A Curse so Dark and Lonely: Review

I have no clue how I’m supposed to go on and live my life after reading this book? How can you assume I’ll be all right? HOW CAN YOU DO THIS TO ME

This book had me hooked from the very first page, and I found myself dragged, forced to feel EMOTIONS that I haven’t felt for a long time reading a book. I don’t think I blinked. My contacts were dry. My tongue felt like lead in my mouth. I forgot to shower. Days passed, and I did not notice. I was in this story until the very end. AND IT WAS AMAZING.

So, what’s it about, you ask?

Harper Lacey finds her world turned on its head when she’s suddenly transported to a different world after defending a young woman from her attacker. Her attacker, a guardsman, named Grey takes her to Emberfall (to avoid being knocked out by a tire iron no less). There, Harper meets Prince Rhen who is under a wicked curse. Unable to return home at present, Harper immerses herself, both willingly and unwillingly, into the world around her, and takes charge against those wanting to do Emberfall harm.

But that’s the condensed version. There is sooooo much more.

HARPER: She has cerebral palsy, but let me tell you, she does not allow that to define her. Her character is vivacious and determined. She had me mesmerized. Before being kidnapped to Emberfall, she’d been working with her brother to pay off her father’s old debts and take care of her cancer-stricken mother. To see her character fear for their lives while playing a role in a different world was heartbreaking. Not only that but to eventually see her torn between responsibilities to both worlds. She has no hesitations to stab and defend herself whenever she deems fit and good for her. YA needs more Harpers.

RHEN: the arrogant prince of Emberfall is no short of charming and dimwitted when it comes to women. Which, I don’t know, makes him charming? Meeting Harper was not like meeting all the other girls he’d had brought to his castle to break the curse. He finally met his match.

Ok. Now for my book boyfriend, GREY: Never have I known a secondary character to engage me as much as he did. As Mr. Scary Grey Grumpykins, he is the loyal guard to Rhen. He would literally bleed for his prince. But his softer side shows through in little peeks, and I think that is what got me. I was in love. I didn’t plan on falling in love, but here I am.

One of the things I truly loved was that Rhen did not force Harper to do much of anything. By the time Harper arrived, he was so depressed; he thought he’d never break his curse anyhow. There was no Stockholm Syndrome happening as we usually see in retellings of Beauty and the Beast or East of the Sun, West of the Moon. There wasn’t much romance at all. What was in there was real and slow burning, so THANK YOU for that.

The end shattered my soul. Although I solved the little secret beforehand, the action that took place before that had me gripping the pages. I was thrust into heartbreak and anger and eventually numbness.

Although this book is long, it didn’t feel that way to me, the way I breezed through without providing my body food. Knowing that the next book will have Grey’s POV just has me googling ways to transport myself into the future to get my slimy hands on it and waiting is going to be hard. But I shall dream of Grey, and things will be all right.

In closing, this was the best book I have read so far this year.

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