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Grace and Fury (Grace and Fury #1)

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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 (Grace and Fury #1)

  1. 5 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!

  2. 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

  3. 4 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. 5 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. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 5 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    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."

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 4 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?).

  16. 5 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 my GIRL POWER! 10s 10s 10s across the board! Full RTC

  17. 5 out of 5

    Beatrice (beatriceinbookland)

    "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.

  18. 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!

  19. 4 out of 5

    E L E A N O R (bookishcourtier)

    Well, this was a bit of a disappointment. I do love me a good old feminist fantasy, but this just did not live up to my expectations. It felt very generic , almost. It felt like a book that could have been written five years ago, as it included many of those old clichés and pretty unoriginal plot twists. I've never read anything by this author before, so I didn't really know what to expect going in. It was just very basic and just didn't feel like a book that had been written in 2018. The onl Well, this was a bit of a disappointment. I do love me a good old feminist fantasy, but this just did not live up to my expectations. It felt very generic , almost. It felt like a book that could have been written five years ago, as it included many of those old clichés and pretty unoriginal plot twists. I've never read anything by this author before, so I didn't really know what to expect going in. It was just very basic and just didn't feel like a book that had been written in 2018. The only good things about it were that it was pretty readable and quite short. I guess if you're looking for a kind of quick read, this might be for you? T H O U G H T S - The first major thing that struck me in the book was the worldbuilding, or rather, the lack of it. This book is basically about these two sisters, Nomi and Serena, and Serena is going to the palace to become a "Grace" to the prince of the country. In this world, women are very much viewed as the "lesser gender". However, I was just so confused about the world itself. I have very little geographical idea of the land. I think it is vaguely Roman inspired? But I have no idea whether this world was modern or medieval! Or whether there was any kind of fantasy elements? I thought it was medieval at first but then there was a mention of like, engines? And there was such and clash of more modern clothes/activities and more historical ones. They drive in carriages, but go to the beach in stretchy swimming costumes? - I wasn't really a huge fan of the premise either. Not the feminist fantasy part - I'm always up for that. But here, it just felt so...basic. Everything felt very black and white and it was the most simplistic way of depicting a sexist society. It felt very dystopian and just kind of immature? And we never really explored this whole "Grace" thing? I don't want to spoil anything that happens, but we basically spent more time somewhere else in the setting than here, and it was just so...recycled. It feels like one of the classic dystopians from five years ago. And it used the OLDEST TWIST EVER. I don't even know why the author tried to pull this off as a twist because you could see it coming before the book had even started. OMG. *sigh* It actually started giving me The Selection vibes. - I didn't really like either of the characters. They both felt really naïve and cliché and Nomi was so headstrong and annoying. She was just really stupid and ARGHHH. I don't know. I wasn't really interested in Serena either. She was just so TYPICAL. And good at whatever she tries to do. I just...didn't really care? This was not for me and that makes me kind of sad. If you are looking for a quick, almost light read, which reminds you of some older books, you might like this one? But if you are looking for a feminist fantasy, I would definitely recommend Reign the Earth by A C Gaughen or Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh over this one. They were a lot more mature and original than this one, and gave me a lot more feels. This was very average, kind of bland, and had shoddy world building. Personally, I would not recommend it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Atlas

    * * * * 4 / 5 ~review to come~ http://atlasrisingbooks.wordpress.com What a fun book! I would describe this as having the plot of Red Queen against the setting of The Selection, centred around two sisters and with an extra dash of character growth :)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Vicky Who Reads

    4.5 stars This book was smokin'. And I'm not saying it in the way that there are smokin' hot guys in it (although there are hot princes and guards), I'm saying it in the way that this is a fierce fantasy novel with fiery women who aren't afraid to fight for what's right. Every single notion I've ever said and you've ever thought about systematically white fantasies can fly out the window right now. If you don't know what I'm talking about, when I say "systematically white fantasy" I mean things lik 4.5 stars This book was smokin'. And I'm not saying it in the way that there are smokin' hot guys in it (although there are hot princes and guards), I'm saying it in the way that this is a fierce fantasy novel with fiery women who aren't afraid to fight for what's right. Every single notion I've ever said and you've ever thought about systematically white fantasies can fly out the window right now. If you don't know what I'm talking about, when I say "systematically white fantasy" I mean things like medieval (aka historically white) inspired fantasies or fantasies with lords and ladies etc. Obviously, the oppression of women isn't just a white-person thing, but for the sake of categorizing this type of fantasy (which is predominantly medieval inspired things), we're just going to say "systematically white." When I walked into reading Grace and Fury, I have to admit that I was kind of expecting to hate it. It sounded like another systematically white fantasy that has oppressed women who never end up fighting against the system, or at the very least, hinting that they'll fight against the system. But Grace and Fury is the complete opposite of that. It's about sisters fighting back against the patriarchy and the oppression of multiple decades to gain the equality they deserve. Nomi and Serina are sisters and they're fighting back against a corrupt system that subjects women, even though each is out of her own element. Serina was raised to be the Grace, the one who was pampered and raised to hopefully be chosen as one of the established women in the palace, and hopefully the bearer of the firstborn heir, if she was lucky. Nomi was raised as a handmaiden, and she's rebellious and unsuited for any Grace-like duties, with her penchant for reading (which is illegal) and other activities that are forbidden. Yet, in a turn of events, Nomi (my fierce, fierce queen) is the one who ends up stuck in the palace as a Grace, and Serina is banished to a place where she must fight to survive. AKA, both of the girls are completely out of their elements. The message in this book is completely spot on, and exactly what I've been hoping for in systematically white fantasies for all this time. I don't have anything against the genre, I have something against how the writers of this genre handle the topics, such as the subjugation of women. Banghart portrays her message--women fighting back against the patriarchy and rebelling to gain equality--in a fierce, feminist way that I wish all systematically white fantasies did (or, alternatively, write a non-systematically white fantasy). I had a wonderful time reading about girls fighting back, and both the social trials Nomi had to go through and the physical ones Serina underwent. It was entertaining, I sped through this book in a couple of days, and I wanted to devour the whole thing up and also savor it at the same time. The one place where this book lost the half star was in the romance. The romance wasn't anything terrible or in-the-way or offensive, I just felt like it wasn't necessary. We didn't need the romance, just like we don't need every character in the world paired up. Obviously, romance is like a standard requirement for YA & YA fantasy, but I feel like this book just didn't need the romance and didn't divert enough page time to it for me to feel invested in the romance. I mean, there's certainly some hot princes and hot guards, but who to trust is the real question. There's betrayal and all sorts of royal politics that keep this book engaging, and the intensity definitely sped up towards the end when things and emotions got more and more heated. Also, although I wish the protagonists were more diverse and that things like trans women were talked about, I also understand how if a white woman wrote about these things, it wouldn't be done to the level that a POC or queer woman could have. So like, hello POC & LGBTQ+ women? BRING ME THIS BOOK. Overall, I very much enjoyed reading this novel and would definitely recommend everyone to check it out. It's got a fantastic message that I believe a lot of books need to consider, and it works towards pointing out a current flaw within books of its type. If you're looking for a fierce, feminist fantasy novel, run, don't walk, towards Tracy Banghart's Grace and Fury. You can thank me later. Thank you so much to The NOVL @ Book Con and Hachette for providing me with an advance reader's copy! Blog | Instagram | Twitter

  22. 4 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.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Meli

    Nomi und Serina sind zwei sehr unterschiedliche Schwestern, aber ihre Liebe schweißt sie zusammen. Serina wurde seit Jahren zu einer eleganten und schönen Frau erzogen, damit sie nun eine Grace des Thronfolgers werden kann. Sie träumt von dem schönen Leben im Palast, während ihre Schwester Nomi das eher als den schlimmsten Albtraum betrachtet. Sie möchte nicht wie alle Frauen im Land unterdrückt werden und hasst die Umstände, unter denen Frauen leben müssen. Doch dann werden die beiden Schwestern Nomi und Serina sind zwei sehr unterschiedliche Schwestern, aber ihre Liebe schweißt sie zusammen. Serina wurde seit Jahren zu einer eleganten und schönen Frau erzogen, damit sie nun eine Grace des Thronfolgers werden kann. Sie träumt von dem schönen Leben im Palast, während ihre Schwester Nomi das eher als den schlimmsten Albtraum betrachtet. Sie möchte nicht wie alle Frauen im Land unterdrückt werden und hasst die Umstände, unter denen Frauen leben müssen. Doch dann werden die beiden Schwestern brutal getrennt und landen beide in ihrer persönlichen Hölle, angetrieben von dem Gedanken, zu entkommen, und sich wiederzufinden ... Protagonisten Nomi wirkt von Anfang an rebellischer, weil sie so andere Wünsche und Träume hat. Manchmal wirkt sie sehr jung, weil sie doch recht naiv ist, obwohl sie das ganz sicher nicht sein will. Sie hat ein großes Geheimnis, das sie sofort ins Gefängnis bringen würde, weil Frauen eigentlich aus jedem beliebigen Grund bestraft werden. Nomi wünscht sich, dass sich das ändert, aber sie ist impulsiv und bringt sich dadurch eher in Gefahr statt etwas zu bewirken. Wenn sie Leute auf ihrer Seite glaubt, vertraut sie ihnen schon mal zu schnell und das fand ich dann sehr schade, weil sie sonst ja schon ein frecher Charakter ist, und dann hat sie auch oft wieder Willen Angst und lässt sich dadurch kleinmachen. Serina wurde immer bevorzugt behandelt, da sie durch ihre Schönheit Chancen auf ein Leben als Grace hatte. Ihr größter Wunsch und Lebensziel ist es also quasi, ein Teil des Harems des Thronfolgers zu werden, denn das ist das Beste, was eine Frau in ihrem Reich erreichen kann. Dadurch hatte ich keine besonders hohe Meinung von ihr, aber im Laufe des Buches hat sie sich als mutiger und entschlossener Charakter bewiesen. Wenn es hart auf hart kommt, setzt sie sich durch und macht sich für andere stark. Handlung und Schreibstil Wir sehen in diesem Buch zwei ganz verschiedene Welten: Den Palast und die Insel des Verderbens. Generell werden Frauen immer und überall unterdrückt und im Palast empfinden sie es auch noch als Ehre, weil sie dabei ja hübsch aussehen. Doch dann ist da die Gefängnisinsel, wo die ganz üblen Frauen landen, zum Beispiel jene, die Arbeiten oder Lesen wollen. Dort sind die Umstände aber ganz anders und unmenschlich, sodass aus den Frauen sehr starke, brutale und entschlossene Individuen werden. Der Palast ist ein goldener Käfig, die Insel ein Kolosseum und wirklich schön ist es in diesem Reich als Frau wohl nirgendwo. Mir hat diese radikale Darstellung der Unterdrückung gut gefallen und ich fand auch das Patriarchat sehr überzeugend. Die Sprache war mir nur etwas zu simpel, auch wenn es sehr locker zu lesen war. Und ich hatte doch noch etwas mehr von beiden Schwestern erwartet, zumindest von einer, die etwas blasser schien. Mir ging hier vieles oft zu schnell und einfach, aber an sich fand ich es stellenweise durchaus spannend - also die Spannung hat die anderen, eher plätschernden Szenen etwas ausgeglichen. Fazit Mir hat "Iron Flowers - Die Rebellinnen" ziemlich gut gefallen, ich hätte nur noch etwas gefehlt, weil ich an anderen Stellen noch mehr Spannung erwartet hätte, und stattdessen eher naives Vertrauen gefunden habe.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔

    Rating ~3.5 A fast-paced fantasy, 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. The writing was rather average, but it was interesting enough to keep me engaged. And 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. *Full Review to Rating ~3.5 A fast-paced fantasy, 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. The writing was rather average, but it was interesting enough to keep me engaged. And 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. *Full Review to come*

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jeann (Happy Indulgence)

    Actual Rating: 3.5 stars When I first picked it up, I thought it was going to be a generic, predictable fantasy read about two sisters and winning the heart of the Superior, but thankfully, I was proven wrong. While I found the storyline to be slightly predictable, I really enjoyed the story of Serina, a trained Grace who has been wrongfully sent to an island prison and Nomi, the fiery handmaiden who is stuck at the palace. What I liked about this book in particular are the constant twists and tur Actual Rating: 3.5 stars When I first picked it up, I thought it was going to be a generic, predictable fantasy read about two sisters and winning the heart of the Superior, but thankfully, I was proven wrong. While I found the storyline to be slightly predictable, I really enjoyed the story of Serina, a trained Grace who has been wrongfully sent to an island prison and Nomi, the fiery handmaiden who is stuck at the palace. What I liked about this book in particular are the constant twists and turns and court intrigue, where you never knew who to trust and who was telling the truth. As a Grace, Nomi is surrounded by wealth, excess and royalty, but everyone around her is hiding a secret. I also thought there would be more cat fighting and training in the palace, but I liked the direction of the book. As a trained handmaiden, Nomi gets drawn into interesting political situations with the people at the palace, where she has to learn who to trust. She also battles against prejudice - even as a selected Grace, her lack of training and poise is constantly picked at by the residents of the palace. Then you've got Serina, who has to unlearn everything she's ever been taught in her new world, but her wits and personality carries her through. Women are oppressed in this society, but they're taught to fight and stand up to the toughest conditions by pit fighting against each other. She quickly gets over her shock and adapts to the new situation, bringing together the very women that she must fight against. Both girls were tough in their own ways, and showed the best of themselves in the circumstances they have been thrust into, and that was incredibly empowering. Although I liked both storylines and perspectives, I found the world building and the character development to be fairly shallow. Aside from a few lines from a book that Nomi finds, we learn more about the world through their circumstances and throwaway comments about how women are forbidden to do anything because of the royal structure. Some of the secondary characters were also cardboard cutouts, so I didn't really care for them. Overall, Grace & Fury is a fun little book about fire, rebellion and femininity, and I really enjoyed what it stood for. While it doesn't really go into some elements of the world in great detail, it's a short read filled with twists and turns and I had a lot of fun with it. I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Check out Happy Indulgence Books for more reviews!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    ARC provided by Little, Brown in exchange for an honest review / Finished copy provided by FairyLoot I really didn’t know anything about Grace & Fury but kept seeing it on NetGalley. Little, Brown was offering an instant download so I decided to give it a shot. Well, as good timing would have it, my rep package from FairyLoot arrived and it included an exclusive UK hardback edition of Grace & Fury! My friends were also planning a buddy read that very same day, so it was really meant to be ARC provided by Little, Brown in exchange for an honest review / Finished copy provided by FairyLoot I really didn’t know anything about Grace & Fury but kept seeing it on NetGalley. Little, Brown was offering an instant download so I decided to give it a shot. Well, as good timing would have it, my rep package from FairyLoot arrived and it included an exclusive UK hardback edition of Grace & Fury! My friends were also planning a buddy read that very same day, so it was really meant to be! Like I said, I knew nothing about this book and I ignored the synopsis. And I am so glad I did! Grace & Fury is told in alternating dual POVs: Sisters Nomi and Serina. This book started out feeling a bit stereotypical YA dystopia, and I was getting huge The Selection vibes. I was almost turned off until I got to the very first twist (very early in the book), and oh man, after that, I was ALL IN. This is a world where women don’t have any rights at all. Its themes are very similar to The Handmaid’s Tale, and dare I say, major Hunger Games vibes, too. This is a story about the total oppression women receive by men, and how the only way “up” in the world is to marry the rich or royal. While I love the awareness this brings for equality, I do hope that as these types of stories become more main stream, they do not become overly glorified. But, yet, this story is so much about willpower, sisterhood, camaraderie, and survival. I was loving the alternating POV’s and how each sister had to face such different, yet still horrible, situations. There were so many intense scenes that fueled my rage and made my jaw drop. However, the biggest negative, in my opinion, was the “climactic” reveal in the last 1/4 of the book. I could see it coming from a mile away so that took away a bit of the enjoyment for me. I was really hoping we’d get another twist, but instead the story leave us on a cliffhanger! I feel like this book could’ve benefit from being a 500-page standalone instead of a series. But nonetheless, I’m still eager to read the sequel! I hope I wasn’t being too vague in my review. I feel like the synopsis already gives so much away that I don’t want to spoil anything else for you! So, I suggest not reading the synopsis at all and going in blind! I think you’ll enjoy it so much more that way. Overall I had a great time reading Grace & Fury and definitely recommend it! Buddy read with: Melanie, Jules, Lilly, and Jen!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Intisar Khanani

    Actual rating 4.5 stars. Review to come!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joleen (starlightbooktales)

    This arc was provided to me for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 5 STARS Let me start by picking my jaw up off the floor because holy crap. Grace and Fury was everything I didn’t expect. Not going to lie, I wasn’t a fan at first, it seemed very cliche and I thought I could guess where the book was going. But it fooled me and it instead was this brilliant novel. Tracy Banghart created a world where women have no rights, they do not have the right to choose their husbands, they This arc was provided to me for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 5 STARS Let me start by picking my jaw up off the floor because holy crap. Grace and Fury was everything I didn’t expect. Not going to lie, I wasn’t a fan at first, it seemed very cliche and I thought I could guess where the book was going. But it fooled me and it instead was this brilliant novel. Tracy Banghart created a world where women have no rights, they do not have the right to choose their husbands, they cannot get an education, and they are only allowed to work a few jobs. This book follows Serina and Nomi, two sisters who are completely opposite. Beautiful and submissive Serina has spent her entire life training to be a Grace, a concubine for the heir because she knows ultimately it would be better for her family. But wild, Nomi who has trained to be her sister’s handmaiden believes women deserve better rights and should be free to do what they please. In a turn of events, Serina is caught with a book that Nomi has stolen and is sent to Mount Ruin, a women’s prison on a volcanic island. Separated, both sisters find a way to get back to each other, but while both facing their own hardships. Now, this is what I wanted, strong females rising up to take what is theirs. I am so glad I stuck with this book because it turned out completely different than I thought. For every twist and turn, I expected something else. And I think I am going to go impatiently wait for the second book. Because holy cliffhangers. Strong female characters, great twists, and even a little romance, this book has it all. I am definitely pre-ordering this book. I need it to grace my shelves. P.s. When does book 2 come out?

  29. 4 out of 5

    Justine (Milkz)

    "...Maybe that’s part of the nightmare, having just enough freedom thrown at you to tempt you, knowing it’s an illusion." 2.5 stars rounded up. Ah, this one just wasn’t for me. While I appreciated the commentary on feminism and oppression, I wasn’t impressed with the execution overall. This book is fast paced and easy to read, but I feel like it tried so hard to get its message across that it ended up lacking in the story telling department. Most of the dialogue even directly mentioned key wor "...Maybe that’s part of the nightmare, having just enough freedom thrown at you to tempt you, knowing it’s an illusion." 2.5 stars rounded up. Ah, this one just wasn’t for me. While I appreciated the commentary on feminism and oppression, I wasn’t impressed with the execution overall. This book is fast paced and easy to read, but I feel like it tried so hard to get its message across that it ended up lacking in the story telling department. Most of the dialogue even directly mentioned key words related to the message. For example: “It isn’t a choice when you don’t have the freedom to say no.” “But those were the Superior’s rules–apparently his son could break them. If only I had the same privilege…” “In Viridia, women were oppressed because men were afraid of them.” These are just 3 examples, but it goes on and on and on. Don’t get me wrong, these are very important messages, but they were constantly being talked about when I wanted the story to show me examples of the lack of feminism and oppression through the plot and character biases rather than tell me through dialogue and people’s thoughts. The characters weren’t any better. They were just caricatures that served to get the message across. There was the “beautiful” woman, the “badass, plain” woman, the man who was an example of how to treat a woman, and the man who was an example of how not to treat a woman. And because of the telling and characters, the actual plot was very predictable. I felt like I just about always knew what was going to happen to each sister. There were attempts to add anticipation at the end of each chapter, but these attempts happened at the end of every chapter, and they, too, became predictable. However, I have to mention that 85% into the story I loved how I felt about the romance. What I mean by that is, I at first hated the romance and felt there was too much insta-love, but 85% into novel I finally understood what was going on and loved that I hated the romance. Again, the author was trying to get a message across, but this time it was done really well. I added an extra star just for the last bits because after the 85% mark I eagerly read to the end. Now I find myself actually wanting to at least borrow the next book because it ended on an evil cliffhanger, and I want to know what happens next! If you’re looking for a book that outlines the basics of feminism and oppression in a very in-your-face, simple kind of way, this might be the book for you, but overall this just didn’t do it for me. I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Quotes were taken from an unfinished proof copy and may not be the same in the finished work. This book can also be found at Milkz' Bookshelf

  30. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Rodgman

    Actual rating: 3.5 stars I really enjoyed the concept of this novel. However, I have seen it done before. Meaning that in previous books I have read I have seen women being oppressed and, to be honest, I see it in real life all the time. It makes me angry, and you should be too! I did love the character arcs especially Serina's, her arc was truly spectacular and a MAJOR change to her original persona. She was a slave to the whims of men, especially her perceived view of The Heir. I loved the pris Actual rating: 3.5 stars I really enjoyed the concept of this novel. However, I have seen it done before. Meaning that in previous books I have read I have seen women being oppressed and, to be honest, I see it in real life all the time. It makes me angry, and you should be too! I did love the character arcs especially Serina's, her arc was truly spectacular and a MAJOR change to her original persona. She was a slave to the whims of men, especially her perceived view of The Heir. I loved the prison island, I found that hugely interesting and roles of women were completely reversed . The reason this book did not get a higher rating is because I guessed the plot twists within 100 pages of the book, which was annoying as I love to be completely blown away. I think I guessed one particular plot twist due to the fact that I have read something similar (very similar) in a different novel. Overall I enjoyed this book and will continue with the series (I think it is going to be a series, right?) It left lots of unanswered questions and I'm frightened for my babies. I would recommend to lovers of fantasy and people interested in feminism. Happy reading! Hannah xoxo

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