Book Review | A Curse So Dark and Lonely
Title: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers #1) by Brigid Kemmerer
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Retellings
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA (Jan. 29, 2019)
Fall in love, break the curse.
Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. 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 constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.
Break the curse, save the kingdom.
Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? 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 want to start off by saying, I don’t always love fantasy books. Sometimes they’re hard for me to get into and not worth the effort it takes for me, on my part. That being said, when I first read the premise for this book, I knew it was one that I was going to love. I’ve always loved the story of Beauty and the Beast, so this modern twist really kept me intrigued. I’m happy to say that A Curse So Dark and Lonely did not disappoint!
One of the biggest things I loved about this book was the characters. Harper was, by far, my favorite character. She is the “Belle” of this story and she is such a spitfire. She is so sassy and so independent and takes no bull from anyone. Also, I have to talk a minute about her disability. Harper has cerebral palsy. One of my best friends has CP and neither of us has ever read a book that features a character with CP. When I told her about A Curse So Dark and Lonely she told me she felt so seen and ordered herself a copy of this book. Diverse representation is so important and I really applaud the author for including it. Not only that, but I loved that while Harper has cerebral palsy, the entire book and her life does not focus around only that. Just like my best friend, it is a part of who she is, but she is so much more than that. She is fierce, strong, brave, witty, and authentic. So, I really loved the disability rep, but I am also curious to hear what my friend thinks about the representation.
Aside from Harper, I really adored all the other characters as well. I appreciated Rhen and how he wasn’t your typical “Beast.” Likewise, I loved Grey. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know who I was rooting for Harper to be with in the beginning because Rhen and Grey were both such great characters. The relationships – romantic and platonic – between everyone was so well done, too. I really fell in love with all the characters in this book.
The actual premise of A Curse so Dark and Lonely was really interesting, too. Yes, it is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but the author does an excellent job at maintaining the heart of the original story while also creating something modern, unique, and refreshing. It was really interesting that this book features a “Belle” from our modern-day world, while the “Beast”/Rhen is still in a fairytale land. I’ve actually read several Beauty and the Beast retellings, and I believe this one may now be my favorite.
Overall, I really enjoyed A Curse So Dark and Lonely! This book is packed with action, feisty characters, and heart. If you’re a lover of Beauty and the Beast or fairytale retellings, I would definitely recommend this book!