Malice by Heather Walter

Book One of the Malice Duology


Malice is a beautifully dark novel about a young woman who has been hated and mistreated her entire life. She has been taught to revile her heritage and the magical green blood that runs through her veins, even though people pay well for elixirs made from that blood.

Alyce, called Malyce or mongrel or monster or half-breed, wants nothing more than to escape Briar and be free. That is, until a fateful meeting with a young woman who does not fear Alyce’s touch. The two share an instant connection and a shared desire to change Briar for the better. It’s a fragile dream, and so many things threaten to shatter it to pieces.

Malice is filled with twists and turns, with moments of tender hope and tragic loss. It’s a rollercoaster of emotion that kept me reading two days straight. I couldn’t put it down. I cannot wait to read the sequel.

I pre-ordered the audiobook version as soon as I finished reading the book, and listened to it as soon as it released. My 14-year-old daughter was just as spell-bound by the audiobook version as I was, proving that it’s just as enchanting for adult readers as young adults and teens.

The LGBTQ+ representation is beautifully done. This is advertised as a “deliciously dark, queer retelling of Sleeping Beauty,” and while I agree with that description, it is so much more than just another retelling. It’s better to say that it’s based on the fairy tale, with so much depth and world-building that the reader barely notices any similarities.


Visit the author’s website and follow her on Twitter.

Malice design credit: Elizabeth A.D. Eno.

Advance Reading Copy provided by Penguin Random House via Netgalley at my request.


I also purchased the audiobook version for my collection via Audible.

Audiobook narrated by Ann Marie Gideon

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