I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
Published by Bloomsbury YA on January 29, 2019
Source: the publisher
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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 was a little bit uncertain about reading this and I can’t even remember why, but for some reason I picked it up days after receiving it at BEA and then… I just couldn’t put it down!! You guys know I normally don’t read ARCs that far in advance, yet I read this back in June/July 2018 and it comes out in three weeks! This book had so many familiar elements that made it so fun to read: a broody, tortured prince; a fierce female protagonist; a snarky, sneering second-in-command; royalty, a curse, and a love-to-hate romance.
I had MAJOR A Court of Thorns and Roses vibes the whole time I read. But I think I just like to compare all retellings to ACOTAR now because I love it so much (well, I love ACOMAF the most, but you know what I mean). ALSO… Random because I haven’t read Hunted (Meagan Spooner) yet, but it’s coming to mind as I read this for some weird, random reason.
I loved Harper. Like I mentioned above, she was a fierce protagonist. She didn’t let anything stop her or push her around. She didn’t let her cerebral palsy slow her down or deter her. I also really liked Rhen – his character, his voice, his chapters. I loved the snark between him and Harper; their banter was great! I especially loved their realistic relationship, and the progression of that relationship.
I’m probably not supposed to like Lilith, but how can you not like an evil enchantress??? I honestly think I want a book with her story (Psst, Brigid, please make this happen!!!).
I’m seeing a lot of Lucien (from ACOTAR) in Grey, but Grey is a LOT more likable. In the beginning, I really shipped him and Harper, even though we were supposed to ship Harper and Rhen. I just adore Grey so much! Plus, Drunk Grey was absolutely hysterical, and gave me major Bash vibes.
I loved Harper and Jake’s relationship!! And Jake’s and Noah’s relationship!!!! And then that thing happened and I can’t talk about it because spoilers but it was so epic and hilarious and I loved it!
This book had me crying hardcore. It was such an emotional read, especially near the end. It felt like a stand-alone with a satisfying ending, but I can see more stories in this world, exploring other elements (*COUGH*evil enchantress story*COUGH*).
Overall, I highly recommend this one for fans of Beauty and the Beast and retellings of BatB, as well as fans of ACOMAF and stories along those lines. It was epic, emotional, and well written. The world-building is incredible, and the characters are ones you’ll root for and care for.
“I am always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light.” – Freya