Malice

Malice

Malice 1

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Beschreibung

A princess isn t supposed to fall for an evil sorceress. But in this bewitching and fascinating (Tamora Pierce) retelling of Sleeping Beauty, true love is more than a simple fairy tale.
 
Walter s spellbinding debut is for all the queer girls and women who ve been told to keep their gifts hidden and for those yearning to defy gravity. O: The Oprah Magazine

Once upon a time, there was a wicked fairy who, in an act of vengeance, cursed a line of princesses to die. A curse that could only be broken by true love s kiss.

You ve heard this before, haven t you? The handsome prince. The happily ever after.

Utter nonsense.

Let me tell you, no one in Briar actually cares about what happens to its princesses. Not the way they care about their jewels and elaborate parties and charm-granting elixirs. I thought I didn t care, either.

Until I met her.

Princess Aurora. The last heir to Briar s throne. Kind. Gracious. The future queen her realm needs. One who isn t bothered that I am Alyce, the Dark Grace, abhorred and feared for the mysterious dark magic that runs in my veins. Humiliated and shamed by the same nobles who pay me to bottle hexes and then brand me a monster. Aurora says I should be proud of my gifts. That she . . . cares for me. Even though a power like mine was responsible for her curse.

But with less than a year until that curse will kill her, any future I might see with Aurora is swiftly disintegrating and she can t stand to kiss yet another insipid prince. I want to help her. If my power began her curse, perhaps it s what can lift it. Perhaps together we could forge a new world.

Nonsense again. Because we all know how this story ends, don t we? Aurora is the beautiful princess. And I

I am the villain.

Book One of the Malice Duology

The villain takes center stage in Walter s superlative debut, a refreshing spin on Sleeping Beauty. . . . Fairy tale lovers of all ages will be thrilled. Publishers Weekly (starred review)

A truly original and clever retelling of a classic that had me racing to the end you ll never look at Sleeping Beauty the same way again. S. A. Chakraborty, author of the bestselling Daevabad trilogy

Absolutely dazzling! Full of love, power, and betrayal, Malice is as compelling as a spell, as captivating as an enchantment, and as fascinating and delicious as a fairy-tale curse. I loved it! Sarah Beth Durst, award-winning author of the Queens of Renthia series

Malice is the dark and wicked heart of a fairy tale carved into a book. This story is beautiful, vicious magic. Tasha Suri, author of Empire of Sand

A beautifully imaginative and feminist retelling of a fairy tale so often swept into the dark . . . Walter s debut was engrossing from page one, with a striking cast of characters, thrilling romance, and a world so vivid it will wrap thorns around your dreams. Roshani Chokshi, author of The Gilded Wolves

I spent a lot of late nights getting lost in this world of sorcery, intrigue, and of course true love. I m sure I won t be the only one! Richelle Mead, internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy

Lively characters, a tempting sapphic romance, and a richly built world make this a book to savor. Louisa Morgan, author of A Secret History of Witches

Details

Verkaufsrang

156

Einband

Taschenbuch

Erscheinungsdatum

01.02.2022

Verlag

Random House LCC US

Seitenzahl

496

Beschreibung

Details

Verkaufsrang

156

Einband

Taschenbuch

Erscheinungsdatum

01.02.2022

Verlag

Random House LCC US

Seitenzahl

496

Maße (L/B/H)

20,9/13,7/3 cm

Gewicht

374 g

Sprache

Englisch

ISBN

978-1-984818-67-6

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Chapter One

Age of the Rose, 996

The golden bell above my doorframe bobs twice.

I roll my shoulders against the needling ache that settles at the base of my neck whenever that damn thing sounds. After nearly a decade of hearing it, I ve come to despise the bell s shrill, tinny clang almost as much as the message it carries: A patron is coming. When it was first installed, my bell gleamed like those the Graces use in their parlors. But now, seeing as the servants conveniently forget to polish it, a mottled green tarnish clings to the thing like a scaly skin. Fitting, I think, that I should have the ugliest bell in Lavender House when I am by far the ugliest creature living inside it.

Alyce. My own name on my patron schedule glares up at me when I glance at the next appointment. Beneath it: The Dark Grace.

Grace, indeed. If I were truly a Grace, I d be receiving my patrons in a sunny parlor with silk-upholstered chairs and trays of spongy, cream-­frosted tea cakes. Instead, I m banished to a converted storage annex attached to Lavender House s kitchen. It s yet another reason Cook hates me. The space was once a larder and now Cook complains every chance she gets that there isn t enough storage space in the cellar. I catch her grumbling curses at me when she thinks I m out of earshot, as if this insufferable chamber is some kind of prize. There are no windows. A dank chill seeps through the rotting mortar, even in the summer heat. And the wretched hearth ­hastily added once I opened my practice ­clogs more often than not, filling my Lair with a perpetual smoky scent and smearing soot on every surface.

It s more a dragon s lair out of a story than a parlor in a Grace house. Rose dubbed it such soon after she arrived: the Lair, where the Dark Grace dwells. I hate the place so much that I didn t even fight her.

Callow ruffles as the bell jangles a second time, as annoyed as I am at the intrusion. I offer my kestrel a few meat trimmings snuck from beneath Cook s nose.

What do you think this one wants? Callow shakes out her white-­speckled wings in a decidedly irritated fashion and nudges my hand with her head. And I suppose there s no point putting it off any longer. Enter!

The chamber door squeals and I can tell immediately from the footsteps that it isn t one of my regulars. They re anxious. Hesitant. A startle away from turning and bolting.

I wish they would turn and bolt.

Whispering apologies to Callow, I fix her hood over her head. She s easier to handle this way, especially around strangers. I d found the kestrel as a chick some years ago, half-­dead and starving on the sea cliffs outside Briar s main gates. Though I m no healing Grace, I was able to nurse her back to health with what tinctures I could concoct. She s never taken to anyone else. Not that I blame her. Mistress Lavender said it would have been kinder to kill the bird, and one of the servants mistook her for a rat and nearly bludgeoned her to death. The maid was lucky I didn t return the favor.

The nervous patron hovers in my doorway, hood close around her face despite the oppressive, salt-­soaked heat of late summer. The firelight flits over her features, sharpening her cheekbones. Hollowing her eye sockets. Definitely not a regular. She looks like she thinks I m going to roast her over a spit. As if my pathetic hearth is large enough to manage that. Would that it could.

Your Grace. The edges of her brocade cloak tremble as she scrapes a curtsy.

What brings you here? I stroke Callow s snowy breast with one finger, affecting the cool, detached manner people expect from the Dark Grace. I don t ask her name. Within these wall
  • Malice