Wednesday, June 15, 2022


It took me a bit, but I finally finished Misrule, book 2 in the Malice duology by Heather Walter. I started it right after finishing Malice, got through only the prologue, then kind of just stopped when it said that 100 years had passed. But I made a point of getting back to it once I was in more of a reading frame of mind (I've really struggled to read so far this year) - I wanted to know how Alyce's story ended!

100 years after the fall of Briar, Alyce (now named Nimara, after the first Vila) has built the Dark Court over the ruins of Briar. All the creatures of Malterre are welcome here, and they have been waging war against the Fae, gradually taking more and more of the Fae courts. But unknown to most of the other denizens of the Dark Court, Princess Aurora slumbers in a hidden wing of the palace. Nimara has spent much of the last century scouring every old book she can find for some hint on how to break this second curse. But when a mortal man washes up on their shore and unexpectedly wakes the sleeping princess, everything Nimara thought she knew is thrown into question.

While the story is in many ways similar between the two books, I overall found Misrule to be a very different book from Malice. There were so many different characters of different races, that I really struggled to keep everyone straight, particularly those of the Dark Court (a list of characters really would have helped!) Nimara was also thrown in so many different directions thanks to the people around her (plus her own wants), that in many ways it felt like she hadn't grown at all in the last 100 years, at least right until the end of the book when she started to take charge of her life. Which I admit was a really weird feel for a character who had overseen the Dark Court for a century.

Some of the events that happened also kind of didn't make sense. Like why, of all the remaining Graces, would Nimara choose to use Rose of all people? Rose should have been the very last person she would have used given their history. 

But I will admit, the end did surprise me! I thought the plot was moving towards a certain outcome, but it ended up doing some stuff that I didn't expect at all, which was rather fun! In particular, the climax with the Faerie King didn't play out at all how I was expecting.

All in all, I did enjoy the Malice duology. I hope Walter will write more books set in this world - I would love to read about other characters and eras (like the first Vila, or how the rest of the world reacts to the events of Misrule).

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