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Misrule

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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 es 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? Book Two of the Malice Duology


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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 es 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? Book Two of the Malice Duology

30 review for Misrule

  1. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    ↠ 4 stars Out of the ashes of the Briar realm arises a new dominion for its destroyer. Alyce, now called Nimara, rules over her newly established Dark Court and a manor of beasts once kept in the shadows. In the century since the decimation of the Briar realm, Aurora still lies under her sleeping curse, and Alyce has become the very thing she once feared to be. Though Alyce has tried, she cannot break the curse holding her love captive, and Aurora lies hidden away from the prying eyes of the cour ↠ 4 stars Out of the ashes of the Briar realm arises a new dominion for its destroyer. Alyce, now called Nimara, rules over her newly established Dark Court and a manor of beasts once kept in the shadows. In the century since the decimation of the Briar realm, Aurora still lies under her sleeping curse, and Alyce has become the very thing she once feared to be. Though Alyce has tried, she cannot break the curse holding her love captive, and Aurora lies hidden away from the prying eyes of the court. When a young man washes up on shore everything changes, waking the princess and descending the realm into chaos. With war looming closer, and her lost love returned, Alyce must decide how far she is willing to go to enact her revenge and discover if love can even thrive in a world so entangled with it. Where its predecessor Malice led me softly through its thorny brambles, Misrule pushes back the thickets to reveal a reality far more malevolent. In the hundred years since the destruction of the Briar realm, Heather Walter explores the intricacies of revenge, and the lengths one will go to make it endure. Expanding on the scope of the world, and the plethora of beings within, a new side to the story emerges – one teetering on the edge of change and the balance between good and evil. As the curse upon Aurora flourishes, a war against the fae looms nearer, and a simmering tension between the dreams of a century past and the present day draws breath. By the time Aurora awakens from her slumber these moving pieces are amplified, paired against the fallout from the ashes of a fallen kingdom. The strain on Alyce and Aurora’s relationship ensuing from these transformations is central to the closing of the series. While the two grapple with this new reality and who they have both become, they search for forgiveness and a way to still build a future together. These components of the story were not what I expected for the characters going into the finale, but the complexity of forgiveness ensuing out of them was splendid. Albeit a little emotionally damaging. Alyce’s ties to the Vila were expanded upon even further here, something I’d been looking forward to since the end of Malice. Tested loyalty is my bread and butter and Misrule served it well, especially with Alyce, Aurora, and the Dark Court. Misrule is truly a book where morally gray characters thrive, constantly shifting the narrative and making moves that are never anticipated by the audience. The introduction of new beings and characters brought that even further into the foreground. Coming around to the inevitable conclusion had me very much wrecked, yet drawn into its essence of hope and repairing what is lost. Full of violence, the brutality of vengeance, and the unraveling of prejudice, Misrule makes for an enthralling ending to the Malice Duology. One that will remain with me for the considerable future. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this arc in exchange for an honest review Trigger Warnings: blood, gore, violence, death, murder, grief, trauma

  2. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    I really don’t know how I feel about this book. I thought I would love it as much as the first book, but this one just wasn’t as good to me. Although, the last bit and the ending was really good. Sigh… I did reread Malice and changed my 5 star to 4.5, but that’s ok as most books don’t get 5 stars that much any more from me. The majority of the book didn’t win me over until about 65%? I didn’t really care for the imps, they took away from what I felt in the first book. They weren’t bad, I was jus I really don’t know how I feel about this book. I thought I would love it as much as the first book, but this one just wasn’t as good to me. Although, the last bit and the ending was really good. Sigh… I did reread Malice and changed my 5 star to 4.5, but that’s ok as most books don’t get 5 stars that much any more from me. The majority of the book didn’t win me over until about 65%? I didn’t really care for the imps, they took away from what I felt in the first book. They weren’t bad, I was just over it. Anyway, I read it and will probably get the kindle edition at some point. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of the book. Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾 *** The second book cover is even more beautiful!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elle

    What I’m going to look like by the time this comes out in April 2022 What I’m going to look like by the time this comes out in April 2022

  4. 5 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    **4.5-stars** Misrule is the sequel to Heather Walter's 2021-release, Malice; a darkly-creative retelling of Sleeping Beauty. I have been highly anticipating this second book as I really enjoyed Malice. I found it completely immersive, with wonderful world-building and a fantastic magic system. As this is the second book in a duology, I may mention some details here that some might consider spoilers. I will try not to reveal too much, but if you're concerned, look away now. You have been warned... Th **4.5-stars** Misrule is the sequel to Heather Walter's 2021-release, Malice; a darkly-creative retelling of Sleeping Beauty. I have been highly anticipating this second book as I really enjoyed Malice. I found it completely immersive, with wonderful world-building and a fantastic magic system. As this is the second book in a duology, I may mention some details here that some might consider spoilers. I will try not to reveal too much, but if you're concerned, look away now. You have been warned... This story is set 100-years after the culminating events of the first book. Alyce has reached her potential and become ruler over the kingdom that once ridiculed her. The Dark Grace known to the Briar Kingdom is dead and now Alyce lives as Nimara, ruler of the Dark Court. The Dark Court has become a welcome home to creatures who were vilified and hunted by the prior kingdom. Vila, goblins, imps and demons live together within the castle walls in chaotic harmony. For her part, Aurora remains in an enchanted sleep, locked away in a tower room. Her existence more the stuff of legend than actually memory. Could a random human boy named Derek, washed ashore and pledged to serve Nimara, be the key to breaking the enchantment holding Aurora in her endless sleep? There's so much more to this story than that, including a centuries long battle against the Fae, but I am going to leave it there. If you want to know more, which I think you do, you have to pick up this duology. Heather Walter's writing is so readable and digestible. At times Fantasy stories can require a lot of concentration; filled with hard to pronounce names and places, as well as complex histories and magic systems to try to figure out. While this is a detailed and multi-layered story, it is written in such a way that makes it accessible and addicting. It stands out to me in that regard. Overall, this was a fantastic conclusion to a highly-underrated YA Fantasy duology. I look forward to seeing what Walter releases next. Personally, I am hoping she stays in the lane of retellings. She nailed this. Frankly, I'm sad it's over. I'll miss this beautiful world and all of the compelling characters. Thank you to the publisher, Ballantine, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I had been highly anticipating this release and it didn't disappoint for a moment!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    ➽ Malice ★★★★★ an actual perfect ending, imo ;___; hopefully rtc <3 Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch ➽ Malice ★★★★★ an actual perfect ending, imo ;___; hopefully rtc <3 Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bea

    Dark fairytale retellings are my jam. Make it sapphic? Sign me up. I absolutely fell in love with this world and these characters when I read Malice. How the other was going to top the first book, I didn’t know. But do I love it even more than book one? YES! I LOVE dark and twisty characters. The monstrous girl trope is one of my all time faves and unlikable protagonists have my heart. The tone of this book is march darker than Malice. The story centers around grief, bitterness, and mourning. We Dark fairytale retellings are my jam. Make it sapphic? Sign me up. I absolutely fell in love with this world and these characters when I read Malice. How the other was going to top the first book, I didn’t know. But do I love it even more than book one? YES! I LOVE dark and twisty characters. The monstrous girl trope is one of my all time faves and unlikable protagonists have my heart. The tone of this book is march darker than Malice. The story centers around grief, bitterness, and mourning. We open on Alyce, morning the loss of Aurora. She finally had the love of her life within reach. Someone who accepted her for who she was rather than the stigma surrounding her. Only to lose that love in an accident born of a moment of great emotion. Alyce grapples with her guilt and changes her entire identity. If she is going to be perceived as this possessed and evil thing, why not live up to rumors. When Aurora’s slumber is broken, Alyce has a second chance at love, or so she thinks. Both characters have changed in the hundred years that they have been separated and have to learn to love and trust each other once again. This dark love story is sprinkled with bits of joy and laughter. Alyce’s transformation into Nymara and subsequent reign, creates a safe haven for outcast creatures from all over. My absolute favorites are the Imps. They are delightful, playful, and all around mischievous. They brought a smile to my face throughout this story. I don’t think I can say enough how much I love this book. I can’t wait to add a copy to my shelf this spring and I look forward to reading more from Heather Walter. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    theresa

    #1: Malice review Misrule concludes the dark adult fantasy duology started by Malice which retells the story of Sleeping Beauty from the perspective of the wicked witch – who’s in love with the princess. Misrule was a deliciously dark sequel which took the story and characters to exciting new places, while also providing a fitting ending to the series. I adored Malice when I read an ARC last year so I was beyond excited to pick up the sequel, especially after Malice’s explosive ending and I am ple #1: Malice review Misrule concludes the dark adult fantasy duology started by Malice which retells the story of Sleeping Beauty from the perspective of the wicked witch – who’s in love with the princess. Misrule was a deliciously dark sequel which took the story and characters to exciting new places, while also providing a fitting ending to the series. I adored Malice when I read an ARC last year so I was beyond excited to pick up the sequel, especially after Malice’s explosive ending and I am pleased to say it did not disappoint. Where Malice followed Alyce’s descent into villainy and really explored what could push someone to that point, Misrule showed us the aftermath. I really enjoyed seeing Alyce as the villain, while also exploring what really makes a villain and whether good and evil is truly so black and white. The romance in this book surprised me. I fell in love with Aurora alongside Alyce in the first book, but in Misrule I wasn’t too sure about them together. Too much had changed and they seemed to have too much conflict in their way. I found myself not really even rooting for them at times. Which is why I was pleasantly surprised by the resolution of their arc. I thought it was a bold choice, but definitely the right one. It respects their individual growth as characters while remaining hopeful. The first part of this book was fast paced and did a great job of introducing you to the way this world has changed in the 100 years since the end of Malice. I was worried before going in that this book would be slow paced and a bit dense like the first one, but I was pleasantly surprised. It is clear that Heather Walter has grown as a writer in that regard – the worldbuilding was flawlessly and succinctly woven into the story making for an easy read, while maintaining a good pace. I did, however, find the second part over long and meandering at times. I wasn’t sure if this book had a clear plot line until nearly the end of this part, two thirds of the way into the book. I felt like this part could have benefited from tighter editing and establishing the main conflict earlier on. I really enjoyed the world of this book and learning about the members of the Dark Court. I found the imps particularly charming in a world where everything seemed quite dark. I also loved getting to see Alyce find her place and her people, as in the first book she was always the outsider. In particular, her journey with reconciling the Vila and Shifter parts of her identity was really interesting. Overall, Misrule provides a fitting conclusion to this dark Sleeping Beauty retelling. I loved the duology’s subversion of the original story and the explorations of villainy. I highly recommend it to fans of villains and morally grey characters, especially when they're sapphic! I also talk about books here: youtube | instagram | twitter *eARC received in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley*

  8. 4 out of 5

    the-bi.ace-book-advocate

    Four stars S.P.O.I.L.E.R.S SOOOOO, this book was might I say not as good as the first. There was action and stuff but I wasn't that...what's the word.....intrigued. And it's not because it wasn't intriguing, it's because nobody wants to watch a bunch of assholes gather around and kill people. I really tried to like the VIla and demon characters, but I never really understood their struggle. And it became very VERY hard too like Alyce, after what she did to Briar. I mean I know it was a part of her Four stars S.P.O.I.L.E.R.S SOOOOO, this book was might I say not as good as the first. There was action and stuff but I wasn't that...what's the word.....intrigued. And it's not because it wasn't intriguing, it's because nobody wants to watch a bunch of assholes gather around and kill people. I really tried to like the VIla and demon characters, but I never really understood their struggle. And it became very VERY hard too like Alyce, after what she did to Briar. I mean I know it was a part of her arc, but she did a whole Danaerys though. But there were characters that I loved. Derek was a new edition and he was just amazing. Kind and sweet. Also, Aurora was still as amazing as she was in the first book. I warmed up to Regan until she went AWOL and blew up a ship filled with innocent people. Like I said, I did like this book. But I'm still going to rant about how much I FUCKING HATED the characters. There is something disturbing about watching people who have gone through nothing torture innocent people, for over 100 years. Most of the "tortured" magical characters in the book treated humans like assholes and it was not fun to watch. The worse thing about it that is was from the main point of view of a villain. So instead of watching from a hero's perspective and seeing them agree with how twisted the maltreatment is, they instead enjoy it and it's...disturbing. That's all I will say ------------------------- I am now a Derek advocate Review To Come ------------------ currently reading aurora better get a happy ending ---------------- AANUFBEGIUENGIN I'M SO EXCITED

  9. 5 out of 5

    MJ

    *True Love’s CURSE?* **WARNING: Here there be SPOILERS** Let me start by saying I ADORED “Malice.” And I was so excited for the sequel that I literally marked the release date on my calendar. However. I feel like this story suffered a “true love” problem that really weighted it down. Here’s the thing: I was all for Alyce and Aurora as a couple in book one. Loved it, shipped it, bought the t-shirt. But what happens between the two of them in book two leaves my skin crawling. These are not two people *True Love’s CURSE?* **WARNING: Here there be SPOILERS** Let me start by saying I ADORED “Malice.” And I was so excited for the sequel that I literally marked the release date on my calendar. However. I feel like this story suffered a “true love” problem that really weighted it down. Here’s the thing: I was all for Alyce and Aurora as a couple in book one. Loved it, shipped it, bought the t-shirt. But what happens between the two of them in book two leaves my skin crawling. These are not two people who willingly love one another. These are two people who are pretty much shackled to each other by some pre-ordained “true love” business that (we find out) was basically fated in order to bring about a union of kingdoms. Most of the time, it seems like Alyce is basically obsessed with Aurora, who tolerates her at best. More often than tolerance, though, there’s judgement, manipulation, and full-on lambasting. And because of this dynamic, we get pages and pages of Alyce questioning herself and wringing her hands over what Aurora will think of this or that, when all I wanted to see was her finally being an unapologetic, badass villain - the mistress of the Dark Court! I could not, for the life of me, understand how Alyce could not see that what bound her to Aurora was almost as toxic as what merged her with the ancient Vila. I found myself agreeing with Regan, and I was sad that she and Alyce missed their chance to be together because Alyce could not see past AURORA AURORA AURORA. Even in the end - when Alyce had spent 100 years roaming, happily doling out vigilante-style justice, and squirreling Vila away to her version of an Underground Railroad - while Aurora held court, entertained lovers, and apparently couldn’t be bothered to write a damn letter - all it took was Aurora finally penning two lousy words for Alyce to give up the life she had built for herself and come running. Frustrating, to say the least. I think if there was going to be this INSISTENCE on relying so heavily upon the supposed love story, then a commitment to going the distance was due. At times, this story really dragged. Why not cut off the dead weight and instead give those pages to life after Briar court was created? I would have loved to have seen what all this angst of “true love” actually created. Was the re-building of Briar really as simple to achieve as it was depicted, or was there resistance? What was it like figuring out the different governances, and was there more rot that had to be dug out as certain people tried to grasp at more power (as is guaranteed to happen in democracies)? What’s more, how did Alyce and Aurora change? Is Alyce finally confident enough to hold her own with Aurora? Is Aurora finally done freezing Alyce out and ready to have a conversation with her that isn’t hard-edged with bitterness and condescension? Are they finally ready to don this mantle of “true love” and EARN IT? I would love to know! But I never will. These are the stories Walter chose not to tell, and it is her baby after all. But I can’t help but feel like I jumped on a train that stopped halfway to its destination, and now I’ve got to get off, dissatisfied. 3 out of 5 stars.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mallory

    I love retold fairy tales and this duology has to be one of the best twists to a fairy tale that I have read. I love getting to see the story from the “villain’s” perspective (although I think think one of the morals of this story is that all sides believe they are the heroes), but I also love how strong Aurora is. The Disney version of her leaves a lot to be desired but this fiery and feisty version is fun. This book picks up right where the last one left off and it took no time to sink back in I love retold fairy tales and this duology has to be one of the best twists to a fairy tale that I have read. I love getting to see the story from the “villain’s” perspective (although I think think one of the morals of this story is that all sides believe they are the heroes), but I also love how strong Aurora is. The Disney version of her leaves a lot to be desired but this fiery and feisty version is fun. This book picks up right where the last one left off and it took no time to sink back into this world. Alyce goes by another name and is currently Mistress of the dark court, but all that she has built is at risk as the war with the Fae continues. I love the relationship between Alyce and Aurora especially because it is difficult and full of disagreements. Too often love is seen as easy in fairy tales and I love them for making it seem real.

  11. 4 out of 5

    kaitlyn

    thank you netgalley, del rey books, and heather walter for an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review! i’ll be honest, i wasn’t a big fan of the first book in this duology, but i really enjoyed misrule. misrule changes things up a lot and the story focuses more on what’s left after alyce destroyed briar, how she’s ruling, and her relationship with aurora. malice isn’t a bad book, but some things about it just weren’t for me. i thought it was slow-paced and i wasn’t a big fan of alyce. h thank you netgalley, del rey books, and heather walter for an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review! i’ll be honest, i wasn’t a big fan of the first book in this duology, but i really enjoyed misrule. misrule changes things up a lot and the story focuses more on what’s left after alyce destroyed briar, how she’s ruling, and her relationship with aurora. malice isn’t a bad book, but some things about it just weren’t for me. i thought it was slow-paced and i wasn’t a big fan of alyce. however, i loved aurora and learning more about her and the politics of the world. this combination made misrule perfect for me because alyce has definitely changed a lot in this book and we get to see her in charge now - which i really enjoyed reading about. i also enjoyed learning about how the world has changed politically after briar was destroyed and aurora’s perspective on things. fans of morally grey characters will love this one because both alyce and aurora are grey in different areas. i liked all of the deception, betrayals, and political intrigue throughout and seeing all of the characters change, but in different directions. overall, i found this book to be much stronger than malice, because it’s fast-paced, entertaining, and more fleshed out. i enjoyed all of the new characters and seeing alyce’s growth. it was interesting seeing alyce struggle with the person she was a hundred years ago and who she’s become while aurora was sleeping. i also really enjoyed seeing representatives from races previously cast out by the briar court and learning different perspectives. misrule is beautifully written and i definitely see the potential for future spin-offs.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Monte Price

    This is another read that I've been vlogging so I'm sure at some point this weekend I'll edit in that link. [ here's that link... ] Until then, I had a wonderful time with this. Malice took me by surprise when I read it last October, I was thoroughly delighted with how the Sleeping Beauty mythos had been played with to give us that first installment and of course it ended in such a way that I was left at the end of my audiobook 1) ACHING for the sequel and 2) feeling completely foolish that I had This is another read that I've been vlogging so I'm sure at some point this weekend I'll edit in that link. [ here's that link... ] Until then, I had a wonderful time with this. Malice took me by surprise when I read it last October, I was thoroughly delighted with how the Sleeping Beauty mythos had been played with to give us that first installment and of course it ended in such a way that I was left at the end of my audiobook 1) ACHING for the sequel and 2) feeling completely foolish that I had waited to read my arc until October. I'm glad to say that this book definitely sticks the landing. I don't think that it's the perfect conclusion for every reader. I think that this book could be on the more divisive side of life. Not only because of the new dynamics that are introduced, but also the book doesn't really make it clear what the endgame is until pretty late into the narrative. It's not always clear what the characters are trying to do and even the vague idea the reader does have from pretty early on, the longer the book takes to act on that idea the more worried I was that what I thought was going to happen wasn't going to have enough page time to execute it in a way that I thought would be satisfactory. Ultimately I wouldn't say that I really guessed what was happening here. I think that it subverts a lot of what I had come to expect from fantasy in general, but mostly adult fantasy. It leaned into those standard plot elements a little at the end, but I think even then it was more playing with those ideas more than anything. It felt like a modern fairytale, up to and including an ending that's gonna live with me for the rest of the year.

  13. 4 out of 5

    ~ a foray in fantasy ~

    Vaguely disappointing but still enjoyable. 3.5 stars

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Ever since I devoured Malice, I really wanted to get my hands on Misrule. So, when I saw that I got accepted to read it? Well, I freaked out for a bit. Mostly because I really wanted to dive back into this world and see what Alyce was up to. Hopefully wicked things were coming my way. Entering into the Briar Kingdom to see what my little villain was up to was pretty fun at first. Then it started to get a bit frustrating here I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Ever since I devoured Malice, I really wanted to get my hands on Misrule. So, when I saw that I got accepted to read it? Well, I freaked out for a bit. Mostly because I really wanted to dive back into this world and see what Alyce was up to. Hopefully wicked things were coming my way. Entering into the Briar Kingdom to see what my little villain was up to was pretty fun at first. Then it started to get a bit frustrating here and there. Which, yes, I could totally see happening because it didn't seem like Alyce was truly herself anymore. Going by a different name and ruling the dark court sounds like a good time. Until it wasn't. Besides the moping and tension, I did actually enjoy the book. Each twist was fun but easy to predict. I also just wished these characters communicated better instead of trying to do things on their own. In the end, I'm happy with how things turned out. Even though I wanted some more action before the final page.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Drea

    *I was provided a free copy by the publisher in exchange for an honest review* OH MY GOODNESS AAH! Look, I enjoyed Malice, it was fun but I had problems with the pacing especially in the beginning. So explain to me how Misrule has become ONE OF MY FAVORITE SAPPHIC FANTASY BOOKS I HAVE EVER READ!! WOW WOW. Things I absolutely loved: - Alyce and Aurora are THE definitions of morally grey characters (especially Alyce) - I agreed with hoe every single character reacted to their situation, I mean all of t *I was provided a free copy by the publisher in exchange for an honest review* OH MY GOODNESS AAH! Look, I enjoyed Malice, it was fun but I had problems with the pacing especially in the beginning. So explain to me how Misrule has become ONE OF MY FAVORITE SAPPHIC FANTASY BOOKS I HAVE EVER READ!! WOW WOW. Things I absolutely loved: - Alyce and Aurora are THE definitions of morally grey characters (especially Alyce) - I agreed with hoe every single character reacted to their situation, I mean all of their actions made sense!! - The romance is full of angst (which I personally adore) but not for small petty reasons. Instead it is angsty because of how big the problems are. - The plot kept me guessing the entire time. Some were predictable but others!? I gasped. - THE ENDING IS PERFECT AND WHOEVER HAS A PROBLEM WITH IT CAN TALK TO ME OUTSIDE!! Anyways, READ IT!! It comes out May 10th 2022! TW: Violence, Toxic Relationship, Manipulation, Lack of Consent, Trauma.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sam Maggs

    PERFECT GAY ICONIC EMOTIONALLY DAMAGING 10000/10

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    Wow this book. I don't even know how to describe and fully review it. Suffice to say you are going to go through an emotional journey. after really enjoying Malice last year, I had to exercise some serious patience for Misrule to come out, and also I was really nervous as to how Walter was going to land the proverbial plane, as there is a lot to deal with. But I'm pleased to say that this book was wonderful. Misrule is the sequel to the Sleeping Beauty retelling Malice, but in this retelling- it Wow this book. I don't even know how to describe and fully review it. Suffice to say you are going to go through an emotional journey. after really enjoying Malice last year, I had to exercise some serious patience for Misrule to come out, and also I was really nervous as to how Walter was going to land the proverbial plane, as there is a lot to deal with. But I'm pleased to say that this book was wonderful. Misrule is the sequel to the Sleeping Beauty retelling Malice, but in this retelling- it's much more than just making the characters sapphic and making the villain the POV character, but a whole new magical world is created. And Malice left on a cliffhanger of events, Misrule picks it right up. I mentioned in my review of Malice that one of the things that drew me into the world right away was Walter's world, and I love how that was expanded in this book bringing out so many new creatures and beings as well as showing us so much more about the Etherians. I'm still impressed at the worldbuilding and seeing more to it was a joy. And additionally there were a ton of new characters introduced and I loved them. Derek, Neve, and Especially Regan. These characters have a ton of depth to them and while these books are a love story between Aurora and Alyce, I felt the love triangle element Regan provided added a lot to the book and there were times I felt like I was team Regan. I can't go too far into the plot of the book without going into spoilers but I really think Walter did a great job at finding a suitable ending to this story while also making this book grip you at the same time. The ending is going to be controversial though- it gutted me but I don't hate it. I'd be remiss to not mention the emotions this book brings out. I was a crying mess for a hot minute after finishing this book. There are so many feelings this book brought out in me, anger and love, heartbreak and resolution, confusion and understanding, painful and cathartic. This book will pull at your heart in so many ways. I loved this. I gave Malice four stars because while I loved the world and characters it wasn't perfect, but I found this book just wonderful. 5/5 Thank you to Random House Publishing and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review

  18. 5 out of 5

    Denton

    3.5 MILD SPOILER I wish the ending had been more obviously happy. It ends on a positive hopeful note but I'm a sucker for clear happy endings. After the ending of Malice, I was really holding out for a *happy* happy ending. I suppose I will just have to suck it up and make up a post ending happy reunion in my head. Edit ok I rated it 4 initially but couldn't get over the ending. Especially the part where they both had taken other lovers at some point(s) through those 100 years. Was that necessary? 3.5 MILD SPOILER I wish the ending had been more obviously happy. It ends on a positive hopeful note but I'm a sucker for clear happy endings. After the ending of Malice, I was really holding out for a *happy* happy ending. I suppose I will just have to suck it up and make up a post ending happy reunion in my head. Edit ok I rated it 4 initially but couldn't get over the ending. Especially the part where they both had taken other lovers at some point(s) through those 100 years. Was that necessary? Was it just to show more growth? We've seen them grow already. I personally just would've preferred them to have faith in their love and eventual reunion. I mean, Alyce already went through 100 years being celibate, what's another 100 more?

  19. 4 out of 5

    calypso

    “your whole life they taught you that you’re nothing. but you, nimara, are everything.” 4.5 stars i honestly liked this one more than the first, fantasy retellings told from a more villainous perspective are one of the best things to happen (especially when they’re sapphic) and the addition of so many new characters that weren’t just terrible humans was refreshing

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sakshi

    “But sometimes, Nimara, people are not who we believe they are.” And sometimes, people, story does not develop how we believe they would. Misrule begins hundred years hence from the day Princess Aurora was put to sleep by a curse. On that day Alyce burned down Briar and then the Dark Court was born and Alyce is its mistress, who calls herself Nimara. The court is full of Vila, demoms, imps and goblins living in the palace in chaotic harmony. Then one boy drifts ashore, and he breaks the second “But sometimes, Nimara, people are not who we believe they are.” And sometimes, people, story does not develop how we believe they would. Misrule begins hundred years hence from the day Princess Aurora was put to sleep by a curse. On that day Alyce burned down Briar and then the Dark Court was born and Alyce is its mistress, who calls herself Nimara. The court is full of Vila, demoms, imps and goblins living in the palace in chaotic harmony. Then one boy drifts ashore, and he breaks the second curse on the princess, and she awakens. However, for her, Dark Court is not the Briar she knew. For Nimara, for have been taking down Courts of Fae, war is looming. She would have to decide if she should continue with all she is doing or fight for her true love. May contain possible spoilers : I would have to say, I loved Malice more than Misrule. In book one, we saw Alyce and Aurora who interested us with their own unique characters. But in the book two, those characters are shredded, and we see new versions of those characters. A total 360. Then Princess Aurora's second curse. All Alyce needed to break the curse was to make some prince kiss her to wake her up. But she let her sleep FOR HUNDRED YEARS. I can't, in my good conscience, call it true love. True love is also about sacrifice. She should have been happy she was it someone else. Wait, she did. At the end of story. For another 100 years, Alyce roamed the world and Aurora ruled it, having lovers, etc and Alyce was happy about it. WTF. Talking about it, the ending was.... It goes like this - Alyce let Aurora sleep for 100 years, Aurora let Alyce roam for yet another 100 years. The "on paper" HEA was not I expected after reading 800-900 pages. Also, I can't really called this story a romance. For all the talk about "true love", we didn't get to see Alyce and Aurora together. All they were doing were fighting, pushing, distancing, hurting and betraying each other. “I told you a long time ago, that I would be the queen Leythana was. That I would protect my realm. And whatever means I employed—the deception and manipulation”—she fixes me with a stone-hard glare—“I learned from you.” All the book we just to see the royal(involving the ancient queen, fae, the new members of Dark Court, spies, etc.) drama and all the talk about wars. If not for anything else, the plot revolving around this was engaging. Aurora trails her fingertips down the spiny collar of her gown. “I think justice can be rather subjective. To you, it clearly entails razing realms and collecting trophies.” She gestures to the Etherian heads. “But I wonder how Oryn would define the term. Or even the realms across the sea.” Regan grins in triumph as she seizes a piece of Aurora’s. “And why should their opinion trouble us?” She studies the board. “Because by your own logic, if they came seeking their justice, wouldn’t that mean you would deserve whatever means they employed?” I think my favorite character would be Derek. On a different note, this series is something I won't ever forget reading.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    “It’s the kind of kiss that inspires stars to climb into the sky and light up the world.” ― Tahereh Mafi Alyce has wreaked havoc on the kingdom that made her an outcast. Briar is now her domain, and no one will escape her wrath. Princess Aurora, the one who saw through Alyce's façade, lays sleeping. Cursed to remain that way until... With all her power, Alyce cannot wake the woman she loves. One hundred years have gone by and Alyce vows to wake Princess Aurora even if it means being the monster “It’s the kind of kiss that inspires stars to climb into the sky and light up the world.” ― Tahereh Mafi Alyce has wreaked havoc on the kingdom that made her an outcast. Briar is now her domain, and no one will escape her wrath. Princess Aurora, the one who saw through Alyce's façade, lays sleeping. Cursed to remain that way until... With all her power, Alyce cannot wake the woman she loves. One hundred years have gone by and Alyce vows to wake Princess Aurora even if it means being the monster everyone believes her to be. Dustin, a human boy has washed up on the shores of Nimara. What role will he play? Could he be the key? Will those in the dark kingdom let him live? How ill Alyce react? First that cover! It's just as good as the cover for Malice. Second, this book, although good, was not as good as its predecessor. It's long and it felt long in many places. Parts of the book were slow to me but the ending ramped things up and it regained some of the magic left over from the first book. I have to give the Author props for creativity and building such a imaginative and original world full of vivid characters in a dark, sinister setting! I am not a big fantasy reader, but Malice blew me away and I had to know what happened to the characters. Part of me wished I had just kept wondering, while another part of me is glad that I took the plunge with this book. Others are enjoying this more than I did so please read their reviews as well. #Misrule #NetGalley Thank you to Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, Del Rey and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own. Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com

  22. 4 out of 5

    C.L. Clark

    Really enjoyed this finish to the series.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brend

    I'm so conflicted I'm so conflicted

  24. 5 out of 5

    Aly

    After Alyce went full villain in Malice, I was super excited to see how things were going in the Briar kingdom. I was happy to see Alyce, now known as Nimara, ruling a dark kingdom with vila, goblins, imps, and other creatures, but Alyce was a shell of herself. She was mopey, broody, and so wishy-washy on her feelings. It was disappointing and that coupled with a slow plot where not much happens made this a less than stellar read. What I did like was seeing the different creatures, especially th After Alyce went full villain in Malice, I was super excited to see how things were going in the Briar kingdom. I was happy to see Alyce, now known as Nimara, ruling a dark kingdom with vila, goblins, imps, and other creatures, but Alyce was a shell of herself. She was mopey, broody, and so wishy-washy on her feelings. It was disappointing and that coupled with a slow plot where not much happens made this a less than stellar read. What I did like was seeing the different creatures, especially the prankster imps who cracked me up. There are so many different powers and it was cool seeing the creatures usually seen as 'bad' or 'evil' living their best lives. I rooted for this kingdom to succeed and was happy they were safe from persecution. There are also some interesting fight scenes and a couple small twists that were fun. I think this could have been more of a novella than a full book and cut out so much of the pining and drama between Alyce and Aurora. It felt like the author was putting in filler to hit a certain page count rather than important pieces of plot. I am happy with the ending and that it all wrapped up well. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book and all opinions are my own. Thank you to Del Ray and NetGalley for the copy

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dani

    Oof, I'm disappointed. So. Much. Filler. I don't know, maybe it was a bad idea to re-read Malice and then jump straight into this. There's barely any story, nothing of value happens for a good chunk of the book and I just WHY?!! By the half way point I didn't even want Alyce and Aurora to be together anymore... I can't even remember a single time where's that happened before. Oof, I'm disappointed. So. Much. Filler. I don't know, maybe it was a bad idea to re-read Malice and then jump straight into this. There's barely any story, nothing of value happens for a good chunk of the book and I just WHY?!! By the half way point I didn't even want Alyce and Aurora to be together anymore... I can't even remember a single time where's that happened before.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Janna

    I've said it before, but I'll say it again: I often struggle with reading fantasy. The new worlds and words, especially as a person whose first language isn't English, are usually hard to grasp for me. But "Malice" and "Misrule" showed me that there are some fantasy worlds that are easy to get lost in, even for me. I loved the sapphic representation, the slow burn, the moral struggles, the character development, the beautiful writing style, the new and broken friendships, the shenanigans and batt I've said it before, but I'll say it again: I often struggle with reading fantasy. The new worlds and words, especially as a person whose first language isn't English, are usually hard to grasp for me. But "Malice" and "Misrule" showed me that there are some fantasy worlds that are easy to get lost in, even for me. I loved the sapphic representation, the slow burn, the moral struggles, the character development, the beautiful writing style, the new and broken friendships, the shenanigans and battle scenes - all of it was a pleasure to read and I absolutely cannot wait for what Heather Walter comes up with next! i post about queer books here: instagram / tiktok /twitter

  27. 4 out of 5

    emily

    Not everything that happened here is what I would have necessarily wanted out of this sequel, but all of it worked, and all of it felt earned, and it somehow left me both wanting and satisfied. I think the only thing I would have loved is a snippet of Aurora’s pov at some point, but this was lovely. I just… fucking love sapphic fairytale retelling so much.

  28. 4 out of 5

    franzi

    Rating: 2 stars. This wasn’t the book for me, sadly. I already wasn’t the biggest fan of book 1, but after this sequel, I feel like the series would have benefitted from being kept as a standalone. I don’t feel like this book added anything significant to the story, all the problems seemed kind of forced and just existed to create drama. There were so many new characters introduced, who weren’t really important, and there were also just so many of them that I couldn’t really keep track. The story Rating: 2 stars. This wasn’t the book for me, sadly. I already wasn’t the biggest fan of book 1, but after this sequel, I feel like the series would have benefitted from being kept as a standalone. I don’t feel like this book added anything significant to the story, all the problems seemed kind of forced and just existed to create drama. There were so many new characters introduced, who weren’t really important, and there were also just so many of them that I couldn’t really keep track. The story was quite messy anyway, and this didn’t help. Every scene was just much longer than I needed to be and everything was dragged out, even the romance. The ending could have happened much sooner. I wasn’t really satisfied with the ending either, it was kind of rushed and felt unfinished to me. Overall this wasn’t really enjoyable for me, but I still wanted to see how the story would progress and where the characters would end up. I definitely think the first book is the stronger one in the duology.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    For anyone sneaking a peak at this review who hasn’t read *Malice*, the TL;DR is that it is very good, and you don’t need to worry about starting a duology that doesn’t end well. Now go away, for I really don’t have a way to talk about this book without spoiling *Malice*. Excepting a brief prologue, this book picks up the story a century after the events of *Malice*. Alyce has set up a court in the former kingdom of Briar, and the assorted magical creatures not welcome in the Faerie realm of Ethe For anyone sneaking a peak at this review who hasn’t read *Malice*, the TL;DR is that it is very good, and you don’t need to worry about starting a duology that doesn’t end well. Now go away, for I really don’t have a way to talk about this book without spoiling *Malice*. Excepting a brief prologue, this book picks up the story a century after the events of *Malice*. Alyce has set up a court in the former kingdom of Briar, and the assorted magical creatures not welcome in the Faerie realm of Etheria (imps, goblins, demons, and the like) have flocked to her. They’ve been fighting a war against Etheria all this time (and winning). Aurora has been kept safe, her existence hidden from the court while Alyce continues to search for a way to bring her out of her enchanted sleep. To be more precise: the curse was softened at the end of *Malice* so that literally anyone *except* Alyce could kiss Aurora awake, but Alyce’s memories had been twisted so she would hate Alyce. That, specifically, is what Alyce wanted to avoid. I don’t feel that it’s a spoiler to tell you that Aurora does in fact get woken up during this book, and she is less than thrilled by everything that happened since she fell into her cursed sleep. For her part, Alyce has changed over the previous century, and has become more devoted to the ideal of Aurora than Aurora herself in that time. None of this is surprising. Naturally the book is mostly focused on the relationship between the two of them. It’s not a question of two lovers trying to make it work against impossible odds; it’s a question of two lovers trying to decide if they *want* to make it work, and if they can even talk to one another. Every interaction between the two of them is fraught. It’s not the easiest book to read. Like with *Malice*, the book starts out kind of slow, but the pacing gets to be breakneck by the end as everything (Alyce & Aurora, Alyce’s internal struggles, the war) comes together. I give Heather Walter lots of credit for planting careful seeds along the way; I didn’t anticipate how things were going to play out, but once they did it all fit together perfectly. The ending (which I’m not implying is happy or sad, either one - read and find out for yourself) is beautiful. I cannot imagine anything more fitting. Bingo categories: Shapeshifters [Hard Mode]; Antihero; Published in 2022; No Ifs, Ands, or Buts.

  30. 5 out of 5

    elena

    3.5 stars I’ll start this review by saying that Malice (book 1) was okay, but the ending made me really want to read Misrule, as it provided the book and the story with so much potential. However, for me Misrule was disappointing. the story-Misrule takes place 100 years after Malice, where Alyce has created the dark court and now rules Briar. I loved how she used her power and got to ‘know’ herself more, as well as the new creatures that were introduced in the story and how she provided a home for 3.5 stars I’ll start this review by saying that Malice (book 1) was okay, but the ending made me really want to read Misrule, as it provided the book and the story with so much potential. However, for me Misrule was disappointing. the story-Misrule takes place 100 years after Malice, where Alyce has created the dark court and now rules Briar. I loved how she used her power and got to ‘know’ herself more, as well as the new creatures that were introduced in the story and how she provided a home for them in her court. I also liked where the plot was going i.e. trying to make peace with other lands or going into war with them again. characters&romance-Now this is where the book went downhill for me. There are many new characters introduced in Misrule and I loved reading about them etc. However, some of the old characters (I’m talking about Aurora yes) were acting very different and were frustrating. And the romance? Literally 300 pages of miscommunication between Alyce and Aurora and they could have fixed half of their problems by having a proper conversation. Additionally, there is a new potential love interest who is literally thrown off the book like they never appeared on the first place. And for what? I even found myself (and I’m glad I’m not the only one) shipping the potential love interest with the MC more than with the actual LI.. the ending-I actually still don’t know how to feel about the ending.. but so you know it is kind of an ‘open ending’ more like left to your imagination with what happens.. I’m not a big fan of those endings but I didn’t mind this one, however it make me feel like “After all they went through, this is how it ends?’ like I wanted something more to be satisfied.. finally I found something that happened almost at the end (which I can’t say cause it’s kind of a spoiler) didn’t really make sense to me, especially for the character to do.. Coming to the end of this review, I want to say that I don’t want to put you off from my review and that you should definitely give this a read if you liked Malice. And if you do pls hit me up cause I would love to hear different opinions and discuss this book further! Also here is a list of things that I liked as I feel like I’ve been a bit strict: -The Dark Court which gives so much Cruel Prince vibes -Other queer relationships in the book -The new creatures -Derek’s character (extremely ridiculous and funny) A big thank you to DelRey Books for providing me with an ARC for an exchange of an honest review.

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