Blurb (as on Goodreads):
An instant New York Times Best Seller! 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.
Let’s start with the antagonist here, shall we? Lilith might not be present at all times throughout the story but she does leave a lasting impression. Lilith’s reason for casting the curse runs deeper than the standard cause that we saw in ‘The Beauty and the Beast’ and while she is a tormentor, I see reason in her actions.
“Are you prepared to die, Grey?” I demand. “Because that is all that exists at the end of this path. I am sure of it. This was never a curse to be broken. This is a death sentence. The true curse has been the thought that we might find escape.”
Harper, a common girl from DC, accidentally (and very heroicly) finds herself in Emberfall and meets the crown prince-Rhen and his commander Grey. Rhen is cursed and so is the castle and Rhen’s goal is to make Harper fall in love with him. But Harper- resilient and determined as she keeps trying to escape.
“This early in the season, the other girls would sit by the hearth and gaze at me over crystal goblets, while I’d pour wine and tell stories with just enough devilishness to make them blush. If I put a crystal goblet in this one’s hand, she’d likely smash it and use the shards to cut me.”
A retelling that is supported by immaculate and compelling writing is definitely a winner for me. ‘A Curse so Dark and Lonely’ might borrow its plot from ‘The Beauty and the Beast’ but the author has brought a lot of novelty to the otherwise classic story. The imageries created by the author are beautiful and it literally takes you from reality to a parallel world where things are either curser or extremely dangerous. Harper and Rhen have this chemistry which runs deeper than a standard story of love.
“Failure isn’t absolute, just because you couldn’t save everyone doesn’t mean you didn’t save anyone.”
While the story could have been easily wrapped up in this book, we see that the author isn’t finished and if she has more to say, I would like to read it. I wonder what the sequel holds, but I am hoping to see the same refreshing writing and an action-packed plot.
Purchase Links: |Amazon Kindle|
*Thank you Bloomsbury India for the copy. All opinions are my own*