Saturday, August 3, 2019

August's Book of the Month--A Curse So Dark and Lonely

August’s Book of the Month is Brigid Kemmerer’s recent Beauty and the Beast retelling, A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY.

Prince Rhen has been cursed to repeat the months just after his eighteenth birthday over and over again (this is his 327th time) in his search for a woman to love him before he morphs into a vicious monster, killing anyone who crosses his path. Harper’s mother is dying from cancer and her brother is being forced to hurt people for their absent dad’s “bill collectors." So when she’s kidnapped by Rhen’s trusted—and only remaining—guardsman, and taken from Washington, DC, to the “parallel” land of Emberfall, she’s not interested in saving the castle or its handsome inhabitants. She just wants to get home. But the more she learns about Prince Rhen and his curse, the more Harper wants to help him break it.

The plot is intricate and electric, with plenty of twists and turns, ups and downs, romance and bitterness to keep readers entranced for all of the book's more than 400 pages. Harper’s character comes into her own in Emberfall, transforming from the younger sister who “needs to be shoved into a back room and protected" to a true leader with an entire country to save. Rhen’s journey is noteworthy, too, as he slowly and carefully allows himself to care for Harper and believe in their alliance, despite all that Enchantress Lileth can do to keep him under her control and mired in despair. And Commander Grey, despite being an efficient killing machine, is human with plenty of soft edges. The interplay—and romantic tension--between the three is intriguing and believable. The ending is wonderful, exciting, and truly sigh-worthy. And there’s a sequel coming out in January :—)


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