cover image Misrule


Heather Walter. Del Rey, $27 (464p) ISBN 978-1-984818-68-3

Walter brings her debut duology to an unhappy close with this moody, jam-packed sequel, set 100 years after events of Malice. The kingdom of Briar has fallen to the fury of Alyce, a Vila, or dark sorceress. With Regan, another Vila and potential love interest, at her side, Alyce makes it her mission to provide refuge to dark creatures—among them goblins, demons, and imps­­—that are reviled by the rest of the world just as she was once reviled by Briar. Any humans who survived Alyce’s ascension have been bound as servants, and the remaining Graces, benevolent fae, are imprisoned. Meanwhile, Alyce does everything she can to try to wake her love, the sleeping Princess Aurora—including using the miraculous blood of the Graces—but she refuses to consider the one surefire way to break the curse. With tensions rising between the Fae and the Dark Court, Alyce finds herself caught between her kingdom and the woman she loves. The introduction of Regan’s character is promising, but goes nowhere, and the story’s ending, while logical, will leave fans who’ve invested in Alyce and Briar feeling cheated. Still, the many twists and dark moral questions keep the pages flying. Agent: Laura Crockett, Triada US. (May)