Today, I’m really excited to be participating in the blog tour for Malice by Heather Walter.
Just from reading Malice’s description, it ticked every possible box I had. Luckily for me, the amazing Rachel Kennedy at Del Rey UK not only sent me an ARC in exchange for an honest review, she invited me onto this blog tour.
Once upon a time, there was a wicked fairy who cursed a line of princesses to die, and 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 actually cares about what happens to our princesses. I thought I didn’t care, either. Until I met her.
Princess Aurora. The last heir to the throne. The future queen her realm needs. One who isn’t bothered that I am the Dark Grace, abhorred and feared for the mysterious dark magic that runs in my veins. 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.
Publication Date: 13th April
TW: child abuse, neglect, xenophobia, torture, emotional abuse, manipulation, death
Malice is an exquisite story, a fresh and unique reimaging of a beloved classic. It provides a wonderfully vivid world and a story tinged with darkness and suffering, providing a homage to the twisted heart of the original fairytales.
I was utterly sold on the premise and synopsis, going in with very high hopes. Walter not only met them but exceeded them. This was absolutely everything I wanted it to be and so much more.
Alyce was a formidable, complex and morally gray protagonist caught up in the trappings of a world that has only ever used and abused her. I loved getting her perspective and insight, giving us a fresh spin on a tale we all know and love. Malice is the tale of her beginning to craft her own narrative and define her identity. I liked how morally ambiguous Alyce is as a character and how she defies the usual hero-villain dichotomy. In fact, all of the characters are so three-dimensional and nuanced.
It says a lot that I absolutely sped through this in practically one sitting. This is a thick tome as well, but Walter’s writing just made the story fly by. I was lost in Alyce’s story and world, to the extent which time seemed to stop around me. The writing was just gorgeously descriptive and evocative, utterly immersing me in the story. I loved how vivid and well imagined the world was and am excited to see more of it in the sequel.
I really loved the relationship that slowly formed at the centre of the tale. It was a beautiful and exquisite spot of comfort and love amongst the darkness of Alyce’s tale. I liked how it slowly built and felt so natural. The chemistry and dialogue was so believable and grew at a steady pace. The sapphic representation is also so good to see and I love seeing this positive representation across genres and themes. Fairytales are something that we as a society cherish and uphold and seeing them reimagined with more representation is brilliant.
Right from the start, I was so intrigued and entranced by Walter’s darkly magical story. This is no romanticised fairytale, it’s a brutal tale of survival and finding your own place in a world that wishes to diminish your identity and power. I loved the twists and turns the plot took, which kept surprising me and made the plot even deeper and more complex. I liked how dark and twisted it gradually became, with an ending that was a total cliffhanger. It was the kind of ending you instantly need to discuss and dissect. I was left desperately craving the sequel, which says a lot.
Malice is a stellar book with a gorgeous relationship at its core and follows a fascinating, morally ambiguous protagonist that is allowed to be complex and challenging.
Thank you again to Rachel Kennedy and Del Rey UK for including me and make sure you check out the other superb posts on the blog tour.
If my review has convinced you to check Malice out, you can also nab a signed copy from Forbidden Planet!
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