Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers #1)

Title: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers #1)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: January 29, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom. 

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But 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.

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.


While waiting for her brother one night in D.C., Harper is whisked away to Emberfell. Prince Rhen is the heir to Emberfell, which has been cursed for years. A monster terrorizes the country and the people haven’t seen the royal family in a long time. Harper is the key to breaking the curse, and she will be Rhen’s last chance because if he doesn’t break the curse that season, he will never have a chance again. Harper and Rhen have to break the curse and protect Emberfell from the forces that want to break it.

This Beauty and the Beast retelling was set in a fantasy world and our real world. Harper was in Washington D.C. when she was taken by Rhen’s guard, Grey, to a Emberfell. She had a cellphone in Emberfell but it didn’t work because they don’t have electricity. I loved that this fantasy story included the real world because it makes it feel like our world is connected to the fantasy land.

Harper has cerebral palsy. This representation of a disability was great because I haven’t seen much representation of different abilities in fantasy novels. This was part of Harper’s personality but not her entire character. I really liked this representation.

I really enjoyed this fantasy! I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

What to read next:

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Other books in the series:

  • A Heart So Fierce and Broken
  • A Vow So Bold and Deadly

Have you read A Curse So Dark and Lonely? What did you think of it?

Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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