A curse so dark and lonely – Brigid Kemmerer Quick Review
A darker, more realistic take on Beauty and the Beast. A curse so dark and lonely follows Crown Prince Rhen, his commander Grey and Harper as they grapple with the cards they’ve been dealt. A world apart, brought together by their desires to help people.
Harper is pulled into Rhen’s world by force. He’s handsome, charming, cunning and experienced. There’s also Grey who is attractive in his own right, capable, loyal and adorably good with children. But instead of falling immediately in love, Harper and Rhen go down a long road of self growth. The romance is there and deliciously slow burning, but in the mean time you flow easily from page to page as they get through the important business of breaking down walls, forming bonds and figuring out their personal demons. Watching them conquering themselves and the problems in front of them. Making difficult decisions and facing the consequences. Learning how to navigate it all. The resulting friendship and blooming of romance a result of dealing with those problems together.
The main characters were easy to like and understand or relate to. The supporting characters I imagine will continue to grow on me during the series (already some of them are wonderful though seemingly extremely naive with their immediate belief of Harpers fake backstory — something that really bothered me especially when nobles didn’t outright call out the made up land of Disi).
The story and world is rich and full of stakes you can easily feel invested in.
The main villain however, though intriguing at first, is kind of a flat, let down. Her goals seem petty and small compared to the possibilities of what she could want to accomplish. There is no depth to her character demonstrated and ultimately she feels anticlimactic. Other characters end up feeling like bigger threats or possibly bigger villains. I wish we could have had the depth with her that we had with some of the other characters but perhaps there is a chance of that in the continuation of the series.
I am hyped for the next book.
– 4/5 A beauty and the beast retelling that’s more coming of age and less instalove than expected.