Thank you to Edelweiss for having the glitch of the century and allowing me to yank this book to download for my own greedy hands.
**THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS. Sort of. **
A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY was one of my favorite books of 2019. I couldn’t put that book down and when I was done, I kept walking by my bookshelf admiring it. It gave us a great protagonist with Harper, a complicated king in Rhen, and a broody man of Grey. It had everything. Unfortunately, this one did not live up to the first book.
Before you get all, this-is-not-the-first-it’s-a-sequel-and-doesn’t-have-to-be-the-same, hear me out. The book opens with Harper’s POV, and that is all we get out of her. Whomp whomp. Then we get to Grey and I happy squeal. But Grey’s character seemed off. He was smiling and talkative, and didn’t seem like the Grey we knew and loved. Next, we have a new character in Lia Mara, daughter of the Shallow queen whom we met in the first book. She’s OK, I guess. So, the whole novel is Lia and Grey. No Rhen, (until the very end) and no Harper save for the opening chapter.
OK, so the story follows Grey in his attempt to thwart Emberfall from knowing he’s the rightful heir. Lia is there to show us that her mother is as cruel as we thought, and along with Jacob (Harper’s bro), Noah (Jake’s boyfriend), and a new character Tycho, they journey to make alliances. All the while, falling love, being angsty, and mostly depressed.
I’ll go into what bothered me most, besides Grey’s character 360. Harper. She stood by while some horrible things happened. SHE STOOD BY. “I’m sorry I couldn’t help you,” is what she says. I read that as, “I’m sorry I DIDN’T help you.” As strong as a character as she was, I wanted more out of her, and her supposed love for Rhen felt so…wrong. I kind of hate her now.
That brings me to Rhen AND WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU? He wasn’t my favorite, to begin with, but he took my dislike to a whole new level. So, I hate him too.
Without Harper or Rhen (and how boring Grey became) the story dragged on and on. Lia Mara was a yawn. The only redeeming character was probably the human-like creature who accompanies them on their journey. The story lost its heart, and it lost its direction. I was waiting for the fierceness, but all of it fell flat. I’m pretty sure the next book will answer a lot of questions and make me feel better about the things that happened, but until then I shall scream like a spoiled child who’s ice-cream cone just fell onto the pavement.