A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Cursebreakers #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication Date | January 29th, 2019
| Review |
A Curse So Dark and Lonely kicks off Brigid Kemmerer’s latest series, Cursebreakers. This particular story is a Beauty & the Beast retelling, and if there’s one fairytale I want to read over and over again, it’s this one.
Harper is on the lookout for her thug of a brother one night when she witnesses something she can’t ignore. After intervening, her life changes forever when she’s swept away into a fantastical world called Emberfall. Rhen has spent many ‘seasons’ trying and failing to find love in order to break a curse over his kingdom, and he’s lost all hope. Finding out that this is his last ‘season’ magnifies his hopelessness. Grey is his loyal protector, and there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for the crown prince. This was such a wonderfully written book. The relationship between Rhen and Grey was fantastic, and I loved the way Harper changed the dynamic of the entire kingdom. She gave both Rhen and Grey new perspectives on things, and she learned a lot from them while she was in this world. There was a lot that they all wanted to change that they couldn’t, but they always had good intentions and wanted the best for the kingdom. Harper comes to inspire both men in different ways, and I loved the way they all interacted.
This book had a slower pace to it, as I find a lot of fantasy does. But I never felt like it was wasted time or dragging; everything that happened felt pertinent to the plot. Harper had Cerebral Palsy, and I thought it was interesting how differently she was viewed in the worlds. She really found her strength in Emberfall; her tenure as acting the part of a false princess gave her a confidence she’d never had before, and as far as Rhen and Grey were concerned, it wasn’t a hindrance for her, neither should she see it as such. But in her own world, it’s clear her brother sees her as someone who can’t make it on her own and needs to be looked after.
A couple of things I realized while reading this book: #1, how much I look forward to the scene where the hero sheds his beast form that last time. It is such a momentous part of the story, and it was done splendidly here. And #2, how much I like the premise of getting swept away into a different world. I like fantasies where there’s one character who goes to another world, and they know it. It adds such an exciting element to the story, and I like to see how a character acts when they’re out of their element. It feels so fantastical, and I love it. I will say, one thing is that if you’re from this world, how can you not know you’ve been ushered into a Beauty and the Beast scenario? I’m not knocking the author for this; I’m just thinking about how much I would love a story where the heroine knows what she’s a part of.
I will say that if you read and loved this book and you haven’t read Hunted by Meagan Spooner, you should. It’s another Beauty and the Beast retelling that is wonderfully written, and it rivals this one for my favorite.
In case it’s not obvious, I loved A Curse So Dark and Lonely, and I cannot wait to read the follow up. I could kick myself for sitting on this for so long, but at least I don’t have long to wait for A Heart So Fierce and Broken after that ending!
If you have read this book or don’t mind spoilers, keep an eye out for a discussion post for this book with my reading buddy, Shanna, coming soon! We had lots to talk about.
| Rating |