Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart
Hodder Children's Books, 2018, ISBN 9781444941951
(Ages: 12+) Highly recommended. Unexpectedly brilliant, Grace and Fury brings together the stereotypical expectations of women and those traits of the outspoken and questioning. The novel is dystopian in nature, however it interrogates the place of women both in the Banghart's fantasy world, and in our own.
In a world where women are only objects, where they are silenced, and forbidden education... In a world where simply being caught with an open book could send you to exile. Two girls leave the comfort of their provincial home for the capital, Bellaqua, where the elder, Serina, has been selected as a potential Grace for the Superior's Heir. But things go badly wrong when it is not Serina who is selected, but her sister, Nomi. With their roles reversed for the first time in their lives, both sisters are terrified and lost. Separated and thrown into opposite worlds they are forced to learn their new roles, will either of them survive? It's time for the rebellious Nomi to stop her madness and douse her fire, but that fire is just what Serina must find if she has any hope of survival. Nothing she learned preparing to be a Grace could prepare her for her new life.
Grace and Fury interrogates both the role and the power of women through a dystopian context. It shows not only are women beautiful but also powerful. By reversing Serina and Nomi's positions as rebellious and submissive, both girls are taught the power of being both and the importance of picking the correct moments to rebel against oppression and when to play the game.