“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!”
Serina Tessaro has trained her entire life to become a Grace. Beautiful and obedient, she hopes to catch the eye of the Heir and become of three Graces chosen. This is the only life she has ever prepared for, the only way she knows to make a better life for her and her family.
Her sister Nomi thinks life as a woman in their kingdom is intolerable. Forbidden to read, to cut their hair, to do anything really, she dreams of a life filled with more than subservience. But when Nomi catches the eye of the Heir instead of Serina, she is chosen as a Grace and her sister is charged with a crime she didn’t commit.
Now, Nomi and Serina are both trapped in lives they never dreamed possible. Lives they never imagined in their worst nightmares. Nomi must submit to her role as a Grace to try and maneuver to save Serina. Meanwhile, Serina fights for survival in prison. And time, for them both, is running out.
“Fury and fear the likes of which she’d never felt before rushed through her with the force of a tidal wave.”
This book blew me away! I loved every heart pounding minute. The first thing I loved about this book, is that it doesn’t feature just one strong female character, but TWO!!! Actually, there are way more than that, but of the sisters, two out of two are seriously kick ass. In their own ways, of course. And maybe it was my own bias, or assumptions, but I was expecting to like one, and not the other. I was pleasantly surprised that I adored them both!
In fact, I really liked how Banghart really showed how women can be strong for a variety of strengths. They don’t need to be defiant, or submissive, or any extreme that society wants to put on them, to be strong women in their own right. Absolutely loved that about the characters in this book.
Conversely, I also really enjoyed the journey Nomi and Serina had to go on to find the strengths within themselves, but also to appreciate what the other sister offered. It was a really satisfying journey going through the emotional turmoil with each sister, and how they learned to find themselves through it all.
“Voice low, knowing she was walking on a knife’s edge, she murmured, “Because they’re afraid of what will happen if we do.”
First thing you guys should know going in, this is the first in a series, and there is a gut punch of a cliffhanger! It hurts! Grace and Fury doesn’t come out until July and already I NEED TO NEXT BOOK!!! There are so many things I need to know!!! I don’t mention this as a deterrent, because man is the book worth the pain. The next thing, is be ready to be pulled in and lost in the story. It is addictive and enthralling. I could barely put it down, it was that good. the pacing is fantastic and makes you keep turning the pages.
The last few chapters flew by as twist after twist jumped out at me. People are not who they seem, some with heartbreaking and tragic consequences. And, of course, their fates are largely unknown at the end. There are so many ways this story and these characters can go, and really, I don’t know how I’m going to survive another year to find out.
“No one should be made to feel broken or powerless. Not you, not me. Not anyone.”
Readers who love YA novels like The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Red Queen, to name a few, will fall head over heels for Grace and Fury. It is intense, with some brutal fights and action scenes. It’s full of stand up and cheer levels of feminism and girl power, with fierce bonds of sisterhood wrapped in. And, because all of that isn’t enough, it has just enough romance to balance the entire thing out perfectly.
I am so delighted I was chosen to receive a copy of this ARC. It has everything I love in solid YA fiction, and will appeal to a wide variety of readers.
Thank you The Novl and Little Brown for Young Readers for sending me this fantastic novel!