Book Review

Book Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers #1)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Published On: January 29, 2019
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Pages: 484


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. 

My thoughts

I’ve never read a Beauty and Beast retelling, and when I saw all the hype for A Curse So Dark and Lonely from my fellow bloggers, I caved to the peer pressure. And I did enjoy it! But. (Yes, there’s a but.) While I was entertained, I was not blown away. For the past year I’ve started to feel like I’ve outgrown young adult fantasy (except my established fave authors of course), and A Curse So Dark and Lonely has almost convinced me. I tried so hard to let myself just be lost in the fantasy, but I still found myself thinking that so many things were too far-fetched, too unbelievable. It’s a fantasy. It’s supposed to be far-fetched and unbelievable. So, I’m not sure if it’s the book or the genre. Oh well, on to the review!

The author does a good job of fleshing out the characters. Harper was one of my favorites. She’s strong, independent, with a clear voice that the reader can rally behind. And I’m a sucker for a tortured hero, and Rhen was definitely tortured. But I’m also a sucker for romance, and probably because it is only young adult, the romance was lacking for me. By the end, I wasn’t even sure if I cared whether or not anyone ended up together. But I was captivated by the tale. I had to see if Rhen, Grey (Rhen’s personal guard who seems to be just as tortured), and Harper would defeat the evil enchantress, Lillith, or if we would be left on a cliffhanger for the next installment. I won’t spoil it. You’ll just have to read the book to find out.

I’m not sure if I’ll pick up the next book in the series yet. I’ve seen some mixed reviews that make me nervous. But if you love young adult fantasy and fairytale retellings, and it’s your genre of choice, you should love this one!

Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)

Have you read A Curse So Dark and Lonely? How about A Heart So Fierce and Broken, the next in the series? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Wandering!

2 thoughts on “Book Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer”

    1. Yes, I was disappointed. There might be more romance in the second installment, but I don’t know if I have enough interest to pick it up. 🙂

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