I see what you’re doing Tracy Banghart and I’m undecided on it currently. haha
First and foremost, I was provided an advance reader copy of Grace and Fury from Little, Brown Books in exchange for an honest review.
Grace and Fury is a new Young Adult Fantasy by Tracy Banghart and will be released released July 31st, 2018. (SOON!)
This book follows the story of two sisters, Nomi and Serina. Set in a fantasy based Italy type world, Serina has spent her life dedicated to becoming a ‘Grace’. A trophy wife of the world’s Heir and an example of female submission. In this world, women have no rights but to be tools of men.
I admit, when starting this book, for some reason I didn’t expect so much oppression but it’s a clear theme from page one. You are shown a world in which women cannot do much but be servants or paraded around for their beauty. The other option seems to be factory worker. (Super glamorous)
For the first 10% of the book I was really excited and invested and then I did realize something. This is a SERIES and book one is just set up. hahahaha. By about 40% it becomes clear that a good closure for the book will not be had, and right now, there is not series title or release date for book two. For those of you that don’t like starting a series with no defined end date, you may want to hold on this one for a bit.
Let’s go for things I liked about the book first. The world is presented wonderfully and the writing kicks off well. You’re engrossed immediately, with no down time or pacing issues. The story is solid and fits right into the current trend of royalty, fantasy YA. It is a bit more realistic though, which is nice. Nothing magic or dragons related, but more historical, and that’s a wonderful change.
Nomi started as my favorite character but that quickly changes to Serina based on how Tracy Banghart develops their stories in this book. I actually spent a good portion of reading trying to determine who was the ‘grace’ and who was the ‘fury’ of the sisters, only to then assume, it’s both. Tracy’s written a good introduction and firm foundation for a series in this book.
Now for things that I wasn’t a huge fan of so far. This book has a trope in it that infuriates me. hahaha. A pet peeve that’s becoming very common in YA and so for a good chunk of the book I was reading and glaring at how gullible they’ve made a certain character when it’s glaringly obvious what’s going on. I don’t mind intrigue, but usually when it’s a little more subtle.
Also, I wanted more in this book. I wanted more information on the side characters. We pretty much get development just for the sisters. The secondary development is then dispersed between one to two side characters but that’s it. This may just be me being greedy though. LOL
Overall, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it as a fun, fast read. I have high expectations for book two at this point, as Banghart will need to tie things together and bring the audience through the next trials. The story line is a tad predictable, but it doesn’t take from the enjoyment.
- Overall Rating: 3.5 Stars
- Plot: 4 Stars
- Character Development: 3 Stars
- Dialogue: 3 Stars
- Writing: 4 Stars
I’d recommend this book to anyone interested in Young Adult or Historical Fantasy. It’s a breath of fresh air, genre wise, for the young adult arena. It’s also a perfect summer read.