A Curse so Dark and Lonely
If you are a fan of the classics with a twist, you will truly enjoy A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. A tale as old as time or stuck in time more like. A different Beauty and the Beast for a new age.
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.
Harper is the exact type of heroine for this day and age. She isn’t waiting for some man to rescue her; she is trying to save herself and the family she loves. Living in D.C. she has had to grow up in a hard way, and with a disability even harder, but none of that matters to her. after her father leaves them in debt and runs away, her brother is trying to pay the cost while she cares for her sick mother, and it is starting to not be enough when the thugs they owe begin to demand more and more. Harper is hell bent on being independent and saving those around her, even if they don’t believe that she can.
Rhen on the other hand is exactly what you would expect a prince to be. Handsome, spoiled, strong, and charming, and he just got a hard lesson in humbleness. Like a lot of men, Rhen has learned that there are just some women you shouldn’t spurn. What was supposed to be a fun one-night stand turned his life into a living hell. Lillith an enchantress with a terrible grudge is determined to have him for herself. After a little conditioning of course. Now cursed to relive his eighteenth year, he is starting to lose hope, especially when his kingdoms worst enemy is himself.
The world building is beautiful, and the descriptive imagery makes it all the better. The faraway fantasy world lying in the same reality with the gritty streets of D.C. is fun and believable. A Renaissance world full of magic and riches that you can easily be pulled into. Like Rhen you start to learn what the world really consists of beyond the gloom of the palace. The world and people that are introduce round out the story, but the interaction between the two protagonists and their middleman really make it memorable.
The relationship that forms between Rhen and Harper is beautiful, sad, and hilarious all at the same time.
Rhen who is used to women that enjoy the princess experience of being wined, dined, and seduced, has met his match in Harper who wants none of that. She is not impressed by the pretty boy prince, that knows nothing of hard times. At first baffled by her, he isn’t sure how to handle the fiery young woman that was accidentally dropped into his world. She does nothing like the other girls. She prefers pants and weapons over dresses and jewelry. She wants to help his people even more than he does and refuses to fall in love with the arrogant prince.
Harper when she realizes her new circumstances is ready to take an unconventional way around the problem. Refusing to be seduced by the spoiled and arrogant prince, she tells him she will break his curse without falling in love. She learns more about the people that are trapped with Rhen, the curse, the peril, and the dangers of the enchantress Lillith, yet she refuses to back down. Instead of sitting in the castle being pretty and useless, she learns to fight and, in the process, begins to feel for the people that are being trapped. Even an arrogant prince….
And last but certainly not least you find Grey who is stuck between them both. Loyal to his prince but intrigued by the girl that he accidentally brought to this place he is a character that you want to learn more about. His story in the middle of both of their as the peacekeeper and protector no matter the cost. He is quiet, intelligent, loyal to a fault and his past has a deeper story than you first imagine. I found myself wondering what his fate would be just as much as Rhen and Harper.
A fantasy world with an unconventional heroine and a story that is deeper than it first appears it is a must read for those that like fairy tales with a not so happy ending. Check it out and see what you think and next month come back for a review on the sequel A Heart so Fierce and Broken.