Minda’s drunk review of Misrule (Malice Duology, #2) by Heather Walter
Review for Book 1
What I drank prior: Had our first block party for our neighbors plus assorted friends we’ve made with kids. Very exhausting but very fun! Over the course of the day I’ve had assorted spiked seltzers and beers.
Does true love break curses or begin them? The dark sorceress of “Sleeping Beauty” reclaims her story in this sequel to Malice.
The Dark Grace is dead.
Feared and despised for the sinister power in her veins, Alyce wreaks her revenge on the kingdom that made her an outcast. Once a realm of decadence and beauty, Briar is now wholly Alyce’s wicked domain. And no one will escape the consequences of her wrath. Not even the one person who holds her heart.
Princess Aurora saw through Alyce’s thorny facade, earning a love that promised the dawn of a new age. But it is a love that came with a heavy price: Aurora now sleeps under a curse that even Alyce’s vast power cannot seem to break. And the dream of the world they would have built together is nothing but ash.
Alyce vows to do anything to wake the woman she loves, even if it means turning into the monster Briar believes her to be. But could Aurora love the villain Alyce has become?
Or is true love only for fairy tales?
My Summary: 100 years after the curse on the latest princess of Briar, the Dark Court has risen and a war against the elves in the High Court has taken over the land. Alyce, half dark elf Vila and half Shifter, rules as Mistress of the imps, goblins, shifters, and other creatures seen as historically evil and mistreated across the land and has embraced her dark power. Her true love Aurora is still in her cursed sleep without a solution to keep her memories.but the curse—and Alyce’s secret—won’t stay that way for much longer once a human rediscovers the kingdom. Once Aurora is awake, will she still understand Alyce’s decisions since the curse?
Spoiler-free Thoughts: While not as good as it’s predecessor, I still really enjoyed this second in the duology. Plus duologies are where it’s at compared to trilogies, ammirite? But compared to the first one it was a bit of a letdown. I was still rooting for Alyce and Aurora, but their love seemed less “true” so to speak than I was hoping for after the the end of the last, for better or worse. I rate this highly because of this things that I like and the build up from the last book but I just wish there was a lot more, including more knowledge about the others in the High Court.
Characters: Alyce, our resident Mistress
who has been living her #bestlife as ruler with Morgana as her inner voter of confidence and/or anti-conscience, is who she was built up to be the last book as well. Product of her upbringing and frankly who can blame her? Still a lot of my same qualms about her from the last book and not sure she’s a great ruler TBH. Aurora, let’s say, came in HOT. It was kinda funny really but she was pretty harsh overall, some deserved and some not in my personal opinion. Rounding out some top players in the Dark Court, we have Regan, a Vila who at a minimum know what she wants and has been burnt before; Neve, a Shifter who obvi shouldn’t be trusted (or not?); and Torin, a smart ass demon who is the silent but deadly best partner. I really liked the democratically elected peeps in the Dark court. There’s also Derek, our resident human who I liked a lot.As far as the fae, we should have gotten more all around but they were (supposedly) there too. Also, Rose is there and still Alice for reasons 100% unknown to me.
Plot: On the open, we pick up right where book #1 ends with Alyce in the aftermath of her tirade slash massacre of the resident of Briar, whether they deserves it for not. Then she is found by Regan, a full Vila who has been ostracized her extire life and sees her future in Malyce (can’t help it). Quick fast forward a whole century and things are much, much different. Alyce, now Nimara, is ruling the new Briar as Mistress of the Dark Court, made up of all the races she has freed since her rule began. The war against the High court of elves had come to the last stand and the Dark Court and Alyce almost had everything she ever dreamed. Except for the fact that her true love, Aurora, the last princess of Briar, is still fast asleep in her curse and won’t remember Alyce at all when she wakes. As all beyond that seems to be doing according to plan, f*cling Derek, the first human in a century, shows up on the shores of Briar. From there things start turning to shit, kinda? Many of this is Alyce’s fault. I’m honestly not super sure how the rules so we’ll all these years—based on what we know it seems fairly unlikely that she’s in this place at all TBH. After that there are a few twists that caught me personally offguard (or made total sense( so I enjoyed those twists.
World Building: I’d say much of the work was done in the first book, but also undone? The Graces aren’t as much of a factor here, including most of what was set up when Briar was in existence. The Dark Court since we miss a lot of it is sort of a swipe over of a description. Which hurt the world building ultimately. Definitely think there could have been more here. Also with Alyce’s limited world view, the world building was similarly limited.
Writing Style: Only Alyce’s (slash Nimara slash Maylce) perspective. I would have liked another perspective, which I may have also said for the first one too.
Drink Pairing: Dark & stormy
Rating: 4/5 shots. It might be a generous 4/5 shots now that I’m here, but the first book really farriedn this one.