A Curse So Dark & Lonley
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Genre/Themes/Demo: YA, Fantasy, Retelling
Release Date: January 29th 2019
Page Count: 496
Format: ARC provided by publisher
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.
Initial Post Reading Thoughts
As you may know, I went through a pretty substantial reading slump recently. This book got me out of it.
Why I Loved This Book
Unique take on Beauty and The Beast retelling. I’ve read literally one other book that was meant to be a Beauty & The Beast retelling, and it was hardly that at all. I wasn’t sure what to expect going in to this one, but I actually turned out to be very surprised! I loved that this retelling had an alternate universe aspect to it and mixed the idea of a fantasy world existing at the same time as our typical modern day Earth. I loved how our prince wasn’t in a constant beast-like form, but that he changed back and forth between human and beast and time would restart after each transformation, kind of like a Groundhog Day scenario. I loved that the “Beast” took a different form each time. I loved the slightly vague ending. Overall, I loved all the unique pieces that fit together to make this beautiful Beauty & The Best retelling!
Characters I would die for. I started this book loving one particular character more than the rest (Gray, my son, I will fight for you forever), but as the story continued I found myself loving all three of our main characters (Rhen & Harper, I would die for the two of you). As you may know, I hate love triangles and while I thought that might be the direction this book was taking, it didn’t bother me as much. However, it was confirmed by the author that a love triangle is not a thing in this story, but man did she have me fooled for a good chunk of this novel.
That cliffhanger though…So like…I need book two ASAP. How dare you leave me hanging like this, especially when I assume book two will revolve around a particular character who is hands down my absolute favourite.
Why I’m Shocked
Fantasy isn’t typically my jam. Fantasy retellings really are NOT my jam. Yeah, these two genres are typically a big “no thanks” when it comes to my reading habits. However, there was something about this novel that drew me in. Maybe it was because I’ve read contemporaries by Brigid Kemmerer before and absolutely loved them. I honestly have no idea…but I never in a million years thought that a fantasy retelling would be the book to get me out of my reading slump.
Overall, I absolutely LOVED this novel. I don’t really know what it was about it that pulled me in, but I’m so glad that it did cause I was really starting to worry that I was never going to be in a reading mood again.
About The Author
Brigid Kemmerer is the New York Times bestselling author of dark and alluring Young Adult novels like A Curse So Dark and Lonely, More Than We Can Tell, and Letters to the Lost (Bloomsbury), as well as paranormal YA stories like The Elemental Series and Thicker Than Water (Kensington). A full time writer, Brigid lives in the Baltimore area with her husband, her boys, her dog, and her cat. When she’s not writing or being a mommy, you can usually find her with her hands wrapped around a barbell.
Thank you for reading!