I had such great expectations reaching for ‘A Curse So Dark and Lonely’ mostly because of everyone’s great reviews, and I was really disappointed. It was a really twisted retelling of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ – definitely one involving more blood. The only thing resembling the Disney fairy-tale was the presence of a prince, a monster and a curse. There weren’t any talking clocks or candlesticks, there wasn’t a smart or kind princess and there were too many people – the whole point of the Beast was his loneliness and his isolation from the world. The entire love story was really non-existent, and the curse-breaking was so accidental I almost have no idea how it happened. Additionally, the last character was such a plot twist – it was really unlikely and forced. It’s obvious that the author had a second book in mind, but in my opinion, she should’ve stuck to one. Additionally, the world-building was a little bit unclear to me. What was positive about ‘The Curse So Dark and Lonely’ was the writing – despite its faults, the book was easy to read. I managed to read it in two sittings, even though the characters and the plot annoyed me.
I swear, all the main characters are written strictly to annoy the hell out of me. Harper is such an annoying, non-decision and reckless character, and I couldn’t stand her throughout the book. The continuity of her getting everyone in trouble just because she had to have it her way made me want to properly shake her (or slap her). Grey was a great character, always staying in his role as a Commander, but I couldn’t help but think that he was too stiff? After all that time with Rhen, he was still the same strict soldier – that’s a bit hard to believe. Rhen is a typical, spoilt prince, but it’s clear he is overwhelmed with the choices he made before. While reading the story from Rhen’s point of view, I also felt like his regret was forced – there were too many thoughts regarding his past to make it believable. Despite his dissimilarity to the original Beast, he was probably the best part of this book – the most intriguing one, always calculating and thinking ahead. I feel like I should talk about the enchantress, Lilith, who was a villain in this story. But she was evil to the bone, without any backstory, but as we all know the best villains should have a good backstory. The characters in ‘A Curse So Dark and Lonely’ were meant to be complexed and unorthodox, but they ended up being annoying and every single of their traits appeared to be enforced and unnatural.
The book was either boring or really rushed, and the plot repeated the same schemes all the time – Harper runs, Rhen and Grey follow her, save her and help the people of Emberfall. Rhen fell in love with Harper really quickly – too quickly, considering that the only thing that fascinated him about Harper was her constant rebellion and resistance. I wouldn’t recommend ‘A Curse So Dark and Lonely’ unless you really like twisted fairytales and the main characters don’t bother you.
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. (via goodreads.com)