Thursday, October 15, 2020

Review: Grace & Fury by Tracy Banghart

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Release DateJuly 31, 2018

Pages: 320
Source: ARC


Bold, brutal, and beautiful--a must-read fantasy full of fierce sisterhood, action, and political intrigue for fans of The Selection series, Caraval, and The Handmaid's Tale.
Serina Tessaro 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. It's her chance to secure a better life for her family, and to keep her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, out of trouble. But when Nomi catches the Heir's eye instead, Serina is the one who takes the fall for the dangerous secret her sister has been hiding.
Trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one option: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to save Serina. But this is easier said than done... A traitor walks the halls of the palazzo, and deception lurks in every corner.
Meanwhile, Serina is running out of time. Imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive, surrounded by women stronger than she is, one wrong move could cost her everything. There is no room for weakness on Mount Ruin, especially weaknesses of the heart.
Thrilling and captivating, Grace and Fury is a story of fierce sisterhood, and of survival in a world that's determined to break you.
BUY LINKS: The Lit. Bar    |    Amazon




Serina Tessaro stood on the steps of the fountain in Lanos' central piazza flanked by nine other girls her age, all in their finest gowns.


I loved the premise of GRACE AND FURY
Dystopian Cinderella meets THE SELECTION meets GLADIATOR. A royal family with two handsome princes. Women are groomed for the chance to be one of the Heir's harem of Graces -- subjugated to being meek, beautiful, and provide an heir. 

“In Viridia, women were oppressed because men were afraid of them.
Women had ruled this country. And history had denigrated them. Erased them. Nomi was certain this wasn't what Renzo had been taught. He would have told her.
But the Superior knew. Whoever had given her this book knew.
And now she did too.”

The pacing of GRACE AND FURY was suited to the plot and the world-building was well-done. I truly felt immersed in the dystopian world where women weren't allowed to read and write. The drama of the Heir unexpectedly choosing Noomi over her sister, who trained her entire life to become a Grace, was delicious. And the unforeseen delight was the action and court intrigue.

“My father used to say that oppression isn't a finite state. It's a weight that is carried until it becomes too heavy, and then it is thrown off. Not without struggle, not without pain, but he believed the weight would always, always be fought and overcome.”

As for the romance, we are led to believe Asa is the good, kind younger brother to the Heir. This persona lulls Nomi into a false sense of security with him. Low and behold, Asa isn't who he pretends to be . . .

"“I don’t think this city is ugly. And I don’t believe in fairy tales.”

All in all, while GRACE AND FURY is a story about sisterhood and the fierce instinct for survival in a world meant to keep you oppressed. While GRACE AND FURY has its flawsI still enjoyed it -- especially the plot-twists.


NOMI TESSARO: Nomi was defiant — which I like— BUT dumb— which I don't like. She was gullible and blind when it came to Asa. So, while I loved how defiant she was, as the story went on her invigorating defiance morphed into belligerent ignorant.

“This book was home to her, more than the palazzo and it’s fine furnishings could ever be.”

SERINA TESSARO: Serina was submissive to a fault — which I don't like— but smart — which I like. One thing I hate more than submissive female characters are willfully submissive female characters. Luckily, I really enjoyed her character arc. By the end of the book, I had a soft spot for her.

“For every woman who has been told to sit down and be quiet... And who stood up anyway.”


Tracy Banghart is a cheesy movie–loving, fantasy football–playing (go Ravens!), globe-trotting Army wife who began “practicing” her craft at the age of five, when she wrote her first story. She grew up in rural Maryland, with a cornfield in her backyard and flying squirrels in her bedroom walls, and spent her summers on a remote island in northern Ontario. All that isolation and pretty scenery led to a reading addiction, writing obsession, and several serious book boyfriends.

After high school, Tracy escaped to North Carolina, where she got her BA in English from Davidson College. After college, she sampled city life in Canada and D.C. before jetting off to England, to pursue a master’s degree in Publishing at Oxford Brookes University. When she returned stateside, Tracy dabbled in various publishing jobs but didn’t give up on her dream of being a published author. Her husband convinced her that writing full time made perfect sense given the unpredictability of his job, thus affirming her conviction that he was better than any book boyfriend.

Tracy now lives with her husband, children, and dogs in Virginia, but it won’t be long until the Army sends them off on new adventures.

***Check out Tracy Banghart' website for more information about her and GRACE AND FURYHERE

Happy Reading!


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