Grace and Fury, Tracy Banghart

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“A yes doesn’t mean the same thing when it’s the only answer you’re allowed”

Serina has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace. 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.

* * * *
4 / 5

Grace and Fury is everything that I wanted from The Selection and more! It’s a light read, an easy page turner, and the easiest way to describe it is as having the setting of The Selection, a bunch of women are jostling to become the favoured of a prince, with the plot of Red Queen. It’s a fun book with some great quotes and action moments.

“We are always supposed to give. We are never supposed to fight. Why do you think that is?”

Serina has been groomed to become a Grace – basically a woman who is part of the Prince’s harem – her whole life. All her family’s hopes are pinned on Serina as the one who will make it out of poverty. Everything goes wrong when it is Serina’s sister Nomi that is picked by the prince over Serina herself. The problem? Nomi is a die-hard budding feminist who can think of nothing worse than to spend her days preening for a man who seems to be nothing but angry. Serina thinks her sister is an idiot who cannot accept the reality of their world, but she loves her nonetheless, which is why she takes the fall for Nomi when it turns out that Nomi can read – an illegal thing for a woman to be able to do.

To begin with, Nomi and Serina are slightly idiotic and are crammed into stereotypes: the rebel and the accepting one. But then they absolutely blossom into three-dimensional characters, particularly Serina. It’s simply lovely to read. Serina is dumped in a female-only prison on a remote island and becomes part of a gang, learning to shed all the ideals that society has forced upon her about what a woman is meant to be. Nomi has to learn to quell her “don’t give a toss about the consequences” attitude and to find some compassion for her fellow Graces, whilst trying to figure out exactly what is going on with the two princes.

Serina had her beauty. Nomi had her secret.

Grace and Fury has two very separate storylines, one for each sister, each with their own action plots and twists. The ending is great – the book definitely goes out with a bang – but the twists weren’t particularly surprising for me, and probably won’t be for anyone who has also read Red Queen. Grace and Fury is a nice breath of fresh air in the “rebel woman” and the “princess selection” tales, bringing them together in a new way and adding in some strong themes.

My thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for an ARC of Grace and Fury.

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