A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

YA fantasy seems to be catching hold of me, not that I really understand all the classifications of Young Adult, New Adult etc. Also, if there was a list somewhere in Goodreads on books based on Beauty and Beast, I would have probably read half my share of them. 😀😀😀

Brigid Kemmerer’s fantasy retelling of Beauty and The Beast is all heart. A tortured hero, a feisty heroine, a loyal friend and guard, an evil enchantress, what more can one ask for? Once again, am probably the only one who thought, OH NO, not another series😒😒😒. I really am the impatient sort and hate waiting to know how the story concludes, it’s rather easier for me to wait until all the books in the series have released and then read it🙃🙃🙃

Harper’s character as a cerebral palsy afflicted girl struggling to convince her brother of her worth was relatable. It is often our near and dear ones that undermine our strength when strangers can see more. Prince Rhen and his guard Grey have only season left to complete the tasks set out by Lady Lilith, and to say that she instills such intense loathing in a reader for the torture she causes to all is an accomplishment by the author. It is commendable that the author has used Harper’s ailment as a source of strength and not as a sympathetic crutch for the heroine. She’s more a warrior princess and it is thru her kindness and her never give up without a fight attitude that forces Rhen to do something for his people rather than sit in the sidelines being helpless and pitiable. Of course, it was beautiful to see the growth of Rhen as a true leader finding ways to protect everyone from the monster that resides in him.

The most interesting aspect of the story is the world of Emberfall. Certainly, the place is magical but beyond the never changing season, Emberfall does feel like something that a reader can imagine about. Grey’s character is being developed in the 2nd book in the series and honestly, for such a fascinating character he deserves an entire book by himself.
The pace of the central part of the story does slow down and picks up tempo as Harper rejoins with her brother Jake and Noah and tames the monster and wins the day for the people of Emberfall.

Looking forward to the next book in the series.

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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. 

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