Title: A Curse So Dark and Lonely
Series: Cursebreakers #1
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retellings
Published: January 29th, 2019 (Bloomsbury YA)
Synopsis: 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.
When it comes to fairytale retellings, I’m usually very picky and not easily impressed, especially if it is one that is commonly retold. This was definitely one of the few exceptions, as it was such an unexpectedly fun read!
A Curse So Dark And Lonely is a Beauty and the Beast retelling with a darker twist on the tale. You know how the story goes, you know how it ends, but reading this feels like hearing it for the first time all over again – not an easy feat for such a classic fairytale. In this version, Rhen, the Crown Prince of Emberfall, is cursed by an evil sorceress to repeat the same season over and over again until he succeeds in his quest of finding love. At the end of the season, if he has failed, he turns into a monster and goes on a rampage. This has been the pattern for many, many seasons, but this is his last chance. But this time, his Belle is no swooning maiden but a modern day girl from DC who is less than happy at being wrenched away from her struggling family to an enchanted castle.
I really loved the author’s previous book, Letters to the Lost, which is mainly why I had this on my TBR in the first place. There are definitely a lot of ACOTAR vibes throughout and the characters, particularly Harper was amazing. One of my favourite things was that we get both Beauty and Beast’s POVs. Seeing Emberfall through Rhen’s eyes definitely lends a rather unique perspective and understanding to the curse. I’m really hoping for a POV for Commander Grey in the next book, especially considering how it ended. While the ending was not all that shocking, it was definitely an interesting twist and I’m curious to see how this is going to work out in the sequel.
Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
Other reviews in this series: