Hodder and Stoughton publish some seriously amazing YA fantasy. This Vicious Grace is no exception. I’ve been excited about this book for a while and I was lucky to get an e-arc from NetGalley. But I did wait until I got my Fairyloot edition to read it physically. I’m glad I did, as this was an amazing book I raced through, so I’m happy I have a beautiful copy.
This Vicious Grace follows Alessa, a young woman whose gift from the gods means that with the right partner, she can use their powers to defeat the evil coming. But she’s killed three possible partners so far. The people are starting to believe that the only way to save them could be to kill her. In response, Alessa hires a guy from the streets, Dante, to be her bodyguard. As she spends time with him, she begins to fall for him and realises that he might actually help her survive this all.
Oh, this book was so damn fun. I had high hopes for it anyway since it’s been blurbed by the amazing Sarah Glenn Marsh, but I’m so glad I adored it. This book is so strong on the character front. At first, it seems like it’s going to be very predictable. Her new possible partners make it seem like she’ll always be alone apart from her romance etc. They also seemed like they were going to be pretty flat. But as Alessa got to know them, the found family trope really comes into play. I loved her friendships, and I loved all those characters.
The romance was obviously going to be important in this book. I really liked Alessa and Dante together. They had a lot of fun flirtation and banter. I was laughing out loud so often. But on the sweeter side, it was nice to see them both realise thanks to each other that they don’t have to be alone. Both of them have been for so long, yet they were able to help each other out.
I do have to admit that as much as I enjoyed this book, the writing wasn’t perfect. There are definitely some time skips that come out of nowhere. You’ll be reading one paragraph, and then it’s the next day when there were several chapters before on a single day. It did draw me out of the story a couple of times. I do believe this is Thiede’s debut novel though, so I will forgive her that. I enjoyed every other aspect of the book so much that the writing issues didn’t really bother me.
I liked the world-building in this book. It was pretty interesting, though you didn’t really get much of it. I am excited to see more about this fountain they mention in the next book and the journey. I’m guessing that will be in Dante’s POV since we were introduced to that near the end of this book. I’ll be curious to see what it’s really like in his head, as we didn’t get enough for me to really form an opinion in this one.
I’m pretty certain I’m going to adore this series, so roll on the next book!
Title: This Vicious Grace
Author: Emily Thiede
Age Range: Young Adult
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Release Date: Out Now