A Curse So Dark and Lonely
by Brigid Kemmerer
Reviewed by: Rachel Maggard
Where does a librarian find her next book? She may read reviews in journals and find an interesting book. She may get a recommendation from a coworker or a patron. Or, in this case, she may listen to multiple book and reading podcasts which has created a to-be-read pile that she might never get through. There could be worse problems.
And if you’re wondering, yes you would be right–she is me. And I first heard about “A Curse So Dark and Lonely” by Brigid Kemmerer on the ‘The Currently Reading’ podcast. The cohosts were raving about this Beauty and the Beast retelling and it sounded like such an interesting spin to the well-known tale that I had to read it as soon as possible.
The story begins with Harper who is walking down a street in modern day Washington, D.C. When she see a girl being attacked and tries to help her, the attacker turns on her and, in the next moment, Harper finds herself in another world in the land of Emberfall. In Emberfall, she will soon come into contact with Prince Rhen who has been cursed to be 18 forever. Similarly to Groundhog’s Day (the movie), he has repeated the autumn of his 18th year for 327 years. The attacker turns out to be Prince Rhen’s guard, Grey, who steals young women every year in order to find someone to break the curse.
“A Curse So Dark and Lonely” is thrilling and full of interesting characters. Harper is easy to root for and I read this wanting her to break the curse but unsure as to whether I liked Prince Rhen or Grey better. And, at times, l liked neither. If you enjoy fair tale retellings, specifically a Beauty and the Beast retelling, this book will pull you in and you will fall in love with Harper, Rhen, Grey and the world of Emberfall.
I enjoyed it so much that I bought the sequel, “A Heart So Fierce and Broken,” and there is supposed to be a third book published in 2021. Get started today on this fantastic trilogy by Brigid Kemmerer by reading “A Curse So Dark and Lonely.”