A Curse So Dark and Lonely
A Curse So Dark and Lonely #1
author : brigid kemmerer
pages : [hardcover] 496
memorable quote :
I am always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light.
favorite character : harper
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.
I love fairy tale retellings, to the point that I honestly can’t say how many Beauty and the Beast retellings I’ve read. A Curse So Dark and Lonely is now not only one of my favorite retellings, it’s one of my favorite books.
The story is typical Beauty and the Beast for about . . . ten pages. There’s a curse. There’s the beast. And Harper is taken away to fall in love with him and break the curse. Except . . . she was never the one who was supposed to be brought to the Beast’s castle–she only ends up there because she tries to stop someone else, a stranger, from being taken.
Harper is from our world and one of my favorite contemporary characters I’ve ever read about. She’s thrust into another world filled with magic and royalty (and thankfully, refreshingly, HARDLY ANY SEXISM. three cheers for a magical world that doesn’t make a big stink about a girl wearing pants). Harper Stays Sexy and Doesn’t Get Murdered, though, because she’s determined to get home to her family and rightfully wants nothing to do with these emotionally stunted nerds who’ve kidnapped her. Finally, a Beauty who acts the right way to being stolen away from everything she’s ever known. Her reactions were so realistic? And I was immediately on her side.
I also loved how this book was dual POV, so we get to see from the Beast’s point of view as well. Rhen is verrrrry quickly made out to be a lesser villain in this book. He’s arrogant and sort of has no idea of how to be an actual person instead of a prince, but he was never TOO terrible. The story surrounding his curse, however, quickly gets very intense. Surprising (and amazing) for a retelling. Also surprising, we get beautiful worldbuilding. There are plots in this book outside of the curse. The stakes are higher–more characters are involved. I’m so glad that this is going to be a series because it feels like it needs at least one more book to explore all of the plot lines introduced here. Plus . . . I just want more of these characters okay.
There is a love triangle which I’m not the hugest fan of usually, but I love all of these characters so I didn’t even mind. More importantly there’s fantastic cerebral palsy rep with Harper (I love that it’s just a part of who she is, not her entire storyline) and some LGBTQ rep through minor characters. I want more. I need more. AH.
I can’t recommend this book enough and I’m so glad that I read it! I’ll eagerly be waiting for the sequel.