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.
I received this book from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
I absolutely LOVED this book.
I mean, it’s a retelling if my favourite fairytale so I was always going to, but I loved how this included faithful elements that are often not included or handled as well. And I loved the mythology of it all, the mix of modern and fantasy, how it plays out, just everything.
Let’s start with Harper. Princess Harper rocked my socks off. First, I love that she has CF and it’s just a thing that’s part of her, not something that defines her. LOVE. And she’s fiesty and fierce and protective and sometimes a little selfish and just wonderful. She’s not perfect, and that’s why she is, to me. She’s not always seeing the bigger picture (unlike Rhen who can’t see anything but!) and often worrying about her family. Understandable but makes for gloriously frustrating reading when you know Harper and Rhen would understand each other if they could only TALK properly. Lol. My favourite sort of frustration.
And Rhen. Oh Rhen. Closed off and fiercely protecting his people, big hearted, understanding, and also sometimes a little selfish. Heh. I sometimes wanted Grey to smack him round the head lol. But I loved how much he does care about Grey, about his people, and he’s doing what he thinks he can. He’s never had enough time to think about how to solve the wider problems, he just gets handfuls of weeks at a time to concentrate on the main one. I totally get that, but I love Harper coming and making him realise that a little.
Grey is also amazing. And his ending was AMAZEBALLS. I think I may have a thing for these characters just for being so awesome and protective of each other. Grey embodies that so well. And I cannot wait for more.
I desperately need to punch Lilith. So much. I was all over the crazy “why don’t you love me” stuff anyway, but every time she was on page she made it worse. So evil. And I definitely want to find out more about her background and her people. I just hate her motivation, it never feels real to me. To be so self centred or so angry that something didn’t work out the way you want to curse an entire land in that way for that long? Ugh. Just no. But then, I love the way her story works for this version – I have always hated the witch character in Beauty and the Beast, and Lilith is no different, but her curse and how it works makes so much more sense than the traditional.
And then there’s the ending. I’m going to try and keep it spoiler free – I’ve already mentioned Greys part in it which I didn’t see coming and was so good, but also they way Rhen and Harper’s story ended and everything with the curse. Omg. I love this book.
I think it was cleverly ended as well, as I wasn’t sure if we’d get enough resolution, given it’s a series (don’t worry, we do!), or I was worried that it wouldn’t have enough of a continuing on point (it definitely does). Very well done.
Buy A Curse So Dark And Lonely from Amazon UK (affiliate link)