Book Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

About the Book:

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

 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.

My thoughts:

It is very easy to tell someone that the only way to break a curse is to fall in love. However, what people do not tell and this is the main catch, is that it is not so easy to fall in love.

This is the problem that Prince Rhen of Emberfall is facing. Having made one mistake in his youth, he is cursed to relive the eighteenth year of his life again and again and again. What was his mistake you may wonder? He courted an enchantress and cast her away. Spurned due to this and seeking revenge, she curses him. The curse can only be lifted when he finds true love.

Doesn’t this sound like a typical fairy tale but with the roles reversed? The prince has to find his princess. However, nothing is as easy as this explanation and this is not just any fairytale. In this new age re-telling of the Beauty and the Beast, the author brings to us a new age spin on things. Once the curse begins, the prince has the duration of the autumn season to find his true love. If that doesn’t happen, he turns into a monster and becomes quite dangerous.

The author brings to us a tale of sorrow and grief that is hidden behind the walls of the castle and unknown to the people of the kingdom. The only story that the people know is that their king seems to have abandoned them. The Prince’s guard is the only other person around and the only one granted with the ability to move from this time/place to the present day Earth and bring back girls for the Prince to court.

During one such situation, we are introduced to Harper. Harper witnesses a kind of kidnapping and tried to stop it. It is in this situation that she is brought back to Rhen’s world. The author then brings to us a wonderful tale of friendship, loyalty and eventually love. The characters are well developed and you cannot help but fall in love with them and their story. If I continue to write more, I will only gush about the story and reveal all the plot twists. To avoid that I will stop here and conclude.

A very well thought out book, this is a must read for all! I cannot wait for Book 2 and I am sure most of you will feel the same.

Review of Oki and Harlo : fairytale friends by Cas Mesterom

About the Book:

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Oki, a little orphaned goat meets Harlo, a shooting star, who falls to earth and ends up in the field where Oki is asleep. They become instant best friends and together they go on a quest to find Oki’s momma.
On their adventure, the little friends encounter wise old, Mr. Owl, Wobbly, the chicken, and a little girl named Ellie and her family.

 Enter a world where children can safely go and learn about making friends, being honest, and believing in dreams, as well as healthy eating and the REAL purpose of rainbows!

 “Oki and Harlo, fairytale friends” is the first ever draw freely e-book.
The story invites the readers to make their own illustrations. There are free-draw pages that have clear instructions on what to draw.
Readers can publish their drawings to share with the world by sending them [via direct message] to the -OkiandHarlo- official Instagram & Twitter account!

 “Oki and Harlo, fairytale friends” is written for children aged 5 to 10 years, but is suitable for older children and adult kids too! It is a fun fairytale to read to your children and it is equally fun for children who are discovering the world of reading and imagination.

About the Author (in his own words :P) :

My name is Cas Mesterom and I am a Dutch-born writer, poet, model and actor. Although Dutch is my native language, I prefer to write in English as I find the English language more poetic.Having said that, I did write the original of Oki and Harlo, fairytale friends in 1999 in Dutch, but translated it last year and wrote a new ending to the story. The original had a darker conclusion, as fairytales can be dark, but in the current world [of war], I wanted to write an uplifting story about friendship. Basically, why could a goat not be friends with a shooting star?

I wanted to create a world where children can safely go and learn about making friends, being honest and believing in dreams. As well as healthy eating and the real purpose of rainbows!

I write with a message but never preachy. My goal is to entertain and to hope that each of one us can take away something from my writings. As I learn from others, I hope to inspire other people as well. I believe we are all one. Oki and Harlo believe it!

My Thoughts:

This is a wonderful short story that will definitely keep children entertained. The story is simple and is about two friends who go on a small adventure. The story brings out the importance of honesty, friendship and teaches compassion. Even with so many life lessons, the story is not preachy and the authors brings out these points as a part of the story itself. The concept of the book is very different and will ensure that children are entertained. This also inspires them to imagine the story and draw the various scenes. This is a great way to engage children and is a most enjoyable story overall. A must read for children from the ages of 5 to 10 years.