I received this ARC from Publisher for free 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 Publishing USA on January 29, 2019
Source: ARC from Publisher
"Absolutely spellbinding." --Stephanie Garber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Caraval and LegendaryIn 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. 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 lucky enough to read a manuscript of this book way back in February of 2018. I even submitted this blurb:
Comfortably familiar yet incredibly unique, A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY is the Beauty and the Beast retelling I’ve been waiting for. A perfect blend of fairy-tale nostalgia and modern day spirit. Harper is a heroine after my own heart. Uncowed by the challenges presented to her, she’s fierce in her determination to do what needs to be done. I cannot wait to see where her story goes.
The text in bold was used on the ARCs:
That’s still pretty crazy to me! But I really, really, really enjoyed reading this one so I was happy to do it.
Originally the main draw for me was the Beauty and the Beast reimagining. I’m a sucker for fairy-tale retellings and Beauty and the Beast is my favorite. However, as you can tell from my blurb, I absolutely loved Harper! Don’t get me wrong, the Beauty and the Beast aspect was wonderful… delightfully dark and twisty! But Harper really stole the show. She was such an intriguing character and I admired her determination and dedication to doing what she felt needed to be done.
One of the most interesting parts of any Beauty and the Beast retelling is seeing the relationship between the characters grow and change. Due to the nature of the story, things never start easy! Kemmerer did such a great job developing this part of the tale. I loved seeing Harper interact with Rhen (as well as the incredible secondary characters like Grey and Lilith.) The fact that the narration is shared between Harper and Rhen really strengthens this relationship, as well as the story in general.
Finally, I absolutely loved that this reimagining took a girl from modern day Washington D.C. and brought her into a parallel fantasy world. That blend of contemporary thriller and fairy-tale retelling is unlike anything I’ve read before. And it really worked for me.
I could go on and on but it all boils down to the fact that I highly recommend A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer.