A princess isn’t supposed to fall for an evil sorceress. But in this “bewitching and fascinating” (Tamora Pierce) retelling of “Sleeping Beauty,” true love is more than a simple fairy tale.
“Walter’s spellbinding debut is for all the queer girls and women who’ve been told to keep their gifts hidden and for those yearning to defy gravity.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
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.
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 a power like mine 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.
Book One of the Malice Duology
The villain takes center stage in Walter's superlative debut, a refreshing spin on Sleeping Beauty. Alyce, called "Malyce" by the Graces she lives with at Lavender House, has the green blood of the Vila, an evil race of magical beings, running in her veins. The Graces, meanwhile, are gold-blooded, gifted with Fae magic as part of an alliance between the humans of Briar and the Fae of Etheria. Known as the Dark Grace, Alyce is rejected publicly, even as the rich and powerful solicit her dark magic in secret. Thus, it is assumed that the invitation to Princess Aurora's 20th birthday party sent to Lavender House does not extend to Alyce but she attends anyway. There she meets the princess, who is desperate to break the Vila curse that will kill her on her 21st birthday if she hasn't found true love. Alyce feels responsible for her people's spell and agrees to help Aurora meanwhile working to build her own power in secret. As Aurora's 21st birthday approaches, Alyce must come to terms with her growing feelings for the princess while navigating the political minefield of Briar, as the king hopes to exploit her powers for his own gain. The story grows deliciously darker at every turn, though the youthful protagonists still ensure plenty of YA crossover appeal. Fairy tale lovers of all ages will be thrilled.
I love this book
This book was excellent. Well written and a page turner. I fell in love with the characters.
A MUST READ
Loved this book so much oh my. High recommended