Grace and Fury is a book about female empowerment and family. Two sisters live in a world where women are not allowed to make any choices. They can have no power. They do not get to make choicses about their lives, and they are denied the ability to read.
One sister is a rebal balking at the confines of society, and one sister fully embraces it. Her life is full of lessons focused on helping her get selected as a grace, part of the heir’s herrom. Except nothing goes as planned and the rebal becomes the grace, and the grace is sentenced for a crime her sister committed - learning to read.
The biggest strength of this novel is the world building. Banghart has created a world where women are oppressed to the point where they are objects. It is a model of our own past society, and in some ways our present society, with just enough distance to not hit too close to home.
Yet the characters lack dynamics. They are only allowed one part to play, and if their part changes then they completely change. They are not made up of complexities that allow a reader to truly connect to the characters. Even the twist was apparent from almost the beginning of the story. Although, I did not know if Banghart would actually pull it off. I did not have much faith.
Despite the lack of complexity I was still drawn in. There needs to be more books with a strong feminist statement, that Grace and Fury defiantly has. The writing was well executed, and the story was more engaging by the end of the novel. It was a brilliant ending, with enough closed up to make the reader not disappointed, and yet nothing closed up so that you instinctively reach for the next book.
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