Review | A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer (Cursebreakers #1)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

“We are all dealt a hand at birth. A good hand can ultimately lose – just as a poor hand can win – but we must all play the cards the fate deals. The choices we face may not be the choices we want, but they are choices nonetheless.”


I’m a huge fan of this Beauty and the Beast retelling

I started A Curse So Dark and Lonely because of my friend Fien (@simply_loving_ya on Instagram). This is one of her favorite books, so when I received it I had to dive right in it. I have to say the book is well worth the hype. A Curse So Dark and Lonely is quite fast-paced and contains some interesting elements. I really enjoyed the book and can’t wait for A Heart So Fierce and Broken to come out (the Dutch version anyways).


Fall in love, break the curse.

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. 

This cover is beautiful. I wish I could show how beautiful the rainbow foil in the letters really is, but no matter how many pictures I take, I can’t seem to reflect its true beauty.

I like the storyline of A Curse So Dark and Lonely. I’m always a big fan of retellings (at least when done right). This book is faithful to the original story, but has a nice and surprising twist. I liked that there are two different worlds. I think this urban fantasy aspect is a nice addition. In A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Harper has to fall in love with Rhen, but it’s not that easy. It’s nice to see that Kemmerer hasn’t pushed this romance. Everything happens quite organically and at a normal pace.

I would have liked to see a little more of the magical castle and a little more explanation about the magical music and the endless food. It is also said that the time in the castle is much slower than in the rest of Emberfall. So all the time I wondered if time was going slower in D.C. or not. This is not so clear and should have been given some explanation.

“I am always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light. ”

There are a lot of feminist elements in A Curse So Dark and Lonely. Harper comes from modern times and teaches the residents of Emberfall a thing or two about equality. Harper is always ready to stand up for women and prove that women can do the same as men.

This book is very easy to read. I read it in two days. I even stayed up late one night (even though I had class early the day after oops) because I just couldn’t put the book down. The story is so addictive you just want to read chapter after chapter.

The characters in A Curse So Dark and Lonely are well-written. Personally, I really loved Harper and Gray. Harper has cerebral palsy, which I think is cool. I’ve always been a big believer in diversity in books and so was really happy with this element. Harper is also a very tough and invincible girl. No matter how hard or difficult something gets, Harper will not give up.

The only thing I didn’t like was the predictable ending of A Curse So Dark and Lonely. Normally I don’t have a problem with the fact that a book is predictable, but I have seen such plot twists so often that I am tired of them. Still, I am genuinely invested in the story and want to read the second part of this series as soon as possible.

Would I recommend it?
Yes, I like this Beauty and the Beast retelling a lot!

Trigger warnings
Death, murder, blood, bullying, ableist
Representation in this book
Main character with cerebral palsy, background character with a missing arm, gay side characters, African-American side character
Retelling, fantasy, urban fantasy
Publication date
March 29th, 2019
About the author
Brigid Kemmerer is the New York Times bestselling author of dark and alluring Young Adult novels like A Curse So Dark and LonelyMore Than We Can Tell, and Letters to the Lost (Bloomsbury), as well as paranormal YA stories like The Elemental Series and Thicker Than Water (Kensington). A full time writer, Brigid lives in the Baltimore area with her husband, her boys, her dog, and her cat. When she’s not writing or being a mommy, you can usually find her with her hands wrapped around a barbell.

Do you like retellings? Let me know in the comments!

1 thought on “Review | A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

  1. Ooh A Curse so Dark and Lonely has been on my tbr for ages, thank you for your review! Ahh I’m very relieved to hear that the romance wasn’t rushed, and glad about the rep!

    Liked by 1 person

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