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.
This is a new novel by Brigid Kemmerer, bestselling author of the Elemental series. This is her first foray into YA Fantasy… and what a book to start with.
This is possibly my favourite Beauty and the Beast retelling. I loved the mixture of the modern world and Emberfell, the magic kingdom set in medieval times. Kemmerer brings the world of Emberfall to life with her vivid descriptions, not just of places but of her characters.
Harper is a fantastic heroine, described as having cerebral palsy, shes a character you cant help but bond with and aspire to be like. Having a character in a book with such a big disability is rare but to have her be the main character is even rarer and made for a fresh perspective. Rhen starts off as your typical stoic and entitled prince, with his trusted guard Grey , whom I love, they feel Harper is completely the wrong type of woman to break the curse, taken by accident and fighting them both at each turn. They couldn’t be more wrong.
Though predictable, which you have to expect with it being a re-telling, the perspectives felt fresh and certainly kept me entertained and hooked until the end. Though it is classed as a stand-alone it ends on an almost cliffhanger which made me check whether there would be a sequel… which there will be, Phew! An easy 5/5 read for me, an easy read but a story that sticks with you after you’ve finished.