Title – Grace and Fury
Author – Tracy Banghart
Publication – July 31st, 2018.
Publisher – Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genres – Young Adult & Fantasy.
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.
Nomi and Serina live in a world where women are completely oppressed. Women are considered weak things, who have no say in the matter when it comes to men. They have to listen, obey, put their head down and never speak when it’s not asked of them. Women aren’t meant to be able to read or go to school, women are meant to be illiterates and naïve things, a woman definitely cannot be smart.
While Serina has made peace and has accepted this is the life she has been born into, but her younger sister Nomi is more defiant, with a stubborn streak and a loose mouth, who doesn’t like being told what to do by a man, or believes she is inferior to a man.
The Superior, the sovereign head of their world, takes 3 young beautiful women, who have been trained all their lives to be one of the women-owned by him, to do as he pleases with. But this time around The Heir, his first son is to take 3 young beautiful women, these women, the chosen ones are called Graces.
The story starts with Serina been chosen as the woman, who will represent her hometown, because of cause it’s a highly reputable and sort after position to be a Grace, forever taken care of and considered royalty. To Serina, it means she never has to worry about going hungry and is honoured to be thrust into the role, even if she has to leave her family and hometown behind.
The only plus is Nomi comes with her and two of them will always be together, has Nomi will be her hands maiden for life. But from the onset, Nomi is upset that Serina was chosen because she doesn’t believe the laws of the land to be right and believes women should also be given a choice.
That’s the only sensible thing or moment that Nomi had in this whole book, because from then henceforth, I only saw her as a nuisance. Yes, she still had her fiery spirit but all she ever seemed to do was make things worse.
I felt Serina’s heartbreak when not only Nomi gets chosen and in the next heartbeat has to be a dutiful and protective big sister and take the fall for Nomi which gets her banished to the worst of the women’s prisons.
Nomi is so gullible and easily trusting for someone who has such a jaded view of the world she lived in, I could sense the love triangle from the onset and the betrayal that would happen and it made me royally roll my eyes. You can say she was blind to her because of the guilt she felt for being the cause of her sister’s detainment and wanted to try her best to help, in a naïve way of course. Gah! Just Nomi for someone so strong willed was just too weak of a character and her story arc is so overdone by authors. Why are there love triangles? I love love triangles where the three people end up falling in love with one and another.
I don’t know how long the happening in the books spans for, but I think it’s almost a month. Serina is in jail and she has come to the horrible realization that women who come here and never to go home again and so to survive there is a battle where women from different prisoner clans, go up against each other weekly, battling till every single woman but one, the Victor is alive, to gain food and other basic necessities for their clan. Barbaric.
I thought Serina was a bit meek and accepting, but she blew me away as she is the sister I love. She is so brave and I love that about her character, as she sticks to her beliefs and holds them close in the cruel world she now belongs in. I would love to say more but spoilers, the only thing I didn’t like was her love arc.
I hated all the love/romance arcs in the story, it just’s cringe and so fast or predictable. I had a lot of problems with them. Then that ending, it was a mess. It was like a fast work hurriedly put together, just to get the desired cliff-hanger effect and it would have worked for me if not for the fact that once again Nomi had not only annoyed me but made stupid decisions she could have easily righted, she is just a blind bat.
With that out of the way, I do not know if the finished edition of this book is better, I definitely hope it is better than this, because this is a book with a lot of potentials and I still want to know what happens with Nomi and Serina, because the cliff-hanger brings forth a lot of questions, that I’m sure I’ve already figured out some, I just want to be surprised and be like “Oh I didn’t see that coming!”
This is my honest opinion and I’m grateful to the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book and of course Netgalley.