When I began A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer, I had had a spate of disappointing reads. One was an anticipated read that I couldn’t get past the third chapter on. Having loved her Elemental series (which, by the way, we recommend), I was curious about her take on the Beauty and the Beast story.
Harper arrives as the last chance to break the curse that has plagued Emberfall for 200 seasons. Rhen assumes this season of wooing a girl will be like every other, but he soon learns that Harper is not like the other girls. Harper has cerebral palsy, which we don’t often see depicted. She achieves despite her difficulties and perhaps because of them. She is an empathetic, fierce and strong young woman.
I was hooked from the first chapter. Prince Rhen and his curse’s introduction was masterful. Rhen blossoms from a distrustful, arrogant young man to a highly strategic, caring ruler through his relationship with Harper. Together, they face overwhelming odds and inspire a loyalty to try to save Emberfall.
Commander Grey was an interesting character. He stands by the oath sworn to protect and obey Rhen even after 200 seasons watching everyone around them die and the curse win over and over. He is warm beneath a stoic exterior and I think I fell in love just a little bit.
Kemmerer makes a world, a story and characters so flawless that I was drawn in from page one to the conclusion.
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