A Curse So Dark and Lonely — Brigid Kemmerer

January 30, 2019

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

TITLE: A Curse So Dark and Lonely
AUTHOR: Brigid Kemmer
SERIES: A Curse So Dark and Lonely, #1
RELEASED: January 29th, 2019; Bloomsbury YA
GENRE: Fantasy



Harper’s life isn’t easy—her father has left her family with all his debts, her brother is working for the same loan sharks they owe, and her mother is in the final stages of cancer. Meanwhile, in the land of Emberfall, Crown Prince Rhen is facing the final season of his curse: if he doesn’t find love within three months, he’ll be left forever in the form of the bloodthirsty beast that overtakes him with each failed courtship. When the prince’s guard kidnaps Harper for one last shot at breaking the spell, will she choose a dying kingdom, or her family?

I love Beauty and the Beast retellings, but we’ve had so many of them that they need a fresh take to catch my eye nowadays, and A Curse So Dark and Lonely absolutely had that to offer. Between the mixture of urban and high fantasy worlds, and the protagonist’s cerebral palsy representation, I’ve been hyped as heck for this release since the synopsis was first announced. In fact, I think I hyped myself up too much for it, because when my copy arrived,it was hard to pick it up right away just thanks to being nervous over how devastated I knew I’d be if it wasn’t amazing!



“You are responsible. You, Rhen. You alone will destroy them all.”

Thankfully, every last one of my concerns were TOTALLY unnecessary, because I thought this was flawless. I adored the atmospheric setting, the flawed characters, the representation, and how dark the curse was. Brigid Kemmerer took this classic tale of a prince cursed to live life as a beast, and tossed it into such a heavy, violent spin that I was hooked from the first page.

Everything is always the same. Except for the dead. They never come back.

Of course, there are the characters, too, who are so lovable despite being ridiculously flawed (or because of that, maybe, because they all feel so complex and multidimensional!). Harper is a phenomenal heroine and I LOVED her CP rep—there are just so many good conversations taking place in this book regarding how the world treats people with disabilities.

There is blood under my fingernails. I wonder how many of my people I’ve killed this time.

And then, of course, there’s Rhen, who is so angsty and tragic but in the best way, and my favorite, Grey, the guard. Grey was honestly the star of this show for me, between his quick wit, cool demeanor, and neverending loyalty and bravery. Can I please get a book about him, Brigid? Pleeeaaaaase?


Seriously, though, I just don’t have anything negative to say about this gorgeous fantasy novel. Between the writing, characters, story, rep—it’s the whole package, and easily my favorite work that I’ve read from Brigid Kemmerer so far. I love her contemporary writing, too, but this made me genuinely hope she keeps putting out fantasy releases, because she’s a total natural.


I’d recommend this to any fans of fantasy stories, especially if you enjoy retellings and/or high/low fantasy crossovers!


All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to Bloomsbury YA for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!


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No Comments

  • Reply malanielovesfiction January 30, 2019 at 9:24 am

    I LOVE THIS REVIEW SO MUCHHH. And I had absolutely no desire to read this book before today, because for some stranger reason I’m v tired of fairy tale retellings??? AND IDK WHY because I loved The Lunar Chronicles and I vowed to spend my life searching for a character I loved as much as Cress
    but your review is so beautifully written + aesthetically pleasing to look at + I would pls like to attend a class in which u teach how to write amazing reviewwwwws <3
    Also you gave it five stars AND the book has a violent spin (I just rlly love violent fantasy books). I am for sure adding this to my tbr i'm v excited c: c: c:

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries January 31, 2019 at 8:17 pm

      Thank you!!! <3 ugh you're so sweet ♥♥ but seriously it's just such a unique take on the story and I loved it so I really hope you do too!!

  • Reply Danielle Hammelef January 30, 2019 at 10:34 am

    I can’t wait to read this book! thanks for the review!

  • Reply Briana | Pages Unbound January 30, 2019 at 11:22 am

    Sounds fabulous! I wasn’t particularly excited about this one, but my co-blogger likes the author’s other books and is looking forward to it, plus I’ve seen so many positive reviews now that I might have to change my mind.

  • Reply ✩ Ashley ✩ January 30, 2019 at 11:30 am

    Okay… *why* and *how* was this not already on my GR TBR?!?!?! Gahhh thank you for saving (enabling) me! *Added!!* ☺️

  • Reply Shalini January 30, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    Omg omg I love your review… Now I want the book too. Fabulous ❤️

  • Reply KateMonroeSeries (@rachel_troyer93) January 30, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    Great review. I’ve been on the fence about buying this but now I will 😀

  • Reply Grace January 30, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    Lovely review. I would have bought this book yesterday if not for lack of funds…. but I hope to get a copy ASAP. ?

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries January 31, 2019 at 8:29 pm

      Awww, I feel you! I’m not buying books like… AT ALL right now and it’s tough haha. But I hope you get to read it soon 🙂

  • Reply La Femme Livresque | A Reader To Whatever End January 30, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    I can’t wait to pick it up when it releases here! Great review, glad you enjoyed it! ☺️

  • Reply Dezzy @ The Thoughtful Voice January 31, 2019 at 12:25 am

    Wonderful review, Destiny! I’m happy you loved this book so much, and I’m even more excited to read this now. I love retellings as well! ☺️

  • Reply Meeghan reads January 31, 2019 at 3:16 am

    I also loved it (5 stars from me too). I’m so glad you loved it too!!

  • Reply January Wrap: What a weird month? – howling libraries January 31, 2019 at 9:06 am

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  • Reply Sarah January 31, 2019 at 11:21 am

    You’ve sold me! I wasn’t entirely sure what this was about before now, but after your review I’m definitely giving it a shot.

  • Reply 24hr.YaBookBlog January 31, 2019 at 11:57 am

    What a wonderful review & its great to see disability rep in fantasy! I wasn’t too sure whether I wanted to read A Curse So Dark & Lonely, but your review definitely convinced me to check it out! ?✨

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries January 31, 2019 at 8:46 pm

      Thank you! 😀 I hope you like it! The disability rep was so lovely and thoughtful ♥

  • Reply Kathy @ Books & Munches February 1, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    Right now I’m mad at how slowly I’m getting through Escaping From Houdini because my mom brought my FC of this book over and I WANT TO READ IT NOW. Like. You know how long I’ve been waiting to read it.. :’)
    [And on a TOTALLY DIFFERENT and shameless NOTE – if you ever, ever want to get rid of that ARC, I’m happily claiming it. Just saying.] Totally shameless. Idc.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries February 2, 2019 at 6:41 am

      Aughhh, hurry hurry hurry. ? It’s so freaking good. And I’m so sorry, but no, I’m definitely going to be hoarding this ARC and buying a finished copy as soon as I can!

  • Reply Kaleena @ Reader Voracious February 3, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    AHHHHH I am so glad you loved this so much, I am even more excited to read it now! Great review, love

  • Reply Kelly | Another Book in the Wall February 5, 2019 at 11:18 am

    Ahhh it’s so great to hear that you liked this one so much, Destiny!! Those characters, the angst, and atmosphere sound perfect! I can’t wait to check this one out soon!!❤️

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries February 18, 2019 at 1:38 am

      Sorry for the late reply, love, but yessssss this was SO GOOD! I seriously cannot say enough good things about this book. ♥♥

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