RELEASE DATE: January 29th 2019
AUTHOR: Brigid Kemmerer
GENRE: Young-Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy, Retellings, Magic, Romance.
PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury YA
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.
“We are all dealt a hand at birth. A good hand can ultimately lose – just as a poor hand can win – but we must all play the cards the fate deals. The choices we face may not be the choices we want, but they are choices nonetheless.”
I’m a huge sucker for Beauty and the Beast retellings and I’ve been eagerly waiting for this book since I’ve first heard about it. I ‘m already familiar with Brigid Kemmerer’s works so I knew this won’t disappoint me. A Curse So Dark And Lonely is a refreshing take on Beauty And The Beast fairytale. I was actually expecting that the story will take place in a modern world but surprisingly the author takes us into a fictional fantasy world called Emberfall. I loved the characters, the setting, the writing, and the plot. It was truly an entertaining read but I wish the pacing was a bit faster.
Harper is a teenager from Washington D.C. who has Cerebral Palsy. She’s living a pretty tough life. Her mother is in final stage of Cancer. Her father had left them with a huge debt before dying. Her brother is working with dangerous loan sharks that they owe. Meanwhile In Emberfall, Crown Prince Rhen is ready to begin another new season after failing to break his curse. He sends his guard to bring a new girl from the human world and soon he returns with a reluctant girl who intrigues him. Rhen tries to woo her but soon realizes that his charms won’t work on her and his hope starts to dwindle down with each day. It’s his last season, If Rhen fails to make her fall in love with him in three months he will stay monster forever.
Rhen and Harper are the main characters but Rhen’s loyal guard Grey also plays a major role in this book. I really enjoyed Harper’s character. She’s witty, strong, and stubborn girl. Despite her Celebral Palsy, she always stood strong and never gave up hope. Rhen is a broody prince who’s trying to break his curse for years. I felt bad for this guy. He lost his family to the monster inside him and even after so many years has passed, the guilt is still killing him inside. While some died by the monsters hand, the others left the palace and only one person decided to stay beside him that is his loyal guard named Grey who’s also suffering from the curse. I loved Grey! He’s actually my favorite character in this book. He’s brave, loyal, and honest person. I honestly liked him even more than Rhen. I enjoyed the friendship between Grey and Harper. Their banters always brought smile to my face. If there was a triangle in this book, I would’ve definitely rooted for this guy. The romance between Rhen and Harper was heartwarming and sweet. I wish there was more heart to heart scenes in this book. Haper’s brother Jake felt like an okay-ish character. I didn’t care much about him. And finally we have Lilith, the enchantress who cursed Rhen. She was wicked, cunning, and smart character. I can’t say that she was a great villain, but I hated her.
The plot was entertaining and unique! Even though it slowed down in some places, I never felt the need to skim the pages. The concept was interesting. The romance was not the central focus in the book so don’t expect for a heavy romance in it. As it was a retelling, it was easy to predict some parts but not everything. The author’s writing was captivating, as always. The book was told in first person dual POV’s switching between Rhen and Harper. I wish there’s also Grey’s perspective in this book because he definitely deserves it. I hope we get it in the next book because of the surprising epilogue at the end. The setting was great. I really liked the Kingdom of Emberfall and would love to explore more of this world.
Overall, it was a great read filled with magic, action, and romance. I thought it was a stand-alone novel but i’m so glad that there’s going to be another book and I really hope it’s Grey’s story.
I highly recommend this book to all the people who loves to read fairytale retellings especially the Beauty and The Beast fans.