This Vicious Grace

A Novel

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Pub Date 28 Jun 2022 | Archive Date 12 Jul 2022
St. Martin's Press, Wednesday Books


"Riveting, passionate, and full of high stakes danger." —Tamora Pierce, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Emily Thiede's exciting fantasy debut, This Vicious Grace, will keep readers turning the pages until the devastating conclusion and leave them primed for more!

Three weddings. Three funerals. Alessa’s gift from the gods is supposed to magnify a partner’s magic, not kill every suitor she touches.

Now, with only weeks left until a hungry swarm of demons devours everything on her island home, Alessa is running out of time to find a partner and stop the invasion. When a powerful priest convinces the faithful that killing Alessa is the island’s only hope, her own soldiers try to assassinate her.

Desperate to survive, Alessa hires Dante, a cynical outcast marked as a killer, to become her personal bodyguard. But as rebellion explodes outside the gates, Dante’s dark secrets may be the biggest betrayal. He holds the key to her survival and her heart, but is he the one person who can help her master her gift or destroy her once and for all?

"Remixing all the best parts of a dark fantasy and a romantic comedy, This Vicious Grace is a wonderfully fun time from start to finish, with lush, complex worldbuilding, intensely relatable characters, and relationships that are easy to root for." —Hannah Whitten, New York Times bestselling author of For The Wolf

"Riveting, passionate, and full of high stakes danger." —Tamora Pierce, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Emily Thiede's exciting fantasy debut, This Vicious Grace, will keep readers turning the...

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ISBN 9781250794055
PRICE $18.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 287 members

Featured Reviews

A unique blend of high fantasy and romantic comedy, Thiede's chosen one story draws on lots of fan favourites in both genres, blending them with a wry, lemon-scented twist. We get a reluctant world saviour with a refreshingly open interest in understanding her sexuality, an impossibly handsome and delightfully cheeky love interest with a few secrets up his sleeve, a team of teen superheroes who overcome their differences and learn to band together, a hint of political and religious unrest, and a deadly looming battle on the horizon. Though the story begins by leaning into the high fantasy with its focus on the upcoming threat and the inherited rules that will allow the heroine to save her land from a hoard of demon insects, the bulk of the book centers on the banter-filled romance and the development of the band of friends as the heroine breaks out of her isolation and builds connections with others. I suspect teen readers will devour this, particularly after 2 years of pandemic living that have made us all crave more connections, and they'll enjoy the heroine's journey to harness her power and lead her friends into battle. The book ties up nicely, though the final chapters provide hints of the story that will unfold in book 2. No doubt readers will be eager to return for more.

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This is a fantastic book! The unique mixes of magic, slow-burn romance, and dynamic charactes keep you engaged throughout the whole book. The world-building is detailed and allows for more inclusive experience for the reader.

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I know "don't judge a book by it's cover" is a very popular saying, and I understand why, but that is 100% what you should be doing with This Vicious Grace. The cover is absolutely gorgeous, and I'm so happy that I loved the story itself just as much. This is probably one of the best debuts I've read, once I started I couldn't put it down, and fell in love with all of the characters so quickly. I loved that the characters all had a certain realness to them, and their flaws just made them more believable. The romance between Alessa and Dante was exactly what I love in my fictional ships, and the whole being unable to touch one another just added to the tension between them.

The story does tend to lean a bit more the romance side than straight up fantasy, which made it all that more perfect for me. It did feel a little info dump-y at times, but it wasn't too noticable, and I'd rather have that than getting thrown into a fantasy world without any context, one of my biggest pet peeves. If you're a fan of fantasies with a side of romance definitely try picking This Vicious Grace up! Now I just have to figure out what to do with myself until the sequel comes out.

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Thanks NetGalley for the ARC because this book was AMAZING!

The book took me by surprise. It's utterly unique and imaginative. Alessa has magical powers, she can draw upon (Fontes) magic and amplify it. Only one of her is "active" at a time and is destined to fight off this hoard of insect/demons because of the Gods. However, she keeps killing every Fonte she is paired with because her power is so great. This causes people on the island to revolt and results in multiple assassination attempts thanks to some religious zealot/fervor that claims she's cursed and fake. Many Fontes have left the island, afraid of her.

She decides to hire her own bodyguard because the guards in her fortress are also trying to kill her. She also decides to train with all of the remaining Fontes hoping that building a connection and going slowly into touching them (how she takes their magic) will help her not kill her next partner. But she slowly realizes she is so powerful (and so unlike the ones before her) she needs multiple Fortes touching her in order to not kill them. So they concoct a plan.

at the same time she finds out that her bodyguard Dante is a ghiotte (spelling?) essentially a being of greed that stole one of the goddesses gifts (healing fountain) but for some reason she can touch him and he can heal her. Alessa has been so lonely and scared because she was isolated as soon as her power manifested and people were prevented from being her friends and from touching her (she isn't even allowed to have contact with her family). This is psychologically damaging so when she forms a connection with Dante and craves his touch honestly, having that connection helps her not be so deadly with her powers.

They battle the insect demons and win, inhabitants of another island arrive because their Finestra is dead. Dante dies saving Alessa but she brings him back with his own power but he's not the same. He had some vision of the Goddess who was trying to tell him that the God who sent the insect things isn't done that he's going to attack again in the near future (unheard of) and that Dante must find the others of his kind to bring back the gift they stole.

It's a wild book, absolutely crazy! But it is also a lot of fun. Alessa's isolation is painful and emotional to read about. You feel for her and that makes the book. Can't wait to read the second one!

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Thank you to Wednesday Books for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Oh my gosh, I did not expect to become so obsessed with this book! The magic system, the inspiration pulled from the Amalfi Coast, the romance. This is the upper YA fantasy I really needed right now, and I am craving more.

This Vicious Grace follows The Last Finestra, Alessa as she searches for her magical partner. After three of them have died from her touch, no one wanted to volunteer. She hires a new bodyguard, Dante, after an assassination attempt, and as she fights to overcome her deadly touch, she uncovers some dark secrets.

I loved Dante s character and all of the character arcs. Even the secondary characters all grew in one way or another. Just a truly fantastic book and a wonderful start to a series!

Cw: death, violence, and a steamy scene that makes me categorize this as upper YA

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An absolutely heart wrenching story that will have you on the edge of your seat. I can not imagine never being able to physically touch another person. Not receiving a hug when you are sad, never holding the hands of a friend, never experiencing a kiss…

Alessa is a completely loveable main character that you really can not help but feel terrible for. Ostracized for her failure to keep a suitor alive while trying to magnify their powers, Alessa is also given the burden of having to fight off a horde of demons that will make anyone’s skin crawl.

Dante is thrown into this mess by unwittingly becoming Alessa’s bodyguard after an assassination attempt sanctioned by her own guards. He has his own secrets to protect, but drops his guard when emotions start to get in the way of his own plans

I absolutely loved how their relationship develops. The author does an amazing job of making this book come to live around you. It was unique, thrilling, and I can not wait for the second installment..

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Three weddings. Three funerals. With that tagline, I was sold. This hooked me from the start. I loved that it was inspired by Italy, so everything was much special. This features the bodyguard trope, which I normally don't read much of, but it worked spectacularly in this book. The characters had layers, including the side characters, which sometimes get lost in translation, but the author did a good job of making them a priority in a way. Yes, Alessa is our main character but she's being surrounded by the side characters the majority of the story, so it's nice and refreshing seeing these characters be three-dimensional and have their own personalities. Absolutely loved this book and cannot wait to read the sequel.

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This may just be my favorite book of the year.

As soon as I opened this book, I knew I was trapped. I couldn’t put it down until the words ran out and there were no more pages to flip through. Even still, it lingers in the back of my mind…

What wasn’t to love about this book? The plot was so interesting. A girl destined to be the savior of her entire continent, but whose powers kill those she is supposed to support. Assassins and danger around every corner, even from those closest to her, until she feels forced to hire a bodyguard.

I loved Dante. He was such a good character. Badass and unafraid to do what needs to be done, but also caring, even when he doesn’t want to be.

I also loved the fonti, who had to put up with Alessa accidentally killing the other members of their group over and over again. They were reluctant, but they were still there, ready to help out no matter what.

And the found family trope??? To die for.

I would say that its kind of obvious who Alessa chooses in the end to be her official fonte simply because of the vibes. As nice as it is to have a bisexual main character who doesn’t need to choose to marry someone for romantic reasons (and can instead choose platonic marriage if she wishes), her ultimate choice just seemed like it would be the crowd’s favorite of the bunch.

That ending hurts, though. This book isn’t even out yet and I’m already screaming for the sequel. I need more of these characters in my life.

I need a reread every day until I live, breathe, and eat This Vicious Grace.

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