I know I’ve been writing a lot of 5 ‘star’ reviews lately, but can’t help it. I’ve read some really great books in a row, and ‘A Curse So Dark and Lonely’ really deserves this rating, no doubt. Read to find out why! But first: what is the book about?

Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall, is cursed. Forced to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he can only be freed by love. But at the end of each autumn he is transformed into a beast hell-bent on destruction, and after so many failed attempts, his kingdom and its people are barely holding on. Harper’s life has never been easy, but she’s learned to be tough enough to survive. She won’t let anything hold her back, not her cerebral palsy or her mother’s deteriorating health. But when she is sucked into Rhen’s world, nothing is as it seems. Powerful forces are standing against Emberfalll … and it will take more than a broken curse to save it from utter ruin. 

My favorite fairytale

When I say that ‘Fantasy’ is my favorite genre, it is often actually incorrect. Because I’m not talking about vampires or witchcraft, let alone demons … No, in my head I’m actually talking about fairytales. Fantastic worlds with heroic characters. Stories like … A Curse So Dark and Lonely. When I read that it was a ‘Beauty and the Beast’ retelling, I was completely sold! That has been my absolute favorite since I was a little girl and I was curious if this book could live up to my expectations … It exceeds them. Kemmerer knows very well how to create a fairytale world without dumping information or making it boring. Her writing style is very pleasant, with a good variety of show and tell. It was also very interesting to read from both Harpers and Rhens perspective.

Found new love

Sorry my dear hubby, I fell in love with someone else. A fictional character, perhaps, but details aside … Okay, on a more serious note … Not only has Kemmerer managed to portray two handsome men (in my head), but also made them lifelike with all their strengths and weaknesses, making it difficult not to fall in love with them. Actually, all the characters in the book, including Harper, the female lead character, have managed to touch me. I see them very clearly. Harper, Gray and Rhen to be sure. But also Freya and her children, Jamison, Lilith, Zoh and Karis … I will miss them (most of them then), but I hope to meet them again in the sequal.

Somewhat predictable?

If I look very critically here, then I should say that the end was a tad predictable. I would like to go into it a little deeper, but I can’t do that without spoilers, so I’ll leave it at this. But then I also think to myself … Would I have wanted a different ending as a reader? Then I say wholeheartedly: no. Sometimes you dive into stories with a certain expectation, and it doesn’t matter if that expectation comes true. All in all, a great book and an absolute must for people who (just like me) love fairytales (with a slightly darker touch)!

Title: A Curse so Dark and Lonely
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Published: January 2019
Pages: 496
Publisher: Bloomsbury publishing
Rating: 5/5