A Curse So Dark and Lonely
A Curse So Dark and Lonely
$16.14

Series: The Cursebreaker Vol. 1   

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Annotation: Having turned eighteen for the 327th time, Prince Rhen despairs of breaking the curse that turns him into a beast at the end of each day--until feisty Harper enters his life.
Catalog Number: #181307
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 484 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-681-19508-9
ISBN 13: 978-1-681-19508-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018010847
Dimensions: 24 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Harper has learned how to fight. Not physically r cerebral palsy makes that hard t against the fear she feels every day for her mom, who's dying of cancer, and her brother, who's keeping their family afloat through any means. When she tries to stop an attempted kidnapping on the frigid streets of D.C. one night, Harper finds herself transported to the cursed world of Emberfell. Here Prince Rhen repeats the autumn of his eighteenth birthday ery year, when winter comes, he transforms into a vicious monster. All that's left is a dwindling hope: if a girl falls in love with him, the curse will break. But in more than 300 years, none has. Harper's cerebral palsy, while mild, is treated as an afterthought, often unmentioned even in high-action scenes, and thin characterizations and a high-page count stall this Beauty and the Beast retelling. Still, the approach is compelling, and Kemmerer manages to put a fresh twist on an old story. High-concept fairy tales are popular, and younger fans of Sarah J. Maas will be eager for this one.
Kirkus Reviews
A cursed prince and a high school dropout become unlikely allies in this ambitious "Beauty and the B
Publishers Weekly
Action, tension, and tragedy fuel this retelling of -Beauty and the Beast- by YA author Kemmerer (More Than We Can Tell). Harper, a high school senior with cerebral palsy, gets abducted while trying to thwart a kidnapping in Washington, D.C. She awakes at Ironrose Castle in Emberfall, where a vengeful enchantress, Lilith, has cursed Prince Rhen and his guard, Commander Grey, to continually relive the autumn of Rhen-s 18th year. Every three months, unless he finds love, Rhen becomes a monster who kills indiscriminately. Afterward, the castle grounds reset, and Grey secures Rhen another potential mate. Harper has no intention of being wooed and plans to negotiate with Lilith for passage home, but after she discovers that a ruthless queen plans to invade Emberfall, she begins to reconsider. Harper and Rhen share the narration, building an alliance while fighting their burgeoning romance, and artfully rendered, emotionally complex secondary characters add depth and raise stakes. This enthralling modern fable champions altruism while illustrating intimacy-s relationship with honesty, respect, trust, and consent. Ages 13-up. Agent: Mandy Hubbard, Emerald City Literary. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up Prince Rhen, heir to Emberfall, is cursed to repeat the autumn of his 18th birthday until he can find a woman to fall in love with him even as he transforms each season into a monstrous beast. The season resets after every failureall 327 of them. When Harper intervenes in what looks like an abduction on the streets of Washington, DC, she is transported into another world. Instead of worrying about her dying mother or the risks her brother is taking to pay off their absent father's debts to a loan shark, Harper is trapped in Emberfall at the center of the curse. Harper, who has cerebral palsy, is shocked to learn that she is Rhen's last chance to break the curse. But Harper isn't sure if the fate of a kingdom can be enough to make her fall in love. Kemmerer's "Beauty and the Beast" retelling introduces a unique world filled with fantasy and menace. Rhen is an accomplished if pessimistic strategist while Harper is impulsive to the point of recklessness. Despite their obvious tension and occasional chemistry, Rhen's evolving friendship with his guard commander Grey is often more compelling than Harper's interactions with either man. While Harper and Rhen accomplish much over the course of the novel, this installment has little in the way of closure. VERDICT Rich world-building, hints of a love triangle, and unresolved questions will leave readers anxious to see what happens next. A strong choice. Emma Carbone, Brooklyn Public Library
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A cursed prince and a high school dropout become unlikely allies in this ambitious "Beauty and the Beast" adaptation.Harper's life in Washington, D.C., hasn't been easy: Her mother is dying of cancer, and her father's only legacy is the loan sharks her brother Jake works for to pay off his debts. Harper, who has cerebral palsy, is standing lookout for Jake when she sees a man carrying an unconscious woman. Harper intervenes—and is magically transported to Emberfall, a kingdom abandoned by its rulers and beset by both a mysterious beast and attacks from a neighboring country. She meets blond Prince Rhen, who reveals that the beast killed his family. He believes falling in love is the only way to save his kingdom, and his guard commander travels to Harper's universe to find matches for him. Harper doesn't buy it. Rather than acquiesce to fate, she calls Rhen's attention to more immediate, practical actions they can take to protect his kingdom. The book follows a white default for main characters, although Jake's boyfriend is black and Harper's best friend in Emberfall has brown skin. Refreshingly, Harper is the undisputed hero and also not the only significant character with a disability. Avoiding disability inspiration tropes, she is a fallible, well-rounded character who fights for the vulnerable and resists being labeled as such herself despite how others perceive her. A fast-paced, richly detailed feminist epic. (author's note) (Fantasy. 12-18)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
ALA Booklist (11/1/18)
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (11/1/18)
Voice of Youth Advocates
Word Count: 119,484
Reading Level: 4.2
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.2 / points: 17.0 / quiz: 501887 / grade: Upper Grades
Lexile: HL580L

A New York Times bestseller! " Has everything you'd want in a retelling of a classic fairy tale." - Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of A Spark of Light and Small Great Things "Absolutely spellbinding." - Stephanie Garber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Caraval and Legendary In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer. 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. 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.


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