A princess isn’t supposed to fall for an evil sorceress. But in this darkly magical retelling of “Sleeping Beauty,” true love is more than a simple fairy tale.
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.
One of my favourite sub genres over the last few years has been reinventing classic fairytales. If I see one I read it – there have been some brilliant ones and, let’s face it, some terrible ones- luckily for readers everywhere, Malice comes under the brilliant category- beautifully imagined, then executed with a flair for descriptive world building and featuring a deeply layered set of truly diverse characters.
This may have its roots in the classic Sleeping Beauty, but this is far more Grimm than Disney, with a villainous perspective and an addictive, twisted story that is also a darkly compelling love story. Heather Walter manages all the elements of her wonderful plot with an insightful eye and a cleverly woven set of dilemmas both moral and otherwise. You fall into it and don’t want to stop until you see where it goes.
Malice has one of the best finale sequences I’ve read in a long time, a truly first pump the air but oh my gosh what next feel to it that I’m sure would have induced paper cuts in my desire to turn pages. Luckily I was saved by my digital copy, no blood soaked fingers here…
Can we also just take a moment to admire that fantastic cover, I will be purchasing a physical copy when Malice comes out next year just for that – one more reason why this is definitely one to watch in 2021.
Fantastic. Highly recommended.