{Leah Reviews} A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Posted March 18, 2019 by Leah in Reviews / 7 Comments

{Leah Reviews} A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

A Curse So Dark and Lonely (A Curse So Dark and Lonely, #1)

by Brigid Kemmerer
Pages: 496
Published on January 29, 2019
by Bloomsbury YA
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

Also by this author: Letters to the Lost, More Than We Can Tell (Letters to the Lost, #2), A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers, #2)

An instant New York Times Best Seller! 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 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.

4 Stars

There will never be enough retellings of Beauty and the Beast for me. When I saw Brigid Kemmerer, author of Letters to the Lost and More Than We Can Tell, was writing a retelling of it, I was on board. A Curse So Dark and Lonely shares similarities to her contemporaries in terms of tone and themes of family, connection, and love. But the book stands on its own as a fresh take on the fairy tale. No magical library, though, unfortunately. 🙂

That the book never shies away from the hard truths each character faces is a plus; they’ve all done some drastic things to survive and have experienced loss in ways I can’t imagine. Rhen’s tortured and heartbroken over the curse on his kingdom and the things he’s done. Harper’s mother is dying and, to make ends meet, acts as lookout while her brother tries to work off their dad’s debts. Harper has cerebral palsy and is always underestimated by Jake because of it. I LOVED that this book challenges preconceived notions of how people see Harper.

The slow development of Harper and Rhen’s romance is so well done and even got me teary eyed. Of course, she’s weary of him considering how she got to his kingdom. As they learn about each other, small trust forms. And can I just mention how much I adore the stoic, loyal Grey? It’s been a long time since I crushed on a quiet, brooding man, and I crushed on Grey hard.

I didn’t love the book as much as I thought I would though. The magic is a little strange with how it works in the castle. The flow of time is also a little strange–I understand Rhen and Grey are caught in a kind of time loop, but as far as how exactly, I can’t explain. There are several instances when Rhen, who finds out his kingdom is under threat, has what I call “checkmate” banter with his opponents. Something smart is said: Checkmate. Something else smart is said to counter the previous statement. Checkmate. The statement that tops all previous statements is said, followed by a smirk of triumph. Checkmate. It gets very repetitive after a while.

I will definitely read the next book because that ending was just brutal, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that, if the title of the second book is any indication, it will be about my brooding King’s Guard.



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7 responses to “{Leah Reviews} A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

  1. I love your format! I’m just starting my own book blog and I was wondering how you got the star functionality. I have no intention of copying it, but I love the idea of a graphic-based ratings system.

  2. Is Beauty and the Beast even a thing without a giant magical library?! 😮 What blasphemy is this?

    Man, Grey sounds like my type of character! I just can’t help it. I always fall for those types. xD Shame you didn’t like it as much as you thought, but a four-star rating is nothing to sniff at, either. Definitely makes me more interested in reading it. I’ll have to grab it next time I go to the library. 🙂 I’ve been meaning to pick it up for a while now.

    Sammie @ The Writerly Way recently posted: The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman
    • Leah

      Yes, the lack of a magical library really put a stop to my enjoyment of the book. LOL, okay, it didn’t…but I was disappointed there was no library.

      Grey is so dark and brooding, I just love him. I am really hoping the next book is about him. Enjoy when you get a chance to read it!

    • Leah

      The magic is something I can’t quite put my finger on, but I still liked the book overall. Hope you enjoy the book!

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