Thank you to NetGalley, the publishers, Random House UK, Cornerstone, and the author for a free e-ark in exchange for an honest review.
Once upon a time, there was a wicked fairy who cursed a line of princesses to die, and could only be broken by true love’s kiss. You’ve heard this before, haven’t you? The handsome prince. The happily-ever-after.
Let me tell you, no one actually cares about what happens to our princesses. I thought I didn’t care, either. Until I met her.
Princess Aurora. The last heir to the throne. The future queen her realm needs. One who isn’t bothered that I am the Dark Grace, abhorred and feared for the mysterious dark magic that runs in my veins. Aurora says I should be proud of my gifts. That she . . . cares for me. Even though it was a power like mine that 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
This was such an original retelling of the origins of Sleeping Beauty with lgbtq+ rep. I think I loved it because it was focused on the fantasy side of things with fae and other creatures (I’m really late to this party but since reading the Throne of Glass series last year I can’t get enough!) The backstory was great and you could really imagine the world it was set in. Although it took me a while to get through the first few chapters (I think work exhaustion more than anything) I was then hooked and picked it up whenever I could!
The character of Malice (the Dark Grace/Alyce) is such a refreshing villain with human emotions that I really felt for her. You want things to go right for her and you want her to get a happily-ever-after. The Graces, who you’d think would be the goodies with names like that, have enough evil in them to turn the stereotype around and show it’s not as simple as good and evil and people can have both in them.
I loved Aurora and how strong she was rather than being a feeble princess. Her relationship with Alyce made me happy especially with it being realistic with downs as well as ups.
The ending was wrapped up well, however with enough scope to leave it open for a sequel… I’d quite like to read more!