The tale of Sleeping Beauty is re-spun in this novel where Aurora and a dark sorceress fall in love.
The Briar Royal line is cursed. Every daughter born into the family must either have true love's first kiss by the time they turn 21 or die as a consequence. Aurora, the youngest of three, has watched as her older sisters fell victim to the curse one by one. As her own 21st birthday rushes ever closer, prince after prince arrives at the castle’s doorstop to test their luck. Sick of having men thrust upon her without any say in the matter, Aurora takes matters into her own hands and, determined to break the curse herself through magic, seeks the help of a dark sorceress named Alyce. Through their work together, both Aurora and Alyce find that they each are far from fitting society’s ‘obedient princess’ and ‘wicked sorceress’ mold and instead find true understanding and affection from each other. Walter creates a fairy tale entirely of her own: characters feel original and are fleshed out with agency and power; gone is the trope of an anonymous prince breaking a spell; and fairy tale love itself is redefined to be built on deep friendship and understanding. Part Wicked, part Sleeping Beauty, and completely original, Malice is not one to be missed. –Kelly
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
About the Author
Heather Walter is a native Southerner who hates the heat. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, she is a former English teacher and a current librarian. Perhaps it is because she’s surrounded by stories that she began writing them. At any given moment, you can find her plotting. This is her first novel.
“The villain takes center stage in Walter’s superlative debut, a refreshing spin on Sleeping Beauty. . . . Fairy tale lovers of all ages will be thrilled.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A truly original and clever retelling of a classic that had me racing to the end—you’ll never look at ‘Sleeping Beauty’ the same way again.”—S. A. Chakraborty, author of the bestselling Daevabad trilogy
“Absolutely dazzling! Full of love, power, and betrayal, Malice is as compelling as a spell, as captivating as an enchantment, and as fascinating and delicious as a fairy-tale curse. I loved it!”—Sarah Beth Durst, award-winning author of the Queens of Renthia series
“Malice is the dark and wicked heart of a fairy tale carved into a book. This story is beautiful, vicious magic.”—Tasha Suri, author of Empire of Sand
“A beautifully imaginative and feminist retelling of a fairy tale so often swept into the dark . . . Walter’s debut was engrossing from page one, with a striking cast of characters, thrilling romance, and a world so vivid it will wrap thorns around your dreams.”—Roshani Chokshi, author of The Gilded Wolves
“I spent a lot of late nights getting lost in this world of sorcery, intrigue, and—of course—true love. I’m sure I won’t be the only one!”—Richelle Mead, internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy
“Lively characters, a tempting sapphic romance, and a richly built world make this a book to savor.”—Louisa Morgan, author of A Secret History of Witches