• Michelle

ARC Book Review: Malice

4/5 Stars.

Malice by Heather Walter is the queer retelling of Sleeping Beauty I didn't know I needed in my life. While it follows the general storyline of the infamous fairy tale, Walter puts her own refreshing and unique take on the world, the power and magic dynamics, the plot, and the characters. The story follows Alyce, known as the Dark Grace because of her half Vila blood, a blood that is only known for its use of darker magic in comparison to the other Graces of the realm who's power comes from that of the light Fae. Shunned and hated by her world, Alyce tries to find a bond with an unlikely ally and with Princess Aurora as they try to make their realm a better place for all.

The world-building is noteworthy, because even though it follows a retelling, this story stands apart within its own creatively crafted world. There are parts where the world's history gets a bit confusing because of the number of twists and versions that are revealed, but to create that in-depth of a world with so many different stories mixed together is an impressive feat. The book also brings an interesting take on what it means to be a villain and what creates a villain, which I absolutely loved reading.

The romance is a soft slow burn, and the tenderness of it just about made me lose it. It doesn't take the forefront of the story, but it is a part of driving the plot along.

The majority of the book sets up what is ultimately a ferocious finish that will certainly continue with a sequel. The last quarter of the book is absolutely wild, and while some twists were predictable, it did not hinder the action, intensity, and overwhelming emotions that wrapped up the ending.

If you're a lover of retellings, fantasy, slow burn queer romance, then this book is for you!

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

Malice releases April 13th, 2021!

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Where to purchase:

Barnes and Noble


Book Depository


Check with your local Indie Book Store!

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