It is absolutely freezing in Cape Town…all I want to do is curl up in front of the fireplace and reeeeeeaaaad!! I dragged myself in front of the computer though, with the heater blasting away, to share this amazing book with you!
I received this book from Pan Macmillan South Africa and it is **good**! Another Young Adult dystopian fantasy book…right up my alley!
The inscription in the front of this book aptly reads:
“For every woman who has been told to sit down and be quiet…and who has stood up anyway”
“The whole world opened up to her. Rows and rows of bookshelves climbed to the ceiling.”
“This book was home to her…”
“It was against the law for women to read.”
Grace & Fury
by Tracy Banghart
This time I am not starting with the synopsis, I rather enjoy reading books without reading the synopsis first. I know this mainly works for books that were recommended to me, given to me to review or that I’ve seen around on a book-related platform…if it is in a genre I like and I know the gist of it…I like to read “blind”. Often times a synopsis can spoil you for certain events or elements that are much more fun to discover while reading the book. This synopsis is one of those…I will, however, add it at the bottom for anyone who would want to read it.😊
In a world where women have no rights, being chosen as a Grace is seen as the highest achievement a woman can procure. Being a Grace means you were chosen by the Heir/Superior to be one of three ladies to become part of his court. This process happens every three years.
“It was against the law for women to read. It was against the law for women to do almost anything, really, except birth babies and toil in factories and clean the houses of rich men.”
It is in this world that we follow two sisters, Serina and Nomi Tessaro, as they start a new phase in their lives. Soon, however, everything they thought they were prepared for slips out of their grasp as their lives are turned upside down and they’re left fighting to survive.
Serina has one goal and that is to become one of the Heir’s Graces…she has spent her entire life following the rules and perfecting the skills needed to become the perfect Grace.
On the other hand, Nomi is headstrong and rebellious. She hates what the Graces represent and she pushes the boundaries, challenging authority and the rules. She also has a dangerous secret and one wrong move can cost both sisters everything.
Okay, so that was my little intro instead of the usual synopsis…
3.8⭐️ out of 5⭐️
It is such a joy to start reading a book and just lap it up, I just immediately loved this story.
It started out reminding me of the Selection series (which I enjoyed😊) ,but then it quickly twists in to something else, as it becomes clear that the selection process in this book is not the main focus. Survival is.
When Nomi and Serina are torn apart, you realise that even though they seem like polar opposites, their love for each other runs deep. When everything goes wrong, they learn to take a page from the others’ book in order to survive. NOT just for themselves, but to save the other. Essentially their strong bond and love make them braver and stronger than they ever thought they could be. As they start to navigate their new lives without each other, we get to know them separately, hear their fears, understand their desires. Best of all is that we get to see just how resilient and heroic they are.
“Fury and fear the likes of which she has never felt before rushed through her with the force of a tidal wave.”
Not all prisons have bars…
It was shocking to see how demeaning the role of women are and you realise quickly that being chosen as a Grace is not all as glamorous as you would think. The Graces are essentially no more than pretty dolls dressed up and waiting in their luxurious prison to be put on display at a ball or to be called on by the Heir while constantly under the watchful eye of the guards.
“You must be as strong as this prison, as strong as the stone and the ocean that hems you in. You are brick and barbed wire. You are Iron.”
When you are stripped from the person you thought would be by your side forever, you have no choice but to try and find others to rely on. I loved the stretch and pull between relationships as everyone tries to puzzle each other out, finding out who people really are behind the facade they put up. Isn’t that the reality in real life as well…the extent to which some people go to hide their true self and true intentions are just next level though 😱. To some degree I think all of us hide under a mask even just a small one that hides insecurities? (Wow, what a sidetrack to make in the middle of a review 😂 It does play a role in the book though, so it’s okay 😜)
This book was fast paced, with a lot of unexpected things happening that kept me turning those pages and it included all the “feels” we expect from a YA book. It is (again) a dual perspective and gives the perspective of both sisters in turn…something that I seem to enjoy quite a bit😜
There was one point where the book seemed to drag a little…simply because information was repeated that I thought was unnecessary, but soon the book picked up pace again and ended with a series of events that left me gasping for air as I sat at the edge of my seat holding on for dear life…. I mean phew….so much happened in the end that it left my mind reeling.
Another series that I can’t wait to read more of!
Much love 💙
Okay…lastly the synopsis for those who would want to read it😉: