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18 July 2019

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

I got A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer in February's Fairyloot box with a Beauty and the Beast theme, and I was pretty excited - it's a gorgeous book and I'm a sucker for re-tellings, especially of my favourite fairy tale.

I read this for #OWLsJuly2019.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer coverAdd to Goodreads button
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. 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. 

Source: Purchase, Fairyloot Subscription

5 Words: Family, survival, strength, power, love.

When you're reading a retelling you pretty much know what you're in for - you know where the story is going to go. Or so I thought, before I read A Curse So Dark And Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. Because this book was full of unexpected takes on the traditional tale. And I loved it.

I loved the back and forth between the worlds, how it brought the differences into even starker contrast. I loved the difference in danger, the meaning of words and actions.

I think one of my favourite things about this book was Harper. She's a delight to read. I loved her tenacity, her drive, the way she worked towards her purpose but was still so unselfish. She is generous and kind and such a Hufflepuff, I loved her. Harper has cerebral palsy, but it doesn't define her, and I loved how she called out anyone who assumed she was weak because of her disability. YES, YOU GO GIRL. It definitely does not define her.

A Curse So Dark And Lonely is beautifully written. I picked out so many quotes while I was reading, and I pretty much want all of them as prints. I loved the pace, the slow release of secrets, the slow burn romance building in the background, the intense ending. But this book isn't just romance - it's political intrigue and magic and danger. And it's an addictive read, I couldn't put it down.

I'd recommend A Curse So Dark And Lonely to anyone who enjoys fantasy books, and I can't wait to read more of Brigid Kemmerer's books, and to read on in this fantasy series.

I am always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light.


  1. I keep meaning to pick this one up. I think your review just sold me on it.

    1. I keep meaning to send you my spare copy. I'll get it in the post soon!

  2. I really need to get to this one, even though I am not a huge fantasy reader - maybe I'll grab it at YALC to force me to read it.

  3. I literally just got this out of the library yesterday! I love Brigid Kemmerer's writing but have never read any of her fantasy things before, I hope I enjoy this! Great review!

  4. I LOVED this book! Lovely review, Cora!😊

    Shirley |

  5. I reeeeeeally need to pick up a copy of this book, hear endless great things about it!

  6. Another great review Cora! This book I am determined to get to once I'm back from YALC! I love Brigid Kemmerer - she just has a magical ability with words! I adore her contempories so I am hoping that I will love this as much.

  7. This sounds do promicing, I really want to get to this one too soon!

  8. I loved this book, can't wait for the sequel to be released!

  9. I love Harper too! She's definitely one of my fave characters from this year :) I just cannot wait for the sequel!

  10. I am reading this book this month for the Disney Read-a-thon! This was a lovely review, I can't wait to see what this book is about.

  11. I've had my eye on this for a bit and after reading your review now I know I need to get around to this asap, it sounds fantastic!

  12. really great review, i can't wait until i can read the book too. the quote you shared at the end is lovely :)


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