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Misrule: Book Two of the Malice Duology…
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Misrule: Book Two of the Malice Duology (Malice, 2) (edició 2022)

de Heather Walter (Autor)

Sèrie: Malice Duology (2)

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533425,541 (4.5)Cap
Does true love break curses or begin them? The dark sorceress of "Sleeping Beauty" reclaims her story in this sequel to Malice. "Fans of reimagined fairy tales and LGBTQ+ themes will be delighted with the conclusion of this fantasy duology."--Booklist (starred review) 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… (més)
Membre:percy_
Títol:Misrule: Book Two of the Malice Duology (Malice, 2)
Autors:Heather Walter (Autor)
Informació:Del Rey (2022), 480 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Misrule: Book Two of the Malice Duology de Heather Walter

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A fantastic and wonderfully gray sequel to Malice. The character development, world-building, and writing style are top notch. Everything in Misrule is in shades of gray. No character is all good or all bad, making for a morally complex world and story. Misrule is just as compelling and beautifully-written as Malice. This conclusion to the Duology does not disappoint and has a happy ending.

Malice was the story of Alyce being pushed to her breaking point and embracing the role of the villain everyone expected she would become in a fit of anger and hopelessness. Misrule is the story of Alyce finding her way back from such a dark place of anger, fear, and pain. It’s a tale of learning how to build something better and find peace. Alyce learns how to heal and be more than a villain or a victim. This is a story of Alyce and Aurora finding a way to build a better society for everyone. This journey is messy and emotional and real.

STYLE AND CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT:

Walter used vivid imagery, metaphor, simile, and personification to make Alyce’s emotions almost tangible and layer the reader’s view of Alyce’s world with Alyce’s emotional perspective. How Alyce feels is shown (not told) in virtually every description in this book. This makes it so natural and easy to relate to Alyce and understand her point of view. Even when Alyce did things that were clearly wrong, I understood her justifications and perspective enough to sympathize and understand her actions. Even when I couldn’t approve of them at all. After all, she had her reasons. This made for really great character development.

Fantastic character development, first person narration, and a beautiful and emotive writing style made a lot of things work that really shouldn’t have. It should have felt false for someone as empathetic, naive, and loving as the Alyce we saw in the beginning of Malice to do things as dark and evil as she did. But it didn’t. It should have felt false for her to change her ways and become a force for good after having done such malicious things. But it didn’t. I really shouldn’t have been rooting for Alyce when she had embraced her darker side, but I kind of did. Alyce’s journey from victim to villain to a redeemed and healing survivor dedicated to helping others felt totally real and compelling.

PREMISE:

Misrule is set 500 years after the events of Malice. I usually don’t like big time jumps, but it totally worked for this story. It enriched the story with fresh material that lent the story additional moral complexity and opportunities for character development. You dive right into a different social and political landscape and meet a whole new set of interesting, compelling, three-dimensional characters. You get to know Alyce and Aurora much better by seeing them interact with a completely different cast of characters and a greatly changed world. And by seeing how these interactions changed them.

While Aurora was in a cursed slumber, Alyce destroyed a kingdom and built a new one. In many ways, she became as bad as those she hated. As those who abused, oppressed, and used her. Those who denied her freedom. She built a sanctuary for those like her that were persecuted everywhere else. But it was also a place where different groups were oppressed. Oppressed in much the same way she and others with magical abilities were once oppressed and denied freedom. To some, she became a savior. To others, she became the monster everyone feared she would become.

When Aurora awakened, Alyce was forced to confront the dark reality of the society she built and the type of person she had become. Alyce and the other protagonists had to learn to let go of revenge. Learn to build a place where everyone is free instead of simply changing which group of people gets to be free. A place where anyone can thrive. They learn to build a society where oppression is not tolerated, instead of switching which group is oppressed.

THE RELATIONSHIPS:

Alyce and Aurora’s relationship was refreshingly honest and real. They didn’t let each other off the hook for their mistakes. And they both made some big ones. They really cared for each other and didn’t let each other be blind to their mistakes because then they’d have kept repeating them. They cared for each other even when they were on opposite sides. They helped each other learn how to learn to do better and be better. Alyce and Aurora challenged each other to be better, as all good friends or romantic partners should. This kept me rooting for those two.

By the end of the story, all our main characters had grown and changed for the better. The best friends and romantic partners in the story were those that helped each other become better. Plenty of time and development was given to other relationships, not just the romance between Alyce and Aurora. This was much more realistic and interesting than a story where the primary romantic pairing eclipses all the other relationships.

THE ENDING:

The ending was perfect. It suited Alyce and her journey perfectly. She found a happy ending that could include, but wasn’t dependent on, being in a romantic relationship with Aurora. She found a way to heal and gained an independent peace and purpose that wouldn’t fall apart if she didn’t end up with Aurora. It’s always nice to see a happily ever after that isn’t centered around a codependent romantic relationship. Alyce and Aurora’s independent happiness and self-sufficiency only made it more meaningful when they ended up together. I love to see characters that are together because they want to be, not because they desperately think they need to be in order to be happy.

I received a free e-copy via NetGalley. I am writing this review completely voluntarily and honestly. ( )
  Lunarsong | Jul 3, 2022 |
One Sentence Summary: A century has passed since the events of the first book and Alyce now rules the Dark Court, but, as they decimate the Fae Courts, Aurora is unexpectedly awoken and an old prophecy comes to the forefront.

Overall
Misrule is the second in the Malice duology based on Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. Where the first book, Malice, felt like it was constrained by the movie, Misrule felt like the story was given a chance to breathe and become its own thing. I liked how it focused on the world building and how deeply ingrained prejudices affect the world, but it was tempered by my annoyance with Alyce. After ruling for a century, I expected her to have harder edges and to be more mature and jaded than Aurora, someone more evil and closer to the movie’s Maleficent. I very often found myself on Alyce’s side, though, so it was really a great deal of fun to get this Sleeping Beauty story from her eyes.

Extended Thoughts
A century has passed since Aurora pricked her finger on the spindle and fell into an enchanted sleep, as told in Malice, the first book in this duology inspired by Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. Now Alyce calls herself Nimara after an ancient Vila and leads the Dark Court. The creatures of the blighted Malterre have come streaming into Briar now that the humans have fallen in order to create a home where they feel welcome.

As the Dark Court swelled, they sought revenge on the Fae for having sought to destroy them in the first place, decimating Fae court after Fae court until only the Fae King’s court remains. Unexpectedly, a human washes up on Briar’s shores and the young man chooses to serve Nimara, but there are other forces out there and he inadvertently wakes Aurora, surprising the Dark Court and upending plans even as Alyce tries to win Aurora all over again while fighting the Fae.

Where the first book felt like it was constrained by the events of the movie, Misrule felt like it allowed the story to breathe and become its own thing. This was a much more fun read and I loved the depth given to the world building. There’s history and geography and details on how the Dark Court and the Fae courts function. I loved feeling like I was thrown into the world. I also really liked how the romance was woven into the fantasy story. While it was always there, I felt more like I was reading a fantasy novel than a romance. The one thing that grated on me was Alyce, but everything else was a lot of fun to read.

Misrule really opened up the world for me. While it was focused on Briar and the Dark Court, the rest of the world was always right on the fringes. The human world is out there across the sea, slowly suffering now that Briar has collapsed and there is no trade. The Fae courts are falling to the Dark Court and the High King doesn’t appear to be interested in invading the Dark Court in vengeance, making it easy for the creatures of the Dark Court to wreck their havoc. But I enjoyed the Dark Court the most. Not only is it the part we get to know best, but it’s populated by some really fun and interesting creatures and they have some fascinating events and ways of doing things. I loved that it was led by a council and, while not everyone got along well, they really tried for the sake of the Dark Court and for providing a home for all the creatures who have been persecuted and abused by the Fae and humans. Even though it’s the Dark Court and they did some terrible things for themselves, I really felt there was a lot of heart and love, and a firm resolve to protect their home.

As wonderful as the world was, Alyce was a huge problem for me. For someone so powerful who had lived and ruled for a century, she felt far too young. I would have expected someone that old who has ordered so much death and destruction to be more jaded and hardened, but she felt like a young adult, like she hadn’t actually aged beyond where she had been in the first book even though a hundred years had passed. I wanted more maturity and a harder edge to her. Instead, once Aurora was back on the scene, she felt like a lovesick puppy who could only see Aurora and nothing of the home she had crafted that would actually love and accept her exactly as she was. It was annoying and frustrating. I preferred her before Aurora woke up because she actually felt more like the ruler of the Dark Court. I can see how she had to evolve past that in order for the ending to occur, but I just hated that entire middle part where she was so wrapped around Aurora’s finger when Aurora went back and forth on how she saw Alyce.

The romance was not at all what I was expecting. I liked that it ended up feeling natural and Alyce and Aurora just didn’t fall into each other. There was a lot of shuffling between them, a lot of stepping forward and back and a ton of missteps. But I hated how it just seemed to consume Alyce. Aurora came off as this calm and collected young woman with a great deal of poise. She was absolutely a princess. In contrast, Alyce felt like a bumbling lovesick powerful being who couldn’t see anything past Aurora. Even her intense hate for Derek, the human who washed up on Briar’s shores who won some of Aurora’s friendship, grew annoying and it bothered me how it felt like the story was trying to set up a love triangle or force Alyce to hate someone who wasn’t as bad as she made him out to be, making it feel annoyingly petty. But the push and pull between Alyce and Aurora felt real and cautious. It also didn’t end the way I thought it would, which was a nice touch.

Misrule is full of manipulations, secrets, and hidden history. Since it’s told from Alyce’s POV, there is a lot unknown to the reader, so it was fun to watch it all unfold, to watch their mess become more and more tangled. So much of it did feel unnecessary since Alyce could have just grown up a lot, but I still did enjoy the messes they got themselves into. Really, though, this is the story of two groups who have seemed to have been at odds with each other practically since the beginning of time. There’s so much prejudice entrenched in them, but there’s this glimmer of hope. Alyce’s development often felt like it was pulling teeth, but I liked how it led up to the ending, which felt appropriately epic. It was great to see how it all came together and the effect it would have on the larger world.

I enjoyed all the secrets and getting to know so many fun and interesting characters. 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. They each really tried in their own ways, and they each had their own plots and manipulations. Watching them all collide was fun, but might have been a lot more fun if we hadn’t been constrained to just Alyce’s POV. Overall, Misrule was a lot more enjoyable than Malice, but I wished for a more mature main character.

Thank you to NetGalley and Del Rey for a review copy. All opinions expressed are my own. ( )
  The_Lily_Cafe | May 29, 2022 |
I love retelling of fairy tales, and Sleeping Beauty has always been my favorite, so when I saw Malice and Misrule by Heather Walter, I knew I would be reading them… especially since the “bad guy” is always so much more interesting than the princess. And Walter did not disappoint in either of the books.

In Malice we get to know Alyce before she becomes the evil flying creature. We see how she is mistreated and the various roles the people play in her belittlement. We also get beautiful descriptions of clothing and the palace. And love… although is it true enough to last through… well book two, Misrule.

While I really enjoyed Malice, I found myself liking Misrule even more… probably because the “monsters” get to shine in this one, along with the most goth palace that I would want to take a tour of… nope, no desire to live in a castle since they are way too cold!

Misrule takes place 100 years after the first book and we get to see how Alyce has come into her own. Of course there is an epic battle, along with some smaller ones, shifting alliances, people who are not what they seem, and love… and all the twists and turns that come with love; romantic, friendship, and family.

If you enjoy remakes of fairy tales, fantasy series, or are looking for some strong GLBTQA characters, you need to get your little claws on Malice and Misrule. ( )
  KimHeniadis | Apr 26, 2022 |
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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. "Fans of reimagined fairy tales and LGBTQ+ themes will be delighted with the conclusion of this fantasy duology."--Booklist (starred review) 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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