Author: Heather Walter
Does true love break curses or begin them? The dark sorceress of “Sleeping Beauty” reclaims her story in this sequel to 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 turning into the monster Briar believes her to be. But could Aurora love the villain Alyce has become?
Or is true love only for fairy tales?
Misrule is the sequel to Malice, which is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. When I first read the previous novel, the sequel was not set. I was very excited when I learned the sequel was a reality and I could not wait to get my hands on it. Alyce, a dark Grace (fairy), and Princess Aurora were amazing in the first novel, and I could not wait to continue their journey. The novel was well worth the wait as it answers many questions raised in the first story, as well as, introducing and wrapping up some new ones. As this novel is a continuation of the previous story, it is highly recommended to read it before beginning this one.
After Alyce and Aurora tried to break Aurora’s curse in the first novel, Aurora ends up in a magical sleep. One hundred years have passed, and the kingdom of Briar has become Alyce’s Dark Court. Alyce is trying to create a better life for misunderstood creatures while balancing the loss of Aurora. Additionally, there is Alyce being affected by the spirit of Mortania. Together Alyce has a lot of drama going on her life and it was an interesting to see how she would manage in her journey. As for Aurora, she eventually wakes up and is now conflicted with her new reality. While Aurora is coming to terms with the new kingdom, she also must figure out her feelings for Alyce. Emotionally and romantically, both characters go through a lot in this story.
Most of the plot centers around the two characters trying to navigate their feelings for each other. Each have their own reasons not to immediately move forward with the romance with the other, yet they still have love for each other. They are each morally grey in their own way and I loved that Aurora was included in this as many retellings keep her towards being pure/good. At times, their relationship messiness was a bit repetitive, but it was difficult to tell if it was the writing or my anxiousness for the characters to have a happy ending. The plot is balance by a war where the kingdom and power were being fought over. (I don’t want to go too much into this as I don’t want to spoil it.) Overall, this was a great duology and I loved the characters. I cannot wait to read what the author comes up with next!
**I want to give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Del Rey Publishing, for a review copy of this enjoyable novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**