My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Title: This Vicious Grace (#1)
Author: Emily Thiede
Format: Hardcover (own)
Publication Date: 6/27/22
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Categories: Romance, Young Adult, Fantasy, Series
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 Warning: violence, suicidal ideation
I finally read this book and you know I will blame my eyesight. I don’t use glasses (but I think I need them now) and the print in the hardcover copy is smaller than other fonts – so basically I should’ve gotten the ebook for this. Anyway, I finished it and Dante and Alessa are everything! Here’s what did and didn’t work for me:
+ The world building is interesting. Alessa is a Finestra – she basically has the power of death, and she is going to lead an army to find a demon horde coming their way. But in the scriptures, apparently Alessa needs a Fontes, a partner in crime, someone with power as well. But it’s a problem when she kills her Fontes. The search for a new one begins but Alessa is scared she might kill another person. The world felt Italian-inspired, but there were diverse cultures represented as well when they had big events in the town like Carnivale.
+ My favorite part of the story is Alessa and Dante. Their banter and flirting is so good! I loved her naughty banter and seeing how he reacts to it. They are too cute together! She’s the chosen one and he’s some random fighter she picked off the street to be her bodyguard. He’s a bit snarky but she really vibes with him. They play off one another until the attraction builds up to something they cannot deny. The two of them do get into some heated moments but nothing too descriptive. But I think they can be added to my favorite book couples list.
+ Alessa is a fun character. I like her attitude about everything, even when she finds herself back into a corner – she’s fighter. She loves her city, love her people and she loves life even though she causes death. I especially love when her personality shines through when she’s with Dante.
~ The story follows Alessa who needs to find a new Fontes before the demons arrive. She has about 30 something days and it was nice to get to know the Fontes candidates and check out their powers but I did wish there were some more information about the enemy. Maybe more tension leading up to it so we get the high stakes feeling of the situation? We only get to see the battle in the last part of the book and though it’s written like an epic fight it felt anti-climatic even though a lot is happening in the battle.
~ Thought the world building is fascinating, I wanted more from it. I wanted to know why the demon horde was coming ~ they are supposedly evil but I swear Alessa own blood brother was evil. So maybe we get to learn more in book two?
Tropes: chosen one, grumpy/sunshine, bodyguard interest, forbidden love, close proximity, found family
Spice Level: 🌶 🌶
Why you should read it:
- Alessa and Dante – their romance is my favorite part
- interesting world building inspired by Italy, and a fight against demons
- there is a group of Fontes we get to know, but I hope we get to know more about them in book two
Why you might not want to read it:
- not into YA fantasy ~ ending was a bit anti-climatic
I fell in love with Alessa and Dante. They really are what makes this story great. I love that they leaned into their attraction because their flirting was everything. Story-wise I did find the world building interesting but I do want to know more maybe about the enemy? I like how Alessa went about finding her next Fontes and made new friends or a found family. I wonder what will be happening in the next book after some events that take place at the end of the book. I’ll definitely be reading book two to get more of Alessa and Dante.