Hey everyone! Today’s post will be a book review. A Curse So Dark And Lonely is the first book in the Cursebreaker series by Brigid Kemmerer, a YA fantasy romance based on the fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast.” It was published in 2019 with 496 pages. I was a bit hesitant to read this book, just because of all the hype it was getting and because my sister read it before me and was saying that it was so good. But she finally got me to read it, and I don’t regret it!
“I am always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light.”Brigid Kemmerer
Synopsis on the book:
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.
My Thoughts on the Book
Harper is our main character, and I loved her! She comes from the regular world, so it’s relatable to see how she would react when she is in the magical world. She was strong and determined, as well as stubborn, but she’s also caring. I love how the characters in this book are so relatable and deep.
“This early in the season, the other girls would sit by the hearth and gaze at me over crystal goblets, while I’d pour wine and tell stories with just enough devilishness to make them blush. If I put a crystal goblet in this one’s hand, she’d likely smash it and use the shards to cut me.”Rhen, about Harper
I like how Brigid Kemmerer included a main character with cerebral palsy too. Harper’s cerebral palsy doesn’t hold her back, nor does it define her character. When she first is in the magical kingdom of Emberfall, she doesn’t hesitate to fight back.
Rhen is also a great character. He is flawed, seemingly a bit cruel or evil by Harper in the beginning, but then you get to know his past more, and all of the challenges he has had to face. He is usually trying to do the right thing, though that thing isn’t always so clear.
“My father once said 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 fate deals. The choices we face may not be the choices we want, but they are choices nonetheless.”Rhen
Although Grey doesn’t get his own chapter until the end, I feel like I know his very well. He’s loyal and also reserved. He doesn’t usually let himself slip, but when he does, and the reader gets to see some of him, you get to know him even better.
Lilith is also such a creepy villain. I was always just worried she’d show up and ruin everything. Every time she came, I got so worried that something bad would happen.
Plot, writing, and other things
I like how this book was a very original retelling, but it was still very imaginative and creative. I liked the story very well. Kemmerer’s story was really good, evenly paced, and the ending! I liked how it was a romance book, but it also focused on the people of Emberfall, and the fantasy element as well.
One thing in this novel that I found unbelievable, was their plans to save Emberfall. I don’t think that that many people would believe them. But I won’t give away too much.
The writing style is easy to read. It’s a good paced book, there weren’t really any scenes where I was bored. There also weren’t really any parts that I thought were going really fast.
In a lot of books that are written in two POVs, you can’t tell which chapter is whose, and the characters are very similar in the way they talk. But in this book, I think that Brigid Kemmerer did the character voice really well.
I loved this book so much that I rated it five out of five stars. It is a very original, yet creative, retelling of “Beauty and the Beast” that has great, believable, characters, vivid writing, and an amazing story. It is evenly paced, and then, the ending, wraps everything up together well, but still holds some secrets.
I found this book very similar to “An Ember in the Ashes” by Sabaa Tahir, and also “The Wrath and the Dawn” by Renée Ahdieh. They are both fantasy books which I would recommend. I can’t wait to read the next books!
Have a great weekend. 🙂