Book Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

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Book One in The Cursebreaker series

First Published in the USA by Bloomsbury YA in 2019

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Fiction

Page Count: 477

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Bloomsbury Publishing:

Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall, is cursed. Forced to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he can only be freed by love. But at the end of each autumn he is transformed into a beast hell-bent on destruction, and after so many failed attempts, his kingdom and its people are barely holding on.

Harper’s life has never been easy, but she’s learned to be tough enough to survive. She won’t let anything hold her back, not her cerebral palsy or her mother’s deteriorating health. But when she is sucked into Rhen’s world, nothing is as it seems. Powerful forces are standing against Emberfalll … and it will take more than a broken curse to save it from utter ruin.

My Review:

A Curse So Dark and Lonely had been one of my most personal anticipated releases for a long time, one that I’d always been looking forward to reading – I mean Beauty and the Beast retelling? Sign. Me. Up.

Earlier this year I was gifted an ARC and finished copy of A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Bloomsbury Publishing, so I knew there was no better time to read A Curse So Dark and Lonely.

Oh boy.

This book.

My heart!

From the very start, Brigid Kemmerer drew me in to this freaking fabulous world! Starting in Washington DC, we meet Harper, definitely not quite your regular narrator, but honestly, I loved her instantly! I was drawn into her family struggles, her dying Mother and her brother doing what he can to repay perhaps nasty people that he got caught up with, and of course Harper wants to help them! She feels so helpless, but she’s definitely not one to stand by and do nothing, not one to let anyone suffer in silence! I just love that about her!

Its when she hears a scuffle near where she’s keeping watch for her Brother, but sees a man supposedly attacking a woman – amazing Harper jumps right in and helps the girl, only to then find herself transported altogether to another world, along with the man we learn is Grey, the right hand man of The Crown Prince of Emberfalll.

Urban Fantasy is always a favourite genre of mine and I just think Brigid Kemmerer has written one of the best novels of the genre! From the very beginning I was drawn in, absolutely engaged with both Harper and Rhen’s points of view and I just love how Harper wasn’t one to back down to Rhen, constantly challenging his notions, wondering why more people of Emberfall aren’t being helped, when people seem to be so impoverished and the Royal Family themselves (Rhen being the sole survivor to a horrible curse attack), being reduced to mere whispers.

I instantly adored both Rhen and Grey – Rhen, the brooding prince, tormented by this horrible curse that for so long has been not been able to break, and the loyal Grey, who is just so trusting of his Prince, refusing to kill him even when Rhen begs him to do so! See, neither of them know if there’s even a way that this wretched curse can be broken, I just felt so sad for them both! I mean, knowing Beauty and the Beast lore as I do, I knew there would be way more than meets the eye with Rhen’s curse, but I still couldn’t wait for things to reveal themselves!

The hopeless feeling that Rhen felt throughout this book, so certain that the people of Emberfall would be doomed from this monstrous curse, my heart! Honestly, he had just been feeling like this last season, when Harper had come into his life, would be the last, for a cruel Enchantress who just loves using Rhen as a plaything to torture him, believing that he was doomed and that Emberfall would perish.

The utter despair that Rhen felt definitely made for some heart wrenching moments, and throw in Rhen and Harper’s AMAZING chemistry and honestly this book had my feels in constant distress! I mentioned how I loved how Harper wouldn’t back down and would constantly rile Rhen, but as they grew to know one another and opened up about one another’s heartache, Harper feeling helpless and lamenting over her ailing Mother and missing her Brother, and Rhen of course being the only member of the Royal Family to survive the beastly attack.

Every moment of this book was utterly exquisite, I love how shrouded in darkness the story was, with a little bit of hope. I so needed Harper and Rhen to be happy and for Grey too be too! Which may or may not have been too much to ask! But truly, do read this book! It is likely my last read for 2019 and definitely became one of my all time favourites, and cemented Brigid Kemmerer as one of my new favourite Authors!

The twists and turns and revelations were definitely keeping me on tenderhooks throughout – Harper longing to go home and be with her family, yet she can’t deny a fierce level of protectiveness she’s built up towards Grey and Rhen, friendships she’s forged as Princess of Disi, which may just be one of the cleverest quips I’ve read about and it just held so much significance (Harper declares herself as such when she’s protecting a lowly family from some enemies to the crown and just how Harper and Rhen work on this supposed alliance, to rebuild and reignite people’s faith in Rhen, to gather an army, ahhh, this was just leading up to an ending of madness, epic proportions and did not disappoint! I’d reread it again if I could! I so cannot wait to reunite with Harper, Grey and Rhen in A Heart So Fierce and Broken – it’s going to be equally exquisite!

Happy Reading,


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