A Curse So Dark and Lonely
Author Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher Bloomsbury YA | 2019
fantasy | retelling
Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. 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 constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.
Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? 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. (from Goodreads)
This review is spoiler-freeeee! 🙂
*screams into the void* !!!!!!! I spent the majority of this book SCREAMING because this book is everything I LOVE. Fantasy retelling plus ENEMIES TO LOVERS?!?! Literally my dream. I read about twenty percent of this last weekend and then finished the rest of it in one sitting because it was SO GREAT. It was frustratingly great because all of the characters could be such idiots but I was so invested, so I just continually raged at everyone’s bad decisions while having the frickin’ time of my life, hahaha. Though there were some small things that annoyed me and the ending wasn’t amazing, I really really really enjoyed this and I can’t wait for the sequel!
“I’m not going to fall in love with you,” she says. Her words are not a surprise. I sigh. “You won’t be the first.”
I’m thoroughly invested in Rhen and Harper’s relationship. They’re both great characters and I love how Kemmerer brought her own spin to the Beauty and the Beast fairytale. Harper has cerebral palsy and I think it’s a great aspect of the character that demonstrates her strength and determination. Rhen’s cursed to repeat the same year over and over and turns into a different monster-hybrid every season. I LOVED the alternative perspectives and their interactions are everything I ever want out of an OTP, even though they made some stupid missteps along the way. I’m pretty pleased with how they ended this book so fingers crossed I stay happy in the next book!
“I don’t think I can keep hating you.” “Such sweet words of affection, my lady. You honor me.”
The supporting cast was super interesting also- I loved Grey, Zo and Freya! Grey’s relationship with Harper was great, but I’m really hoping it doesn’t turn into a love triangle because I really think they have a much more compelling friendship, and their weird romantic vibe was one of the things that didn’t sit well with me. I felt like the ending was actually a little slow because I didn’t enjoy the real-world chapters as much as the ones in Emberfell, and you lose a perspective, and I also didn’t like Jacob much at first. It picked up at the very end though and I’m really curious about the cliffhanger! Can the sequel just be out already please :(((
This book kinda makes me want to read some more retellings, but I don’t think I have any on my TBR. I’ll have to track some down. I’m really happy to say that this book lives up to all the hype I’ve been seeing lately, yay! I’m super excited for the sequel, so until then I’m just gonna have to buy myself a hard copy of this and reread it over and over!