This Vicious Grace Readalong: Day 1!

Stunning photo by @acedimski!

Hi Fairies!

Happy Monday and welcome to day 1 of our readalong of This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede. I’m so excited to be reading this one with you, I hope you all love it!

Before we start, how are you all doing? I hope you had a wonderful weekend and got some reading and relaxing done.

Since today is day 1, we’ll be reading from the beginning to the end of Chapter 11. Get comfy and let’s get started!

When you’ve finished today’s section, catch up with me in the comments down below so we can discuss the beginning of the book. Happy reading!

Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede from the beginning to Chapter 11. Please only read on if you have finished this section!


Name a better opening than “Three weddings. Three funerals.” I’ll wait! We’re off to a strong start. Alessa is 18 and she’s been widowed three times, her latest is Hugo, who insisted when his hand trembled it was nerves… but her touch was killing him.

Alessa is the Finestra, in search of a Fonte. Her power should magnify her Fonte’s power… So far it’s killed them. Her twin brother Adrick slips in beside her, even though as the Finestra Alessa is supposed to have severed every tie from her previous life. They communicate secretly via sign language, Adrick asking her if she’s picked her next Fonte yet. 

Adrick seems nice. Death is by no means funny, but I love that even though he shouldn’t be visiting his sister, he does so anyway in her time of need and tries to make her laugh. 

When she first became Finestra, everyone wanted to be her Fonte. Three deaths in, no one’s queuing to be her other half anymore, but she still has to find one. Before the invasion begins.

Then poor Alessa is literally shot at. It only skims her neck, but it draws blood. I feel bad for her. She didn’t choose to be Finestra, she can’t exactly say no and go back to her normal life, and yet she’s punished for it.

Her mentors, former Finestra Renata and her Fonte Tomo, seem to know something about why someone would try to assassinate Alessa, but they’re trying to keep her in the dark. It turns out there’s a preacher named Padre Ivini, they won’t tell her what he’s preaching though.

I feel frustrated for her. Her mentors don’t seem to take her seriously, her guard whispers behind her back that she’s a greedy one… and people are actively trying to kill her. 

The next morning, Alessa sneaks out of the Citadella and who does she bump into in the town? Padre Ivini himself! He’s preaching about a false Finestra, implying it’s Alessa, accusing her of slaughtering their Fonte… I mean, she did kill them… but is it a slaughter if it’s unintentional? Asking for a friend… Anyway, he’s telling the people he basically thinks when the invasion begins, Alessa will sit and watch the massacre. Damn. I want to say I hope people don’t believe this… but someone did try kill her. 

When a beggar trips and interrupts Ivini’s speech, his disciples come over and tell her off. Alessa is about to step forward, but someone else beats her to it and threatens the disciples. He eventually frees the girl and helps her pick up her coin before entering into a tavern, but not before he catches Alessa watching him and raises an eyebrow… do I sense a meet cute? Not very cute… but that saucy eyebrow certainly has me wondering!

Alessa finds Adrick in his workplace, and when she can get him on his own, she questions him about the revolt. He knew all along but didn’t tell her because it would worry her. I feel so frustrated that the world is willing to put such weight on Alessa as the Finestra, but they’re worried to tell her a large portion of the world literally wants her dead????

People are saying she’s cursed, that she’s a greedy one sent to steal the Fonte’s magic, or that Alessa is a sign that their gods have forsaken them. Adrick tells her to prove them wrong, find a Fonte and keep them alive. As if she’s been purposely killing them this entire time? As if she’s not trying?

Alessa bumps into a mysterious man who definitely should not be there. Is it the man who she followed outside the tavern? Saucy eyebrow lifter?

He claims he was sent to deliver spirits and got lost. When soldiers pass and Alessa presses herself against a wall to let them past, he stops to question her. I don’t know who he is, but I like him. Alessa thinks it’s polite for her to move aside to let the soldiers pass, given her power. Mysterious eyebrow man says she should let them walk around her. I. Support. This! Alessa is the Finestra, why is SHE cowering and moving aside for those of a lower rank? Lift that chin and stand your ground, girl!

When she finds Tomo and Renata, Tomo wants Alessa to practice on him, but Renata and Alessa BOTH say no. Tomo ushers her out to get some air before their guests arrive, but instead of leaving, she eavesdrops on their conversation. That’s when Alessa overhears Tomo trying to discourage Renata from killing Alessa.

We see prospective Fonte’s show off their powers, but Alessa doesn’t seem to be sold on any of them. When she returns to her room and as she finally starts to drift off to sleep, she suddenly can’t breathe. Someone has her pinned down and they’re trying to stop her breathing. They’re telling her to let go, it’ll be over soon. Can this poor girl go ten minutes without someone trying to kill her?!

When Alessa fights back and touches her hands to the man’s neck, he’s immobilised for long enough for Alessa to shout for help. But when her guard, Lorenzo, comes in… he doesn’t seem too surprised. He recognises the attacker and just escorts him out telling him to stop moaning and telling Alessa she should have let him kill her. Does she have anyone who believes in her? Even Adrick doesn’t seem to thing she’s strong enough to handle this. 

The only good thing, is that Tomo and Renata don’t seem shocked to see Alessa alive, so that at least must mean it wasn’t her mentors that ordered the hit on her?

Her plan now? She’s heading to the Bottom of the Barrel… she either intends to drink and dance her troubles away, orrrr she’s going to find Mysterious Eyebrow Man.

Inside the room sits a cage, and inside a cage stands the very man Alessa is looking for. Bronzed muscles, dark hair, lean body. 

So they call him the Wolf, and as Alessa watches him fight, she’s urging him to win. He does! When she eventually finds him, he’s squabbling with the barkeeper over how much he’s owed. Alessa buys herself and the Wolf the finest whiskey available. He knows who she is though, and immediately says she shouldn’t be there and most people in the room want her dead. He says he doesn’t care either way though. I don’t know what I expected from this, but I didn’t expect the Finestra to attempt to hire the Wolf as her personal bodyguard. If she can’t trust those closest to her, what makes her think she can trust him? She pulls out some crocodile tears (though, I’m not entirely convinced they’re fake) and he agrees. Mysterious Eyebrow Man is now Alessa’s bodyguard. How do we think this will go?

She gets a name out of him: Dante. But that’s all we get, since it’s all he knows. He doesn’t know where he’s from, he no longer has a last name. 

Alessa gets the Captain to send Dante a uniform and he goes about his business searching her rooms for any immediate danger. Well, this is a more hands on approach than Lorenzo had, that’s for sure. He pulls her trellis off the wall so no one can scale up it, all whilst Alessa admires his backside.

He seems to be the only person who’s not deathly afraid of Alessa. When he realises her gloves inconvenience her, he just tells her to take them off. In the same way he said soldiers should be moving aside for her, not the other way around. I like him.

He says he’ll sleep on the couch, and after Alessa tries to say he can’t sleep in her room, she eventually gives in and thinks, again as she sneakily watched him, that she’ll let him have one nights’ decent sleep. I can feel the tension already!

We’ve reached the end of day one’s section already! That went so quickly… Are you enjoying the book so far fairies?

Let me know your thoughts on this section in the comments and I’ll see you tomorrow for day 2!


50 thoughts on “This Vicious Grace Readalong: Day 1!

  1. I’m loving the book so far! The story really hooks you from the first line, and I agree, it’ll definitely be hard to find a story with a better opening line.

    I’m absolutely loving Alessa so far and I’m hoping she finds a solution soon (to at least one of her problems), as she seems to be having more and more problems as these chapters progress. Super curious about Dante, and very excited to see more of him in the next chapters. Especially with the simmering attraction.

    I’m also really loving the setting so far, so I’m perhaps most excited to see more of this gorgeous world.

    1. Yay! So glad you’re loving it so far. ?

  2. I loved this section so far! I love the world that is being built and I loved how well it is written. We are learning a lot about how Alessa is treated and how the isolation has caused her to view herself. I love that when she meets mysterious eyebrow man he points out that she shouldn’t have to move out of anyone’s way! I love it! He just keeps making comments to her which allows her to settle in herself. And then she can be herself a bit more.

    I also spent these first chapters just thinking about how maybe everything would be better if people just told Alessa things. Tell her everything. She is supposed to be their leader. Definitely supposed to lead their army in the upcoming battle. But they just want her to follow along with their plan for her without giving her all the facts. People are literally trying to kill her.

    1. Right?! It’s so infuriating that people won’t just tell her what’s going on! ?

  3. This book had me at the dedication – For little girls who talk “too much” and feel “too intensely”. Never change. Hard relate to Alessa being an anxiety prone night owl; I have a feeling Dante’s got something to say about that… *eyebrow lift*

    1. Love that dedication! ?

    2. I also really liked the dedication! It made me feel like this book was going to be special, right from the beginning.

  4. I had a little bit of a hard time getting into the story. Right at the beginning, when Alessa is talking with her brother in the chapel, there are some large holes in between their responses to each other. These holes are used to explain certain things, but when one of the two finally responds, I couldn’t remember what it was the other had said and had to read back in order to understand the conversation (which was annoying as the conversation was like 6 lines total, but took 2.5 page to be completed).

    And, as expected in the beginning of a book, it is always a bit of an exploration into the world to understand it. I really like the detailed map in the beginning of the book. Throughout these first 11 chapters I frequently went back to the map to orientate myself where the story was being played out. As I now have a better understanding of the worldbuilding and how everything is set up, I wonder if my read tomorrow will go a little bit more smoothly. ?

    And, of course, then there is Dante. Who doesn’t like a mysterious guy with no interest in the female MC to come into the story. ?

    I am very curious what will happen in the next chapters and if some of the things I think will happen actually do happen or if there are unexpected twists and turns ahead ?

  5. I really liked the first chapters. At first I was not sure if I would like the book, but so far it is really good. Alessa is an interesting charater, as is Wolf. I already like him and his attitude 😀

    1. I love his attitude too! ?

  6. OMG! I am LOVING the premise of this one! This is a book I would have never picked out for myself but I am so happy it came in the book box! I am so HOOKED!

    Alessa has to find a Fonte to help her defeat DEMONS?! But, she is killing everybody she tries to touch to see if they’re a match? This is really cool!

    Poor Alessa though…I cannot imagine her anxiety or fear. I would be an absolute wreck!

    I liked Renata and Tomo but then, when finding out that Renata is willing to kill Alessa if she fails again, I realized they’re not as trustworthy as I initially thought. So, that’s worrisome.

    And, I like Dante! He’s tough and tells things like they are. He’s rough around the edges but that’s okay. I also like that he insists on staying in Alessa’s room…I can tell I’m going to really enjoy this forced proximity trope going on! One of my favorite tropes for sure 🙂

    I am LOVING this story so far and ready for a lot more DANTE and ALESSA! 🙂

    1. Yessss! So glad you’re loving it! ?

  7. I really enjoyed the first section! It was a bit hard going to start with, but once I got used to the different words and how things work it started to go by quickly. I really like the characters so far, very intrigued to see things develop with Dante and Alessa 🙂

    1. I’m intrigued too! ?

  8. This is such a great start, I’m hooked! I relate to Alessa in the fact that I also tend to shrink instead of making people walk around me! I love Dante already ?
    I’m curious who her would-be assassin is that Lorenzo helped!! That dirt bag! ??

    1. Dirt bag, I love that! ?

  9. I’m loving this story so far! Such an interesting concept and beautiful world. Plus, I already love Dante and Alessa very much. I couldn’t put the book down and read Day 2!

    1. Eeeek! Hope you loved day 2 as well! ?

  10. I completely agree the book’s first lines are amazing. I am enjoying the characters so far and seeing how Alessa is already starting to take things into her own hands after learning people are out to kill her by hiring Dante as her personal bodyguard. I am interested to see what happens when Alessa’s next Fonte is chosen and how that will impact the romance between Dante and Alessa.

    1. I really love how strong she is and love that she hired him herself! ?

  11. I am really enjoying the book so far. Honestly think there is some sort of connection between Alessa and Dante. He doesn’t know anything about his past, so he could be anyone.

    1. Ooooh, this is an interesting thought! ?

  12. I really enjoyed this, but I can’t wait to see how this escalates even more.

    Already a huge fan of Dante lol

  13. SO I’ve been subscribed to various book boxes for about a year now and I gotta say, this is the first time an AUTHOR LETTER hooked me into the story. When the author said this book is like a letter to her younger self I was like…it me, I am younger you, oh my lord.

    For the story itself, I’m still getting to know everyone but I am BIG MAD about Alessa’s own frickin guards abandoning her. I would sneak out and find someone to hire on my own too. I hope she learns to embrace her inner strength (not just her magical power) instead of cowering whenever people have any negative emotions about her.

    1. I love that the author letter drew you in! ?

  14. One thing’s for sure. Lorenzo is getting an F on his performance evaluation.

    1. Right?! Very angry at him! ?

  15. Danteee ? really loved the beginning although I first found it a bit difficult to follow cause I just didn’t get the Finestra and Fonte backstory.

  16. This book is amazing and has already become one of my favourites!

    I’m intrigued about the whole tradition of having a finestra and a fonte. I am already curious and want to know more about this world and how it works.

    This first part of the book already has seen a lot of action and I
    found the pace of the book is perfect.

    I like Alessa, and although she starts as a timid figure with not a lot of confidence in herself, I see a lot of potential in her.

    I also like Dante a lot. He is very mysterious, and though I’m not sure how much we can trust him yet, I have a feeling he will be very important and crucial for Alessa’s story.

    1. So happy you’re enjoying the book! ?

  17. So far I really like the book. It is easily readable due to the short chapters and I like the worldbuilding and characters. Alissa ist relatable with her anxiety and not wanting to be special and locked up. Dante seems interesting so far and I live that he tells her to let people move around her or not wear her gloves etc. So excited for the rest of the book

    1. I feel like I relate to Alessa a lot too! I think a lot of people are underestimating her! ?

  18. I’m absolutely hooked already. Dante is so mysterious and I can’t wait to learn more about him. Alessa seems so sweet, I really hope she starts to find some happiness. I can’t wait to see how the rest develops.

    1. I am VERY intrigued by Mr. Dante! ?

  19. The beginning of this book is very intriguing! I think the world-building so far is extremely interesting and unique, although it is a bit confusing. I wish that there was a little more explanation in the beginning, but I understand why there isn’t, as the author probably did not want to just info-dump and will reveal things over time. I already love how Dante, in just a few short conversations, already has Alessa questioning how those around her treat her and gives her self-confidence a boost.

    I am very curious as to the reason why the Fontes she has already killed were not deemed worthy by the goddess and what characteristics the goddess really is looking for or not. I am also a bit confused by the role of the Finestra in this world. I understand that their main purpose is to protect their island, but are they also the governing body? Does Renata have any other role at this time other than to direct the new Finestra? I wish the author had gone into a bit more detail about this, but other than that, this is a great start to what I hope is a great book!

  20. Alright I’m starting to understand the book, the world, and what exactly is going on.

    I feel bad for Alessa tbh. She’s got such an insurmountable amount of pressure to save her home and people while her people are trying to kill her.


    I don’t know how to feel about Dante. I get the vibes that he’s going to be the potential love interest (and maybe Fonte…?). I dunno though. I’m not 100% sure on the nature of the relationship with the Fonte but we might have some bi rep in our MC ?

    1. Yesss! Love that bi rep. I really like that in this world, any gender can be Alessa’s partner. ?

  21. What an amazing strong start to the book! I was instantly enraptured with the world building and Alessandra is such a relatable character so far. I really feel for her, killing three people you were supposed to bond and fight with has taken such a toll on her. I’m surprised at the callousness of Renata and Tomo, how is it possible this is the first time a situation like this has arisen?

    I can’t wait to see who she chooses as her Fonte and what happens. Could Dante be hiding Fonte abilities of his own?

  22. This book is so rich and unique. I loved the fight scene in this part, mostly because I can’t think of another character I’m fond of that was found in the rink like that. As a hobbyist writer, this is definitely a book I consider to be inspiring.

    I’m very invested in where we are going now. Tall, dark, and muscular is my guilty pleasure trope.

  23. Like everyone else, I really appreciated the opening lines of the book. It was a great way to get me hooked!

    I also appreciated that Alessa and her brother were using sign language to communicate. Granted, Alessa does acknowledge it’s more of a “sibling sign language” than actual sign, but I think this was important for 2 reasons; 1) shows the connection between siblings and 2) representation for people who use sign language to communicate.

    And, as mentioned in previous comments, I also appreciate that her partners have been 2 males and 1 female so far.

    I’m excited to see where this goes next!

  24. The opening? Perfect!

    Was a little confused, to begin with, a brand new world with a magic system I haven’t really seen before. But I know that it’ll get easier as the book gets along (no info-dumps found and I love it!). And the LGBT rep and how fontes can be of any gender! Love, love, love it!

    Alessa seems so sweet/timid/naive at the moment and I have a feeling we are going to see her change quite a bit, especially with Dante around. Speaking of, I can’t wait for the “you can’t touch me” shenanigans

  25. I know this book is Italian inspired but looking at the map made me picture Dubrovnik in Croatia. Enjoying the book so far. I don’t really trust anyone except for Dante of course.

  26. I love Alessa and Dante’s relationship! He’s definitely trying to treat her as HER, Alessa, and less like the ~Finestra~, which is so satisfying. I see great things ahead and I’m loving the world building and lore!

  27. I must admit, it was a slow start for me. It felt a bit choppy but as I continued to read, I started to get into it more.

    Now I can’t wait to read what’s to come. I already love Dante, the Wolf, whatever he wants to be called I’m here for it.

  28. The best starting words ever. Totally agree with you on that. I am enjoying this book a lot!!! The writing is very fluid, so the reading goes smoothly! Love how the author paints the atmosphere of the book – I can almost smell and see what she pictured!

  29. Starting a little bit later than I wanted too but I finally caught up to day one ? At first I wasn’t sure if I would like it, I just wasn’t really connecting to the writing style and I felt like I was missing something but after the first section I’m starting to enjoy it more. I’m really loving Dante and Alessa’s banter so far and I’m really intrigued to see who’s behind trying to kill her

  30. I absolutely loved the dedication!

    The worldbuilding is really great. It’s very atmospheric and I can completely picture it. It’s sad how lonely Alessa is though and that she finds out she has nobody in her corner. BUT with Dante arriving I suspect she now finally will have someone in her corner. I love how he doesn’t care about her being careful and such. He gives her space to be herself it seems and he is not afraid of her at all.

  31. I thought the beginning was really sad for Alessa having to deal with all this pressure and loneliness, but I am so ready for a romance with Dante! I was predicting he would be a hidden fonte or something.

  32. The beginning was so sad for Alessa. I hope she finds a partner. I was hooked since the beginning. I like how the author explains the world building so “easily” .

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