ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Strange Grace
Author: Tessa Gratton
Publication Date: September 18, 2018
Pages: 389, Kindle edition
“Once, a witch made a pact with a devil. The legend says they loved each other, but can the story be trusted at all? Find out in this lush, atmospheric fantasy novel that entwines love, lies, and sacrifice.
Long ago, a village made a bargain with the devil: to ensure their prosperity, when the Slaughter Moon rises, the village must sacrifice a young man into the depths of the Devil’s Forest.
Only this year, the Slaughter Moon has risen early.
Bound by duty, secrets, and the love they share for one another, Mairwen, a spirited witch; Rhun, the expected saint; and Arthur, a restless outcast, will each have a role to play as the devil demands a body to fill the bargain. But the devil these friends find is not the one they expect, and the lies they uncover will turn their town—and their hearts—inside out.”
This one is going to be tricky to review because I absolutely adored it, but it still had a couple flaws. I have such strong feelings about this one that expressing those thoughts is just going to be a mess. We’re doing this though, so I hope you all can follow this disaster of a review.
First we’ll talk about what I loved, which is pretty much everything. The atmosphere of this book is just so incredibly well done and it leaves you feeling so unsettled that it’s impossible to put it down. The village that the story takes place in is bordered by a forest, and the forest itself is just a terrifying and fascinating presence. I don’t know how else to describe it, it’s such a massive part of the story and it is so well done. This book is beyond creepy but in the best way possible, you aren’t sure why it’s so unsettling but it is and that’s all you need to keep reading. The storyline itself is also just so horrifying but in the best way, the sacrifice alone is super creepy but then you add in the calm acceptance from the village and it just makes you question everything and everyone.
Without a doubt the best part of this story was the characters. I loved Mariwen, Rhun and Arthur so much. I just wanted them all to get what they deserved and for them all to be happy! And the love that the three of them felt for each other, I can’t even handle how perfect it was and how well it was done. I can honestly say that I have never read a polyamorous relationship before but it was one of the best dynamics I’ve read in quite a while. All the side characters were just as amazing too, they weren’t the most fleshed out but they still had their place and helped move the story along.
The only thing that I didn’t love about this one was the pacing, I felt like it took a while for anything to really happen, even with the growing sense of dread and unease, but it did eventually kick off and from that point I couldn’t put it down.
Honestly I just loved this book, it was creepy and a bit gory and had some amazing characters and an interesting story and ugh just so much. I’m sick right now so I’m blaming that on what a mess this is but guys, read this book, please read this book.