A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

The basics

Title: A Curse So Dark and Lonely


Series: Cursebreakers #1

- A Curse So Dark and Lonely (2019)
- A Heart So Fierce and Broken (2020)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

Fall in love, break the curse.

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. 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 constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she's pulled into a magical world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Harper doesn't know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? 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.

Read a full summary of A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer below. If you can’t remember what happened in A Curse So Dark and Lonely and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

what happened in A Curse So Dark and Lonely?

  • Rhen is cursed by Lady Lilith – an enchantress – when he rejects her after a brief fling. Lilith becomes angry at this rejection, and curses Rhen to live in perma-autumn until someone falls in love with him. If he doesn’t find someone by the end of each autumn season, he’ll kill everyone.
  • Commander Grey is the only one left to help Rhen with this by the time the book starts. Grey brings a girl to Rhen at the start of every season.
  • Grey finds Harper in DC, and this is where our story starts.
  • Harper is playing lookout for her dodgy brother, Jake, when she sees someone (Grey) trying to abduct a woman. Harper stops him, and she herself is taken to Emberfall.
  • Harper is told about the curse and is like “lol I’m not going to fall in love with my kidnapper”, and then attacks Grey and Rhen and tries to escape. She is stopped from doing so.
  • Lilith arrives and rubs it in Rhen’s face a bit more. She tortures Rhen and Grey a bit, and tells them this will be the final round of autumn, and if Harper doesn’t fall in love with him then he’ll stay a beast forever.
  • Rhen asks Grey to kill him if he doesn’t succeed in breaking the curse. Grey refuses because bros.
  • When escaping for a second time, Harper comes across a group of men who have been burning down houses and inns. They tell her they’re taking the land for the crown, except Rhen isn’t the one who told them to do this. They almost kill Harper, but Rhen and Grey arrive in time to save her life.
  • Now that Rhen has made an appearance, his people have started to hope again. They believe Harper when she says that she is a princess and is betrothed to Rhen. They don’t know that Rhen’s entire family is dead.
  • Rhen and Grey tell Harper that Lilith went after Rhen because his grandfather killed her people. She wanted revenge. Lilith is now one of the last sorceresses left.
  • Harper and co. return to the inn, which the men are in the process of burning down. Rhen realises that they’re working for Karis Luran, and asks Grey to put the royal army back together.
  • Harper asks Rhen for a meeting with Lilith because she wants to go home.
  • Harper goes to the meeting and finds Lilith torturing Rhen again. Harper attacks Lilith with a knife, which probably isn’t the best idea. Lilith attacks Harper, scarring her face.
  • Grey starts putting people together to form the Royal Guard.
  • The group is attacked when they visit a nearby town.
  • Rhen and Harper dance and almost kiss. They then have to return to the castle.
  • Rhen loses hope when Lilith tortures him again, and he wants to back out of his and Harper’s plan.
  • Hundreds of people arrive at the castle. They want to help.
  • Rhen goes to visit another town, and Harper follows him. She finds out that someone has been plotting to kill Rhen while he’s there (no shit!).
  • Rhen finds out that Harper is there, and becomes angry with her. Harper calms him down and invites him to stay in her room to protect him from Lilith. This is the start of a bit of a bond between them.
  • Harper asks for fighting lessons and the guards and Rhen comply. It only makes sense.
  • Lilith brings Harper a message about her mother dying. She gives Grey the ability to world-hop whenever he wants (not just at the start of autumn) when she realises that Grey and Harper have bonded.
  • With the news of her family being in trouble, Harper wants to leave. Rhen tells Grey to take Harper home.
  • Harper and Rhen kiss, but since Harper hasn’t yet fallen in love with Rhen, the curse isn’t broken. Harper feels scales under Rhen’s shirt.
  • Grey returns Harper to DC along with some jewels, and she tells him to come back for her the following day.
  • Jake is angry about Harper leaving, but also kind of happy since she has brought back some jewels to cover the family’s debts.
  • Harper’s mother dies.
  • Grey and Rhen wait to meet Karis Luran. They get drunk, which probably isn’t the best idea.
  • Karis Luran arrives and tells Rhen that she knows that Rhen’s father is dead. His whole thing with Harper and her imaginary armies is fake. Karis tells Rhen that his father had another child with an enchantress.
  • Lilith arrives at the castle once again and Rhen stabs her. He tells Grey to get his people out, and tries to jump from the tower, but he changes into the beast before he can do it.
  • Harper starts to worry when Grey doesn’t return for her.
  • Harper meets Jake’s boyfriend, Noah. It’s lucky Noah is there because Grey arrives covered in blood and wounds, which Noah can fix up since he’s a doctor.
  • Grey fills Harper in, and asks her to return to Emberfall. Jake argues that Harper should stay with him.
  • Men with guns arrive, and Grey takes everyone to Emberfall after all. Jamison arrives and gets them to safety. Harper tells everyone that Jake is the Crown Prince of Disi.
  • Grey and Harper plan to lead Rhen away from the people so they have time to flee both Rhen and Karis’ army.
  • They come across Rhen, and he flies away with Harper. She stabs him, and gets him to let her go by reminding him of the time they spent together.
  • The soldiers are super impressed by Harper’s monster taming abilities.
  • Harper gets Rhen to chase Karis’ army away. He does so, and also kills a lot of them in the process.
  • One of Karis’ soldiers uses a catapult and hits Rhen. Harper is also injured in the battle and passes out.
  • Harper wakes up in the infirmary, where Noah is working on saving people.
  • Lilith visits again, and is annoyed by Grey and Rhen’s bond with Harper. In order to protect Harper, Grey offers his services to Lilith. Lilith takes Grey’s sword and tries to kill Rhen, but Harper jumps in front of him just in time.
  • Grey stabs Lilith in the chest and throws her out of Emberfall using a portal.
  • The curse is broken.
  • Harper wakes up after six days to find Rhen is back to his usual self, however Grey has disappeared and Jake and Noah are trapped in Emberfall.
  • We skip to Grey, who is hiding with his mother, the enchantress. It’s revealed that Grey is the king’s firstborn son and heir to the throne of Emberfall.

This is a full plot summary of what happened in A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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  • Sarah says:

    This is perfect! I’m so glad I found your website. I just hope you post the rest of the series. Thank you!

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