My Rating ~ Four stars
RELEASE DATE: 13 April 2021
Publisher: Del Rey
Source: Penguin Books Australia
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.
Thank you to Penguin Australia Books for providing me with a copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.
In the land of Briar, ‘Graces’ use their golden blood to mix elixirs for beauty, wisdom and other sought after things. Alyce lives in a grace house, but she is known as The Dark Grace. Her blood brings only curses: if a patron needs an elixir to make someone trip over their own feet at a dance, or break out in ugly warts for revenge, it is Alyce they will see.
When Alyce secretly attends a masquerade ball at the palace, she finds herself befriended by the princess, Aurora. Aurora’s entire ancestral line has been cursed to die by their 21st birthday, unless they receive a kiss from their true love beforehand. Aurora would rather not marry, or hand her kingdom over to a king, so she and Alyce begin a desperate race to find something other than a kiss to break Aurora’s curse.
Malice is such a fantastic fairytale retelling, one that keeps just enough of the original tale to be recognizable, but turns much of it on its head. Retellings from the villain’s point of view are my absolute favourite too. Who can deny that they are usually the more interesting character in the story. Both spellbinding and gripping, Malice brought Alyce’s anguish to the forefront and made her character one that, at the very least, had my sympathy. I really enjoy villain characters that have the potential to go down a different path, but circumstances and choices shape them into who they are.
The Graces, and their unusual powers, were also incredibly interesting and leant an extra dimension to the story.
I’m not convinced Malice needs a sequel, but I am still very keen to read it when the time comes!