A Curse So Dark and Lonely

By Brigid Kemmerer,

Book cover of A Curse So Dark and Lonely

Book description

A New York Times bestseller! "Has everything you'd want in a retelling of a classic fairy tale." - Jodi Picoult 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…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

7 authors picked A Curse So Dark and Lonely as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This was described to me as a Beauty and the Beast portal fantasy, and that sounded too awesome for me to pass up. I'm so glad I read it because it was as enchanting and mystical as I wanted it to be.

It also had some darkness, and the characters' resiliency against that darkness was inspiring. I loved how the female lead's disability was both a strength and an obstacle. I loved how the male lead needed to understand he was his own worst enemy.

This book taught me about myself through the characters' struggles, and that's always worthwhile.

I had stopped reading children’s and teen fiction for a couple of years, for the first time in my half a century of life, and then I read A Curse So Dark and Lonely.

There’s a different sort of adventure here, and I think I related to Harper a little bit extra because I have a chronic illness and when it flares up, my limp is so very obvious. It felt good to see magic + that realism.

The combination of magic, a protagonist I could connect to, and fairy tale elements made me start opening the covers of…

Eighteen-year-old Harper Lacy has cerebral palsy and worries when her mother falls sick with cancer and her brother lands into trouble working with thugs to make ends meet.

One day Harper is tricked into helping a stranger on the street who whisks her away to an alternative world. As a Beauty and the Beast retelling, I loved how this story showcases a young woman with CP as a smart, exceptionally tough heroine. Despite her turmoil, Harper remains a kind soul. Her kidnappers hope she breaks a long-standing curse by falling in love with the prince; but when love is involved,…

An intensely emotional retelling of Beauty and the Beast, this novel features a modern-day heroine who risks death to save a stranger in Washington, DC, and is pulled into a paranormal fantasy world where she falls in love with a monstrous man cursed by an evil enchantress. I have always loved French Romanticism, where an unlikely hero suffers for love and finds redemption through forgiveness. A Curse So Dark and Lonely is a retelling of the famous French fairy tale, with much of the same passion found in Victor Hugo’s Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame).

A Curse So Dark and Lonely is a fantastic YA portal fantasy novel told in dual POV. It is a Beauty and the Beast retelling where Harper, a girl from our world, must break the curse on the prince whom she meets when she’s taken to his world. The two-character POVs we get are Harper and Rhen, the cursed prince. I loved having a POV from each world; one from ours and one from the fantasy realm. That made for a very engaging read and kept the points of view unique. Rhen was my favorite to read from! The romance…

From Catherine's list on fantasy told from multiple perspectives.

This book, the first in a trilogy, features a modern girl snatched away from this world to another, where she is expected to fall in love with a cursed prince. I don’t know about you, but that’s been my fantasy for as long as I can remember! The world building and magic system are lush and extensive, but somehow simple to understand without overwhelming the reader, which is something I always appreciate when reading fantasy. Also, this book is YA, so it is suitable for younger readers. 

From Jenny's list on romance with cursed love.

I absolutely love a good Beauty and the Beast retelling and this one is probably my favorite. 

Harper is brought into a fantasy world for the purpose of breaking Prince Rhen's spell. While there she leads us on an exploration of loyalty and duty. Back home her mother is dying and Harper desperately wants to return to her but she can equally see how badly Rhen's people need her too. 

She isn't exactly what Rhen hoped for in the woman to break his curse. She is willful, disobedient, and has some physical limitations due to cerebral palsy. Yet she is…

Want books like A Curse So Dark and Lonely?

Our community of 11,000+ authors has personally recommended 96 books like A Curse So Dark and Lonely.

Browse books like A Curse So Dark and Lonely

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in curses, people with disabilities, and Cerebral Palsy?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about curses, people with disabilities, and Cerebral Palsy.

Curses Explore 74 books about curses
People With Disabilities Explore 56 books about people with disabilities
Cerebral Palsy Explore 11 books about Cerebral Palsy