Review of A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Every product on this page was carefully chosen. I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through a link. See my full disclosure.

“This early in the season, the other girls would sit by the hearth and gaze at me over crystal goblets, while I’d pour wine and tell stories with just enough devilishness to make them blush. If I put a crystal goblet in this one’s hand, she’d likely smash it and use the shards to cut me.” 

Wow wow wow! I was not expecting that…

A Curse So Dark and Lonely is an exciting retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but with some intriguing and thrilling twists.

The Summary

Prince Rhen is cursed to relive his eighteenth autumn endlessly, unless he can break the spell by falling in love. But when he transforms into a monstrous creature of death and destruction, murdering his own family and hundreds of his subjects, it seems impossible.

Enter Harper, a young woman with an absentee father, a terminally ill mother, and a brother who underestimates her due to her cerebral palsy. When Harper stumbles into Rhen’s cursed world of Emberfall, she unexpectedly becomes Rhen and his commander Grey’s greatest ally in their fight against an invading army and a political uprising. Armed with grit and courage, Harper could be the key to lifting Rhen’s curse and restoring peace to Emberfall.

My Thoughts

I’ve had A Curse So Dark and Lonely on my TBR shelf for a couple months now and I’m happy I finally read it. It took me long enough. 

The characters all drew me in. From Harper’s resilience and no bullshit attitude to Rhen’s charismatic and strategic mind to Grey’s unending loyalty and strength. These three characters were amazing and I love them all.

The only character I would love to skewer with a rusted metal rod is the enchantress Lilith. She’s honestly the devil incarnate. Her name suits her perfectly.

Harper never came off as a whiny, selfish teen from D.C. which is a blessing because I cannot take some characters who constantly complain or make incredibly stupid decisions without actually thinking of the consequences. 

“My left leg is clumsy and about to give way, but I mentally threaten to cut it off if it doesn’t get me out of here. It listens.” 

On that note, there were some stupid decisions, but I back most (all) of them. When Harper made her second escape attempt by climbing down a trellis, I was all for it. Actually, I was hoping she would actually escape without Rhen and Grey even noticing. One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone tries to escape and makes it only a few yards before they’re recaptured. I mean, come on. Luckily, she made it a few miles! Of course she almost got killed doing it, but still, she did it!

There is also no instant love, thank the book gods for that. In fact, this may be one of the slowest moving romances I’ve read in a while. 

I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying this, but I loved Rhen’s beast form. I’m pretty partial to that type of creature, so I was all for it. In fact, there were like two chapters where I was cheering them on. Again, I’m not giving anything away, I hope. 

A Curse So Dark and Lonely is an enthralling retelling that involves a beauty and a beast with a modern spin that gives it a breath of fresh air. It’s probably one of the best retellings I’ve read in years, so I recommend this 100% if you’re interest is piqued. 

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

Books Like A Curse So Dark and Lonely

If you love Beauty and the Beast retellings, try…

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Feyre is on the hunt when she comes into contact with a competing predator. With little thought, she kills the wolf which ends with her being dragged to a magical kingdom where she is to be put on trial for her crime. Her captor, however, piques her attention as he never travels without his jeweled mask in place. The question is, what is he hiding?

Radiance by Grace Draven

Radiance centers around a human princess, IIdiko, and an alien prince, Kai, who are tasked to marry one another in order to unite their kingdoms. If you enjoy couples who banter like an old married couple, Kai and IIdiko do that and more…

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

The Wrath and the Dawn revolves around an eighteen-year-old caliph, Khalid, who takes a new bride each night only to have a silk cord wrapped around their neck each morning and a commoner, Shahrzad, who is intent on ending after her best friend falls victim to Khalid.