Title: Queen of Ruin
Author: Tracy Banghart
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: Grace and Fury, book two
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
Grace and Fury was one of my favorite books of last year, so I’ve been anxiously awaiting the sequel. It’s been sitting in my library stack, so when I was finished with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, I dove in. I devoured Queen of Ruin in a mere three days; this set of books are my favorite in Tracy Banghart’s entire body of work. Action-packed, relevant, and shocking, I loved every moment of Queen of Ruin, even the ones that had me screaming in rage and sobbing in frustration. I’ve been chewing on it since I finished, trying to get my thoughts straight before I put them to paper. This series has been billed as the YA Handmaid’s Tale, and that comparison is pretty spot on.
Queen of Ruin picks up where Grace and Fury left off, with Serina leading the rebellion on Mount Ruin, and Nomi just barely escaping the palazzo with her life. Both girls must decide to fight for their rights, as well as those of their fellow women, but forces beyond their control conspire to stop them. Both sisters must make a choice: continue to fight against Viridia’s restrictive, misogynistic laws, or create a new world, in which women have choices, can make money, and have all the freedoms they deserve. But pulling off a revolution of this scale is far from easy, and not everyone will emerge from the wreckage unharmed…
This book was absolutely amazing. Because it was a sequel, it took me a few chapters to remember everything that happened. But once things got going, I was spellbound, and I was constantly thinking about it, even while I was doing something else. The pacing was breakneck but smooth, and I really liked the way that the narrative went back and forth between Serina and Nomi. I also loved the character development of all of the women in the book, but especially Serina and Nomi. This book had me screaming and cheering, often. That’s not to say, though, that there also weren’t formidable villains. I won’t give it away for those that haven’t read it yet; but this book really frustrated me. The tension was constant, and I devoured every word. And that ending! I’m so happy with the way that things ended. Sequels make me so nervous, because all too often, they don’t hold up to the books that come before it, but I didn’t need to worry about this with Queen of Ruin. It more than surpassed my expectations, and I loved every moment of it. The bottom line: Bloody, fierce, and unforgettable, I loved Queen of Ruin; my only complaint is that it’s all over now! Next on deck: Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare!