A Curse so Dark and Lonely
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.
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Published: January 29th 2019
Blood, Death, Murder, Suicide Attempt, Torture, Parental Abuse, Sexual Assault, Ableist Speech (in a negative light)
Buddy read with Shirley ❤ .I won’t lie, all of these Beauty and the Beast gifs I’m about to use are reminding me how much I love??? the original???
“I am always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light.”
As as avid lover of all things Beauty and the Beast, I can say this retelling may be my favorite to date? Which is going to sound really contradictory the more you read this review, but stick with me.
It takes the story we all know and love, adds more bloodshed each failed season, a prince is over it, a girl who’s just trying to survive and is not with this fairytale mess and a guard who’s just here for the ride
I’m lying he’s just really loyal and there you go.
What this story really has going for it is how dark and gruesome it is? And I feel that really added to my enjoyment considering I wasn’t expecting it. There’s a lot more bloody descriptions and violence and just a lot and it was a surprise… a pleasant one nonetheless.’
There’s was also a parallel… dimension??? thing??? happening???
considering the main character was from D.C. and I kind of appreciated it. Seeing Harper being a fish out of water and having to acclimate to her new surroundings was nice; it felt a bit too easy, but I could just be nit picking.
“Failure isn’t absolute, just because you couldn’t save everyone doesn’t mean you didn’t save anyone.”
That and the fact of Harper knowing she has someone back home depending on her and Emberfall needing her, too— her dilemma and the back and forth was realistic… really nice to see expanded on because you can feel her dilemma over being pulled in two directions.
I definitely can’t deny me having a hard time not flying through this. Which— when you’re buddy reading a book… you kind of can’t do that.
But it’s fine because she said she was flying through it, too. It was a race to the end.
As for the characters…
❥ Rhen – The prince of the story who realized his mistake a bit too late, is kind of over life and wants it to be done with already. Really dealing with mistakes and failing to make it right, depressed, a bit suicidal and just needs a hug because he’s doing his best.
❥ Harper – Born with cerebral palsy , but in no way let’s that stop her from being the badass she is and
like I mentioned above is not here for this falling in love with her kidnapper or at all thing. She’s very self aware of the curse and Stolkholm syndrome and acknowledges that she’s never been in love and wouldn’t know what love is… but this ain’t it or the way to do it.
❥ Grey – Loyal, stoic, has a kind heart underneath that hard exterior who is going down with his prince and kingdom no matter what… I may be a Grey stan no lie.
… I didn’t really connect with them. I liked them, I even rooted for them, but was I really here for them? On a personal level? No sorry.
“I didn’t realize it was possible to be strong and yielding at the same time.”
The last 20% did start to drag and I did have a bit of an issue with the ending’s cliffhanger… HOWEVER, my favorite part of this ENTIRE book is it doesn’t really end in true love?
No spoilers, but the entire conversation between Rhen and Harper in the end made my heart burst with joy, happiness and greatness. I’m pretty excited for the sequel.