Title: A Curse So Dark and Lonely
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
Page count: 484
“We are all dealt a hand at birth. A good hand can ultimately lose – just as a poor hand can win – but we must all play the cards the fate deals. The choices we face may not be the choices we want, but they are choices nonetheless.”
Let me start by saying that I love the cover! First look at the book and I was in love! The premise also got me all hooked up and reading on, I knew I was going to love it. And I did!
I was excited when I first picked up this book because there were a bunch of good reviews from everywhere and seeing that my blog friends also seemed to love it, I decided to find out why myself. I started reading not trusting myself to finish soon since I was busy with everything but I managed to do so because the story just kept on pulling at me. A Curse So Dark and Lonely is a retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast which I think is a very good one.
The story centers on Harper, a girl who is suddenly kidnapped from Washington DC to some fairytale land called Emberfall; Rhen, a prince who is cursed by an evil enchantress and Grey, the loyal Commander of the Royal Guard. One night Harper is trying to save a woman’s life and next thing she knows she’s in some cursed castle with music that never stops and food supply that never goes out of stock. There she meets Grey, the man who kidnapped her and Rhen, the prince of the castle who needs a girl to fall in love with him. Both men are intrigued when they first see Harper because she’s so fierce and determined to go back home but sooner than later she realizes that she’s stuck in Emberfall whether she likes it or not.
The story picks up when Harper finds out that she’s not the first girl that Grey has kidnapped from her side of the world and why. By this time she knows that the curse wouldn’t be broken and Rhen somehow knows it too. To make things worse, the enchantress decided this would be Rhen and Grey’s final chance to break the curse. And then Harper needs to go back home to see her dying mother and to help her brother. Adding fuel to the fire, Rhen has to worry of an invasion from a tyrannic ruler from a neighboring land.
“I am always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light.”
I love the character development in this book and I think Harper is a very powerful character. She’s not the typical beautiful/perfect princess type protagonist but she’s flawed but strong not letting her cerebral palsy gets in her way. I know she feels intimidated at times but her determination and will always get the best of her! I also like how I grow fond of Grey right from the start. He’s loyal, he knows his duties and he never left when everyone else did. He’s a friend to Rhen and I love how he’s protective of Harper. Rhen is an okay character, I think he’s so closed off and very scarred. He’s scared but learning of his people’s misery and seeing how Harper wants to help, he realizes that he’s still the King of Emberfall after all and he has duties to his people. So to compensate for the time the people thought the royal family has abandoned them, Rhen decided he must do something for his people for the last time.
Overall I very much enjoyed this book. The touch of magical realism is refreshing though it lacks background. Also, the author was able to make it very relatable and the plot very engrossing. Though, I wasn’t that thrilled with the chapters towards the end and the ending didn’t surprise me at all because as soon as I read that chapter, I knew what the twist would be.
Anyway, I hope your experience with this book would be as great as mine.