Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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.

Utter nonsense.

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.

Nonsense again.

Because we all know how this story ends, don’t we? Aurora is the beautiful princess. And I—

I am the villain. 

I had gone into this book knowing almost nothing about it, other than that everyone was highly praising it. Malice is a darker retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairytale. You like a revenge fantasy? Here you go. You’ll enjoy reading as Alice gets to dish out what everyone else deserves in this book.

The lead character, Alice, is half-Vila, which is basically a dark Fae. Her power can only really be used for evil things — making people ugly, making them forget how to dance, killing, poisoning, etc. All her life she’s been made to feel outcast and unwanted. She’s been made to serve the nobility of the kingdom, making them tinctures and elixirs that they use on each other. The House in which she works is home to Graces — think the faeries from Sleeping Beauty, only mostly human. They have powers like control over beauty, wisdom, music, etc. The majority of these Graces are awful to Alice. Cruel, and mean and just plain malicious. Alice lives a terrible life in mostly solitude, in a crappy cold room surrounded by people who hate her and let her know it.

Then she meets Aurora, and everything changes.

I’m not going to spoil this, because it’s just so much more enjoyable to read. But I’ll tell you just this — this book is gay, gay, gay. The ending of this book was SO satisfying.

I thoroughly enjoyed Malice, and I’m eager to dive into my ARC of Misrule, the next book in this duology.



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