A Curse So Dark and Lonely: Brigid Kemmerer *Review*

Paperback copy of A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer is held up the left hand of a Caucasian female, in front of a white bookcase filled with polymer clay creatures.

Genres: YA Fantasy, Young Adult, Fantasy Romance | Release Date: 29 January 2019 | Series: Cursebreakers | Series Book: #1 | Pages: 506 | Publisher: Bloomsbury | Review

“This was never a curse to be broken. This is a death sentence.”

Brigid Kemmerer


A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer has been sitting in my TBR fort for a *very* long time… Just please don’t ask me to admit exactly how long. But this YA fantasy is so worth reading if (like me) you haven’t got around to it just yet! It’s such a wonderful Beauty and the Beast retelling, but before I fangirl too much, let’s give you a short overview.

Harper has been living in Washington, D.C. with her ailing mother and elder brother all her life. She knows better than to get caught up in dangerous situations… But when someone tries to abduct a woman, Harper steps in. And before she knows what’s happening, Harper is soon in Emberfall and stuck with a fae prince named Rhen. Cursed by a vengeful enchantress, Rhen’s been reliving his eighteenth year for more than three centuries… And killing everyone in sight when he turns into a beast at the end of each autumn season. Only true love can break this terrible curse, but will Harper find anything to love about Rhen? Can Rhen finally get justice against the enchantress, Lilith? Or will Emberfall collapse under the weight of a brewing war, regardless of the curse?

Paperback copy of A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer is on a white bookshelf, in front of books by Kate Forsyth and Alison Croggon. A regal autumn polymer clay dragon by Dirty Paws Australia is sitting to the right of the book.
This YA fantasy is an exquisite Beauty and the Beast retelling…
The regal autumn dragon by Dirty Paws Australia felt right at home within the forests of Emberfall!

Happiness Boost:

It’s tricky to write a Beauty and the Beast retelling with unique qualities about it… But Brigid more than accomplishes this within A Curse So Dark and Lonely! The beast changes each season, and Rhen’s guard commander (Grey) is the only soldier left standing after the first few years. With Harper’s accidental kidnapping and the ensuing changes this brings, I couldn’t be happier to read a fresh approach! I’m not going to give anything else away, because *spoilers* – but take my word for it. It’s unique enough that you’ll want a copy of this book to go with any other retellings you already have!

This YA fantasy gives us one of my favourite tropes: found family. It’s particularly poignant as Harper misses her Mum, and Freya provides her with a maternal influence. But let’s also talk about Rhen and Grey, shall we? These two fae males have lived through absolute horrors together, just as they’ve had to navigate new roles as time passed. The loyalty they have to each other is incredibly heartwarming, and I’m so glad we get to witness it. Authors please be like Brigid and give us more of this found family goodness, because I’m loving it!

Within A Curse So Dark and Lonely, we learn about Harper’s cerebral palsy and Rhen’s survivor’s guilt. These two conditions are given much-needed representation, and Brigid highlights how underestimating Rhen and Harper’s capabilities would be a bad idea. How could I not love that?! Just because there’s a limp, or someone is grappling with a mental health condition, doesn’t mean they are weaker or lesser than others. I’m so, so in love with how this is handled in this retelling.


My only downside is that I put off reading this beautiful book for years! A Curse So Dark and Lonely is such a gem of a read and I love it.

Final Thoughts:

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kimmerer is a YA fantasy romance which gives us a whole new fairytale retelling to love! The next two books are ready to go on my TBR bookcase, and you can bet I’ll be diving into them as soon as I possibly can. I need answers! Maybe it’s a good thing that I waited so long to read this series, this way I can go straight from one book to the next… If you love the sound of this story from my review? Just click on any of the links below to order a copy! Happy reading, glitterbugs!

You can order A Curse So Dark and Lonely via these links:

Amazon | Blackwell’s | Booktopia | Fishpond

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