Misrule by Heather Walter is the second book in the Malice duology and is set to be published May 10, 2022. This duology is a sapphic Sleeping Beauty retelling told from Maleficent’s (Alyce’s) point of view. If you haven’t read Malice, do it, it’s awesome. If you have, get ready for the second book, it’s a great one.
NOTE: This review contains minor spoilers for the first book in the duology, Malice.
The Dark Grace is dead.
Feared and despised for the sinister power in her veins, Alyce wreaks her revenge on the kingdom that made her an outcast. Once a realm of decadence and beauty, Briar is now wholly Alyce’s wicked domain. And no one will escape the consequences of her wrath. Not even the one person who holds her heart.
Princess Aurora saw through Alyce’s thorny facade, earning a love that promised the dawn of a new age. But it is a love that came with a heavy price: Aurora now sleeps under a curse that even Alyce’s vast power cannot seem to break. And the dream of the world they would have built together is nothing but ash.
Alyce vows to do anything to wake the woman she loves, even if it means descending into the monster Briar believed her to be. But could Aurora love the villain Alyce has become?
Or is true love only for fairytales?
This was not at all what I was expecting but I absolutely loved it. This one departs a lot more from the Sleeping Beauty story but it does still show up. The new story and world that’s created was so interesting and the plot surprised me at every turn.
The character work in this book is so good. I loved seeing the changes in Alyce and how she dealt with the world she’d created and seeing it through Aurora’s eyes. This book also introduced a lot of side characters and different types of magical beings. The imps were so much fun and the other shifters and vila helped so much with Alyce’s story. The whole ensemble just worked.
This book is a lot more fast paced and has a lot more plot than Malice. This one has war with strategy and battles but it’s not really political. It manages to keep it personal and still have the character development with this much more driving plot. I flew threw this book wanting to know what would happen next and it took so many twists and turns. I absolutely loved how it ended, it was perfect.
My only minor complaint on this one is the word “loam” or “loamy” was used WAY too much. By the 50% mark, I was rolling my eyes every time I read it. Find a new word. This is a strange word so it stuck out and it was used so so many times.
If you enjoyed Malice, definitely pick this one up and if you haven’t tried this duology, give it a go. I really enjoyed the first one but this one was amazing.
* I received a free eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. *