Every once in a while you read a book that just takes your breath away. You can’t put it down and you’re desperate for more once it ends. That’s how I felt while reading This Vicious Grace.
I have a rule. If you’ve followed me for any length of time on my bookstagram or read at least three of my bookish articles, you’ll probably be familiar with it. My rule is that I don’t buy books I haven’t read. I purchase books only once I’ve borrowed them from the library, read them, and know I love them enough to read again. This helps me save money and shelf space and it’s only ever been a positive rule for my bookworm self.
However, I broke my rule for This Vicious Grace. During the beginning of summer, I went through one of the most challenging mental health periods of my life. I was struggling so much and nothing was bringing me joy – not even the books I typically turned to when I was in need of a mood boost. Then I walked into Barnes & Noble one rainy afternoon and saw signed copies of This Vicious Grace on the front table. I knew then that it was calling to me. I picked one up to browse through it while sitting in the B&N cafe and before finishing the first chapter, I was in love.
Let’s just say, this book was worth breaking my rule. I devoured it almost entirely in one sitting. I couldn’t get enough and it brought so much joy back to my reading habits. Now I’m sharing all of my thoughts with you!
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My honest review of This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede.
Three weddings. Three funerals. Alessa’s gift from the gods is supposed to magnify a partner’s magic, not kill every suitor she touches.
Now, with only weeks left until a hungry swarm of demons devours everything on her island home, Alessa is running out of time to find a partner and stop the invasion. When a powerful priest convinces the faithful that killing Alessa is the island’s only hope, her own soldiers try to assassinate her.
Desperate to survive, Alessa hires Dante, a cynical outcast marked as a killer, to become her personal bodyguard. But as rebellion explodes outside the gates, Dante’s dark secrets may be the biggest betrayal. He holds the key to her survival and her heart, but is he the one person who can help her master her gift or destroy her once and for all?
Emily Thiede’s exciting fantasy debut, This Vicious Grace, will keep readers turning the pages until the devastating conclusion and leave them primed for more!
Content Warnings: (Major) Bullying, Torture, Blood, and War, (Moderate) Religious bigotry and Violence, (Minor) Sexual content and Suicidal thoughts
For years, I have been someone who doesn’t buy a book unless I’ve read it already, loved it, and know I’ll read it again. However, I broke my own rule when I saw this at Barnes & Noble, signed by the author (who happens to be a local). I had already heard fantastic things from people with very similar reading tastes and I just had this inkling I would love it. After skimming the first few chapters in the B&N café, I brought it home… and promptly devoured it.
This book was brilliant.
I’ve always been a sucker for forbidden love, especially when it happens to be with the bodyguard. There’s just something really appealing about that particular trope. Add in the fact that our protagonist literally can’t touch the person she’s drawn to without the potential of killing them and it gets even more interesting!
The combination of the unique plot plus a subtly steamy romance plus a ton of fantastic action gave me everything I wanted and needed from this fantasy novel. I’ve found myself slightly disappointed by YA fantasy recently, feeling as though it all reads the same – but this didn’t feel that way at all. It was unique and easy to read.
There was also an element of found family that I really adored. The Fontes surprised me a lot as the story went on and by the end, they were some of my favorite characters. I’d love an entire spin-off about Kamaria! Alessa and Dante were precious and I can’t wait to see what happens to them next. Things seem a little daunting but also really exciting!