A Curse So Dark and Lonely
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Pages: 496 pages
Genre: YA Fantasy
Published: January 2019
Rating: 5 stars
In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.
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. 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.
With the release of A Vow So Bold and Deadly, I just had to reread the other two books in the series. I fell in love with the characters on my first read and it happened again! I love fairy tale retellings and this book is definitely one of my favourites.
‘I am always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light.’
Prince Rhen is fated to repeat the season of his 18th birthday over and over, until someone falls in love with him. Harper is Rhen’s last chance to break the curse. She is thrust into a completely new world of Emberfall and I think she adjusts quite well. I don’t feel like there’s majorly detailed world building in this book to begin with. But as Rhen and Harper begin to trust one another, we are introduced to more aspects of Emberfall. Lilith is the evil witch that has cursed Rhen and honestly, I hate her so much it is ridiculous!
‘Failure isn’t absolute, just because you couldn’t save everyone doesn’t mean you didn’t save anyone.’
I absolutely adore Harper. I think she is the perfect main character. Harper has cerebral palsy and is often underestimated because of it, but her strength is admirable. I love the development her character takes over the course of the book as she becomes a leader and is placed in situations outside of her comfort zone but she handles them so well! Rhen is also one of my favourites and as much as I love Grey, I will always be rooting for Rhen and Harper. I love their relationship and I think Harper really helps Rhen become a better person and realise that he needs to act for his people and his kingdom. There was some really cute moments shared between Rhen and Harper that had me swooning. I found myself amused by the antics of both of them! Grey is more than just a side character and I like how his friendship with Harper develops. I know it’s meant to be kind of a love triangle but I just love Harper and Rhen and I don’t want there to be a triangle!!
‘I hope she does come here. I hope she comes to this room. Because I don’t care what I have to do. I’m going to end her.’
As this is a reread I have also read the sequel A Heart So Fierce and Broken so I know what is about to happen but that cloffhanher still gets to me! I feel like it could be a relatively happy ending otherwise! I also feel like Harper and Rhen’s relationship is quite realistic for their situation and I’m hoping it will develop more in the next books!
Have you read this book or this series? Or are you planning to? Let me know!