Posted in Book Review

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Read Dates: May 20, 2019 – May 22, 2019
Publication date: January 29, 2019
Source: Owned copy

GoodreadsAmazon

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

cat-face_1f431cat-face_1f431cat-face_1f431half_cat-face_1f431

Harper is a senior in high school who lives with her older brother Jake and her mother who is bed ridden and battling cancer. Her father is gone and has left the family with a large debt. Her brother, Jake, has to do unspeakable things to repay his father’s debt and keep his mother and sister safe. He views Harper as someone who needs protection based on her size and the fact that she has cerebral palsy but they will both come to realize that she is stronger than either of them could have ever imagined.
Harper is acting as a look-out for one of her brother’s jobs when she witnesses a man carrying away a drunk, unconscious woman. Harper, who can’t just stand by and let the woman be kidnapped, leaps into action. The man she assaults is Grey, the guard commander for the crowned Prince of Emberfall. The Emberfall castle is under a curse that was bestowed by the only known enchantress left in the world, Lilith. She has cursed Prince Rhen to relive the autumn of his 18th year over and over again until he finds a girl to truly love him and break the spell. For over 300 seasons, Grey has brought a new girl to Rhen and for over 300 seasons, the prince has been unable to successfully have a girl fall in love with him. At the end of each season when the girl fails to fall in love with the prince, he turns into a ravenous beast who destroys everything in his path. Then the season resets and the curse starts over. Now, it is the Prince’s last chance as this is the final season Lilith is allotting him. When Harper arrives he knows she is unlike any other girl he has ever tried to woo. She’s stubborn, brave, and quick witted. Just as Prince Rhen is about to give up hope, he realizes he could really fall for this girl. But can she love him in return once she finds out what he has done and what he is to become?

When I see a retelling, I run headlong at it. Especially a Beauty and the Beast retelling.
I have so many mixed feelings about this book. Though, I will say, I loved reading it. I never had problems picking this book up to read it and once I began reading, it was really hard for me to put down. This is going to be hard to explain I think… Let me try…

From the beginning I really liked Harper. I love that the author added the cerebral palsy to a character who is stronger than many of the other characters in this book. She IS one of the cases with more functionality but you still get a sense of her struggle with that left leg and you FEEL that struggle in the book. If you know me, you know I like a good, strong, hard-hearted female character who knows what she wants and doesn’t let just any good looking man send her into a swoon stupor. She was a bit rash at times but she was logical. She saw her faults and she owned up to them. She didn’t let anyone believe her leg was some sort of injury, she instead told everyone, “NO. I was BORN THIS WAY.” And she owned it. That in itself was beautiful.

Rhen and Grey both took a bit to grow on me. Grey grew on me long before Rhen did but Rhen was a bit more of a mysterious character. Grey was fairly straightforward.
The problem was just the fact that it took me until the end of the book to connect to Rhen and it took more than half of the book for me to connect to Grey. Rhen, of course, is the one who you’re supposed to root for since he’s the one who is cursed, and while I did root for him, I also had moments where I wanted Harper to go for Grey instead. I’m honestly still undecided.

Do not misunderstand. For, this is no love triangle. In fact, there’s very little kissing/romance type stuff at all in this book.

The beginning was pretty much just setting up the curse and how Harper ends up in Emberfall so it was a little slow to start but I enjoyed Harper’s spirit and the world building enough that I didn’t lose interest.

The middle of the book was a journey. There’s a good little bit of traveling in this book so if you enjoy a good travel story, you’ll most likely enjoy this one. I fell in love with some of the secondary characters along the way as well. One was a woman who is being threatened by a group of soldiers who Harper rushes to fight for and the other was a small girl who wanted to join the royal guard regardless of the fact that she was an artist/musician. This book had some wonderful characters.

The end of the book was an absolute roller coaster. I’m pretty sure I went through all the emotions. There’s a moment in the book where Harper goes straight up Khaleesi on your ass and you’re like, “Yes, girl! Go, girl!”
This book did not end how I expected it would and that epilogue has me reeling. There’s going to be a book two, and I am ALL FOR IT. Bring it on.

I do highly recommend this one. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

**During my reading of this book, a song came on my playlist and it fit SO WELL with the scenes I was reading… so I have to post it here. Guys, there’s a good bit of bloodshed in this book, so… yea. You’ve been warned. Enjoy!

Keri