Grace and Fury

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 17 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

I really enjoyed this book. The plot twist of the sisters being forced to switch places was expected but still interesting. The monumental changes that took place in Serina we’re so intriguing to watch and I wanted the second book immediately, if not sooner!
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This felt very much like a concept book - that the author had an concept or agenda and so hammered a square peg through a round hole in order to push that agenda. In this case, she wanted to write a book about young women who fight against their roles in society. But with very weak leads who do not take matters into their own hands and had to be rescued constantly, that point was completely lost. If anything, both our mains needed a man in their lives and never really organically grew to understand the strengths of each other's values and mindsets.

Story: Two sisters - one conforming to society values of the perfect woman and one fighting them - are caught in a web of intrigue when they find their roles reversed. One taught to serve must fight and one who always wants to fight must learn to be subservient. Will each triumph in their new roles and save the other?

The sisters are older and graceful Serina and younger hot-headed Nomi. Serina must constantly save Nomi from rushing in stupidly and endangering both of them; it makes it very hard for the reader to really like or want Nomi to succeed as a result. And of course, Nomi will ruin Serina's grounded and careful plans and place both women in life threatening circumstances. Had Nomi been more nuanced, I think this would have been a much more palatable book. But the simplistic nature of her characterization meant that the book was missing a core or heart that Serina's character just couldn't make up for by the end.

Serina fared a bit better but even then, she was the cliche of "I refuse to kill even to save others and myself" that honestly is so unrealistic in her situation as to be forehead slapping. We're supposed to see her become strong - but honestly, it was more about being inflexible and saved by the handsome heart-of-gold guard.

A twist at the end that could be seen a mile away didn't help much. I wish YA authors would write more characters with mettle, realistic motivations, and ingenuity. But until then, we will have to continue to see protagonists acting in unrealistic ways that more than likely would have seen them killed rather than dangled for the hero love interest to come rushing in and save them. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.
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Fun read that kept me turning the pages. I loved the relationship of the two sisters and did not see the twist coming at the beginning at all! Really looking forward to the sequel to see where their story goes.
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WOW!
That was such a good read!
I loved everything about this book, even the villain lol!
I would recommend this book to anybody who likes feminist fantasy novels!
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I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

I was honestly pretty underwhelmed by this.  I have read a lot of YA fantasy and that could be why I found this so disappointing.  I felt like this didn't bring anything new.  There was no substance.  The characters were bland, there was unnecessary instalove, the twists were pretty obvious, and I felt the plot advanced entirely too slow.
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Although I received a copy of this e-book in exchange for a review (via netgalley), all opinions remain my own. 

This was a book I could not put down. Talk about book hangover with this one. More then one day with dark circles under my eyes from staying up too late reading "just one more chapter". 

One thing I did not love was the cliffhanger ending. While I love the idea of trilogy books, I hate it when they cannot stand alone. This is one of those books. Well, I guess it kind of stands alone, but it leaves a HUGE HUMONGOUS cliff hanger. Plus, you have to wait another YEAR for the answer. UGH! So frustrating. One reason that I like finding books like this after the author is finished with the entire series. I can read them all together.

Alas, that was not this case with Grace & Fury. This gem came out on July 31. That means you have a whole year to read it before book two is due for release and you are for sure going to want to read this one. While one sister is in the palace, the other in in jail. Just read the overview on the cover. Who wouldn't want to read that one? There were a couple plot twists that I loved and didn't see coming. Nothing so huge that it seemed "out of character" for our protagonists but just wild enough to keep you turning the pages. There were enough characters to keep me interested but not so many as to have me confused. PLUS their names weren't so confusing that I didn't remember who was who. I have had books with names that were so wild, so out there that I got them mixed up the whole book. SO frustrating and so not the case with this one.

Overall this is a great read if you love the dystopian type books. I loved it and plan to buy my own copy as well as the next two as they come out.
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All her life, Serina has been taught what it takes to become a Grace.  It is finally time to go before the heir and see if he will pick her, but when her reckless younger sister catches his eye and is chosen instead of her, Serina’s world is turned upside down.  Now Serina is in prison for an action her sister committed; Nomi is stuck in the palace in a position she never wanted and is trying to determine if there is a way to save her sister.  With all of the palace intrigue, who can Nomi trust?  Will the sisters be reunited or will they run out of time?

Grace and Fury is the first book in a series with the same name.  The story alternates between the sisters’ points of views, yet readers will easily be able to follow the story through the pages.  Banghart has created characters that are easy to relate to and brings out hidden depths as they struggle to cope with their situation.  Grace and Fury has two strong female protagonists which gives the novel just a little something extra for the reader to enjoy.  I will be looking forward to the next installment in this world where women are too often overlooked.
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Just finished #GraceAndFury by @tracythewriter and wow!! what a book!! It's been a while since I've read such a captivating fantasy. Lots of feminism and political intrigue. Absolutely loved Serina and Nomi's story. I'm already dying for the sequel because I NEED MORE
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GRACE AND FURY by Tracy Banghart is a young adult fantasy novel told in alternating points of view, following sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro. The world reminds me of Renaissance Italy, with words like palazzo and gondola making appearances, and an island featured prominently in the story with a cataclysmic event akin to Mt. Vesuvius in ancient Pompeii. The sisters must navigate the patriarchal society where women are allowed to have only two jobs—in a factory or as a wife and mother—and cannot do anything without a man’s permission.

Serina has been groomed all her life to become a Grace—a woman selected by the royal monarch to live within the palace harem—so when she’s chosen to attend the Heir’s birthday ball, she believes her life is made. She’ll be able to provide for her family, allow her mother to retire from the textile factory, and give her family much needed wealth and rest.

Nomi has hated the idea of her sister becoming a Grace since she was old enough to talk. She longs for a life of her choosing, but when Serina is chosen to attend the Heir’s ball, she thinks her life as she knows it—or as she dreamt it—is over. No longer can she dream of her own life with her own choices, but she must attend her sister at the palace.

But when Nomi catches the Heir’s eye instead, and Serina takes the fall for Nomi’s dangerous secret, both of their worlds are forever changed.

I adored GRACE AND FURY. It’s a smaller novel at 320 pages, but it’s jam-packed with action and intrigue and survival. This isn’t Banghart’s first novel, and I hope it won’t be her last. I loved the setting and the world—grimy factory towns, gorgeous courts, splendid palaces, dangerous jungles, gritty jails. The places felt so real and realized, each lending a quality of grounded realness to the story.

GRACE AND FURY tackles themes such as misogyny, patriarchy, sisterhood, and survival through the dual narrative. Though at first I thought I knew who was Grace and who was Fury, it turns out that the two sisters are not quite what they seem. You’ll have to read the book to find out, but I think you’ll be surprised at the reveal as well.

If you loved books such as The ValiantThe Handmaid’s Tale, and Caraval, you’ll enjoy the political intrigue, the familiar setting, and the fierce sisterhood GRACE AND FURY has to offer. And the best part? This book is out now, so check out your favorite retailer or local library and grab yourself a copy!

Thank you to Hachette Book Group and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for providing a review copy.
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At times this YA book reminded me of The Handmaid's Tale.  Woman have no rights and are trying to be the heirs Grace. When Serina is found with a book she is sent to Mount Ruin to serve her punishment where the guards try to break you. Nomi her sister is forced to become a Grace even thou she doesn't want too. I enjoyed this book but I wish there was more to ending. I wanted to know more about what happened to these sisters.
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This book was PHENOMENAL. I wasn't sure what to expect going into Grace and Fury, given that I'd heard almost nothing about it beyond what I knew from the synopsis, and it took my by surprise in the best way. Dark, tense, action-packed, apologetically feminist, and beautiful - a definite win and a book I DEFINITELY want to have on my shelf.
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This is such an empowering novel… delivering the message to women that it is ok to stand up and speak out. Grace and Fury is a feminist fantasy novel full of intrigue, family and girl power. The concept of fantasy novels with disempowered young women is nothing new… but, for some reason Grace and Fury works so well and really drives home the message of empowerment.

There are a lot of extremely tough topics within this novel and people should be aware of before they start the novel. Ultimately, this is a sister novel with Nomi and Serina in the forefront. These women have some fantastic character development and seeing these two women progress through the novel was one hell of a journey.

The alternating perspectives also allow for alternating locations with part of the novel taking place in a lavish castle and the other taking place on a volcanic prison island full of woman who must fight to the death. This is the perfect combination of dystopian novels within one brilliant book.

And damn, the plot twist. I absolutely recommend this novel. It is an amazing fantasy / dystopian novel with brilliant character development. This is a YA The Handmaid’s Tale.
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Curse you Tracy for writing such a crazy good book and drawing me into the pages the way you did haha.

I loved this book so much.

I'm such a fantasy junkie and this book gave just what I was craving.

To start, I loved the sisterhood between Nomi and Serina. The two showed how much they love and cared for each other throughout the entire story. And I really appreciated a story incorporating that so much inside it. That sisterly love that was so much of the driving force behind both of their actions.

I didn't want to put this one down. I t had me flipping pages as fast as my eyes could read, and I was held in such suspense waiting to see what would happen. If someone wouldn't survive. And I love a book that can do that to me. I don't even mind the lack of sleep I got before finishing this one. It was so worth it by the time I got to the last words haha

Most definitely a 5 star read!!
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Excellent! This was an almost non-stop adventure right through to the last page, and I loved every minute of it. The characters were fantastic. I was frustrated that Nomi's choices led to so much trouble for Serina, but I loved all the ways Serina developed and changed through the course of the book. No resolution really, so readers will have to wait for the sequel. It will be a must-read for me.
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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 at keeping me in the dark with everything I stated above. And I loved it!!!

Grace and Fury starts 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 something that 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 that she will get 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 that this was going to be one of those typical YA fantasy book that would be heavy on the 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 was the character.

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 that 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. Surprised to the point 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. Which 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

B) Nomi

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**
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This book was intense! I was hooked instantly from the beginning. The story of two sisters and their place in the kingdom. Naomi thinks women should be more than what they’re merely supposed to do. 
I greatly enjoyed this fantasy novel. One thing I loved about it was how the chapters switched back and forth and were told from the two sister's perspectives. I couldn't wait to fly through each one to see what happened to the other sister I had left behind just moments before!
I absolutely cannot wait to see what will happen in book two! Hurry up 2019!
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I love the book. Great characters and world development. I love the character development in the book, it is what makes the story. The progression from scared girls to strong heroines is a great one and I can't wait to see what happens!

Spoilers!
Once Nomi found out who hid the book I knew Asa was no good. This was the only real predictable piece of the book.
As a reader I wish Serina had cut her hair, I feel like it would have lent more towards her breaking free of the rules.
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Opening line:
Serina Tessaro stood on the steps of the fountain in Lanos's central piazza flanked by nine other girls her age, all in their finest gowns."

Serina and Nomi have been raised in a country that puts women down to the point of punishing them if they do anything besides grovel, make meals and babies. Nomi is rebellious and learns to read; Serina follows the rules and is chosen as a Grace for the Heir. As their roles reverse, they find they have strengths they didn't know they possessed and they use them to help each other. 
The chapters alternate between the sister's points of view and that was interesting to read their different characters and style. And I really enjoyed their individual journeys to becoming stronger. 
There is romance, too. Plus, a lot of fighting and death. 
It was easy to predict the twists but I kept reading. 
I was annoyed with the constant "women are oppressed!" "stay with the status quo!" "Fight the man!" I didn't need to be reminded of these themes every chapter. Woven through the story subtly would have been enough. At one point in the story, both girls are rescued by a man, sooooo...
I still wanted to keep reading. 
I will read the next book, too. I want to know what will happen to the sisters!

To the sensitive reader: fighting, death, cuts, bleeding, stabs, gunshots, talk of spending the the night with the Heir, threat of a rape.

Thanks to netgalley for the read!
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Wow I'm speechless, what a great read, what a great world.It's not fantasy, but it's not science fiction either, and it's not contemporary or historical fiction. It's somewhere in between.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.Both girls are forced into situations they were not trained for, have no experience with, and are ultimately afraid of. The story line is unique and brilliant.It's like nothing else, I just couldn't get enough of this story.
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In Grace & Fury’s world, women have no rights. They are forbidden to read, to be socially and financially independent, and their lives are controlled by their government. In this restrictive society exist two sisters: Serina and Nomi. Serina has prepared all her life to become a Grace – someone who stands by the heir to the throne as an example of ‘the perfect woman.’ Nomi, on the other hand, is rebellious and knows how to read: a treasonous offense. But when Nomi catches the heir’s eye instead of Serina and Serina takes the fall for Nomi’s ability to read, she is shipped off to a prison island where she must fight tooth and nail to survive. Nomi, meanwhile, must surrender to her new role as Grace if she wants to save her sister.

I must admit that it’s become a breath of fresh air to read YA fantasies centering sibling bonds above all else. Just like Rule by Ellen Goodlett, Grace & Fury is a feminist fantasy with complicated sisterhood dynamics set in a world dense with political intrigue, deception and page-turning action. Banghart’s ability to create taut tension through the characters’ interactions with each other, through tight situations that make you worry for the protagonists, and fluid prose makes for a delicious read that’ll have you reading late into the night.

If you’re a fan of fish-out-of-water stories, this is definitely the perfect read for you, because it not only features one such storyline, but two very extreme variations of it. We have Serina, a soft and gentle young woman who’s life has been dominated with thoughts of etiquette, royalty, decorum and beauty. When she is shipped off to a prison island where the guards force women to fight to death gladiator-style, Serina must put aside everything she’s previously known and learn to become a warrior. On the other hand, Nomi’s always been the fierce, feisty rebel. She’s never adhered to the societal conventions forced upon her, but when the heir takes an unprecedented interest in her and her sister is banished, she must play the role that Serina had prepared for and exist in a deceptive world where she does not fit. These two characters’ struggles to simply be in a life that isn’t them is something that makes Grace & Fury as addictive as it is. It’s a pleasure to see these young girls’ lives unfold, to watch them adapt for survival.

Romance exists in this universe, but it’s slow-burn. The slow set-up to the characters’ relationships with one another is ultimately worth it because getting to know them before the action truly unravels is important to such a dense storyline. But while the romance is there and done decently, what’s most commendable is the way female friendships and bonding take precedent over all else in this book. It’s a true feminist tale because it prioritizes how women must stick together in sticky situations, how they must fight back against their oppression.

The two issues I have with this book, however, are also related to the romance. Firstly, there was too much of it. I did not think a world that emphasizes the oppression of women needed several love interests for each character – it made the otherwise fluid story clunky and unbelievable. Secondly, it was predictable. I could predict how the romantic storylines were going to pan out as soon as a new guy was introduced, and this predictability took away from the intrigue of the politics in the book.

But while these issues were slight bothers, they did not hinder my appreciation of the skillful characterization, the nuanced structure of the plot, and its true feminist flavor. I truly cannot wait for the second installment to what is a masterful start to a series.
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