Book Highlight: Misrule by Heather Walter

book highlight misrule heather walter
misrule heather walter

Title: Misrule (Malice #2)

Author: Heather Walter

Publisher: Del Rey

Publication Date: May 10, 2022

Genre: Fantasy

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?


Why This Book

Misrule is the second half of the Malice duology. Inspired by Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, the first book felt a little constrained by the movie, but this second book was given some room to breathe. It was more about Alyce, who now rules Briar, making it a haven for dark creatures and keeping out everyone else, than the romance between her and Aurora. But, when that relationship is reintroduced, it was quite a complicated thing.

It’s the ending, though, that really felt the most memorable because I was very surprised by it. While much of this was focused on Alyce basically setting out to destroy the Fae, the romance is still an integral part of the story, which is why the ending was a bit of a shocker to me. In a way, I should have expected it, but, in quite another way, I distinctly recall reading it with disbelief. It was not at all what I was expecting, but it was a great way to cap Alyce’s story.


Reviews

My review: “The story really felt like it came into its own, breathing new life into an old story and just letting the world and story explode. I liked how the events followed and especially enjoyed how what happened in Misrule followed from Malice and the world’s own history. Despite the things that bothered me, there was still a lot to endear me to the story and characters”

Lace and Dagger Books gave this 4 stars, saying “This book is packed with adventure and intrigue. Most of this book is set in the new Dark Court, so there are a lot of political machinations going on. But with the war in the background, you still get to see plenty of action. This book had a perfect blend of both, and I was overjoyed.”

The Bibliophile Chronicles gave this 5 stars, saying “The story is quite fast-paced and there were plenty of twists and turns that kept me engaged. I loved that Misrule felt much darker than Malice and the vivid descriptions of the dark court captivated me”

Inkandplasma Reviews gave this 5 stars, saying “The plot is hard to talk about without spoiling it, especially as I felt like it built on Malice in a fantastic way, but I really enjoyed it and I felt like the ending was incredibly satisfying and tied everything up in a very complete way”

A Cat, A Book, And A Cup of Tea gave this 4 cats, saying “The tone of this book in general is much darker than Malice, and feels more adult in both its violence and its depiction of messy, toxic relationships. It’s a fascinating road to lead the story down – it would be so tempting to just have let Alyce and Aurora have their happy ending, but wow, Misrule makes them work for it. I can’t say too much, but I really appreciated the progress their relationship made towards the end of the book – it’s not an entirely perfect, Disney-fied way to go, but it made so much sense for the two of them and the way they communicated”

Megsbookrack gave this 4.5 stars, saying “While this is a detailed and multi-layered story, it is written in such a way that makes it accessible and addicting”


Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | IndieBound | Powell’s | Target | Walmart | Waterstones (UK) | Booktopia (Australia) | Books-A-Million | Flipkart (India) | !ndigo (Canada) | Kobo | Audible | Google Books | Apple Books | Thrift Books | Book Depository | Abe Books | Dymocks (Australia)

Check out all the other books featured this month on The Curated Bookshelf.

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