Welcome back to Wednesday, loves!
I love Wednesdays – despite still being weekdays, they hold the promise of freedom, of weekends. They’re also the day that WordPress says I get the most views, so there’s that.
You know what else I love? Reading books that successively get better and better. I literally just posted about a five star read yesterday, and here I am yet again, with a book I loved even more. (This book was sent to me free of charge from the publisher via a giveaway).
Maybe I’m biased; maybe my love for YA novels and dystopian settings set me up to devour this book in a day. But I don’t think so. I think that Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart was so masterfully written that I had no choice but to fall hard and fast for sisters Serina and Nomi – and I know that if you give them the chance, you will to.
The synopsis reads like this:
In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other in prison.
Serina 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. 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. This is easier said than done. A traitor walks the halls of the palace, and deception lurks in every corner. But Serina is running out of time, imprisoned on an island where she must fight to the death to survive and one wrong move could cost her everything.
I had quite a few reasons to love Serina and Nomi (and Grace and Fury by proxy). For one, there is the tale of sisterhood that really tugged at my heartsleeves. There was a romantic story line, sure, but it was menial compared to the love that stood so obviously on display. The love of sisterhood that led to Serina sacrificing herself for her sister made me simultaneously want to cry and cheer. Amidst their struggles, both sisters thought of each other and it was their deep seated love that prevented their spirits from breaking. If only all women could love each other the way that these two do.
You are brick and barbed wire. You are iron.
–Grace and Fury
In the spirit of honesty, I will tell you that if I had to pick a team, I am 100% team Nomi. Since I don’t want to spoil the ending for you, I’ll just say that I was extremely frustrated by the fact that Nomi was less successful in her trials than Serina. Nomi has such a strong, rebellious spirit, and her secret – revealed only a few pages in – makes her an unforgettable character. Nomi is an untamable, and an absolute role model for every young girl who was ever been doubted or restricted from something because of her gender. In fact, this whole novel has an undercurrent of standing up and standing together for women – and I love it for that.
The setting in Serina’s case has a vibe of The Hunger Games and the dystopian rules and rulers drew me in as well. The book was written from the more fiery standpoint of Nomi, and switched off to the more demure sister Serina every chapter. So you get gruesome outright prison environment, and a chapter later can imagine yourself swishing in sparkling gilted gowns as secrets float through whispers in the air.
I finished Grace and Fury in a day, and went to Goodreads straight away to see when the next novel will be release. Can you imagine my frustration upon seeing it won’t be released for another year (which makes sense considering Grace and Fury isn’t officially out yet)? I almost wanted to cry, but that just proves the point. Whether you’re team Serina or team Nomi, whether you’re Grace or Fury, whether you’re princess or prisoner – this novel has it all for you. And if you want to pre-order, Tracy Banghart has a really cool swag bag chock full of goodies that I would absolutely buy for myself if I did not have a copy of the novel yet. So check it out, pre-order and join me in cheering on sisterhood and young women everywhere on July 26th!