Review of This Vicious Grace (The Last Finestra #1) by Emily Thiede
“She might be but one stitch in the tapestry, but every stitch had a purpose, and threads couldn’t become art without them.”– This Vicious Grace
The pacing in ‘This Vicious Grace’ was off, and the romance felt more important than the plot
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?
Firstly, I want to say I absolutely love the cover of the Fairyloot edition of This Vicious Grace. I like the original cover as well, but the Fairyloot one is this gorgeous shade of yellow.
So I’m pretty bummed while writing this review. I expected so much from this book (which is maybe my fault) but it was lacking in so many ways. This Vicious Grace is honestly your typical YA book. It tries to be innovative and different, but doesn’t have the backbone for it.
Let’s start with the pacing because it was weird and felt off. While the first half of the book dragged, there were important scenes that were described in five sentences. The only thing that got a lot of attention was *surprise surprise* the romance. It makes me feel like the plot wasn’t as important as the romance, and I didn’t get what the whole point was of the Divorando. I still don’t really understand what it is and if it’s coming back.
The romance was honestly weird on itself. It’s not enemies to lovers but more like grumpy x sunshine, but I didn’t care for them. They had no chemistry whatsoever.
Alessa (the Finestra) is 18 but acts like a child. The banter between her and Dante just felt weird and not interesting at all. I put down the book and only picked it up weeks later. Like imagine, I started reading This Vicious Grace in September and only now finished it.
I did like the Fontes, although I can’t quite remember who had which power. They were an interesting addition to the story and I want to know more about them.
Before reading This Vicious Grace I thought Emily Thiede had Italian roots, which I found amazing since I am half Italian. Turns out she isn’t. Now, I don’t think you have to be Italian to write a book inspired by Italy and Italian culture, but you do have to do your research. And the research Thiede did was not enough. There were just so many random things starting off with the name Finestra. That’s just weird, but some things were grammatically incorrect, like saying signor instead of signore. I would’ve liked to see some more research that went into This Vicious Grace.
The ending wasn’t as shocking as I would’ve liked. The cliffhanger wasn’t that shocking either, so I’m not really that triggered to read the sequel. Am I getting too old for this?
Would I recommend it?
Not particularly no. I don’t think I’ll be continuing this series.
Abuse, blood, bugs, death, injuries, mention of suicide, poison, being poisoned, stabbing, violence
Bisexual side characters
About the author
Emily Thiede is the author of THIS VICIOUS GRACE, book one of The Last Finestra duology. She grew up dreaming of becoming a dragon rider and now writes fantastical tales about magic, mayhem, and characters who flirt with their enemies while the world crumbles.