Thank you to Hachette Children’s Group and Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Grace and Fury was one of my top reads last year so I have been eagerly awaiting the sequel and it did not disappoint! Queen of Ruin is just as amazing as Grace and Fury! Tracy Banghart has now become an auto-buy author for me!
If you haven’t read Grace and Fury I highly recommend it! You can read my review of Grace and Fury here.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
Guys! This book had me up reading ALL NIGHT! As in I started it at 11pm thinking oh I will read for a little while and suddenly it’s 6am and I’ve finished the entire book! If that doesn’t tell you how much I adored it then I don’t know what will.
Serina and Nomi are so amazing though I do love Serina a little more. They both went through such a huge change in their lives and an unexpected one at that. Yet they handle it so well, they have such great character development and their relationship is tested again and again yet they come out stronger each time. The story is very much driven by the choices the sisters make and it really focuses on them two, rather than following lots of others around.
It’s safe to say that I loved the female empowerment in this book and in the duology, I loved how different ways to be empowered are shown, how different women were empowered in different ways and the things they did differed yet still was an act of rebellion which they were punished for. I loved seeing the women supporting each other, being their for each other and being able to rely on each other. It’s so nice to see rather than women being pitted against each other we see a lot in YA books.
I really like how it ended too, it wasn’t a perfect happily ever after, there was lives lost and compromises made to ensure that things will change for the better. It was a new beginning rather than a happy ending. Though I would have liked to see a bit more in how the changes that were spoken about at the end would be implemented especially dealing with the hostility that they will no doubt face from men and especially other men in power.
I also really liked seeing how men can be ally’s and actually support women without it diminishing them in the least bit. We see them actually supporting Nomi, Serina and the other women and not just being all talk. They also didn’t expect to be praised or put on a pedestal just because they supported the women. They just did what needed to be done.
I think one the things I would have liked to see more of is more development of Malachi and Asa, we barely see Asa in this book and although Malachi does want things to change for women I wished we could have seen more of him and his character development. I also would love to see more of the world, other places are mentioned in the book but we only g et glimpses so I would love to see what it is like for women living in these places and whether it’s much different for them.
I think what I’m getting at is that I want another book! A duology just isn’t long enough for me and I just want to spend more time in this world and with Nomi and Serina and see them be the badasses they are and change things for the better!
So if I haven’t said it enough, I really loved this book and the duology as a whole and I highly recommend you read it!