This Vicious Grace Readalong: Day 2!

Beautiful photo by @betterwithabookinmyhand!

Hi Fairy Friends!

Welcome to day 2 of our readalong of This Vicious Grace. So happy you’re all loving the book so far!

Today we’re reading from chapter 12 to the end of chapter 22. Let’s goooo!

Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede, from chapters 12 to 22. Please only read on if you’ve finished this section!


Alessa wakes from a nightmare and as she’s flailing, she smacks something… or someone. It’s Dante. He was worried she was going to hurt herself, and she’s annoyed that he came near her. She says he should have let her hurt herself and when she tells him to never do that again he assures her, he won’t bother next time. 

I’m cackling at Alessa being embarrassed that Dante saw her delicates hanging to dry. Not silky delicates, but practical underwear… granny panties if you will. I relate, girl, no use in wearing uncomfortable, impractical knick knacks!

At breakfast, Dante is intrigued to know just how long Alessa has gone without being touched. She says she doesn’t know, then immediately breaks and tells him it’s been four years, ten months and a few weeks.

It’s time for Alessa to meet with the Consiglio, and she puts forth her plan to train with the eligible Fontes. They argue about tradition, but she makes a very good point that tradition died with the first Fonte she killed. 

The Consiglio reluctantly agree, then Alessa faces the backlash from Renata about keeping secrets. Is it time for Alessa to drop the fact that she knows Renata wants her dead? Talk about the elephant in the room…

Renata says she wasn’t seriously considering it… I’m not sure if that makes it worse? Not serious, just casually considering murdering the Finestra. Dante, with ever perfect timing, arrives in the middle of the argument as Renata and Tomo head to leave. When Renata sees her discomfort about Lorenzo, she vows to strip him of his rank, but she’s still not sold on Dante. 

Alessa reluctantly tells Dante that Renata has been debating whether or not to kill her. Dante isn’t shocked at all, just seems more concerned about his plan of action should Renata try to do it. Alessa assures him she’s told Renata if it gets to that point, she’ll see to her death herself.

He escorts Alessa to her training with Renata, and seems really peeved that Renata is being tough on Alessa, and Alessa hasn’t disclosed the fact that she’s injured. 

At the end of her session, she finds Dante snoozing outside in the corridor. Not before admiring his full lips and thick eyelashes, she kicks the toe of his boot, and his eyes snap open, knives heading Alessa’s way…

As soon as he realises who woke him, he’s apologising, but Alessa brings up the very important point that he can’t attempt to stab everyone who walks past. 

Alessa visits the salt baths with Dante in tow, they speak of the gods and lore. I feel like Dante can sense that Alessa doesn’t think she’s a great person, let alone Finestra, he assures her if she even tries to be selfless, she’s better than most people. 

It’s time for Alessa to start training with her prospective Fonte’s! I’m excited and nervous and generally just hoping none of them work out and Dante will miraculously be eligible and able to touch Alessa???? Anyone else???

Just in time to cause a stir immediately after the Fonte’s discover things are happening differently this time, the first warning has arrived. Cracking. Amazing. Wonderful!

The first warning sounds grim, a beetle black exoskeleton, bulging red eyes. Renata, Tomo and Alessa go about rambling about how small it looks, how soft, as if to convince the Fonte’s they’re not concerned.

I feel so sorry for Alessa, she’s trying really hard to gain the respect of these Fonte’s and they’re just not giving her the time of day. Kaleb is particularly irksome… 

They too know of the rumours that Alessa is not the real Finestra, and she must be killed for the real Finestra to rise up. This is really, really not going well.

Dante holds a mark on his wrist that means he’s killed. Alessa seems to relate to him, since she’s also killed, no matter how unintentional it was. She opens up to Dante and tells him of the first time she killed, she made it worse by trying to comfort him, not realising it was her own hand doing the damage.

At training the next day, Dante uses his chance to take Kaleb down a notch. Kaleb thinks he’s untouchable due to his power, but he’s very quickly caught off guard and finds himself with Dante’s knife to his throat. Checkmate! He deserved that.

An unwitting Dante has somehow roped himself into coaching the Fonti (I’m learning, Dante!) to fight. I can’t decide if this is:

1. An absolutely brilliant decision or 

2. Completely disastrous.

Maybe a bit of both? Things go from already pretty bad, to absolutely terrible when Tomo volunteers in front of everyone to demonstrate working with Alessa. Renata and Alessa can’t exactly argue, not unless they want to admit to the others that they really don’t have things under control. 

Tomo ends up immobilised, when Alessa goes to visit him as he rests in bed, Renata is pretty hostile towards Alessa. Is she forgetting that Tomo volunteered? It’s not her fault, or maybe it is a tiny bit, but not a lot!

As Dante and Alessa walk from Tomo’s room, they overhear Josef and Nina in the library, Josef is saying he’ll volunteer to save Nina. They don’t have faith in her.

When Josef and Nina are gone, Alessa almost collides with Kaleb, who was eavesdropping too. 

In other, more positive news, I’m loving this bit of cheeky flirting between Dante and Alessa. More of this please!

Suddenly, Alessa tells Dante her name. He immediately starts calling her by her name rather than Finestra. She opens up a bit more and tells him she has a twin and how he visits from time to time even though it’s against the rules.

HOLD UP. Dante didn’t even give Alessa his proper name. He admits Dante is his name, just not his first name but he won’t tell her what his first name is. What is he hiding?

With 26 days to go before Diborando, the island starts to tremble, more messages from the gods. Alessa can’t let it phase her though, training with the Fontes begins today. It doesn’t go terribly, but I’m sure Alessa hoped for better. She returns to Dante to continue trying to guess his first name and they wade through the courtyard together.

As she passes the statue of Crollo, she sticks her tongue out. Then there’s another loud rumble and Dante is pushing her out of the way, and the statue is in pieces behind them.

After Dante gets a bit flustered at the sight of Alessa’s tight and boot clad legs, he goes to apply salve to her bleeding cheek. Alessa quickly reminds him he can’t touch her. I don’t know what it is, but something’s starting to make me think that maybe Dante can touch her.

Alessa has a little ogle at Dante’s wet, translucent white shirt, but the ogle turns to a glare when she realises Dante is laughing at her. When he shakes the salve at her to ask if she’s done with it, she notices the mark on his wrist that declares him a killer, is faded. He tries to hide it but it’s too late. Alessa has already realised the mark is fake. 

Alessa is understandably upset that she opened up to Dante about the deaths she caused, thinking he understood but he never killed anyone. He says he didn’t save them, and that’s pretty much the same thing but I disagree. He thinks it’s his fault that a mob killed his parents while he was 12 and he didn’t – or couldn’t – save them. I’m not sure anyone in their right mind would expect a 12 year old to be able to stand up to a mob. His guilt feels misplaced. 

At the next training session, Alessa’s quizzed about her family after Saida brings pastries from Alessa’s family’s patisserie, and Kaleb BLUSHES when he realises he knows her brother, Adrick.

Alessa tells Dante he can go, escape for a bit while they have a break, attend a party or two. He doesn’t though, claiming he’s not a party guy or a people person. I’m not entirely convinced by that though…

I’m feeling a lil bit of romance brewing!

Are you enjoying the book? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see you tomorrow for day three!


41 thoughts on “This Vicious Grace Readalong: Day 2!

  1. This book keeps getting better and better.

    I really liked the part where Alessa stood up to the Consiglio and broke tradition for the first time regarding how to choose the next Fonte. I think this is the first step in the road to a new and more assertive Alessa. It was quite interesting meeting the group of prospective Fonti. I was trying to think which one would end up being the chosen one but none of them really speak to me as a clear favourite or the right one. I keep thinking it should be Dante for some reason, especially because I can feel the tension and romance brewing between them.

    When Alessa went to visit the salt baths, I noticed than once again there was a mention of something called guiotti, and ithis section expanded on the lore. But I just have the feeling that this information will be important in the story, and the fact that Dante was in a fight with complete disregard about his injuries afterwards plus how he seems to be the only one that is not afraid of being close to Alessa when she doesn’t have her gloves. It all makes me wonder if he is actually a guiotti, the creatures that were rumoured to have stolen the second gift of healing, so it would make sense that Dante wouldn’t be worried about those kind of things. I guess I’ll have to keep reading to see if my theory is right.

    1. I will definitly bet on the chance that Dante is guiotti, and it makes total sense what you say that he is not afraid to be close to her and disregards his own injuries. I am super excited to find out how Alessa will find out about this, what she will do and what role Dante plays in the battle 😵

    2. That’s an excellent theory! 🖤

  2. Did anyone else notice that Josef’s name was misspelled as Joseph during the meeting/dinner with Alessa?

    I think there’s something going on with Dante’s-not-my-real-name. More than his misplaced guilt. Maybe he’s a secret Fonte??

    1. That’s my guess too, he can’t just be her guard. I think that Alessa won’t make any progress with the other Fonti and when it comes down to fight Dante will be there and it will work.

    2. Ooooh, a secret Fonte, that would throw a spanner in the works! 🖤

  3. While I thought the book started a bit slow and found it a bit confusing at first not remembering what the different italian names were, I am loving it now. Feel Dante has a secret and cant wait to find out. Def some romance brewing.

    1. So glad you’re enjoying it! 😍

  4. This book 😍 loving how Alessa changed and evolves is this few chapters! And Dante is just everything 😍

    1. Agreed, so obsessed with this book (and Dante) 🖤

  5. Aaahh! This book is a gift that keeps giving!

    I really loved these chapters, from the brewing romance between Alessa and Dante, to her standing up to her mentors and breaking tradition, to all the little secrets going on right now. I’m quite curious about the various fonti and I have a feeling that Kaleb might have feelings for her brother, so I’m actually also hoping to see some romance between them too? Which does leave her with a smaller pool of candidates, since Josef and Nina are clearly entangled too.

    I’m quite curious about Kamaria, as she clearly wants to protect her brother. The first time she apologized on his behalf, it gave me the impression that he was the one who tried to kill her? But then she later elaborated that it was about him running off. I’m still not fully convinced about that, so I’ll be keeping my eye on her.

    As for another character I’ll be keeping my eye on, there’s Dante. I’m really enjoying him so far, but these chapters have definitely made me trust him less. At first I was thinking he might be a secret fonte, but now I’m actually thinking, what if he’s Crollo? The book’s blurb does say he could be her destruction, so I’m definitely a little wary of him now, especially as his secrets are being unraveled slowly. A bit scared about that, as I’m really enjoying the growing tension between him and Alessa, especially since they can’t touch each other, which really just adds a whole new layer of yearning.

    Really excited for tomorrow’s chapters!

    1. That would be such an intense plot twist if Dante turns out to be Crollo! 🖤

  6. I am really liking this book so far. It is such an easy read and now that we got a bit more of the different Dontes I begin to really like how different they are. I am excited to get to know what is going to happen to them. Also Dante is pretty interesting, I like the theory about him being a secret Fonte or a Ghuitti(?). There has to be something special about him. Also I love that Alessa gets more confident

    1. So glad you’re enjoying it! 🖤

  7. I love everything about this book atm!
    Alessa is great and I understand that she craves hugs or someone to touch, not in a romantic way. It must be hard to be this alone and be hates by so many people.
    Dante for sure has a secret, maybe he is a Fonte and will be the one who saves them all during the final fight. That would be awesome.

    1. Definitely! Touch is such a comforting thing sometimes, to not have that from even your mentors must be so difficult! 🖤

  8. I am LOVING Dante and how things are developing between he and Alessa! There’s definitely grumpy/sunshine going on here and forced proximity and I love both of those!

    Dante is definitely keeping secrets and I want to know what they are! I love how protective and aware he is! Alessa needs protection….she seems to have enemies all over and potential assassins hidden all over the place, too. I worry about that.

    Can’t wait to see how things progress! Is Alessa going to find a potential match with any of these Fonte at her place? I mostly just hope she doesn’t hurt or kill any of them because that wouldn’t bode well at all. It would be amazing if she and Dante could be a match! 🙂

    1. I would love it if Alessa and Dante are a good match! 😍

  9. I think Dante might be a ghiotte, which would be neat if that is true! I really like the interactions between Dante and Alessa and I feel horrible for her having to deal with the dread the Fontes give off, can’t wait for tomorrow’s chapters!

    1. Oooh that’s a good theory! 🖤

  10. I feel like Dante makes no sense. Random dude gets picked up on the street by the Finestra and is just cool with being her primary bodyguard? I really buy into the theory that he’s secretly a Fonte. When she gets injured and they have the whole convo about how he can’t put the salve on her temple, I was just like A PAGE AGO HE WAS GRABBING HER ARM. Was there a sleeve on that arm? I need clarification here oh great author person!!

    I also love that Alessa is able to work with each of the Fontes (Fonti? what was it Dante said? he would be disappointed in my grammar haha) and I feel like if they had more time it might actually be a good solution, having a whole team of people whose power she could use rather than just one person. But I don’t think they have the time to build that kind of trust.

    At any rate, I continue to be madly in love with Alessa. Her loneliness, her dry sarcasm with Dante, her determination to do the right thing even if it ends up being her death…I love it all so much.

    1. I hope Dante can give us the benefit of the doubt since we’re not speaking Italian! 😂🖤

  11. I too think Dante CAN touch Alessa. I’m thinking he’s a Fonte and knows it, but doesn’t want anyone to know. Maybe that is the reason his family was killed and why he feels guilty.

    1. Excellent theory! 🖤

  12. I am definitely invested in this story now! It just keeps getting better and better. I really appreciate how the author slowly weaves in background information in a way that makes me just want to read more so that I can learn more. I also really love how NotDante makes Alessa question various aspects of her existence and influences her in a way where she gains more self-confidence. I am still absolutely dying to know more about mysterious Dante. I have a feeling he may be hiding a lot more than just his family history. Maybe he is a Fonte in secret??

    1. A lot of people seem to be thinking he could be a Fonte, it’s definitely a possibility I think! 🖤

  13. I am enjoying the book so far. I have kinda assumed that the romance would be Alessa and Dante especially now knowing that her connection/marriage to a Fonte isn’t exactly a romantic relationship.

    Could Dante be her Fonte? I’d assume not since he wasn’t dubbed on previously, but maybe he was…? Maybe that’s what’s up with the fake mark to run away from the “honor” he was supposed to have being a Fonte because he didn’t deserve it after his family died. Did he have something to do with why the mob went after his family?

    Ugh. I’m gonna go keep reading. I’m having a harder time putting it down to check in 😂

    1. Whether he’s a Fonte or not, I just really want Dante to be endgame! 😂🤞

  14. Oof, I love the relationship that is building between Dante and Alessa – I cannot wait to read the next part of the book to find out how their relationship has progressed. Their banter around Dante’s real name is what I am living for. He clearly enjoys bugging her, and she just has to know things! I really relate to this as my partner does this with me all the time, and it makes me feel some kind of way (both irritated/annoyed and happy/loved all at once, if that makes sense!).

    Also, I cannot stand Kaleb. Like at all. I know that’s the point of his character, but oh man does it get under my skin. However, I did find it intriguing that Kaleb knew of her brother…. is there something going on there?

    1. I’m loving the Alessa and Dante relationship too! 🖤

  15. The way I kept on looking for hints for Dante being a fonte. Maybe a disgraced one?
    And the banter, how Alessa and Dante are warming up to each other, is perfect.
    But I would love to know more about the Fonti, who they are, and how big their powers can get. If only they warmed up to Alessa

    1. Their banter is what I love the most about them I think! 🖤

  16. I am loving the banter and want to know all Dante’s secrets. He’s a grump pretending to be a bad guy but I’m pretty sure that’s just an act. Why were his parents murdered? Does he have a secret power? Could he be Alessa’s Fonte?

    1. Yesss, he’s such a cinnamon roll, I love it. 🖤

  17. I love how the tension between Alessa and Dante continues to grow 😍 plus the dynamic of the Fontes is super interesting. I’m glad we’re getting to know these characters more in depth and I’m wondering if Alessa will be able to start trusting some but not all of them 👀

  18. The banter>>>>>>>

    Is this a found family type situation? Because I’m loving this group, yes even Kaleb.

  19. This slow burn romance is killing me (in a good way) although I cannot wait for it to evolve to something more! I think Dante must be a secret Fonte, that’s my feeling! Cannot wait to find out!

  20. This section was a lot better than the first! I absolutely love the interactions between Alessa and Dante and find myself smiling while reading. I also enjoyed getting to see more of the Fonti in this section and I can’t wait to see where it goes! I agree with everyone’s theory about Dante being a Fonte and I think he’ll be the only one able to withstand her touch for long periods

  21. I wasn’t feeling any of the Fontes and am still hoping it will be Dante up there with her! Also not sure how I feel about this whole I hid while my family died guilt Dante is having, feels a little wrong for how wise Dante is.

  22. I really want to know what Dante is hiding and why. I do think he can touch her though because he has no fear about touching her and sometimes seems to forget it as well. I was curious about finding out that Kaleb knows Alessa’s brother and how he treats her less horrible since he knows it seems. Is Kaleb in love with her brother? Since he was blushing and all. It’s interesting getting to know the fontes more and the dynamic of their little group. I need more Dante though! There are a lot of secrets he seems to be keeping and I want to know why! The tension between him and Alessa is so good! I will quickly continue on reading because I want to know more! 🙂

  23. I like the tension between Alessa and Dante. I’m hopping the next set of chapters are going to have more of this two characters. I have to continue reading. I’m loving it 🥰

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