A Curse So Dark and Lonely (The Cursebreaker Series) - book cover
Science Fiction & Fantasy
  • Publisher : Bloomsbury YA; Reprint edition
  • Published : 07 Jan 2020
  • Pages : 512
  • ISBN-10 : 1681195100
  • ISBN-13 : 9781681195100
  • Language : English

A Curse So Dark and Lonely (The Cursebreaker Series)

A New York Times bestseller!
"Has everything you'd want in a retelling of a classic fairy tale." - Jodi Picoult

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.

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. 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.

Editorial Reviews

"Has everything you'd want in a retelling of a classic fairy tale: a finely-drawn fantasy world, a heroine rarely seen in fiction, and a tortured hero with a secret. I have only one complaint: I wish the sequel were already available!" ―Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of A SPARK OF LIGHT and SMALL GREAT THINGS

"Absolutely spellbinding. A Curse So Dark and Lonely expands on all the beloved themes of 'Beauty and the Beast' to create an intensely original retelling: one full of fierce new characters, wicked magic, and wondrous amounts of heart. Brigid Kemmerer doesn't just tell a story, she builds an entire world that you will never want to leave." ―Stephanie Garber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of CARAVAL and LEGENDARY

"I couldn't get this creative, suspenseful take on 'Beauty and the Beast' out of my head." ―Sara Holland, New York Times bestselling author of EVERLESS

"Slow burning, big hearted, magical fun! I loved every minute." ―New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins

"Heartwarming, thoughtful, and romantic: Brigid Kemmerer took me on a magical journey with this dark fairy tale about growing up, falling in love, and making impossible choices. I can't wait to see where these characters go next." ―Jodi Meadows, New York Times bestselling co-author of MY LADY JANE and MY PLAIN JANE

"Beautifully dark, filled with wild adventure and a modern-day heroine every reader will find a bit of themselves in." ―Alexandra Christo, author of TO KILL A KINGDOM

"Harper is the undisputed hero . . . Avoiding disability inspiration tropes, she is a fallible, well-rounded character who fights for the vulnerable and resists being labeled as such herself despite how others perceive her. A fast-paced, richly detailed feminist epic." ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"This enthralling modern fable champions altruism while illustrating intimacy's relationship with honesty, respect, trust, and consent." ―Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Fans of Cassandra Clare, Marissa Meyer, or Alex Flinn, as well as any reader looking to sink into a top-notch story with great characters, will want to read this book." ―VOYA, starred review

"A complex, creative, and compelling reimagining of Beauty and the Beast." ―School Library Connection, highly recommended

"A fresh twist on an old story. . . . Fans of Sarah J. Maas will be eager for this one." ―Booklist

"Kemmerer knows how to blend a compelling story with a swoony romance, and the love triangle that inevitably develops . . . is organic and unforced because of strong characterization." ―BCCB

"A unique world filled with fantasy and menace . . . will leave readers anx...

Readers Top Reviews

It was a little slow going to start with and I actually thought I was going to give up at about 20% but then when I hit approximately 27% I was ADDICTED. I read the remaining 73% in one sitting and couldn’t put it down because I was literally hooked to every word. I couldn’t wait to see the action unfold. I love the characters and can’t wait to see them return in book two - which I’m going to impatiently wait for.
I've not had the best of times with recent YA fantasy mainstream novels, so I went into this Beauty and the Beast rehash with trepidation. And, yes, the tropes were there: the triangle, feisty MC, tortured prince. Here's the big BUT.... I loved it. Couldn't put it down. Harper has cerebral palsy, a mother dying of cancer and mob enforcers chasing her brother. That's about to be the least of her problems. When she tries to save a girl from kidnap she's torn from the streets of DC and delivered to an enchanted castle with its resident monster prince. Breaking the curse is simple: she just has to fall in love with him. I've questioned the abusive couched in beauty before, but somehow this one didn't set off all the warnings, probably because the prince's situation is heartbreakingly dire and the immorality is directly confronted. In any event, I grew to care very much about the central trio and the finale carried real jeopardy outside of romance though the final twist was a glaringly obvious device to lead into further books to produce the obligatory trilogy. Not perfect, but a compelling five stars.
Nenia CampbellBet
When it comes to fairytale retellings, Beauty and the Beast really is a tale as old as time. I am 99.9% sure that it is the most common retelling out there, and it comes in a large variety of forms and derivations. A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY is the latest hot take of this popular fairytale, following in the wake of books like A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES, where they try to make the story even more palatable by their young (and mostly female) audience by making the beast "hot." Tamlin was a hot faerie who wore a spooky mask, and Rhen, the hero in this book, is a hot prince who kidnaps girls in an attempt to cure this werewolf-esque curse that occasionally turns him into an unspecific beast. I have gone on many rants about how making the characters in these sorts of books hot ruins the message, so I'm not going to go through that whole song and dance again here. I'm here to review A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY for its plot, which has my friends pretty much evenly split when it comes to opinion. Half of them loved it, half of them hated it, and a few of them fell smack dab in the middle... like me. So why so polarizing? This is not a novel story. It doesn't bring anything new to the table. A lot of the preliminary reviews were hyping this up like nobody's business when it kind of just reads like an attempt to cash in on the Sarah J. Maas bandwagon. The writing is a cut above but it does feel derivative as all get out. Harper is just not a very compelling heroine. She has problems, sure, like a mother with cancer and a brother who is involved in a gang, but those problems never really feel real. You know what reading this reminded me of? Do any of you remember Quizilla? There was a user on there whose books I was obsessed with as a kid, and she wrote all kinds of Goth stories about a heroine who was just like you and me only, you know, Emo/Goth, and nobody understood her-- except for the hot, slightly evil and deranged paranormal guy whose world she randomly gets sucked into one day. This book felt a lot like that. I do appreciate the attempt to include diversity by giving the heroine a disability but I'm not entirely sure how on point the cerebral palsy rep is in this book, as the heroine in this book has a very mild version of it. The only people I've met with CP had much more severe versions. Rhen is not a very compelling hero. He's attractive, sure, but I actually liked Grey a lot better, and I felt like the whole book was gunning for a love triangle that never actually happened. Rhen is kind of a jerk. He has his guard kidnap women for him and then sits around waiting for them to love him and acting all angsty and sad when being in his presence isn't enough to cause them to fall madly in love with him therefore ending another massive slaughtering spree. He was dumb and arrogant, which is not a good blend. I can de...

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