Book Review: A Curse So Dark And Lonely By Brigid Kemmerer

we are okayRating: ★★★★
Title: A Curse so Dark and Lonely
Author: Brigid Kremmerer
Find it on Book Depository

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.


This was great! I enjoyed it. I would say it has a very similar feel to the ACOTAR series while reading, but probably aimed more at a slightly younger audience. Nevertheless, I liked it a lot and will definitely continue the series!

A Curse So Dark And Lonely follows Harper, a teenage girl, swept away from her home in Washington DC by Grey, the Commander of the Royal Guard, to Emberfall, a fairytale-esque Kingdom, currently cursed by a powerful enchantress. The only way to break the curse is for Harper to fall for Prince Rhen. But with very little time before the prince is doomed to live as a beast forever and his people are left without a ruler, Harper struggles to know her true feelings. With Emberfall slowly going to ruin, Harper must navigate her way through love, loss, war and heartache.

I actually really enjoyed this Beauty and the Beast retelling. It felt fresh and different, while not straying too far from the original source material  for the reader to know it’s a retelling of a classic fairytale. The novel was right up my alley in terms of genre, and the romance was very sweet. However, I do get the feeling that a love triangle will be a predominant part of the next instalment as there were quite a few moments that it was hinted at and slowly built upon. The love triangle troupe is something I really dislike, so I hope that the author chooses to go a different route or does it in a way I am able to enjoy.

I loved the rich world building! I felt like I was right there in Emberfall with Harper, Rhen and Grey. Speaking of which, the characters were fantastic! I loved that we were given a really strong, female main character with cerebral palsy. It’s not something I have ever seen represented in a YA book before, so it was really great seeing it represented so respectfully. Despite the hints of an impending love triangle, I actually really liked both the male leads and found them both equally as interesting and charismatic. Although, personally, I wouldn’t go past a Commander of the Royal Guard! Ha!

Overall, the story was great! There were a couple of things I didn’t overly enjoy, but it wasn’t enough to stop me from wanting to pick the book up and devour it in a matter of hours. I really liked this retelling, and with the way it ended, I look forward to reading the next instalment!


5 thoughts on “Book Review: A Curse So Dark And Lonely By Brigid Kemmerer

  1. yay, 4 stars! I had nothing to do with this book, lol, but I love it so much that I take people’s response to it very seriously. I get bummed if someone hates it and excited when someone loves it!

    I know it’s not perfect (the cliche female villain needed a bit of work), but it was SO GOOD on so many levels and really elevated the retelling genre. ❤

    I'm hoping like hell there's no love triangle in the next book, I was so relieved it wasn't a factor here so the author better not go down that path, eek!


    1. That is exactly how I feel about the ACOTAR series, I adore Sarah J Maas! Haha! I really enjoyed ACSDAL though! I’m looking forward to the next instalment. I hope there isn’t a love triangle, it’s been done to death and I always find them so tedious and annoying! But I have faith in the author that it’ll be awesome! You hit the nail on the head! It’s not perfect, but it’s still a really great read!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. imo, there’s two ways to rate a book – on how ‘objectively good’ it is and then there’s how it makes you feel. I think ACSDAL was a 4-star book, but it made me FEEL so freaking amazing, I was on a high for days and I’m still happy thinking about it! so that’s a 5-star there.

        it’s harder for me when I don’t personally enjoy a book (for eg. because of the subject matter, like if there’s abuse/rape), but I think it’s well-written and deals with important issues, because then I’m like aaagh, I didn’t have a good time, I feel like it’s 2-stars, buuut it was pretty decent and objectively like 4-stars? so then I compromise on 3, but it’s not always that easy, lol


      2. Yeah I completely agree! I think at the end of the day, people need to be able to trust in you as a reviewer in order to take your opinion on board. If they know you have a similar taste in books, they’re more likely to enjoy your reviews. Considering all reviews are really subjective to the reviewer due to everyone experiencing a book differently, peoples opinions will always differ drastically. But I think that’s what I like about book reviewing too. People having and sharing their different tastes and different thoughts about the same subject matter!

        Liked by 1 person

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