Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

A Curse So Dark and Lonely
(Cursebreakers #1)
by Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Publication date: Jan. 29, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Fall in love, break the curse.

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.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

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.


This was a pretty good twist on Beauty and the Beast. Prince Rhen has been cursed to turn into a murderous beast at the end of every season. His only hope is to find someone to fall in love with him. Since Rhen’s killed just about everyone from inside the castle walls as his monster, his commander, Grey, has been given the ability by the enchantress to travel to other dimensions to kidnap a female from other realms. Which is how Harper ends up in Rhen’s world. With this being the last season before Rhen becomes the beast, and stays the beast for ever, their time is running short on breaking the curse.

There were so many things that I liked about this story. I liked that it was clearly a fantasy, but it was a dimensional jump. Harper has been living a hard life in the present world, and she doesn’t believe in fairy tales. However, there she is, whisked away to a land where there’s a prince and an enchanted castle. Harper is not this perfect heroine, in fact she walks with a limp due to her cerebral palsy, and she’s not afraid to fight to the death. She is most definitely unlike any “lady” that Rhen has ever had the pleasure of being in the presence of. Rhen on the other hand is over it all. He’s resigned himself to this life and his impending death. This poor guy has been at it for over 300 years! So when Harper shows up, he’s not convinced that he’s going to make it out of the season alive.

Now, the book is rather long, but I suppose that’s a good thing. I mean, Harper was kidnapped and brought to some magical realm of fairy tales. She’s meant to fall in love with a stranger and break a curse. This doesn’t happen overnight. The author gives the characters and the readers to really understand the world, the characters, and the predicament they are in. The characters try every avenue and come up with backup plans. This wasn’t a one-and-done love story. There were so many elements to it, and the build up was beautiful.

Even though this is the first book in the series, I kind of felt like it was perfect the way it is. I won’t go into details since things are revealed along the way, but we get a good climatic moment, and then an ending. Is it a perfect ending with all ends tied off and everything hunky dorey? No… but that’s life. Life isn’t perfect. Things don’t always end the way you want them to. And sometimes you need to readjust your expectations. So, will I be reading the next book in the series? Eh… I’ll have to get back to you on that. I feel like the next book would just leave me feeling disappointed. Ya know, that second book feeling where it just doesn’t need to be there, but it is? So, I’m not sure if I will continue the series or live blissfully ignorant of the rest of the story and just enjoy what I had with this one.

With all that being said, this was a great re-imagining of a classic story. The put her own spin on it and really the only similarities is a cursed prince set to live forever, tormented to turn into a monster, and the only way to break the curse is true love. Other than that, this story is it’s own thing entirely. I really enjoyed this story and I will be looking into some of the other books the author has written.



Favorite quote…

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




4 Thoughts on “Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

  1. I am so happy to see that you loved this one, I love these retellings of such classic tales we all know and love.

    Great review.

  2. this sounds like a book that would be fine to read even if i didn’t continue with the series. i like that a lot
    sherry @ fundinmental

  3. I like the sound of this one and the cover is great.

  4. I’ve been wanting to read this since it released… Since before it released as I got an ARC but moved house, got married etc and it fell down the list and now it’s a source of blogger shame, lol. I soothed the guilt by buying the paperback on release AND buying the sequel when it released… Now I just need to read them!

    Great review 🙂

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