A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

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Title: A Curse so Dark and Lonely
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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.

A Curse so Dark and Lonely is the first Brigid Kemmerer book that I have read, and while I enjoyed it, I just feel as if I was expecting something more. I had quite high expectations heading into it, and sadly, there was just something about it that didn’t live up to my expectations.

When it comes to the characters, I liked most of them, but the main love interest kept getting on my nerves. I loved our main character Harper and all she stood for; she is strong and knew what she could do. Her disability didn’t affect her as it is part of her, and no reason why the reader and other characters should judge her differently. But when it comes to Rhen, I could only tolerate him, there was just something about his characterisation that annoyed me, and while he did start to get better, I didn’t see enough development to truly like him. I am also hoping in the next books we get some of the other characters as while they were there, most of the focus was on the main characters, and I would like to know more about them as I think there is a story to be told.

I liked the setting of Emberfall for the book, but I would have loved to have had some more world-building and descriptions so I could truly imagine what the setting looks like. I am also hoping in the next books in the series; we are going to see more of the outside world and get to expand the setting, especially as places are mentioned that I would love to get to. I think this would pull the story together and make it a more rounded and cohesive setting.

The plot of A Curse so Dark and Lonely is not particularly complex, but it did feel as if it dragged on for quite a while before anything started happening. I would have loved for the book to have been shorter and for the action to have come more frequently because it kept pulling me out of the book as we would have long periods of dialogue before something would happen.

I am looking forward to picking up the next book in the series as I hope that the world will open up and provide much more action. Fingers crossed with the introduction of some new characters; the story will progress faster, making it a bit more enjoyable.

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