Malice by Heather Walter | Book Review

 Malice by Heather Walter
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: January 13th, 2022 (First published: April 13th, 2021)
Genre: YA Fantasy, Retelling
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Source: Thank you Pansing for the review copy in return for an honest review
Rating: 3.8⭐

The princess isn't supposed to fall for an evil sorceress. But in this darkly magical retelling of Sleeping Beauty, true love is more complicated than a simple fairy tale. Perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Holly Black.

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.

Utter nonsense.

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.


A Sleeping Beauty retelling. Yes, call me in! Any retelling of a story makes me excited to read it. As we know, there's a beautiful princess in Sleeping Beauty, and so is Malice. There's this beautiful princess named Princess Aurora, and she will die at the age of 21 unless she has found her true love, kiss. However, in this story, Alyce or Malice—the dark grace—is her story. The POV is told by Alyce or Malice.

The plot is really interesting as it is different from the original Sleeping Beauty that we watched. So, I am excited to dive into the story. But, the beginning of the story was really slow and I almost wanted to stop. Despite that, I didn't because I wanted to know how it was going to be and what would happen to Princess Aurora and Malice. I have to say, I don't regret my decision at all. Honestly, during the whole story, I couldn't help imagining Malice as Maleficent. Malice has been told throughout her life that she is a monster. No, she is not. She really wants someone to care for her, love her and give her attention like other people do. So, when she meets Princess Aurora, that gives her a new hope, a new life.

Part one of the book feels like an introduction that is really quite a challenge, but I have to say, you need to stay to get a better view of the whole story. In Part Two, it's the pace at which we will feel super excited. The pace has started to pick up and it won't make you stop. Although the ending felt like a let down, rest assured there's a continuation of the story in the second book and the second book is already out in the stores.

Overall, Malice is definitely a refreshing retelling of Sleeping Beauty. It gives a new excitement, a new perspective. All the characters in here are amazing, especially Alyce (Malice) and Princess Aurora. We will get to see the development of the two main characters. It really warms my heart. I can't hate Malice, though she was supposedly the villain here. It is a dark retelling with a beautiful story line.