A Curse So Dark And Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
What It’s About:
Rhen, Prince of Emberall, is cursed. After crossing a powerful enchantress, Rhen is doomed to repeat the autumn of his 18th year that always ends with him turning into a ferocious beast. To break the curse, he must find a girl to fall in love with him but controlling the beast proves to be too difficult. The beast has destroyed his family and the trust of his people, bringing the kingdrom to near ruin.
Desperate to break the curse, Rhen has started sending the commander of his royal guard, Grey, to a parallel world (modern day Washington D.C) to find someone to break the curse. Harper witnesses Grey try to take another girl and attacks Grey to save her. Harper is taken to Emberfall instead, leaving her brother, dying mother, and dangerous loan sharks behind in D.C.
Rhen is now down to his last chance to break the curse. Can he win Harper’s heart and save the kingdom in time?
What I liked:
Harper’s character was my favorite. She’s had a hard life. Not only was she born with cerebral palsy, but her mother is also dying from cancer. Harper’s dad borrowed alot of money, which lead to her father’s abandonment and loan sharks hounding Harper’s family. I liked the way the author made Harper’s cerebral palsy a part of the character but not the main focus. Her character was realistic in that besides being headstrong and independent, she also had weaknesses that had to be overcome.
The character development between Rhen, Harper, and Grey was fun. Harper put up quite a fight when she first crossed over. She didn’t trust Rhen or Grey and constantly tried to escape to find a way home. After she realizes that Emberfall is real and there’s no way to get back to D.C., she is willing to learn more about the curse and the kingdom. There were tons of moments where I really enjoyed the dialogue and chemistry between the character. There was a good mix of conflict, friendship, and romance between them. It’s honestly what kept me going to the end.
What I didn’t like:
The overall Beauty and the Beast “retelling” fell flat for me. The world of Emberfall was generic and I wish it had been developmed more. A silly thing but the names of places really bothered me. Emberfall, Ironrose, Silvermoon. It just felt kind if formulaic. I also couldn’t get on board with the whole parallel worlds thing. The parts that invovled Washington D.C. and modern day elements seemed out of place and disrupted the flow of the story.
As mentioned earlier, the characters are what got me through the story. They were well developed and has great chemistry together. This book is the first in a triology series, so maybe the next two books will have more worldbuilding. I am not really a series reader anymore so I probably won’t continue this one. You might like this book if you are interested in:
- Beauty and the Beast
- strong female characters
- love triangles