Published by Hodder Children's Books on July 26, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
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Bold, brutal and beautiful, this is a must-read with the glitter and romance of The Selection and the thrilling action and intrigue of Red Queen.
In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other on an island prison where women must fight to survive.
Serina has spent her whole life preparing to become a Grace - selected to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining example of the perfect woman.
But her headstrong and rebellious younger sister has a dangerous secret, and one wrong move could cost both sisters everything.
Can Serina fight? And will Nomi win?
When I first picked up Grace & Fury, I thought it was going to be a generic, predictable fantasy read about two sisters and winning the heart of the Superior, but thankfully, I was proven wrong. While I found the storyline to be slightly predictable, I really enjoyed the story of Serina, a trained Grace who has been wrongfully sent to an island prison and Nomi, the fiery handmaiden who is stuck at the palace.
What I liked about this book in particular are the constant twists and turns and court intrigue, where you never knew who to trust and who was telling the truth. As a Grace, Nomi is surrounded by wealth, excess and royalty, but everyone around her is hiding a secret. I also thought there would be more cat fighting and training in the palace, but I liked the direction of the book. As a trained handmaiden, Nomi gets drawn into interesting political situations with the people at the palace, where she has to learn who to trust. She also battles against prejudice – even as a selected Grace, her lack of training and poise is constantly picked at by the residents of the palace.
Then you’ve got Serina, who has to unlearn everything she’s ever been taught in her new world, but her wits and personality carries her through. Women are oppressed in this society, but they’re taught to fight and stand up to the toughest conditions by pit fighting against each other. She quickly gets over her shock and adapts to the new situation, bringing together the very women that she must fight against. Both girls were tough in their own ways, and showed the best of themselves in the circumstances they have been thrust into, and that was incredibly empowering.
Although I liked both storylines and perspectives, I found the world building and the character development to be fairly shallow. Aside from a few lines from a book that Nomi finds, we learn more about the world through their circumstances and throwaway comments about how women are forbidden to do anything because of the royal structure. Some of the secondary characters were also cardboard cutouts, so I didn’t really care for them.
In Viridia, women were oppressed because men were afraid of them. Women had ruled this country. And history and denigrated them. Erased them.
Overall, Grace & Fury is a fun little book about fire, rebellion and femininity, and I really enjoyed what it stood for. While it doesn’t really go into some elements of the world in great detail, it’s a short read filled with twists and turns and I had a lot of fun with it.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Thanks to Hachette Australia for sending me a review copy!
Grace & Fury is available from Australian bookstores for RRP$16.99 or from The Book Depository.