Rating: 4 STARS
Genre: YA Fantasy
Standalone/Series: Untitled #1
How I got this book: FairyLoot June Box
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 was so excited to receive an early, exclusive copy of this book in the June 'Rebels in Ballgowns' FairyLoot box. The book itself looks really beautiful, which is always a bonus!
This is one of those books that just gets better and better as you keep reading. When I first read the synopsis it gave me sort of Hunger Games vibes, and in terms of the sisterly bond and the island it definitely delivered.
I love the characters in this book, the two sisters who are so different, and all of the fantastic females we meet along the way. Serina is by far my favourite character. For me, she's a stronger character than Nomi, her personality and conviction are what drive the book forward.
The mystery, the deception, the shock, awe and terror, this book is full of it, and at it's core is an exceptionally strong feminist message, an uprising if you will, which you can gather before you even start reading, from the dedication itself...
"For every woman who has been told to sit down and be quiet...and who has stood up anyway."
I love that about this book. I love the power play, the gender roles, the pushing back against societal norms, and the realisation that you don't have to just accept the life you've been dealt and the choices that have been made for you.
I did see pretty much all of the 'twists' coming but that wasn't actually a bad thing, because it was what I wanted. I wanted these certain things to happen, to throw the character's into new situations and to see how they'd react.
Whilst this book does have smatterings of romance, I was mostly pleased with how it was handled. Particularly how the subject of consent was handled and demonstrated. Seriously, all men should be given this book so they can see how a man should behave when a woman says no i.e. by backing off and not being a complete a-hole!!!
By the end of this book I just wanted more! The ending was amazing (truly my favourite part of the book) and it leaves the story in a perfect place to continue and I want it desperately! I NEED MORE!!!
Overall, if you're looking for a strong, feminist story set in a rich world filled with greed and pain, where characters must do the unthinkable so that they can discover their true strength and purpose, this is definitely the book for you!
Grace & Fury releases on July 31st, so look out for it and remember that you can click on the book cover image above to add to your Goodreads TBR!
What do you think? Is this book on your TBR?
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Book addict, film mad, music lover, business owner, aspiring writer and mum (not necessarily in that order), living in the UK.
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