Publication: 13th April 2021 – Del Rey
The princess isn’t supposed to fall for an evil sorceress. But in this darkly magical retelling of Sleeping Beauty, true love is more complicated than a simple fairy tale. Perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Holly Black.
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.
FORBIDDEN PLANET (signed copies)
I am thrilled to welcome you on my stop of the blog tour for Malice, the beautiful new novel by Heather Walter.
In the Kingdom of Briar, humans, Fae, and Graces live seemingly in peace. Born human women, the Graces draw magic from their blood to make elixir and charms. To those who ask they can give beauty, wisdom, charm… Among them there is Alyce. She is half Vila, her blood the color green. Her fellow Graces tease her, the servants at the lair keep their distance, and everyone else recoils at her sight. Those who are looking for ugliness pay for her elixirs. She is the Dark Grace, the villain of this story.
“I am reviled and despised for the very reason I’m sought out. A figure in the dark, evil magic. A member of race all but stamped out. A Vila. A monster.”
One night, Alyce meets Aurora, the cursed princess: everyone in the kingdom is waiting to see if she will find true love or if she will die. Aurora is the only one who doesn’t turn away from Alyce, she wants to be her friend and Alyce wants to help Aurora to break the curse cast by her ancestors.
Malice is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, but the princess has a secondary role in the story. The protagonist is Alyce and she is an excellent protagonist. Abandoned and tortured as a child for who she is, Alyce is looking for freedom. All her life, she’s been told that she is a monster, that she shouldn’t be alive, and yet the list of clients who seek her elixirs and her help is long. People fear her, but is she really the villain in the story? And when you are constantly called a mongrel, a beast, a wicked creature, maybe it is time to become one…
Malice is dark, original, and addictive with an intriguing plot, an incredible world-building, a kiss that can break a curse, a fantastic villain that you can’t help but love and feel for, and a twisty and superb ending that left me wanting for more. I can’t wait to see what happens next!
A huge thank you to Rachel and DelRey for providing with a beautiful proof of this terrific novel.
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Heather Walter is a debut novelist, graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, a former English teacher, and now she works as a school librarian in Austin, Texas. As an LGBTQ+ author, Heather is passionate about telling and championing queer stories, and loves writing about what-ifs, flawed protagonists, and re-imagined history. Her favourite characters are usually villains. “I wrote MALICE for anyone who harbours a seed of villainy in their hearts. Aluce dwells in the shadows between good and evil – perhaps more like us than we care to admit. This book is about the weak unlocking their strength, and the power and poison of love. A fairy tale that aims to hold a mirror to our darkest truths.”