Minda’s drunk review of Malice (Malice Duology #1) by Heather Walter
What I drank prior: Beers on beers
A princess isn’t supposed to fall for an evil sorceress. But in this darkly magical retelling of “Sleeping Beauty,” true love is more than a simple fairy tale.
Once upon a time, there was a wicked fairy who, in an act of vengeance, cursed a line of princesses to die. A curse that could only be broken by true love’s kiss.
You’ve heard this before, haven’t you? The handsome prince. The happily-ever-after.
Let me tell you, no one in Briar actually cares about what happens to its princesses. Not the way they care about their jewels and elaborate parties and charm-granting elixirs. I thought I didn’t care, either.
Until I met her.
Princess Aurora. The last heir to Briar’s throne. Kind. Gracious. The future queen her realm needs. One who isn’t bothered that I am Alyce, the Dark Grace, abhorred and feared for the mysterious dark magic that runs in my veins. Humiliated and shamed by the same nobles who pay me to bottle hexes and then brand me a monster. Aurora says I should be proud of my gifts. That she . . . cares for me. Even though it was a power like mine that was responsible for her curse.
But with less than a year until that curse will kill her, any future I might see with Aurora is swiftly disintegrating—and she can’t stand to kiss yet another insipid prince. I want to help her. If my power began her curse, perhaps it’s what can lift it. Perhaps, together, we could forge a new world.
Because we all know how this story ends, don’t we? Aurora is the beautiful princess. And I—
I am the villain.
My Summary: A retelling of Sleeping Beauty with a Lesbian romance between Maleficent and Aurora. The only Dark Grace in the kingdom, Alyce is the nobles go-to for poisons and curses that do bad things, unlike the Graces who can only use their magic for good. As a half-Vila able to do dark magic, she is an outcast. When Alyce meets Princess Aurora, the last heir to the Briar throne which goes through the female line, she does not expect what she gets—someone who wants to radically change the kingdom. Unfortunately, she’s on borrowed time with a dark curse from Alyce’s ancestors that curses the Briar heir to death if they don’t get true love’s kiss before adulthood. As Alyce discovers more about herself and her dark powers, she finds that maybe she can change her life and the trajectory of the kingdom while saving Aurora’s life as well.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: You know me, I LOVE a good fairytale retelling and this delivered. The LGBT romance angle was super fun and it totally works.
e was a very compelling character, though her lack of self-confidence was a bit much at times, but tbh understandable based on her history. I look forward to seeing how her character plays out in the next book based on what went down. Aurora is bae. She is feisty and unapologetic and wants more for herself. Very into her. Kal, a shifter, is also a very interesting person. I hope we find out more about him in the last book! I also liked her Lavender House Graces, Rose and uh the others.
Plot: Pretty normal pacing throughout. If I’m being honestly there probably could have been a bit more in general—some of the big things come out of no where with little substantial foreshadowing or in-depth background. I am hoping some of this is filled out in the next book!
World Building: Enjoying the Briar world building, though there could be more. I feel like the perspective is very limited to Alyce’s, which you’ll have to trust me is very limited. In this case I think the book would have benefited from more perspectives.
Writing Style: I feel like it was a little talking in the third person-y, but ya know I got through it. I would have liked Aurora’s perspective too.
Drink Pairing: Oh my gosh definitely that purple drink Sam made at that party the other day. It might be called the Purple People Eater? Editor, please fix 😊 (Editor’s Note: hahahaha it was called Maleficent, which is just too good for this review)
Rating: 4/5 shots