Grace & Fury
Wow! I love this new YA (Young Adult) novel but I was very sad to read it knowing that it’s part of a series…and my fears were realised; because it was soooooo good and so compelling I’m simply gutted I’ll have to wait for more!
Set in another world (one that feels ‘older’ than our current day, more like an historically court) this novel follows the journey of two sisters in a world controlled by men. The ‘highest’ role a woman can play is a to be selected as a “Grace” – one of many brides to the Sovereign. Serina, one of our sisters, has trained her whole life to become a Grace, and the novel open with first steps on her journey to realising this dream. However, from the get-go there are twists and surprises that keep the pace and story building.
Banghart is a skilled world builder and her fantasy world is fully believable; to the point you can see the landscapes and smell the food. Her character development is well executed, with delightfully light foreshadowing and storylines artfully manipulated to ensure that’re no moments when you’re left wondering as to the motivations of a character. Both male and female protagonists and antagonists are equally well developed and balanced which is pleasing to see. I believe this offers potential for new storylines as the series develops, and also opens the series to both female and male readers.
The cover suggests this novel has hints of The Hunger Games and The Handmaid Tale, and whilst I can see the parallels I think that this book is strong enough to stand alone – yes, there’s a ‘fight for your life’ sort of theme, and there’s no doubt that the feminist shades of Atwood’s classic novel will have influenced most (female) writers over the last three decades; this type of comparator leaves me frustrated. Anyhow, I digress…
So, this is a big RECOMMEND from me with a big CAVEAT this is a great read, but in some ways a frustrating one as there’s no resolution and you’re left begging for me – so, if you’re good and waiting then read it! If you’re not, perhaps wait ‘til the next one is out so you’re not feeling all eaten up inside like me – wondering what the hell is going in these characters lives without my knowing.
About the Author
Tracy Banghart grew up in rural Maryland, with a cornfield in her backyard and flying squirrels in her bedroom walls, and spent her summers on a remote island in northern Ontario. All that isolation and pretty scenery led to a reading addiction, writing obsession, and several serious book boyfriends.Always a bit of a nomad, Tracy now travels the world army-wife style with her husband, son and sundry pets. Follow her adventures on Twitter @tracythewriter.