At first, I wasn´t sure if I really wanted to read this novel. Sure, I was kind of intrigued by its cover and back text, but also not jumping to get it. And yet something kept me coming back to it again and again. Oh, and by the way, the original title is "Grace and Fury". Maybe this novel will remind you of another trilogy were some girls try to catch the prince´s attention and heart to become the one and only for him. This one is different, though. And shows you two sides that couldn´t be more different.

Iron Flowers-Die Rebellinnen*
by Tracy Banghart
Iron Flowers Series #1
Translation Anna Julia Strüh
Original Title Grace And Fury
Publisher Fischer Sauerländer on April 26, 2018
Genre Children 14+
Pages 377
Format Hardcover
Source Publisher

They are sisters, could not be more different and yet are inseparable. Nomi is wild and fearless, Serina is beautiful and graceful. And she is determined to be chosen by the heir to the throne as Grace, freeing her family from poverty and oppression. But on the day of the selection, everything is different: the sisters are torn apart - and forced into a life on which nobody has prepared them. (personal translation ©Vi at Inkvotary)
Serina was raised and educated to do whatever the prince is asking of her. Her only purpose in life is to look radiant, beautiful, and to become the Great Grace who will bear him the so much wanted next heir to the throne. Her sister Nomi was taught all her life that she had to serve her sister and help her to stay alive in the royal palace. But as life is, nothing goes as planned. And soon Nomi finds herself in a position she never wanted nor was trained for and Serina has to fight for her life.

The setting reminded me very much of Venice. Lots of wonderful bridges, the canals, and bold dresses. And dangerous. Very dangerous. Imagine a world in which women have no rights, except to bear children. They aren´t allowed to learn how to read or write and for sure not to have their own opinion. The highest achievement is to become a Grace. One of the many women who live in the palace with the heir to the throne. To do what he wants them to do when he wants it. A free mind or will isn´t appreciated. This novel is written in a simple to read, but very impressive language and style. Lots of twists and turns show you two worlds on the same planet. Both are as deadly and life-threatening as the other. The one is the palace with its decadent lifestyle and many dangerous places and luxury, ruled by a bored, sick, and very reckless king. The other a Vulcanic island, where people fight for everything in order to survive. 

Tracy Banghart has a great way to bring both sides, the bright and the dark one, together and to make clear that both are as dangerous and life-threatening as the other.

Being a rebellious young woman with a mind that wants to be free and self-determined, isn´t easy or healthy when you live in a world where women have no rights at all. Where you can get killed for the mere thought of wanting to hold a book, not to mention reading it. A woman does what her man tells her. No questions asked. And you better become the mother of a son very quick. Because daughters are only a burden.

Serina is a beauty. Knows exactly what to say and when to get a man´s attention. But when she meets the prince, she obviously isn´t the only one who knows how to catch his attention. Soon she finds herself in a position she´d never thought she´d be in one day and for sure not as planned. But she is used to doing what others expect of her and to change sides with her sister isn´t as bad as thought. After all, she has to keep her sister alive in a place they both were hoping to get in.

What an unexpected reading pleasure. You never know what you might find on the next page. And the way how the author unfolds her story wasn´t at all what I´ve expected. This novel caught me by surprise and I am absolutely happy that I had the change to read and enjoy it. 

Happy reading

*This book was kindly provided to me by Fischer Sauerländer in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you. Therefore, the cover of the German edition is shown first in this review.

*This book will be published in the English language Grace and Fury by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on July 31, 2018.

Tracy Banghart
Tracy Banghart ©April Anft

Tracy Banghart is an Army wife and mom has an MA in Publishing and an unhealthy affection for cupcakes. Her quiet childhood led to a reading addiction, writing obsession, and several serious book boyfriends. She currently lives in Hawaii with her husband and young son, where there are a lot of volcanoes, none of which she’s made her home.


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