Welcome to the blog tour for Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart! We’re thrilled to share our review and an interview with Tracy. Keep reading and make sure you enter the giveaway at the end!
Set in a world where women have no rights, Grace and Fury follows two sisters who end up in situations that neither one expects. Serina has spent her whole life preparing to become a Grace – a woman chosen as a companion of sorts to the heir to the throne. Her selection as a Grace is supposed to change the lives of her family and allow her to provide for them. But when the heir chooses Serina’s sister, Nomi, instead, both girls end up with life paths that will never be the same.
And to make things worse, a mistake made by Nomi sends Serina off to the most dangerous prison, on an island where prisoners are forced to fight to survive. Nomi must learn to become a Grace despite her loathing for the position in order to save her sister. No one is who they seem, and the sisters are working against a ticking time bomb to escape with their lives.
Grace and Fury is a captivating story of two sisters who will do anything for each other and yet end up in undesirable situations thanks in part to their sister. While Serina and Nomi spend much of the book separated from each other, the driving force in this book is their love for each and their desire to get back to each other. Their love for one another overpowers everything else and it’s empowering to watch them go through hell just to save the other.
Told through the POVs of both sisters, Banghart masterfully weaves together a feminist fantasy worth picking up. Women have no rights in this world – including not being allowed to learn or to read – and yet this is a story of women with strength, determination, and a refusal to accept their situation as is. While going through very different battles, both Serina and Nomi are up against forces that have long been against them solely based on their gender. But even from the beginning, it’s clear that they aren’t going down without a fight.
Fast-paced and exciting, Grace and Fury is the girl-powered book that I so desperately needed in 2018. While I did anticipate one of the big surprises at the end, the execution was well-done and kept me guessing. I am eagerly awaiting the second book in this duology.
And now, the Q&A with author Tracy Banghart:
- Where did the idea for Grace and Fury come from?
I have always been drawn to stories about girls discovering that they have the strength and courage to fulfill their dreams. In Grace and Fury, I gave my female characters a lot of obstacles to overcome. I think the past couple of years have been challenging in real life, and that bled into my fiction. I’m all about smashing the patriarchy, what can I say. Also, I had a blast creating two completely different settings—the palazzo and the volcanic island of Mount Ruin.
- Do you consider yourself a pantser, plotter, or something in between? What was your process while writing Grace and Fury?
I used to be more of a pantser, but for my last few projects I’ve really come to value the outline. I wrote Grace and Fury from an outline, and yet there were still a few surprises as I put scenes to paper. And it’s amazing how much changes during revision. I find it’s helpful just to get something on the page during that first draft. Then I can make it better.
- Grace and Fury features strong female characters and timely feminist themes. Was anything in Grace and Fury inspired by historical themes or present-day events?
The story doesn’t draw from specific historical research, but to write about this oppressively patriarchal world, I definitely drew from my experiences growing up in a casually sexist environment and the ways narratives in our news and culture tend toward misogyny. The book served as an outlet for a lot of the anger I was feeling about the state of the world.
- What did you enjoy most about telling this story? What did you find most challenging?
My favorite parts of this story are when my female characters realize their own power. There’s something so cathartic about writing characters who’ve come from submissive, obedient backgrounds stand up for themselves and break the rules. I think the beginning of the book was the most challenging for the exact same reason. One of my sisters is very obedient and submissive at the beginning of the book—I hated writing her that way. But she needed room to learn and grow and fight back.
- If you could spend a day with a character from Grace and Fury, who would it be and why?
Oracle. I just want to wrap her up in a blanket, give her a cup of tea and some cookies, and let her have a break from all the blood and death and stuff.
- What is the strangest thing you Googled while writing Grace and Fury?
I’m not sure it’s that strange, but I Googled a lot of Italian food and used Google translate to find fun Italian words for place and people. But I always double checked with my Italian friend to make sure I wasn’t unintentionally using words wrong or saying something embarrassing!
- What do you hope readers will take away from reading Grace and Fury?
Most of all, I hope they have fun reading it. That’s the most important thing! But if they do take anything away, I hope it’s that together, women can accomplish anything. That the pitting of one woman against another, the competition, is often a construct by the patriarchy to divide and conquer us. We get farther supporting each other than we do tearing each other down.
- What were your favorite books when you were a young adult? Did that influence your own writing at all?
I loved adventure books more than anything. Books like On Fortune’s Wheel by Cynthia Voigt, The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley, The Secret Circle series by L.J. Smith. I believe those books did inspire my own writing because I feel like I’m always chasing the feelings I had when I read them—the excitement of a new adventure and a new romance, the empowerment of watching the female main characters realize their own strength. That was so inspiring for me. It still is!
About the book:
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.
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
About the author:
Tracy Banghart grew up in rural Maryland and spent her summers on a remote island in northern Ontario. All of that isolation and lovely scenery gave her the time to read voraciously and the inspiration to write her own stories. Always a bit of a nomad, Tracy now travels the world Army-wife style with her husband, son, cat, and sweet pupper Scrabble. She wrote Grace and Fury while living in Hawaii.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of GRACE AND FURY, US Only.
Blog tour schedule:
7/23/2018- Tea Party Princess– Review
7/24/2018- Paperback Princess– Review
7/25/2018- Confessions of a YA Reader– Review
7/26/2018- Book Dragon Lair– Review
7/27/2018- laura’s bookish corner– Review
7/30/2018- The Desert Bibliophile– Review
7/31/2018- Do You Dog-ear?– Review
8/1/2018- Synopses By Sarge– Review
8/2/2018- CoffeeCocktailsandBooks Blog– Review
8/3/2018- Kat’s Books– Review
8/6/2018- Feed Your Fiction Addiction– Review
8/7/2018- Portrait of a Book– Review
8/8/2018- To Be Read– Review
8/9/2018- Brooke- Reports– Review
8/10/2018- Cindy’s Love of Books– Review
8/13/2018- A Court of Coffee and Books– Review
8/14/2018- Smada’s Book Smack– Review
8/15/2018- The Young Folks- Review
8/16/2018- Book-Keeping– Review
8/17/2018- A Gingerly Review– Review