The present review describes the development of synthetic cyclic peroxides, which are designed to surpass the antimalarial activity of the lead molecule, the natural product (+)-artemisinin and some of its C10 derivatives. To begin with, tricyclic and bicyclic 1,2,4-trioxanes are taken to show how the pharmacophore was identified and chirality proved to be irrelevant. The action of ferrous salts on trioxanes illustrates the structural elements that are needed so that reductive breaking of the peroxide bond leads to C-centered radicals, the alleged parasiticidal agents. Views are expressed on how heme, Plasmodium SERCA, and plain ferrous ions, either as targets or activators, could be implicated in the mode of action. Thereafter, news about 1,2,4-trioxolanes, 1,2,4-trioxanes, 1,2,4,5-tetraoxanes, 1,2-dioxolanes, and 1,2-dioxanes is recounted, emphasizing aspects of design, mechanism, and the importance of the adamantane entity for buttressing activity. News about compounds made up of a trioxane covalently bound to aminoquinoline, so-called hybrid molecules, is reported together with a view that they might be better than mechanical mixtures. No new antimalarial can be considered without a word about the risk posed by the parasite developing resistance. The review is not intended to be exhaustive. Some gaps prior to 2009 are filled in, while the later literature up to the end of July 2011 has been covered. Artemisinin and its derivatives fall outside the scope of the review. Nevertheless, some mechanistic insights garnered from artemisinin, which are relevant to synthetic peroxides, are included.