You know those books which just reach under your skin and grab you? That’s how I felt while reading This Vicious Grace. The romance was *chef’s kiss* and I need the second one immediately okay? Not to mention the theme? It made my heart so happy. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
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?
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: child abuse
This Vicious Grace is a multi-layered fantasy debut that will make you swoon and shed a tear. The romance, slow burn, and tension made my heart swoon. Talk about those moments of butterflies and denying our feelings. If you are searching for a fantasy romance, you have to add This Vicious Grace to your TBR now. Because Alessa’s relationship put me through the wringer. The angst over wondering if their love is enough versus the precious moments.
Besides the romance, what I also loved was Alessa’s character journey and the themes Thiede explores. Alessa couldn’t help but break my heart. Feeling so isolated, she’s deprived of human contact because everyone is afraid of her – at the very least. She believes in her monstrosity, in her own isolation and danger. So, in some ways, she becomes it. In This Vicious Grace, her story becomes about realizing that we don’t have to be alone. That when we are taught to fear ourselves, we can never harness our own potential.
I mean just think about this, she feels so alone and not safe even at home that she asks a stranger to protect her. From the beginning Alessa was going to capture my heart. But to watch her grow into herself, to realize that just because it’s tradition doesn’t mean we have to continue it, was my favorite part. Don’t even get me started on how much I adore Dante – he can have my entire heart. Alessa’s character is told she’s monstrous. But is that truly who she is?
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As a whole, This Vicious Grace is a story that celebrates solidarity and love. It’s a debut that stresses that we find strength in others. That the burden of the world is not ours alone. It wrenched my heart in a variety of ways as I fell in love with Alessa. This is a must read for fantasy romance fans and for girls who are told they’re monstrous. Find This Vicious Grace on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.