This is a book two. There are spoilers for book one below.
Queen of Ruin by Tracy Banghart
A fierce sequel full of sisterhood, heart pounding action, betrayal, and intrigue in the royal court in a series that “breathes new life into the feminist story of oppression and resistance” (Publisher’s Weekly).
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.
The stakes are higher and the battles bolder in Tracy Banghart’s unputdownable sequel to Grace and Fury.
Spoilers for book one below.
Since this is a book two, I probably won’t get into too much of the story. I don’t want to ruin anything and for some reason, I tend to struggle with sequel reviews.
Serina led the revolt on Mount Ruin and now she must figure out what to do. There were a few guards left and she decided to lock them up instead of killing them. Serina wants to find Nomi. But Val told them about an place where women still have rights. To be fair, Serina holds a vote to see what all the women want to do. They can go back to Viridia and fight or they can try to get to Azura. They’ve already decided to steal the next supply ship after killing the guards on the ship. While many wanted to go back and fight, the majority decided on freedom. Serina still had Val’s small boat no matter what. She needed Nomi.
Nomi surprises Serina when she arrives on Mount Ruin. Malachi is still alive, but barely. Nomi explains how Asa killed the superior and then tried to kill Malachi. No one knows he’s still alive and the rightful heir. Once Malachi is awake, they decide to come up with a plan. The girls are worried about Renzo and Malachi is worried about what type of leader Asa will be. He has a best friend with an army that he thinks will be loyal to him. So Nomi and Renzo take the small boat to see if they can find help to overthrow Asa. Serina has to bring the others to Azura. She is their leader now and they need her even more than Nomi does.
The differences in the sisters is even more extreme now. Serina is fierce. She kills. She will do whatever it takes to survive and keep as many of the women alive as possible. Nomi is broken by what Asa did and her role in it. I think Serina actually gave her some strength back after Nomi saw the changes in her. Both girls want to do whatever they can to keep everyone safe and maybe even change Viridia back to the way it was before the history was erased. Nomi believes that Malachi is what they need for that to happen.
As you probably guessed, nothing goes as planned. Asa and his army are smarter than the girls gave him credit for. In the end, there has to be a fight and whoever is left standing will decide the future of Viridia.
I adore these strong women and the messages in these two books. I gave this 5 stars.
Warnings for abuse, graphic deaths, and captivity/executions.
Have you read Grace and Fury (and Queen of Ruin)? What did you think of it? Did you find yourself liking Serina or Nomi more? Did that change throughout the story?