Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publication Date: January 29th, 2019
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy Retelling
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 Lacy. 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.
So the first thing I want to say is, if you do not know me, that I love a good fairytale retelling. Especially if it is Beauty and the Beast. Although I was getting to the point where each retelling was becoming the same story just with different character names. However, there is a new author who has taken a chance and has captured my heart. The best way I can describe Kemmerer's retelling is by this image...
I do have to be honest when I was a little bit confused with the first couple of chapters but I blame myself because after that Brigid's writing is so clear and her style allows the reader to visually see what is happening in their minds and allow their imagination to pour out.
Harper, for me, was this little pop rocket. She was fierce yet humble, courageous yet cautious, but most importantly she was loving. This was key to me absolutely loving her character. She was constantly struggling with wanting to go back home but she knew her being where she was and how the decision she made could impact the the kingdom of Emberfall. Rhen on the other hand can be quite careless, a person who acts without thinking but there is this vulnerability that he possesses that we do not see until halfway through the novel and for me this was a game changer. Not all first impressions f people we first meet, or in this case first read about, are all what they seem. These two characters were definitely characters that I loved and adored.
Although we do spend a lot of time with Harper and Rhen, Kemmerer does not leave the secondary characters to waste. Grey reminded me of a little brother that I do not have. I saw myself become more and more protective over him throughout the novel and being able to see the same love and admiration that Rhen had towards him did get me a little emotional.
I have one thing about Lilith that I have to say and just like the beginning an image will best describe what I think of her...or most importantly who I think of when I picture her...
Overall, Brigid Kemmerer has literally blown my mind. My love for retellings has been renewed by this perfectly crafted, out of this world, magical fantasy that this story is. I am hating that I have to wait over a year for the next book but there is doubt I will be checking out the next book. If you are looking for a retelling that is original in own beautiful way, this is the book for you. Completely stunning!
I give this book 5 souls!