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Review: A Curse so Dark and Lonely

A Curse So Dark and Lonely - Brigid Kemmerer

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

I’m a black sheep with this one. All the bloggers I follow and Goodreads reviewers seem to absolutely love this book. I’ve read the author before and I have loved everything I’ve read by her, but I didn’t love this one. I did get a Netgalley kindle copy I tried reading before the book came out, but the formatting was terrible so I decided to wait until I got a physical copy.

 

It was book of the month in one of my Fairyloot subscription boxes so I got a nice shiny hardback. I sort of waited until the hype died down a bit, but then the sequel came out – which I did get (another Fairyloot exclusive) just in case I loved the first and had to have the second one.

 

And turned out I was just sort of meh about the whole thing really. It was an interesting parallel for the Beauty and the Beast retelling, but frankly, the beast character Prince Rhen irritated the hell out of me. I found him completely unsympathetic, annoying, selfish and whiny. I did however, really like the female character Harper. She was what made the book come alive for me. She was strong, sassy, level headed, and smart. Not blown over by the opulence of the fantasy world she suddenly finds herself thrust into.  The other character I really liked was Rhen’s loyal guard, Grey who was much more likeable – a bit of a stick in the mud at times, but with a sense of honour and loyalty. I was routing for him and Harper to hook up – they had a love/hate relationship turned into friendship and mutual respect.

 

However, given it’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling, it’s obvious where the romance was going to happen. I found the plot predictable, and tedious at times, for long stretches nothing seemed to happen other than Rhen whining about his curse and Harper trying to figure out how to escape and get back to her home, the normal human world. They would dance around just forming a connection and something would happen sending them back to square one of distrust and frustration. I found it repetitive and annoying.

 

Two thirds of the novel was prepping for one huge battle when the beast finally appeared. And when it did it was almost like everything happened in a rush. Which of course ended on a cliff hanger. There were a few twists hinted at throughout (and again, completely predictable) If I hadn’t already bought the second book before I read this one I wouldn’t have bothered, but as I have and quite liked Grey’s character, I’m curious to see where his story goes.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Bloomsbury Publishing PLC for approving my request to view the title.