Book Review: Queen Of Ruin by Tracy Banghart

Book: Queen Of Ruin by Tracy Banghart

Published Little, Brown Books For Young Readers|336 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: Grace And Fury #2

Genre: YA Fantasy

A fierce sequel full of sisterhood, heart pounding action, betrayal, and intrigue in the royal court in a series that “breathes new life into the feminist story of oppression and resistance” (Publisher’s Weekly).

Banished by Asa at the end of Grace and Fury, Nomi and Malachi find themselves powerless and headed towards their all-but-certain deaths. Now that Asa sits on the throne, he will stop at nothing to make sure Malachi never sets foot in the palace again. Their only hope is to find Nomi’s sister, Serina, on the prison island of Mount Ruin. But when Nomi and Malachi arrive, it is not the island of conquered, broken women that they expected. It is an island in the grip of revolution, and Serina–polite, submissive Serina–is its leader.
Betrayal, grief, and violence have changed both sisters, and the women of Mount Ruin have their sights set on revenge beyond the confines of their island prison. They plan to sweep across the entire kingdom, issuing in a new age of freedom for all. But first they’ll have to get rid of Asa, and only Nomi knows how.

Separated once again, this time by choice, Nomi and Serina must forge their own paths as they aim to tear down the world they know, and build something better in its place.

The stakes are higher and the battles bolder in Tracy Banghart’s unputdownable sequel to Grace and Fury.

I liked Queen Of Ruin!  I just haven’t been in a mood to write lately, so I’ve already forgotten a lot of the book and what happened, but I did like it.

It was interesting to see Nomi and Serina try to change things.  Though they come together, they also end up separating and going their own way as they try to make their world a better place.  I really liked Serina and how much she changed throughout the series.  She really came into her own and organized a rebellion.  Nomi took charge of her own path but I felt like it was a lot more subtle than what we saw with her sister.

I did like their relationship, though.  They both fought for a better world, and they both strong in their own way.  And I liked that they were strong in different ways.  They, and all of the other women we see in the series, show that strength can come in many different packages, and that there is more than one way to be strong.  It’s nice to see, because I feel like we don’t get a lot of that in YA.  At least in the books I’ve read.

I was disappointed with the ending.  I really wanted to know what happened after the end of the book.  I don’t wish for epilogues often but I really would have liked an epilogue to at least get an idea of how things turned out.  I don’t need every last detail but I would have liked something telling us how things turned out.

3 stars.  I liked Queen Of Ruin but didn’t love it.

Book Review: Grace And Fury by Tracy Banghart

Book: Grace And Fury by Tracy Banghart

Published July 2018 by Little, Brown Books For Young Readers|320 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: Grace And Fury #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

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 really liked this one!  In some ways, it’s really predictable, but in other ways, it was really cool.

It’s predictable in the sense that the sister who’s been training to be a Grace doesn’t become one, and the sister who doesn’t want it is the one who becomes a Grace.  There were a couple of other things that were predictable as well, particularly with the heir, but I didn’t mind, for some reason.

When I was reading Grace And Fury, I was very much reminded of The Handmaid’s Tale.  The way women have no choices, aren’t allowed to read or write, and how they get sent to an island prison if they do anything deemed unacceptable.  How the prison was set up was different- all of them are divided into different groups, though I can’t say I’m surprised by how they’re treated once there.

I really liked the bond the two sisters had, and how willing they were to protect each other.  All they could think about, especially after Serina goes to prison for Nomi, was making sure the other one was okay.  I liked the relationship they had, and I liked seeing how both of them changed throughout the book.  They were both so determined to fight and make things better for all of the women in…wherever it is they live.  I, for the life of me, cannot remember where it is, but at any rate, they do want to make things better.

I did want a little more with the world- I wish we knew how they got to this point.  I’m not convinced that we’ll get more in the next one, and I’d be surprised at we did.  I am curious, especially since it’s mentioned that women were in power at one point, and that the history Nomi knew isn’t the one that actually happened.  I get why that history was erased, but I still wish we had more of it.  I just want to know how we got to that point.

4 stars.  I really liked it, and though it was predictable at times, I still want to know what happens next.