A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer – Spoiler Free Review

Title: A Curse So Dark and Lonely
Series Name: A Curse So Dark and Lonely
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: YA Fantasy Retelling
Publication Date: January 29th, 2019
Pages: 496 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Bloomsbury YA

Goodreads Synopsis

Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom. 

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But 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.

Trigger Warnings: Sexual Assault/Threats, Abelism & Suicide.


This was an interesting twist to a classic. I love that this was turned to portal fantasy, which added another layer to the story. The world was well developed and very creative. I really enjoyed being in this world and discovering more about it through the book. I can’t wait to learn more in book 2, A Heart So Fierce and Broken!

This book is multi POV following Rhen & Harper and was done really well. It was very easy to distinguish between the 2 POVs. I’m also glad this book was multi POV rather than just following Harper or Rhen. This book was the best seeing both sides, both characters struggles and the truth from both sides.

“I am always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light.”

– Freya (A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer)


This book is very suspenseful & adventure filled. There are plenty of twists and turns throughout the book which kept the book very interesting. It was hard to put down and was a very easy and quick read.

“My father once said 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 fate deals. The choices we face may not be the choices we want, but they are choices nonetheless.”

-Rhen (A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Birgid Kemmerer)

As many of you know, I am not a huge romance fan, but as this is a retelling. I knew from the start that there would be a romance & who it would be between so when it came to pass I didn’t mind it. It was well done compared to most YA romances.


Our 3 main characters are Rhen, Harper & Grey. My favourite out of the 3 is actually Grey, who while plays a major part is a side character. All the characters are fierce, loyal & determined to do what is right. Grey especially is extremely loyal to those that he trusts. He is also quick witted & brave to a fault.

Also I really enjoyed the disability rep (Cerebral Palsy) in this book! There are very few books I have read that have MCs with disabilities in the physical realm. So it was interesting to see this in the book. It never stopped Harper from braving what needed to be done and she shut anyone down that doubted her ability because of it.

“Failure isn’t absolute. Just because you couldn’t save everyone doesn’t mean you didn’t save anyone.”

Harper (A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Thank you to NetGalley & Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ) for providing me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

You can purchase a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book DepositoryBooktopia or Angus & Robertson.

Bloomsbury Aus
eBook, Hardcover & Paperback

Book Depository
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Paperback // Hardcover

Amazon Australia
eBook // Paperback // Hardcover

Angus & Robertson
Paperback // Hardcover

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