*spoilers* A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis

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.

Why I Read It

This was definitely a hype read, BUT it’s also a retelling of my favorite fairytale so I kind of didn’t even have a choice.

My Thoughts *SPOILERS AHEAD, BEWARE*

THIS BOOK WAS FREAKING AMAZING.

Anyone else feel this way?

Harper was amazing. She’s so powerful, she’s so strong, she defies her cerebral palsy. (I’m not saying she completely overcomes it, because it’s something she is born with and it will be a part of her forever; I’m saying she doesn’t let it stop her from being a badass warrior princess for Disi.)

And can we talk about the way Harper just made herself a princess? And how everyone was totally cool with it? I’m not saying they shouldn’t have been cool with it. Times were different in their world and there could easily be countries they hadn’t heard of. I just think it’s interesting, that’s all.

What I really would like to know is how the enemy found out so much about Rhen and his family and the secret prince. I know it’s sort of explained, and touched on in Grey’s chapter. But it’s not enough for me because I still don’t really get it. I had a hard time following it. I understand the situation and the issue, which is why this doesn’t negatively impact my rating. I just don’t get the logistics of it?

Something I really loved was the way Harper didn’t just immediately trust Rhen and Grey. I love Grey’s demeanor, and how he earned Harper’s trust quicker by engaging with her and being, well, human. I love how it was more difficult for Rhen to get to know her, and even once that started to happen he still had to earn her trust.

And this was a long process. Like, it literally took the entire season and she *still* didn’t completely trust him. She went home and realized she wanted to go back. He was a monster by then, but they were able to come back from that.

Also, can we talk about how amazing that monster sounded? Like, talk about a beautiful description.

For me this book was a hit. I loved all of the characters, even side characters. I do wish the villain had played a bigger role (not Lillith). I know she wasn’t meant to be the Big Villain, but she *was* a Big Threat to their country and I wish that had played a bigger part. The entire book was leading up to two moments, in my opinion: When the enemy arrived and when Rhen turned into a monster (since I sort of figured that’d have to happen). Rhen turning into a monster and recognizing Rhen and the descriptions and everything were great for me. I just wish the threat to the country itself had been slightly less anticlimactic for me. I guess there was that big battle, and Rhen saved the day as the monster. But I don’t know.

Also, looking back, I don’t even remember what happened to Lillith. Whether this is because I finished this book weeks ago or because it wasn’t memorable enough for me, I can’t help but wish she had a bigger role in the end or that I was able to remember what happened to her. I never really have issues recalling events in books, so I have to wonder if it just wasn’t significant enough.

What were your thoughts on this book? I’d love to know! (Or if you remember what happened to Lillith, let me know as well.)

xoxo, Hayden

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21-year-old college student, lover of books and proud owner of Dreaming in Paperbacks blog, dreaming.in.paperbacks bookstagram, and DPaperbacks Twitter. Looking for more book, college, and lifestyle blogs to follow!

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