cover image A Curse So Dark and Lonely

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

Brigid Kemmerer. Bloomsbury, $18.99 (496p) ISBN 978-1-68119-508-7

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. [em](Jan.) [/em]