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.
“For every woman who has been told to sit down and be quiet… And who stood up anyway.”
Serina and Nomi are two sisters stuck in a world where women have absolutely no rights, they are made to work in horrible conditions, or else married off to a man with no say, a world where a woman can’t cut her own hair without consulting a man first and a woman being literate is one of the worst crimes of all. Serina has spent her whole life to become one of the heir’s Graces, but instead her sister Nomi ends up in the role that she never wanted, and Serina is shipped off to a prison where women battle each other to the death.
The story is told via the split point of view of the two sisters, and I honestly think I loved both of their stories equally. They’re together at the beginning, but they diverge pretty quickly, as each of the girls disagrees with and fights the system in their own way. At first Serina annoyed me a bit, but she went through remarkable character growth and at the end of such a short book I already really liked her! Nomi I really took to right from the start, and while there were a few moments where she frustrated me, I ultimately really liked her.
Grace and Fury is a book about a lot of things. It’s about politics, power, oppression, feminism, romance, but at its core it’s really a book about two sisters and I loved that so much. The girls were challenged so much by their horrible surroundings, but through it all they persevered for each other and I thought that was so amazing, fitting with the strong feminist themes, especially amid so many books these days where the heroine strives to be better for her love interest, instead of her family.
Of course, I do still love my romance, and there was certainly a healthy dose of it in this book! Each of the girls has her own romance. One of them has a sort of love triangle but not really forming which I was honestly pretty peeved about because love triangles and I do not get along, but it seemed to clear itself up in a pretty natural way so I’m not as mad as I usually am, and the other one I really enjoyed! The romance certainly isn’t the center of the story though, which I was actually glad of in this case.
One thing that I think could have been better developed was the world building. The story is set in this horrible world where women have no rights, and the background is kind of glossed over for a couple of chapters, but it’s not really elaborated so much, and I think that might have been better to really engross me in the story and draw me in!
What really sold the story for me was the ending. I had a couple of vague ideas of where it was going, but in the end I had no idea that it would end the way that it did as the two sisters’ stories began to becoming entwined again! All I can say about it without spoilers is that I absolutely can’t wait for the sequel!!