QUEEN OF MY HEART: Queen of Ruin Review

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For the sake of spoilers, I will not be including an official summary for Queen of Ruin, the sequel to Tracy Banghart’s Grace and Fury.

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Tracy Banghart’s Grace and Fury was unexpectedly one of my favorite 2018 reads. I didn’t know much going into this YA dystopian, but I fell in love with this story that focused on sisterhood and had many The Handmaid’s Tale vibes. Grace and Fury follows sisters Nomi and Serina, as Serina trains to be one of the Superior’s Graces, the shining example of the perfect woman. When the rebellious Nomi unexpectedly gets chosen as a Grace, and Serina instead gets sent to prison for Nomi’s secret and a crime she didn’t commit, the two sisters each must figure out their own survival, in hopes of reuniting with one another. That being said, I couldn’t wait to dive into Grace and Fury’s sequel, Queen of Ruin.

I reread Grace and Fury right before reading Queen of Ruin. The beginning of the sequel flows nicely from the first book’s ending. I wouldn’t say a reread of Grace and Fury is necessary to jump into the sequel, but I am glad I did to re-familiarize myself with this world’s terms and people.

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If you thought Nomi and Serina were rebels in the first book, think again when it comes to Queen of Ruin. While Nomi has to adjust to some of the violence, Serina has turned into a full-out female warrior. There’s definitely more action scenes in this installment, which ultimately added to Serina’s changed character and the story’s high stakes. All of the female characters in Queen of Ruin are more than ready to rebel and claim their rights in this world where women aren’t even allowed to read or write.

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A New Favorite Fantasy: Grace and Fury Review

Summary: In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi Tessaro face two extremely different circumstances: one in a palace, one in a prision.

Throughout her entire life, Serina has been groomed to be a Grace- the perfect, exemplary woman to stand by the heir to the throne. But when her rebellious and headstrong sister, Nomi, captures the Heir’s eye instead, it’s Serina who takes the fall for her sister’s secret and ends up in prison. Nomi finds herself in a position she never wanted, but only has once choice: stay entrapped as a Grace until she can save her sister. This is easier said then done when you’re living in a palace full of secrets and deception. But time is running out for Serina, imprisoned on a volcanic island where she must fight to death to survive.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

Tracy Banghart’s Grace and Fury is The Handmaid’s Tale meets YA fantasy I didn’t know I needed. I was first interested in Grace and Fury for its sisterhood premise, but I never would have guessed how much I would love this book.

Grace and Fury takes place in a world where women are extremely oppressed. Women are not allowed to read, and the Graces, what Serina is trained to be, are expected to give birth to the Heir’s next-in-line. Hence being reminded of The Handmaid’s Tale. The book is spilt between two perspectives, Nomi and Serina. I honestly can’t say that I preferred one perspective over the other because I loved them both! Nomi was such a strong, stubborn character and it was interesting to take on the role as Grace. I was also slightly reminded me of The Handmaid’s Tale due to the creepiness of some people in the palace. And for those who are wondering, there are plenty of dance lessons, political intrigue, and gorgeous dresses in store. On the other hand Serina’s life on the island was quite Hunger Games-esque. While Nomi does form a friendship or two in the palace, the island is the home of sisterhood, as the women must band together and unfortunately fight one another to survive. Anyone who is looking for an action-packed story with plenty of political intrigue and feminist ideals, this one is you, regardless if you’re reading a Nomi or Serina chapter.

While I love a heavy world-building, high fantasy, I often get caught up or confused when it comes to any new terminology or fantasy-like jargon. That wasn’t the case when it came to Grace and Fury. It was extremely easy to pick up on the world-building and details, and I absolutely flew through it without feeling like I was rushing through the story. But obviously I needed to get to the end to know what was going to happen! I admit that I initially went into Grace and Fury thinking it was a standalone (newsflash to self: it’s not), but I’m excited to have a sequel and see the expansion of this world and its characters. And figure out who we can really trust.

Overall, I loved Grace and Fury and it’s easily one of my favorite books of 2018. I am more than ready for Book 2!

Grace and Fury comes out on Tuesday, July 31st, 2018.  

This review is based on an advance reading copy. By no means did this affect my thoughts and opinions.

Is Grace and Fury on your TBR? What are some of your favorite books about sisterhood? Share in the comments!