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

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Goodreads | Waterstones

PRINCE RHEN, the heir to Emberfall, is cursed. Forced to repeat the autumn of his eightenth year over and over, he can only be freed if a girl truly falls for him, and fter so many failures his kingdom and its people are barely holding on.
HARPER’s life has never been easy, but she’s learned to be tough enough to survive the streets of Washington, D.C. When she is sucked into Rhen’s world, nothing is as it seems. Piwerful forces are standing against Emberfall … and it will take more than a broken curse to save it from utter ruin.

I read this book a while ago, and I finally got around to re-reading it before continuing with the series. I’m glad I re-read this one, because I didn’t remember everything about the book, and purely because I enjoyed my time re-reading it.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely is a Beauty and the Beast retelling that does stick to the original fairytale with some unique twists. One of our main characters, Harper, actually comes from Washington DC in the real world, and is dragged into a fantasy world that exists alongside our own. Because of this, and because Brigid Kemmerer also writes contemporary, I do find her fantasy books read very easily and quickly.

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.

I found A Curse So Dark and Lonely like being wrapped in a warm blanket. I just found it really comforting – partly because it does play into some tropes and YA fantasy cliches, but I honestly didn’t mind it this time. It did mean this book didn’t turn out to be quite a 5 star because it wasn’t surprising or unpredictable enough for me, but I did really enjoy it.

I once again liked our main character of Harper and found it really interesting to read about her disability throughout this book. I also loved Grey, who is so sweet and protective. I didn’t love Rhen, but I did feel a lot of sympathy for him by the end of the book, which is something Brigid Kemmerer does well.

The choices we face may not be the choices we want, but they are choices nonetheless.

I’m so glad I picked this one back up and I’m really looking forward to carrying on with the story. Although it can be a little cliche, it was so much fun to read and I really enjoyed it.

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Defy the Night (#1) by Brigid Kemmerer

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Goodreads | Waterstones

In a kingdom where sickness stalks the streets and only the richest can afford a cure, King Harristan and his brother Prince Corrick are forced to rule with an iron fist.
Tessa Cade is a masked outlaw marked for death, but she likes it that way. Together with the mysterious, handsome Weston, she robs from the rich to help the poor, distributing food and medicine to those who need it most.
As it becomes clear that the only way to save her people is to assassinate the King, Tessa must face a deadly mission that will take her to the dark heart of the kingdom . and force her to work with the very people she intended to destroy.

Thank you to Bloomsbury for sending me a proof copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

It’s been a while since I read A Curse So Dark and Lonely but I really enjoyed it when I read it and I was so excited to hear about this new release. I’ve also read a couple of Brigid Kemmerer’s contemporary books in recent years and really liked them, and this one didn’t disappoint!

This story takes place during a plague, which I was a little worried about but felt disconnected enough from the real world for me to still enjoy it. I started this book expecting it to be quite a typical YA fantasy and for it to be predictable, but I was very pleasantly surprised early on in the book. The plot quickly surprised me and I knew I would find this more of an emotional rollercoaster than I expected.

I really liked the characters and I found the multiple POV between the Prince and Tessa so interesting. Both of them have their own issues and troubles from each side of the class divide, and I could empathise with them so much. I really appreciated how this book didn’t shy away from talking about the pressures of royalty and the impact on mental health being in the royal family can have.

The plot was very fast paced and entertaining, and the writing was so easy to read. I really enjoyed the writing style and I found this one hard to put down. I feel like Brigid Kemmerer does an amazing job at writing accessible fantasy as her writing style feels very similar to contemporaries and she crosses between the two. Reading this has definitely made me excited to continue with the A Curse So Dark and Lonely trilogy!

Overall, there was a lot to love about this book and I found it such an entertaining read. If you’re looking for an easy to read fantasy with a fiery romance, great characters and a plot that will keep you guessing, look no further!

★★★
4.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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