Review – A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer

Firstly, massive thanks to Bloomsbury for sending me a review copy of this book. I am always so appreciative of the review copies I receive!

Title: A Curse So Dark and Lonely

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Genre: Fantasy

Age Classification: YA

Publisher: Bloomsbury PLC (Bloomsbury YA Imprint)

Publication Date: 29th January

Australian RRP: $16.99


Fall in love, break the curse.
Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall, is cursed. Forced to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he can only be freed by love. But at the end of each autumn he is transformed into a beast hell-bent on destruction, and after so many failed attempts, his kingdom and its people are barely holding on.

Harper’s life has never been easy, but she’s learned to be tough enough to survive. She won’t let anything hold her back, not her cerebral palsy or her mother’s deteriorating health. But when she is sucked into Rhen’s world, nothing is as it seems. Powerful forces are standing against Emberfalll … and it will take more than a broken curse to save it from utter ruin.


I love a good fairy tale retelling. Like – I LOVE them. So when I heard this was a Beauty and the Beast retelling, I was allll for it! However, when i first started reading the book, I was a little unsure if this would be my cup of tea. I’m not a huge fan or stories that are set in ‘our world’, so when Harper’s story started very much in our world, I was a little hesitant. But I couldn’t have been more wrong – the limited time spent in our world actually added so much to the story and built out the characters.

One of the things we learn about Harper very close to the beginning of the story is that she has cerebral palsy. This took me a little by surprise, which is completely on me, but I absolutely LOVED this addition to Harper’s character. Harper owns her disability and is an absolute QUEEN! When other characters try to shelter or protect her, because of her cerebral palsy, Harper is very quick to prove that she is just as capable as everyone else. I also appreciate that Kemmerer makes note at the end of her book, that Harper does not represent every persons experience with cerebral palsy, and that many people’s experiences could look much different. However, for the portrayal Kemmerer gave, I was very much appreciative!

One thing I both like and dislike about fairy tale retellings is that I know the ending – in a way. But one thing I adored about this story was that I had NO IDEA how it was going to end. Like, I knew there was the standard Beauty and the Beast ending, but almost nothing else in the book had gone down the standard Beauty and the Beast path! I was on the edge of my seat and desperately needed to know how it would finish. And when it finished….. could we have got anymore of a cliffhanger?? Luckily, there is a second book – thank goodness – and I am just as excited for this next one too!

Overall this book was a solid 4.5 stars from me! I absolutely adored it!

You can grab a copy here 

Which fairy tale retellings are your faves? Do you prefer brand new ideas, or fairy tale retellings? Lemme know!

Happy readings loves

-B x

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