Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: July 31, 2018
Page Count: 320
Source: Indigo Teen
I received a free copy from Indigo Teen. My review reflects my honest and unbiased opinion.
“Women think they’re strong when they’re fighting other women, but when a man fights them, they know the truth.”
With some stories, you know how they unfold. And that anticipation may kill your love of the novel itself. But others, even if you predict what will happen, arrive in your life at just the right time. While I picked up Grace and Fury, I had no expectations. But what I never envisioned was how I needed to read this book.
While you read that blurb, what do you expect from this YA title? I wasn’t sure myself. But what I got is so much more than survival. Tracy shows readers that although the world may oppose them, they have the choice to stand up. She revives feminism and crafts it into something readers can look up to.
The world this author creates infuriates me, and I wanted to watch it burn to ash. But the characters kept me reading, kept me enthralled. This Italian-inspired feministic fantasy is ripe with thought-provoking character and story arcs. All the characters provide a unique perspective in a society where women do not have a voice and will never be heard.
For her entire life, Serina Tessaro knows nothing outside of being a Grace, the perfect image of a woman who will serve the heir. So when the future king takes an interest in her head-strong and defiant sister, Nomi, Serina makes the ultimate sacrifice by protecting her sister’s secret and is banished to Mount Ruin. Surprisingly, I love her storyline the most. Serina is groomed to be the next Grace. This world never gives her a choice in what happens in her life. And when it does, she thrives in prison.
The court intrigue Nomi‘s thrust into intrigues me. She doesn’t understand this society as Serina does and often makes foolish mistakes. Trust and betrayal are part of the same coin. And this currency is foreign to her. She is the typical obstinate younger sister who doesn’t know which brother to trust: the heir who she believes will break her or the younger one who gives her hope.
One element that captivates me is the world building. The society Serina and Nomi live in prevents them from being anything more than wives, subjugates, and workers. Women cannot read. Yes, you heard me. They cannot read. They are the possession often bought or sold. But the women who rebel against this society are the shining beacon in this bleak environment. So expect strong and complex female roles.
While the overall storytelling is slightly predictable, I feel readers, particularly female ones, need to take a chance with this novel. It foretells the dangers in keeping silent. You see, silence is just as loud of words. And if we don’t speak up for the people who cannot do so themselves, we give the oppressors the advantage against us. Women empowerment is a dangerous yet thrilling creature to behold.