You would think that I would post more during this quarantine, but truth is, my lazy self points its ugly nose and I just spend my day procrastinating. However, I have a lot, of time in my hands and thankfully I manage to read a little. So here is my review for A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer.
Ttile: A Curse so Dark and Lonely
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Synopsis:Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. 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 constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world. Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? 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.
Rating: 4/5 stars
At first, I rated the book 4.5/5 stars, but the after two days, I think it’s more 3.5/5 stars -, so I’m going for a neutral 4/5 stars.
I was immediately drawn to this book because there’s nothing I love more than fairytale retellings. Bonus points if it is a Beauty and the Beast retelling because this also includes the “ennemies to lovers” trope (my favourite trope). It’s hard to find a book that has a great premise and that actually delivers its promises. Well, I am glad to say that this book holds its end of the contract and even more.
Here are the things I liked, nay , loved :
– The plot and the writing style. This is the book’s best asset. This book is well-written, not in the sense that it is extremely poetic or metaphorical (sometimes yes, but you get my point), but it was very easy to read and the events followed each other swiftly. The multiple points of view were executed to perfection. I never found myself bored or annoyed and that has made my reading experience very enjoyable.
– The world building. I loved the fact that I could almost see Emberfall; the castle, the country, hell, the clothes! I usually dislike description but here, it was just enough to introduce and show us the world without having too much of it; it wasn’t “in your face” and I greatly appreciated that.
– The main character.Harper goes down on my list of all-time favourite female characters. I liked how the “I’m not like other girls trope” (literally or the curse wouldn’t be broken) was used. It wasn’t done in a way to degrade girls that like to dress up and fawn over princes *coughs* like me *coughs*, but rather in a way to highlight all of Harper’s quality. She’s smart, resilient, caring and kind.
– Representation. I loved how much Harper owned her disability. I loved how confident and unapologetic she was; that was extremely inspiring and it made me feel empowered. It’s also rare to have the main character having a disability and it was very refreshing in YA. Also that subtle LGBtG representation? I thank the gay gods for Noah; bless him.
– Rhen. My boy is too precious and he doesn’t deserve what happened to him; I loved the fact that he fell in love with Harper first rather than the other way around. I just wish that his and Harper’s relationship seemed more authentic; I feel like they lacked chemistry. And that part when he became the monster and there was this blank page instead of having his thoughts, broke my heart.
– Supporting characters .I loved them all from her lady-in-waiting, down to Zo, to Jamison and the tenants of the inn; all of them had their real voice and I loved it.
Things I didn’t like
– The ending . It took me two days to decide if I loved this book as much as I thought I wanted to and I think that the ending kind of ruined that 5/5 stars rating for me. It felt rushed and that big reveal at the end was confusing. I have been in a reading slump because I am too scared to start reading the second book, I’m scared of the direction this book is going to take, especially in regards of Grey. I felt that somehow everything was meant to lead to Grey being the main character and not Harper.
I feel like we deserved to see Harper and Jake mourning their mother a little more. Harper goes on and on about how much she loves her mother but when she passes away it’s almost like she doesn’t care, all she wants is go back to Emberfall; sorry but no, I don’t believe that one bit.
– The love triangle . Why, WHY did Grey have to go and have feelings for Harper, huh? *screams*.
I really wanted, no, needed, them to have a platonic relationship, because from their first interaction I felt the spark between them. When it seemed forced between the Harper and Rhen, it was natural between Harper and Grey and I think that’s what bothers me the most; proof of that is that Rhen does not know if the curse was broken because of Lilith’s death or Harper’s love; once again: WHY?
– The lack of a real awful villain. Lady Lilith didn’t do it for me; I mean this nobody (sorry Harper, love you) disrespects you and all you do is cut her cheek? And you’re supposed to be evil? What? I felt like she should have been a little crueler or meaner. Everytime she appeared in the book I should have been as frightened as ever, or feel my stomach churn (which sadly didn’t happen). And Karis Luran. am very skeptical; I liked the tiny glimpse of her but she seems very fake and not threatening at all…
That’s it! I hope you enjoyed this review
Hope you enjoyed this very long and confusing review! What is your favourite retelling? Let me know in the comments!