- Harper — A girl from Washington, DC
- Rhen — The crown prince of Emberfall
- Grey — The commander of the royal guard
- Lilith — An evil sorceress
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.
I picked up this book after the bookstragram community voted it as my next read. I was not disaapointed. A Curse So Dark and Lonely has all of the components that you want in YA Fantasy. Harper is from the capital. She has faced adversity in her life due to cerebal palsy that has compromised one of her legs near the ankle. As a heroine, she never holds herself back from any tasks that needs doing, regardless if she is physically capable of it. Harper and Grey’s relationship might have the most tension. Grey holds himself back from getting to close to Harper because he is bound by honor to serve his Royal Highness Prince Rhen. Grey finds a way to show Harper kindness. In one scence he shows her how to throw knives, which is filled with uncertainity.
Rhen is Harper’s main love interest. He goes through the most dramatic person journey in the book. You find out very quickly that he turns into a beast, and he carries an immense amount of guilt and fear that he hides with anger. I thoughtly enjoyed his transition as he began to understand that he may need to change in order to break the curse. My favorite portion of the book was with the soceress. She provided an extra layer to the retelling that kept the story feeling fresh.
Overall, I continued I liked the writing style of Kemmerer, and her dual perspectives wiriting. . I gave this 4 stars and not 5 because I went in expecting more romance, because to me that is the heart of Beauty and the Beast tale. The romance is not spicy or adult, so if your in the mood for a heavy romace, you might look somewhere else. If you enjoy Beauty and the Beast, fantasy that runs parallel to the human world, and questing then this is a great retelling for you.
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