Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Date of publication: July 31st, 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Book synopsis (from Goodreads):
In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.
Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace – someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. But when her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, catches the heir’s eye, it’s Serina who takes the fall for the dangerous secret that Nomi has been hiding.
Now trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one way to save Serina: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to release her sister. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.
Grace and Fury is one of those books that caught me by surprise. I don’t get taken by surprise by books. I can usually see a plot twist coming a mile away. I can usually see when an author is foreshadowing. I can usually see who the bad guy is in the book. I can usually call who is going to die. But not in Grace and Fury. The author did a fantastic job keeping me in the dark about everything I stated above. And I loved it!!!
Grace and Fury start off with Serina being chosen to go to Bellaqua to compete with other girls to become a Grace. Serina has worked her entire life to become a Grace. That dream is shattered when Serina’s younger sister, Nomi, is chosen instead. It is further shattered when Serina takes the blame for what Nomi did. That something has Serina shipped off to a prison island. There she is forced to fight to the death for food. Back on the mainland, Nomi decides to embrace her role as a Grace. She does that with the hopes of getting Serina off the island and back with her. But Nomi is soon caught up in a dangerous plot. A plot that could end everything that she has worked so hard for.
I couldn’t believe the injustices that the women in that society endured. They weren’t allowed to go to school. They were dominated by the men in their lives. So, I loved it when Nomi bucked the rules. Learning to read was her way of thumbing her nose a the society that was keeping her down. Even as rebellious as she was, she was loyal to Serina. Using her position as a Grace, she did try to get her sister off that island. I was as surprised as she was when everything went down the way it did.
I didn’t like Serina at first. She had trained to be a Grace since she was a child and had no clue how the real world was. Being a Grace meant that her family would never go hungry. She also loved her sister. My turning from not liking her to liking her happened when she took the fall for Nomi. She could have taken Nomi down with her. And when she got to the island. Instead of having a breakdown, she did what she had to do to survive.
There are several twists and turns in the plotline. I wasn’t ready for any of them. I thought this would be one of those typical YA fantasy books that would be heavy on romance and teen angst but would have no twists. Yeah, I was wrong. This book had more twists than a mountain road.
The fantasy angle of the book was fantastic. Set in an Italian-like country, the author did fantastic world-building. The world was 3D, as were the characters.
The YA angle I didn’t feel. Yes, Serina and Nomi were in their late teens, but it didn’t read like it. If I didn’t know their ages, I would have placed Serina in her mid 20’s and Nomi as the teenager. This book also didn’t have much angst as most YA books. Which was refreshing.
I do want to touch upon the amazing girl power vibe that was going on in this book. It was fantastic, and I loved it!!!
The end of Grace and Fury was insane. Everything happened at once. I was surprised at what happened with Nomi. Very surprised. I was surprised that I had to wake up BK and tell him about it. He wasn’t impressed…lol. I will say that the book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. This means that I need to read book 2 when it comes out.
Onto why I gave Grace and Fury a 4-star rating. I loved how I was taken surprised time and again in the book. I liked Nomi and her rebellious ways. I loved the strong girl power vibe throughout the book. I didn’t like how the women were treated in the book. I didn’t like Serina at first. I also didn’t like the cliffhanger.
What I liked about Grace and Fury (to recap):
A) Being taken surprise by the different elements of the book
C) Girl Power
What I disliked about Grace and Fury (to recap):
A) How the women were treated in the book
B) Serina, the first half of the book
C) The cliffhanger
I would give Grace and Fury an Older Teen rating. There is no sex. There is kissing (that’s about it). There is violence, sometimes graphic. There is no language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read this book.
I would reread Grace and Fury. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.
I would like to thank Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for allowing me to read and review Grace and Fury.
All opinions stated in this review of Grace and Fury are mine.
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**