Expected publication: July 31st 2018 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Thank you to NetGalley for the e-arc of this title.
This story was so addicting. Not only was the world inspired by Italy (where I currently live) but the characters themselves reeled me in. I was so thankful that there wasn’t magic in this fantasy, as with most YA’s nowadays. Even though this is a fantasy there are some underlying tones to situations in the world right now. The feminism is strong with this one.
Two sisters, Nomi and Serina grow up in a world where women are suppressed. Serina vies for a chance to become a “Grace” which is basically a courtesan to the king and future kings. As fate and misunderstanding have it that Nomi, the defiant of the two, is chosen and Serina is spirited away to an island prison. Nomi, who has learned how to read, which is against the law, and Serina, who has trained all her life to become a servant to the future king, find themselves at odds with the worlds around them and take on roles neither had ever dreamed of choosing.
It was so funt o see each character grow and fight against the world around them. Serina, having always been the docile one is forced to overcome her fears and finally understand where Nomi was coming from when she questioned the roles of women in their country. Circumstance also changes Nomi when she is forced to play the role of Grace, a role she abhors with all her heart. Both of fighting different battles. They realize the choices they make not only affect themselves but the future of women everywhere.
I recommend this book. Highly. It has fist pumping feminism and high stakes and also some love, but not quite the way you think. If you’re looking for a YA fantasy that will hook and captivate you, this is the one. Also, if you’re sick of magic, give this one a try. It was a breath of fresh air for me.