Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely

A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1)A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars (minus half a star because nothing can top ACOTAR, #SorryNotSorry).

Blog header by @lostinficti0n

THIS IS A NEW FAVOURITE, EVERYBODY. It’s also been a bit of a therapy blanket for me while I go through a lot of changes. I have been meaning to read Kemmerer for 2 years now, and I borrowed her debut + this from the library– eek! I’m overjoyed. The first third felt like a bit of a drag, because no love was happening, but it felt like I was in the Throne of Glass world, where there are small cottages and no modern technology and randomly heated baths. It was so cosy, I LOVED IT.


Harper: meet our Beauty. She’s 18(ish?), white, poor, her mumma has cancer, her dad got in trouble with some seedy guys (loan sharks/mafia looking dudes) then ditched them, and her brother is v supportive/protective and also gay. Harper has cerebral palsy. I’m ashamed to admit this but I must share it in my review: I forgot by the middle of the book that she had CP. Was it do to how empowered she felt? Was it due to how Kemmerer depicted her so able bodied? Is it a mix of my presumptions AS WELL as how it wasn’t that connected to the story, who knows?! Kemmerer notes at the end that it was not intended for Harper to have an entire personality around her ‘diverse’ feature. I’m in the middle of finding it disturbing that it can be brushed off to much, and so conveniently at times; but also it’s feels quite genuine in Kemmerer’s values for adverse-diverse representation in 2020 fiction. WHAT DO CP READERS THINK? So far I’ve read 1x CP blogger say how offensive it was; and another (1x) blogger who tweeted how overjoyed she was by the representation and treatment of the subject.
Rhen: SWOON. SWOON. SWOON. For all Tamlin sympathisers, you will love this book. Rhen is the Beast in this adaption. That’s all I have to note on Rhen. He’s purely eye-candy, and I loved it.
Grey: 1x SWOON FOR MR GREY (@Americans, in your editions, is his name spelt ‘Gray’ lol!?) Grey is 100% just Jem from TMI but he hasn’t gotten his fair HEA with Harper yet. Grey is actually the one and only Royal Guard protecting and helping the Prince Beast defeat the curse… (view spoiler) I want him happy! For some reason I feel like he’s going to have an arc with one of the ladies from the castle, like Zo? Or he’ll eventually die in sacrifice for Rhen and/or Harper in Book 2. Grey has far better emotional dialogue with Harper, but he’s gotta be pushed to the side, okay!?!?! There was only room for ONE breakage of the classic Beauty and the Beast couple, and that RIGHT goes to Rhysand ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤


It’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Except our Beauty is from now, and there’s no Gaston or talking candlestick but there IS an evil enchantress and endless yummy franco-styled pastry.
Part 1: Harper is not wanting to be in this curse! She shall defy the two men, and go help starving/poor people.
Part 2: Harper and Rhen and Grey all bond and get along and honestly, it’s peak happiness. Everybody is acting with goodwill and there’s ballroom dancing and light feather kisses and life is great.
Part 3: Epic battle! War! Blood! Cliffhanger (re: Grey)! HEA sorta! Lots of fun 😀


This story predominantly flips between Rhen and Harper’s perspectives. The final third of the book also features the Monster’s POV, as well as Grey’s. It is told within first-person narration.


– Beauty and the Beast
– True love (family and non-family)
– Duty and Honour
– Intentions and Disappointments
– Fate / pre-determined circumstances


There are too many to choose! I ended up taking a photo of about 15 different pages. JUST GO READ THIS; IT’S BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN (if you’re into SJM — you’ll most likely hate it if not, or if you found SJM too adult or high-fantasy, this will definitely be more to your liking).


I’m happy with the ending! I don’t have to block Brigid on Twitter, lol, yay. @Bloomsbury, I know this is YA, but gimme that Smut. The characters are 18+. There are TWO. GORGEOUS. ABS-GALORE MEN. WITH PRETTY EYES. AND HAIR. GIVE IT TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (view spoiler)


I put this book off for so long. I was scared it would ruin or out-do ACOTAR. It did neither, yay! I had a ball while reading this book. It’s been a great friend, giving me a comforting hug over the past week. THANK YOU KEMMERER AND BLOOMSBURY, ANOTHER FAVOURITE TO ADD TO MY COMFORT READS FOR LIFE NOW ❤ ❤ ❤

Author: Cal's Reading Corner

HSIE teacher from Sydney, Australia.

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