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ARC Review: Malice by Heather Walter


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.

Note: The above is the proof copy cover


A deliciously dark and twisted retelling of Sleeping Beauty with some additional references to other fairytales woven in.  This is a unique and creative retelling with some fascinating elements.  We all know the story of Sleeping Beauty however the author cleverly introduces some unpredictable plot twists and turns and you’re never quite sure what will happen next.  I was completely mesmerised by the story which pulls you in from the onset. There is a lot of background information to take in initially and although this is really interesting it does slow the pace in the first half, however the pace picks up considerably in the second half of the book.  

The characters are all incredible and I couldn’t help but love the main protagonist, Alyce.  The author has created an extraordinary and adorable villain.  Alyce’s character development is superb and so enjoyable to follow.  Known as the Dark Grace, Alyce is half Vila and perceived as a monster.  She is tormented, ostracised and humiliated.  With blood that runs green, Alyce is seen as a figure of dark and evil magic creating curses and ugliness.  Her magic abilities are different to the other Graces whose blood runs gold and produces elixirs to enhance beauty.  The depth and attention to detail describing the magic system and the world is phenomenal and thoroughly engrossing.

The slow burn romance which develops between Alyce and Princess Aurora is really sweet and doesn’t overshadow the story.  I enjoyed seeing this relationship develop, Aurora’s immediate kindness towards Alyce was adorable and I loved that she was not intimidated or alarmed by her looks. 

Malice is a dark fairytale with amazing writing and world building. A very dense beginning due to all the information to take in, but with an exciting and fast paced ending. My goodness the ending!  I did not see that coming and the cliffhanger certainly paves the way for the sequel.  A spectacular debut from this author and I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next.

Publisher:  Del Ray
Publication Date (UK):  13 April 2021
Series: #1 of a duology
Format: Hardcopy 
Page Count:  480
Genre:  YA Fantasy
Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you very much to the author for gifting me a signed copy of the book to review. 

I hope you enjoyed this review.  For my current reads, recommendations and anything else book related, please follow me on Instagram , Goodreads or Twitter

Please do not hesitate to comment below if you liked my review or have any comments about this book 😊 

Happy reading!


Twisted in Pages Blog


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4 thoughts on “ARC Review: Malice by Heather Walter

  1. I am convinced that I need to give this a try. I am not usually a fan of sleeping beauty retellings but something about this one is calling out to me!

    Liked by 2 people

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