I received this book for free from Netgalley 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
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Retelling
Published by Bloomsbury YA on January 29, 2019
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In 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 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.
Here is what I thought
This is my first time reading this author but I am sure it won’t be the last as I really enjoyed this one. Retellings are kind of hit or miss with me but I still like to try them, especially when they are Beauty and the Beast ones.
I felt that this one was different but at the same time it had a Beauty and the Beast feel to it that made you really feel as if it was a retelling but unique enough to be its own story.
In this tale we have a prince Rhen who isn’t a beast all the time, but just at the end of the season. He is cursed to repeat the season over and over till he finds someone to love him. He is also killing off his kingdom being the beast and it is weighing on his soul. He has tried to protect them but it hasn’t worked out so well.
Grey is his only guardsman and he is allowed to go to a different world find a woman to bring back to the prince so he can try and get her to love him, but it never works. This time when Grey is taking a lady another young woman sees him and thinks he is kidnapping her so she intervenes. She ends up being the one taken instead.
Harper has cerebral palsy which has made her leg where she has a very defined limp, but she doesn’t let her condition define her. She is very spunky and not afraid to try and fight her way out. Grey always tries to take those without family but Harper has a mother who is ill and a brother who is in trouble so it’s hard for Harper to be in this foreign land.
War is coming to Emberfalls because a neighboring country believes them to be weak because of how the prince has cut his country off from everything. The Enchantress doesn’t help things as she is very evil. Rhen needs Harper to fall in love with him but things are never going to be that easy.
I don’t read a lot of fantasy so I think when I do I find most of them refreshing and enjoyable. I really liked the feel of this one and it had me hooked from the very beginning and when a 496 page book only takes me about two days to read then I know it’s a good book.
I really enjoyed the characters and thought it was cool that the main character had a medical condition that didn’t define who she was that she was still a very spunky and upbeat girl. I liked that Rhen was kind of arrogant and rude in the beginning but then turns out to be man who really just wants to help his people and has to live with the fact he has slaughtered many of them as the beast. The story is told in duel POV’s which I think works really well with this story to give you a good perspective of both characters. I also liked Grey and a lot of the other characters. I sort of guessed where the story was going towards the end and I am really curious to see where things go, so I need book two now! 🙂
If you enjoy retellings and fantasies then I would recommend this one! I really thought for once it was worth the hype!