Book Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

ACurseSoDarkandLonelyA Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Published by Bloomsbury YA on January 29, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Retelling

Pages: 496 Format: Hardcover Source: Library

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

Top 4 Reasons This Retelling Rocks

  1. A Brutal Curse – The curse in this one is definitely more brutal and pain inducing than any I’ve read before. The visceral torment that the protagonists suffer is palpable and it made it all the more real.
  2. Crafty Characters – Faced with overwhelming obstacles, these characters have to come up with some major plots/plans to save the kingdom. It’s compelling stuff and kept my eyes glued to the page.
  3. Portal Fantasy – With Harper hailing from Washington D.C., this fantasy takes a new direction with travel between realms. It adds more discovery to the narrative and changes how some interactions take place.
  4. Disability Rep – Harper has cerebral palsy and after a number of surgeries when younger she’s still left with a serious limp. That doesn’t stop her though from making hard choices, rushing into danger, and protecting others.

Overall A Curse So Dark and Lonely was a brilliant take on Beauty and the Beast thanks to a riveting plot and fantastic characters. Brigid Kemmerer fleshes out this world wonderfully which allows this book to stand on it’s own. Plus the characters are incredibly relateable and the romance was built on slowly. I would absolutely recommend this one to fantasy lovers and fans of the source material.

Have you read A Curse So Dark and Lonely? Enjoy fairytale retellings?

Let me know in the comments below!


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