Beauty & the Beast gets a fiercely feminist retelling in A Curse So Dark & Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer, which reimagines the classic story by combining a lush fantasy world with a contemporary twist.
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.
This book rocked my socks off, truly. Harper is a fierce, kick-ass girl who refuses to accept being knocked down and held back by her disease. When her world collides with magic and fantasy, she doesn’t hesitate to continue fighting. She is no tame fairy tale princess, and I absolutely adored her.
But as much as she fought it, I also swooned hard for her and Rhen together (and also for her warm and genuine friendship with Grey). These characters were so captivating; I couldn’t help but get sucked into their world. And just as I’ve had happen with Kemmerer’s other books, I found it nearly impossible to put this one down. I felt compelled to keep reading, eager to both find out what happened next and to continue spending time in this world, with these characters.
I also can’t get over the way Kemmerer brilliantly combines the magical fairy tale fantasy world, with the contemporary real-world we all know. It’s thrilling, and I can’t wait to see where the saga goes next. Consider me seriously addicted to this luscious new fantasy series.
A Curse So Dark & Lonely is available on January 29th.