffhanger to lead into the later books for the series.  I normally find the advertising descriptions in blurbs really far off the mark and wonder what they were thinking comparing one book to another but with this one I really can see the books mentioned, The Selection, Caravel and The Handmaid's Tale. It's as if the Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart is the first book of the young adult fantasy Grace and Fury series. So yes, being the first book of a fantasy story this one will leave you with a cliffhanger to lead into the later books for the series.  I normally find the advertising descriptions in blurbs really far off the mark and wonder what they were thinking comparing one book to another but with this one I really can see the books mentioned, The Selection, Caravel and The Handmaid's Tale. It's as if the author did a bit of a book stew with ideas from each and mixed it all together.  The story starts with sisters Serina and Nomi in which Serina wants desperately to be chosen as a Grace and Nomi is content with being her sister's servant. However, as one knows in the world of fantasy things often don't turn out the way they should and instead of Serina Nomi ends up being chosen and poor Serina ends up a prisoner.  So yes, a bit of book stew reminding me a bit of the Selection in the choosing, the Handmaid's Tale in the world in which women have no rights and the sisterly love shown in Caravel. Roll all this together with some twists and turns for Serina and Nomi and you have Grace and Fury.  When finished with this opener to the series I would rate this at 3.5 stars for a couple of reasons. I felt along the way that I wanted a bit more explanation here and there with the world building, it's not bad at all though just needed a tweak or two. And with this reminding me of other stories I saw a few things coming along the way and wondered about a few choices the sisters made. Overall though a nice start and I would continue.  For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Grace and Fury is a feminist fantasy that draws similarities to The Selection, The Belles, The Handmaid's Tale, Red Queen, and even The Valiant. Set in a world where women don't have any rights, you are either a factory worker, servant, or you get married. It's even illegal for women to read. It's awful and infuriating. I wish we got more background as to how the world got to be this way. The world building is lacking a bit. The one thing that can save you from an awful future, at least in S Grace and Fury is a feminist fantasy that draws similarities to The Selection, The Belles, The Handmaid's Tale, Red Queen, and even The Valiant. Set in a world where women don't have any rights, you are either a factory worker, servant, or you get married. It's even illegal for women to read. It's awful and infuriating. I wish we got more background as to how the world got to be this way. The world building is lacking a bit. The one thing that can save you from an awful future, at least in Serina's eyes, is to become a Grace. Every three years, three Graces are chosen to stand by the heir. They are essentially concubines. Serena has been groomed to be a Grace her whole life because of her beauty. The plan is for her headstrong sister Noni to be her handmaiden. However, Noni has a huge secret. One that could result to being sent to the prison on Mount Ruin, a volcanic island, where women join clans and fight to the death like gladiators for food. The competition to be a Grace is where the The Selection and The Belles comparisons come in. The prison with clans and a gladiator fight system is where The Valiant comes into play. And The Handmaid's Tale for the shitty world for women, Red Queen for the plot. I enjoyed this one overall. It kept my interest. The big twist was good, although semi-expected. The theme of girl power is awesome. I'll definitely be reading the sequel. Hopefully there's more world building to come.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net

    Available to first 500 readers on Netgalley as of 5/8/18! So glad I got a copy, can't wait to read it! I love fantasy with a strong feminist narrative.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    What a way to complete my reading challenge for 2018! I am in love. I need the second book now. I'm not going to lie, I kind of predicted a lot of it, but it had so many elements of what I love in books, and there was so much GIRL POWER! 10s 10s 10s across the board! Full RTC Update... I hate myself that I never reviewed this 😩

  16. 4 out of 5

    Faith (BookSelf ~ You Are What You Read)

    I received this eARC from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of this book in any way. I'm so unbelievably shook. "It isn't a choice when you don't have the freedom to say no. A yes doesn't mean the same thing when it's the only answer you're allowed!" Obligatory Summary So, this is a hard book to really nail down. It's not fantasy, but it's not science fiction either, and it's not contemporary or historical fiction. I received this eARC from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of this book in any way. I'm so unbelievably shook. "It isn't a choice when you don't have the freedom to say no. A yes doesn't mean the same thing when it's the only answer you're allowed!" Obligatory Summary So, this is a hard book to really nail down. It's not fantasy, but it's not science fiction either, and it's not contemporary or historical fiction. It's somewhere in between. You won't find post-apocalyptic America in these pages, or teenagers wielding infernal powers. This isn't the world you know, but it's frighteningly similar. It's a merge between The Selection, Maze Runner, Throne of Glass, and The Hunger Games, but is uniquely distinct from all of them. This is a feminist story about the power of rebellion, love, and agency. This book revolves around Serina and Nomi, two sisters divided by their belief in the role of women in society. Nomi believes that women should have the right to read, to cut their own hair without permission, to do pretty much anything, tbh. Serina, on the other hand, is content to become a Grace; in other words, a concubine for the Superior and his Heir, the rulers of Viridia, and a symbol of feminine beauty and, well, grace. Things go horribly wrong, though, when the Heir chooses Nomi, not Serina, as his Grace, and Serina is imprisoned for a crime Nomi committed. Now Nomi must brave the Heir and his world, where one wrong word would seal her doom, and Serina is trapped on an island where guards force the inmates to fight to death for food and water. The Writing and Worldbuilding I was not a huge fan of the non-dialogue prose. It tended to run exposition-y, especially in the early chapters, and was particularly redundant sometimes. For example, in the same exact chapter, it said the Nomi always did Serina's makeup before like three times. Besides that, though, I loved it! The plot was masterfully crafted, and I was on the edge of my seat literally the entire time. That ending KILLED ME. Pet peeve time though: I HATE IT WHEN AUTHORS SAY "GOOSEFLESH" INSTEAD OF "GOOSEBUMPS" LIKE A NORMAL PERSON. I'VE LITERALLY NEVER IN MY ENTIRE LIFE HEARD SOMEONE SAY "GOOSEFLESH" UNIRONICALLY. PLEASE, WRITERS, S T O P I T. NO ONE IS WORRIED YOU'LL SOUND LIKE R.L. STINE. N O O N E. Like I said in the Obligatory Summary, the world itself was really unique. I've never read anything quite like it. It was a made-up world, but there wasn't any magic or fancy science fiction devices. It seemed, if anything, like a parallel world of early 1900's Europe, Italy in particular. The themes were really well done, and I particularly liked that it was a feminist story, but like actually (not a SJM kind of feminist, in which it actually isn't but it really wants you to think it is). No, this is real, quality feminism. The kind that advocates women helping each other, supporting each other. The kind that doesn't shun men for existing, or try to elevate its female characters above them. It shies away from stereotypes, and even pokes some fun at other books in the genre. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and found myself actually feeling empowered by its messages, which is amazing, because honestly, I rarely do--tbh most "feminist" stories fill me with unbridled rage, because a lot of them completely miss the point. This one, though. This one totally gets it. The Characters Serina: Proud, poised, and a remarkably quick study without coming across as a Mary Sue, Serina is pretty hardcore. Her resolve to survive, both body and soul, was amazing. She grows so much as a character, becoming so strong by the end, but still recognizably herself, without sacrificing her feminine attributes. Nomi: At first, I found Nomi annoying (back when I thought this might just be a SJM kind of feminist book), because of how brash and reckless she was, how immature she could be, not seeing or understanding her place in the world, as if she was just a book character who was just plopped there instead of a living, breathing person, born and bred in this fictional land. Once the plot really started, though, her true character explained itself, and I found that she was definitely my favorite character. I found her relatable, and I was most eager for her chapters of the book. She's headstrong, and thinks after she speaks sometimes, but she grows a lot too, and I really admire her. Malachi: He was such a surprise, honestly. I really appreciated where his character went, and the depth that is explored in him. Asa: He's a little like Nikolai Lantsov (view spoiler)[and a little like the Darkling (hide spoiler)] and I'm SO hyped to see where he goes in the sequel (GIVE IT TO ME NOW, TRACY!!!) Val: He's a bit of a cinnamon roll, and I like him <3 Conclusion I NEED THE SEQUEL! "You must be as strong as this prison, as strong as the stone and ocean that hem you in. You are brick and barbed wire. You are iron."

  17. 4 out of 5

    Georgina

    ✨4.5 stars✨ I really wasn’t expecting to love this book quite so much, and I’m so pleasantly surprised by how entirely captivated I was reading it. It’s not that I thought I wouldn’t like it, it's just that I couldn’t have predicted quite how much I truly do love it. This review will undoubtedly have spoilers sprinkled throughout so bewaaaaaare (nice one George, very well written). Serina and Nomi are, at a first glance, complete opposites. Serina is on the road to becoming a Grace: Viridia’s per ✨4.5 stars✨ I really wasn’t expecting to love this book quite so much, and I’m so pleasantly surprised by how entirely captivated I was reading it. It’s not that I thought I wouldn’t like it, it's just that I couldn’t have predicted quite how much I truly do love it. This review will undoubtedly have spoilers sprinkled throughout so bewaaaaaare (nice one George, very well written). Serina and Nomi are, at a first glance, complete opposites. Serina is on the road to becoming a Grace: Viridia’s perfect example of a woman, she follows the rules to a tee and has accepted that whatever her life is, she’ll just have to make the most of it rather than questioning it. Nomi is rebellious and unaccepting of the treatment of women within Viridia, defying and questioning her way through everything. As the book progresses, however, both sisters become so much more than just this initial impression. I adore Nomi, and I sympathised with her the most throughout the book. I’m living for the feminist messages laced throughout, they’re so bloody important, and they were conveyed so perfectly. Women in Viridia have, essentially, zero rights other than cooking, cleaning, and looking pretty. It’s against the law for them to even read. Nomi is strong-willed and determined to fight this, and I loved watching her do so. Her intentions are so powerful, her passion for her beliefs is so strong and resolute, and I just really adored her. I loved Nomi from the minute she sassed Malachi to high heaven upon first meeting him. I must say, I was less sure about Serina to begin with. She took a minute to grow on me, but her character development was so brilliant. Watching her realise her true worth, and the weight of Nomi’s defiant beliefs, was so satisfying, and her standing up for herself was bloody wonderful. I was so enthralled in her story, and even though she is put through hell, it felt so glorious that she was the start of the revolt against the guards. I really appreciated her inner battle with her annoyance and blame toward Nomi- she knows Nomi isn’t to blame, but sometimes she can’t help but feel angry about the way things played out, and even though this could come across as an annoying character flaw, it actually came across as realistic as hell. If this was me and my sister, no matter how much I love her, I imagine I would probably be at least a little bit irritated at her for landing me in the worst prison in the land. Just a teensy bit annoyed. It also made Serina’s character arc that bit more satisfying and impressive, as she really does change so hugely from who she is at the start of the book. ‘It isn’t a choice when you don’t have the freedom to say no. A yes doesn’t mean the same thing when it’s the only answer you’re allowed’ !!!! so important !!!! At first I was worried that the alternating perspectives were going to get frustrating or annoying, but they actually lend themselves perfectly to the pace and intrigue/suspense, and I was hooked so bloody quickly. The plot progression went in and out of being both predictable and being shocking as hell. I wasn’t expecting so many aspects of it (Nomi being chosen, Serina being sent to Mount Ruin, the Superior’s end), however I was kind of expecting Asa’s plot twist. As the book went on, I wanted to know more about Malachi, as despite being told he’s this manipulative and awful man, he never really came across that way. He was intriguing and confusing, and I can’t really resist being pulled into wanting to find out more about characters like that. Asa also seemed to be more than he appeared- he felt like he was coming across as trying to be this absolute perfect thing that Nomi wanted him to be, and I was wary trusting him, so it didn’t really surprise me when it was all revealed. Despite it being something I had suspected would happen, I still really enjoyed it, and I’m desperate for the next book (waaaah I hate waiting). Cliffhanger type endings can sometimes feel like they’re solely there to set up for more books, but the ending genuinely did feel like a perfect place to leave it for this book. It didn’t feel like a cop-out to sell a sequel, it made sense to leave it here to create the perfect amount of suspense for what’s to come, especially after everything that takes place. I really enjoyed this book- it’s hard to read at times, as the characters really are dragged through the wringer, but it’s brilliant. As I was reading, I just kept thinking ‘wow yes I am in LOVE with this story’, and I’m so happy about it (I was nervous beforehand that maybe it would come across as too dystopian, a genre I definitely exhausted myself with back in 2013, but I needn’t have worried). The problem I have now is that I want the next book asap, so maybe I should have waited to read this book, at least until the publication date. Oops. It also kind of pulled me out of this weird little reading slump I’ve been going through, so yay for this book!!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ellie

    Grace and Fury is a wonderful mix of The Hunger Games and The Selection — In a world ruled by men, women are forbidden to read or even own books. Nomi Tessaro has rebelled and learned how to read from her brother, but she must keep it a secret. Serina chose not to break the law, knowing that her ultimate goal was to serve as a Grace to the Prince — a sort of wife/concubine role in the castle. When Serina is chosen to compete to be one of the Prince’s Graces, her sister, Nomi, goes with her to ser Grace and Fury is a wonderful mix of The Hunger Games and The Selection — In a world ruled by men, women are forbidden to read or even own books. Nomi Tessaro has rebelled and learned how to read from her brother, but she must keep it a secret. Serina chose not to break the law, knowing that her ultimate goal was to serve as a Grace to the Prince — a sort of wife/concubine role in the castle. When Serina is chosen to compete to be one of the Prince’s Graces, her sister, Nomi, goes with her to serve as her handmaiden. But in a twist, the Prince chooses Nomi as one of his three Graces. Serina reluctantly agrees to stay to be Nomi’s handmaiden. On their first day in their new roles, Serina is caught holding a book and reciting the story from memory. Seemingly being caught reading, she is sentenced to life on a prison island where the guards force the all-female prisoners to fight to the death for rations. Both girls are forced into situations they were not trained for, have no experience with, and are ultimately afraid of. But the bond of sisterhood keeps them going — each has the hope that they can survive and find and save their sister. I cannot recommend Grace and Fury enough. It also should be known it is set to be a duology, with the second book coming out next year. If you loved The Hunger Games and The Selection, and also fangirl over love triangles, strong women fighting oppression (and each other), and beautiful world-building, chances are this book is for you. I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Sagan

    3,5 stars I hated it in the beginning (the first 3-4 chapters), but it got good really fast. The last 10 chapters ended in plot twists, so I could barely lift my eyes from the pages. A nice and short read and I'm actually eager to read the sequel(s?).

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jill Croce-McGill

    Girl Power!!! First, I want to start by saying that I truly didn't think I would love this book as much as I did. I am so glad I picked this one up to read, I was completely captivated! What would you do if you lived in a world where women had no rights? Well, sisters Serina and Nomi live in that world and face that fate every single day: one in a palace, the other one in prison. Serina Tessaro has been groomed her entire life to become a Grace - the perfect woman that stands by the heir to the th Girl Power!!! First, I want to start by saying that I truly didn't think I would love this book as much as I did. I am so glad I picked this one up to read, I was completely captivated! What would you do if you lived in a world where women had no rights? Well, sisters Serina and Nomi live in that world and face that fate every single day: one in a palace, the other one in prison. Serina Tessaro has been groomed her entire life to become a Grace - the perfect woman that stands by the heir to the throne. Nomi Tessaro, the rebellious sister, has trained her entire life to become Serina's handmaiden. But, unfortunately, Nomi captures the heir to the throne's eye and has been chosen Grace instead of Serina. Now Serina takes the fall for the extremely dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding. Nomi feels trapped, being a Grace and living life in the palace is like a death sentence to her. But she has to save Serina, and there is only one way she can do that: embrace her role as Grace until she can use her position to save her sister. Darkness walks the halls of the palace and time is running out for Serina. One wrong move can cost Serina and Nomi Tessaro their entire life. Will time run out before Nomi can save Serina? I absolutely loved this book and can not wait for the second book in the series! I highly recommend this book if you are looking for some girl power action mixed in with some fantasy. *Many thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nadhira Satria

    eh. rtc or never

  22. 5 out of 5

    Clemlucian (&#x1f3f3;️‍&#x1f308;the brooding witch)

    "-In all the stories, women give up everything. We are always supposed to give. We are never supposed to fight. Why do you think that is? -Because they're afraid of what will happen if we do." Rating: 5/5 stars. SYNOPSIS Where Nomi dreamed of rebellion and women's freedom, Serina is the realist who uses her physical charms to get a better future. Serina has been groomed her entire life to become a Grace, a part of the Prince Harem, and one of the most powerful women in her country. But it's rebelli "-In all the stories, women give up everything. We are always supposed to give. We are never supposed to fight. Why do you think that is? -Because they're afraid of what will happen if we do." Rating: 5/5 stars. SYNOPSIS Where Nomi dreamed of rebellion and women's freedom, Serina is the realist who uses her physical charms to get a better future. Serina has been groomed her entire life to become a Grace, a part of the Prince Harem, and one of the most powerful women in her country. But it's rebellious Nomi who catches the eye of the heir and Nomi only wants to live in celibate in her sister's shadow. Now, Nomi is trapped as a Grace in a life she never wanted, alone, and her sister is going to die soon if she can't overthrow the current ruler... "A yes doesn't mean the same thing when it's the only answer you're allowed." Wow. This book left me speechless when I finished it yesterday. Honestly, it took me an entire day to gather my notes and find myself in a mental state where I thought I could, finally, write this review. I got into this not expecting much of it. It'a new release that wasn't on my radar and I stumbled upon it on Goodreads at 2 am and thought, 'a YA fantasy and feminist book? I must be dreaming.' Spoiler alert; I wasn't dreaming. I kept expecting something terrible, like a girl calling another a slut or one of our main character treating calling other girls 'slut' and brand it under feminism like it's often done in YA, but no. This book is clean of any hate and of any judgment toward women. The characters are great, they're all different and well developed for the first book in a series. The princess starts to fend for herself, the rebel starts to be more cunning and plot before acting, the love interests don't offer to save the girls and carry them bride-style to their castle. In fact, they let them fight their own battles and assist them when necessary, they don't protect, or save the day. How refreshing to not have an overbearing sexist and abusive male love interest. The plot was straight as an arrow and tightly held. I read this in two standings only because I fell asleep at 4 am but I'm sure if I wasn't exhausted I would have read it in one go. The suspense, the foreshadowing, the plotting... honestly, it's great. The only thing I think could have been better executed was the worldbuilding, but it's complicated to inform us on something the main characters don't know themselves, especially when the book is written in Deep 1st POV. I, therefore, don't think I can take down a star down on that fact, because our characters are females and in this world, females can't even read legally which means that their knowledge of their surroundings is limited. "Oppression isn't a finite state. It's a weight that is carried until it becomes too heavy and then is thrown off." Don't go into this because of the 'fantasy' brand. I don't think there's a single element of magic in this series, or at least in the first book. I'd say it's an historical fiction in a fictive world so don't expect fairies and stuff. In conclusion, Grace and Fury is a highly enjoyable quick read, full of positive messages. It's a very mature and dark YA, way deeper than the other Fantasy I've read. It's a book I highly recommend.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

    4.5 OKAY WOW!! I bought this book on a whim because the cover was pretty and I needed a book to read on my train ride in a few days and holy SHIT. I predicted the plot twist but it made me even more excited because I loved it. Wow this was SUCH a good book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Julie Zantopoulos

    DNF I’m not going to rate this. I got to page 129 but I just can’t finish this book. I am so frustrated with the characters, the plot, and the pacing. The world building is seriously lacking, the characters are so under developed, and the plot is a very clear mashup of books/stories I’ve already read without a unique twist to make it stand out. I’m sorry, I know this may end up being super feminist but as it stands, I have no desire to read a story about a world where women have absolutely no rig DNF I’m not going to rate this. I got to page 129 but I just can’t finish this book. I am so frustrated with the characters, the plot, and the pacing. The world building is seriously lacking, the characters are so under developed, and the plot is a very clear mashup of books/stories I’ve already read without a unique twist to make it stand out. I’m sorry, I know this may end up being super feminist but as it stands, I have no desire to read a story about a world where women have absolutely no rights, are treated as sexual slaves/objects, and have to fight against one another for basic human rights—I can look at history-hell, the news, for that. Just not the story for me.

  25. 5 out of 5

    ♔ Jaela ♊ Killer ⚔ QUEEN

    I just can't decide who was more stupid between these 2. No character development (mentally). Things happened too fast. I just can't accept someone being good in fights only in 2 pages, I need to see and feel the proof. Boring characters. Very superficial both "heroines". I felt nothing while reading this book. 0-zero emotion. I'm sure I'm not reading the next one. Done with this.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joshee Kun (조수아)

    In Viridia, women were oppressed because men were afraid of them. In my honest opinion, Grace and Fury is the love child of a literary threesome (ménage à trois, if you want to sound fancy): The Handmaid's Tale, The Selection, and Red Queen. It seemed like the author selected tropes from each book and then tried to make them interesting—if not less disappointing—by integrating them into a story of sisterhood. Serina is a demure and obedient girl who aims to be Viridia's princess by winning the hea In Viridia, women were oppressed because men were afraid of them. In my honest opinion, Grace and Fury is the love child of a literary threesome (ménage à trois, if you want to sound fancy): The Handmaid's Tale, The Selection, and Red Queen. It seemed like the author selected tropes from each book and then tried to make them interesting—if not less disappointing—by integrating them into a story of sisterhood. Serina is a demure and obedient girl who aims to be Viridia's princess by winning the heart of the Heir. Nomi, on the other hand, is a natural rebel who always questions the validity of her misogynist society. During the selection process, Serina's and Nomi's lives take an unexpected turn. Nomi inadvertently catches the eye of the Heir (and his younger brother), and Serina is sent to a deadly prison island for a crime that she didn't commit. Yearning to save each other from their respective cages, the twins fight battles both political and physical. If I could disregard my jadedness, I would give Grace and Fury a higher rating. After all, it did inspire me with its feminist discourse. Women in this book were severely oppressed by men. They weren't allowed to be literate, get an education, and choose a career. In other words, men were their belligerent gods on Earth. As someone who understands and respects the true value of femininity, I wanted Serina and Nomi to overcome subjugation and experience the pleasure of agency, aka the power of choice. The quote above is so true: some men hate women just because they feel threatened. In the end, misogyny is just a matter of hurt pride. Besides that, the plot was undeniably entertaining. Since I really enjoyed The Selection and Red Queen, I looked forward to Nomi's chapters. I was generally excited to read about her forced interactions with the Heir, whom I imagined as Prince Maxon/Cal. Hahaha. Come to think of it, Nomi and America Singer are similar in that both of them flinch at the idea of being royalty. Basically, reading this book was a pretty nostalgic experience. However, I have to look at the other side of the coin. Many aspects of the plot were too familiar, making the characters lose their individuality. Also, the plot twist at the end was so predictable that I took a peek at the last chapter so that I could exclaim, "I knew it!" Finally, I wasn't a fan of any of the romantic relationships because they were so instantaneous. How can you kiss someone after four or five short conversations? Physical attraction isn't a valid reason if you want to promote the idea of true love. All in all, Grace and Fury is a good YA fantasy/dystopian novel. Its message of female empowerment makes it worth your time. But if you're looking for something to blow your mind, this book might be a disappointment.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Beatrice in Bookland

    "Women think they're strong when they're fighting other women, but when a man fights them, they know the truth." I have so many mixed feelings when it comes to this book. It's set in a world that resembles The handmaid's tale's, more of less. Women are objects, they either work or marry someone they don't love, they're not even allowed to read. I mean, it is a horrible world but you can't compare it to The handmaid's tale's, you just can't. Gilead is a country where women are forced to be raped in "Women think they're strong when they're fighting other women, but when a man fights them, they know the truth." I have so many mixed feelings when it comes to this book. It's set in a world that resembles The handmaid's tale's, more of less. Women are objects, they either work or marry someone they don't love, they're not even allowed to read. I mean, it is a horrible world but you can't compare it to The handmaid's tale's, you just can't. Gilead is a country where women are forced to be raped in order to get pregnant and when they do conceive, they have no rights on the baby. Imo, you can't even begin to compare the two. We have two main characters, Serina and Nomi. They're sisters and at the beginning of the story they couldn't be more different. Serina is poised, submissive, she believes in the society they live in. Nomi is more rebellious, she knows women aren't supposed to be treated like this and she defies the system every time she can, she can also read. They start off as different characters and by the end of the book they do change, but not always for the better. For example, Nomi finally understands how shitty this kind of society is but Nomi, even if she still believes that, becomes stupid and weak af. And now, the romance. Serina was the perfect opportunity to introduce a lgbt couple. She's sent in a prison island full of female prisoners but nope, she fell for the only decent male guard (plus, instalove). Why. It’s not that Val’s a bad character, he’s sweet and he has an original backstory but it’s still a wasted opportunity. A platonic friendship between him and Serina would have been amazing. On the other hand Nomi was an absolute idiot and fell for the first pretty face who showed her some kindness, Asa. And the plot twist was so obvious (view spoiler)[and such a Red queen rip off. Guess what, the little brother is actually evil and wants to rule instead of his big brother, so original much wow. At least the romance between her and Malachi won't be instalove and it's much more interesting. (hide spoiler)] All in all, it's not a horrible book but I'm sure I'm going to forget all about it in a few weeks. And a little note for the publishers: stop comparing ya books to The handmaid's tale, just stop.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    In a world where women have few, if any, rights, Serina and Nomi Tessaro have been raised to accept their fate. All her life, Serina has dreamed of becoming a Grace...a pliant, graceful servant of the Heir. It will be an easy life, and it is expected of her. Her sister Nomi doesn't accept that it's her fate to be an uneducated, subservient woman. She hides a secret.....her brother broke the law and taught her to read. When Nomi's secret causes a role reversal between these two sisters, they both In a world where women have few, if any, rights, Serina and Nomi Tessaro have been raised to accept their fate. All her life, Serina has dreamed of becoming a Grace...a pliant, graceful servant of the Heir. It will be an easy life, and it is expected of her. Her sister Nomi doesn't accept that it's her fate to be an uneducated, subservient woman. She hides a secret.....her brother broke the law and taught her to read. When Nomi's secret causes a role reversal between these two sisters, they both have to become strong and fight for what's right......one on an island prison for women and the other while serving as a Grace to the Heir. For me, this book was just ok. While I totally understand the point -- women deserve to form their own destinies and have equal rights and opportunity with men -- the plot just seems very contrived. In the past couple of years, stories about women having no rights and being restricted from work, education and simple tasks like reading have just been over-done. I do understand (particularly since I am a woman myself) that this is a hot topic right now. I am just growing weary of the same tired story line. It took me three tries to get through this book. On the good side, I do like the characters. The two sisters are witty, intelligent and able to get along despite the fact that they are very different. And, the men are not all portrayed as narcissistic, sexist pigs. There are a few pigs, of course.....but some very redeeming male characters as well. I also like the fact that the book's message is that it's ok to be a smart, intelligent woman. And it's ok to choose to be pretty and graceful......or to be more studious. Either choice is powerful.....and both together -- amazing! All things considered, I can't say I liked this book though. I didn't hate the story, but I didn't like it either. I think in this case it's just a matter of this book not being for me. This book is written for a Young Adult audience and just felt a bit juvenile and forced to me. BUT.....I'm 50 years old and nowhere near the age this book is targeting. That being said....I think even a 14-25 year old me would have felt that this story is a bit too contrived to get it's background point across. Not every book is for every person. This one is just not for me. There are many, many people who have read it and loved it. I'm glad! It's an important point -- women can be strong, intelligent and live their lives unfettered. Be strong! Be amazing! And....women have a right to their own opinions.....and this time I just disagree with the majority. This story speaks to others though -- and that is always a great thing! **I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Little, Brown Books via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔

    Rating ~2.5 A quick tale about two sisters who refuse to give up on each other. It’s riddled with feminist ideals - focusing on women’s roles in society. Emphasizing the importance of choice, of freedom. All great things, all unfortunately delivered in a rather lackluster package. The writing was average, but it was story potential was interesting enough to keep me reading. One of the main problems with this book is that it feels somewhat generic. It doesn’t bring anything new to the table. Just Rating ~2.5 A quick tale about two sisters who refuse to give up on each other. It’s riddled with feminist ideals - focusing on women’s roles in society. Emphasizing the importance of choice, of freedom. All great things, all unfortunately delivered in a rather lackluster package. The writing was average, but it was story potential was interesting enough to keep me reading. One of the main problems with this book is that it feels somewhat generic. It doesn’t bring anything new to the table. Just the typical YA tropes we’ve all come to expect. Right down to the guy who’s too good to be true, actually being revealed as the bad guy. Like honestly, who didn’t see that coming a mile away? The second issue is pacing. The plot moved very fast, which in some cases is fine because I hate when things drag. But in this case things happened so fast I didn’t have to time to start caring about anything or anyone. The plot moved like it was in a hurry to get from point A to point B without stopping to enjoy the scenery. Honestly, if you asked me right now what the any of the main characters names are, without allowing me to look back the synopsis, I could not tell you. And it really hasn’t been that long since I finished the book. But I’m a rather forgiving person, so since I didn’t actively dislike any of our main characters I’ll probably still check out the sequel, as I’m curious to see what will happen once the sisters finally reunite. I received a free ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thank you to Little, Brown Publishing.

  30. 4 out of 5

    beth

    Rating - 4.5 stars! What has just happened??? This was absolutely incredible. I guessed the little twist early on but it still shocked me 😂. I can’t wait to read the next instalment in this series!

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