Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I’m a simple girl; I see a new Beauty and the Beast retelling on NetGalley, and I request the shit out of it. Sometimes it makes me want to cry tears of betrayal because why have you murdered such a classic tale?! – sometimes, however, it is done so well that I want to shove the book in everyone’s faces and force them to write a 5,000 word essay on which character is their favourite and why.
Happily, this book falls into the latter category. I loved every minute of it, despite not really having very high expectations before starting it – but that soon went out of the window because I was hooked from the get go!
Brigid Kemmerer manages to put her own fresh spin on a well-loved tale; she tells a story of a fantasy land that lives parallel to our own modern day world; of a once-arrogant crown prince, and of a normal girl who’s fighting to get through each day.
After spending the night with a powerful enchantress, Prince Rhen is cursed to live out the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over again – and at the end of that season, Rhen turns into a bloodthirsty monster. The only chance he has of breaking the curse is to have a girl fall in love with him. Once upon a time, Rhen thought this would be an easy feat – now, however, he has all but given up hope, weary of trying to woo each girl his commander brings back for him.
Harper is used to being underestimated by everyone, even her own family, because of her cerebral palsy. While her brother is off carrying out risky jobs, she is forced to hide around the alleyways of DC. But when she spots what looks like a kidnapping, she rushes over to help – only to find herself stuck in a whole new world (I know that’s the wrong Disney film but I couldn’t resist so shush).
Told in alternating POVs, A Curse So Dark and Lonely is gripping from the very first page. I loved both Rhen and Harper; I loved seeing their relationship develop, loved seeing how baffled Rhen was at having to woo a riot of a girl like Harper, and how Harper never lost focus of what she wanted, regardless of her developing feelings.
I’m not gonna lie, I shipped them hard.
While this is the first of Brigid’s books that I’ve read, it definitely won’t be the last!
*thank you to the publisher for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review*