A Curse So Dark and Lonely
A modern twist on ‘Beauty and the Beast’, this book is a slow burner that rewards the reader in its second half. Prince Rhen has been cursed by an evil sorceress after he breaks her heart. If he fails to get somebody to fall in love with him, he turns into a ferocious beast and the cycle begins again with a new girl. Rhen is a tortured character as he attempts to come to terms with everything he has done in the past. The author does not shy away from representing the hardships encountered by a young man learning to open up to those around him.
The female protagonist, Harper, is a strong, feisty heroine from the very first pages, wherein the reader discovers she has cerebral palsy. This does not hinder her in any way and the author does a wonderful job in highlighting the fact that a disability does not define a person. She is torn between doing what is right for the family she was forced to leave and what she must do to save the land she has grown to love. This is Kemmerer’s first foray into the genre of magical realism and it does not disappoint. She has crafted well-thought-out, diverse characters in a convincing magical world. The romantic relationship blossoms gradually and is entirely realistic. Disney lovers will adore this new action-filled version of the classic fairy tale and will be desperate for the sequel to be in their hands!