Gorgeous photo by @iam.caryn
Bonjour, good day!
Welcome to the 2nd day of the readalong! So much happened in yesterday’s chapters, so I’ve been so eager to read these next chapters and they definitely have me excited! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts today – it was so fun reading your thoughts on the first 9 chapters!
Tea/coffee/hot chocolate at the ready? Let’s do this!
Please be warned, the following will include spoilers for A Curse So Dark and Lonely chapters 10-16 inclusively. Read only if you’ve finished those chapters!
Generally, when I read I try to think of scenes that really stand out to me. Moments where I think ‘wow, that was awesome/intense/romantic/sad’. Scenes that I can’t seem to get out of my head and that I think about later when I put down a book. Whilst there are many scenes that I loved, there are two particular scenes in these chapters that stand out to me: the first is when Harper is playing cards with Grey in the inn, and the second is when Harper and Rhen are in the palace kitchens sharing some wine and bread and talking. It felt like the first moment she properly interacted with both of them, and actually spoke to them and got some answers. The way she interacts with them both is so different.
When they arrive at the inn, the innkeepers ask where Harper is from and she says “DC” but they think she is from “Disi”. I found that hilarious, and reminded me of the movie “Just Visiting” with Jean Reno and Christina Applegate, which is really old but I LOVED this movie. If you’ve watched it, let me know! In the movie, two medieval people are thrown into our modern world – so in that sense it reminds me of Harper being thrown into a sort of medieval-esque world.
Anyways, back to all the juicy details that happened in this chapter! Harper finds out that the beast killed Rhen’s family, and when she is talking to Rhen in the kitchens she susses out that in order to break the curse she needs to fall in love with him. She’s a smart cookie, she is! She says she won’t fall in love with him, but can she resist? I gotta say, Rhen is really growing on me. The talk she has with him in the kitchen tells us so much about what is going on and how he has wound up cursed. And okay, this GIF totally isn’t what Rhen looks like or how he ate in the kitchen but I had to include it, okay??
We learn about the history of the royal family with sorcerers and how his grandfather had them all killed, and when they are killed their power is transferred to the next sorcerer and so the next one becomes more powerful. They thought they killed all of them, but one of them escaped, and because all the other sorcerers are dead she has absorbed all of their power and is very strong… and she is the one that cursed Rhen. Talk about an overreaction though! Sure, he was a jerk but her curse has killed so many people, but then again her people have also been killed.
When they are talking, Harper realises that the sorceress is alive and could potentially be able to transport her back to her world. At this, Rhen gets really worried. And I am SO hoping she doesn’t because Lilith is so friggin’ evil and I know she’s just going to hurt Harper and I do not want that happening! But I have a feeling their paths are going to cross, and it’s going to huge.
Towards the end of these chapters, Harper takes some food from the castle to give to the people at the inn and this causes an argument between her and Rhen because she left and didn’t tell anyone so she could have been hurt/killed. I totally get why she’s doing what she is, because with all that food appearing magically everyday it could go to great use. I’m just glad she didn’t get hurt!
Even though they had an argument, I feel like Harper and Rhen’s relationship is growing as we learn more about him and his kingdom. My heart really breaks for Rhen for all that he has had to endure, his whole family is gone because of him (or is it kind of because of his grandfather… hmmmmmmm…?). Grey has been there by his side, and together they’ve been living such a miserable life. I just want them all to be happy, they’re all so precious! I cannot wait to see where the next chapters will take us.
What do you guys think of these chapters? What are your predictions for tomorrow’s chapters?
I cannot wait to read the next chapters tomorrow. Isn’t it so hard to stop reading? Eek!
49 thoughts on “A Curse So Dark And Lonely Readalong: Day 2”
I really like the connection Harper has with Grey, they get on so well. I wonder whether that will be the cause of some jealousy in future chapters.
I’m also wondering whether Rhen is actually the beast they have been talking about.?
I do think Harper will bring out the caring and the good side in Rhen. He has become very withdrawn because of the Curse, also he’s come across as very selfish and self pitying up to this point (understandably) so it’s going to be good to see what Harper brings out in him, and if she will fall in love with him when she ultimately brings the good out in him.
I thought it would be an intresting twist if she falls for Grey instead of Rhen. But we’ll see how Rhen and Harper get along in the next few chapters.
I thought it was clear the beast is Rhen (but at the end of the season). Am I wrong? Maybe if he ends up receiving the love he won’t turn at all?
If you had paid attention to the start of the book, it is always talking about how he turns into a monster at the end of each season. He even asked Grey to kill him when he starts turning into the beast at the end of this season.
Btw I was replying to Kirsty_bookworm
He is the beast!
Mia- I must have missed that bit then. Thanks for clarifying.
I do think that there will be some jealousy around Harper and Grey, it was possibly even hinted at when Rhen saw them playing cards together.
I love Lillith as a villan and hope we get more of her! To me the playing cards between Grey and Harper stood out as well (maybe my stone cold heart warms up to Harper). I am usually not a big fan of retellings but this one is great so far (and the readalong as well). Let’s see where the story takes us.
Hope everyone is enjoying the readalong as well ???
I am loving this book so much. I think Harper needs to give Rhen a break. Poor guy. The more the story progresses I like how we get to see a bit more of Rhen. Harper is very bold and strong but I feel she doesnt trust as easily. However, Rhen is more closed off and it shows in how he isnt able to really say how he feels. There is a lot of darkness inside him.
I am also loving Grey a lot. I want to see more of him and how he thinks. And know more of his story. Makes me wonder just how deep is his relationship with Rhen. He is bound by oath to him. But does Gray consider Rhen a friend and cares for him too? I love his chemistry with Harper too. They remind me of how Chaol and Celaena were.
I still am not sure who Harper would end up with. Maybe Rhen. Mayne Grey. Maybe Rhen and Grey fall in love? But I am very intrigued in what will happen next.
I like that I’m learning a tiny bit more about Harper. Grey is definitely my favorite character so far!
Loved today’s chapters because we learned so much! And I really loved how we, through Harper, got to know more about the boys because of their conversations at the inn and the kitchen.
I also loved the argument that Rhen and Harper had at the last chapter. I loved how selfless and smart Harper is for thinking she could just give the food to the people. But, Rhen’s counterargument made sense as well. Am I the only one excited to see more of their bickering? ?
Oh the bickering is excellent. It’s filling a Jude/Cardan gap.
Today’s chapters were a lot more found to read, which is making me liking this retelling so far. We’re left with questions running around our minds trying to figure out who these people are that are giving out orders in the kings name, and wearing an unrecognisable crest. It makes me wonder if the village has been secretly taken over, and their is a new king just waiting to strike, that would mean that there is trouble ahead for our characters. I find it funny how Harper is always escaping the castle on Will no matter how many times Rhen tells her not too. And then you find that Rhen and Grey are riding not far behind her to take her back to the castle. It just shows the stubbornness in the character which I am loving.
So we find out a little bit about the curse. Of course, we know that Grey can’t say much but he manages to speak of Rhen’s family who are long gone. We also find out that Grey has brought by hundreds of girls and some survive, some don’t. It does make me wonder though what Grey is going through. Rhen has lost he whole family and his kingdom but what has Grey lost? I feel as though some of the times it seems that Rhen is friendly towards Grey, but then you have sometimes (such as the scene in the inn) that you just want to punch Rhen in the face.
Of course we discover more secrets in the castle. There is a room full of BLOOD and BODY TISSUE! I mean come on, I understand the castle is cursed but I would be in the same boat as Harper. I probably still be screaming in Rhen’s face lol ? And what’s worse, we find out that it’s Rhen’s! Yep, definitely a cursed castle.
Now, things are sort of making sense. Harper has finally got the chance to know more about what’s going on, even though she has been asking since the beginning of the book. Of course, Rhen left out the part of what he becomes. I wonder when Harper will find that out, probably when it’s too close for comfort.
I was laughing when it was coming the end of today’s chapters. I wondering how long it would take for Harper to leave the castle. Of course, it was for a good reason but then Rhen and Grey had to come galloping behind. I think Rhen and Grey are growing a soft spot of Harper, even though it maybe for their benefits. But, I am liking how you get to read the sort of care that Rhen is starting to show towards her. For a minute I had a flash image of Belle in Disney Beauty and the Beast in the tower in the prison cells. When Rhen suddenly changed his tone,I was really shocked. I was screaming in my head telling him to let her go, even his own horse wanted him to let go. However, I was glad when he changed his attitude again. I feel as though Rhen is starting to give up. It’s his last season and he knows that Harper won’t fall for him.
I really enjoyed today’s chapters and I can’t wait to read what will happen next. I hope you all are enjoying this book just like myself ? x
I really enjoyed today’s chapters! I love Harper as a character and I’m starting to really empathise with Rhen and I can definitely see myself loving his character later on! I’m really loving the world and how the curse has affected the lives of the residents and hopefully we’ll get to see more of the world! I love how much Harper cares and how she actually used the food for a good reason even though I get Rhen’s point too!! I’m super intrigued to see what happens next and I cannot wait to continue!!
These chapters were even better than the previous ones. I’m getting so excited and curious to see how things will go. And the chemistry between Rhen, Grey and Harper is really good. I think the story will become greater in the next chapters.
Just hope that the plot twist (or the many plots twists) would wreck me because I need a book that takes me to a rollercoaster.
I gotta say I enjoyed chapters 10-16 even more than the previous ones. The banter between all three main characters is the actual best. And yesss Harper is so smart for figuring out what it would take to break the curse. I loved that.
I’m just gonna come out and say it—I don’t like Rhen. At all. He’s arrogant, abrupt, manipulative and irritating. No wonder none of these hundreds of girls ever fell in love with him! He’s just a jerk. At first I thought he’d seen the error of his ways, but he’s still not exactly a nice guy, is he? He was a terrible person before the curse (I can sort of see why LIlith did this to him in the first place), and he’s still barely any better. ?
Conversely, I’m really growing to love Grey. I’d fall for him easily. He’s just got such an easy attitude. I like how he’s loyal, but still his own man. ?
I love that Harper worked out that she was supposed to fall in love with Rhen. That’s pretty cool. Most story characters are so obviously avoiding the tropes that it’s laughably unbelievable. But the fact that Harper seems to realise what kind of tale she’s wrapped up in, makes it so much more fun to read! ❤️
Oh yeah, and how horrifying would it have been to come across that blood room? I liked how Harper’s first concern was to make sure it wasn’t Grey’s blood.
I can see why you don’t like Rhen, but have you considered that maybe, just maybe, that’s just an act?
But yes… Grey is the kind of guy you could easily fall for!
Wow! It was so fun to read today’s chapters! Harper is such a determined and kind person. I have a feeling that Noah is going to show up in this world somehow.
Those two scenes where Harper interacts with the guys separately really stood out for me as well. I think that Rhen is so unhappy, and a little bit jealous, to see Harper and Grey get along so well is that maybe one (or maybe more) of the girls in the past have fallen for Grey before. Obviously Rhen wouldn’t want Harper to fall for Grey seeing as it’s the last season, but I think their might be more as to why he’s unhappy for them to be getting along as much as they seem to be at the moment. Maybe it’s just because he’s so used to being able to woo people and have them fall at his feet that he just doesn’t know what to do when he’s challenged like this.
I loved that we got to see a little bit more of the castle, from both Harper and Rhen’s POVs. I want to know more about the room filled with blood. Why is it still there? How does it still exist with Rhen being whole and alive? It’s probably a part of the curse but I want to know more.
I liked reading about Rhen’s memories of the kitchen and getting more of a sense of his relationship with his family and his personality before the curse. It was nice to see how the curse has affected him, but I would like to see more of how it’s affected Grey as well. I feel like Rhen is giving up on breaking this curse. After trying so many times I don’t blame him for giving up. (If my maths is right then it’s been over 81 years. But I could be wrong.)
I can’t wait to see how the story progresses!
I like that we’re learning more about Grey but don’t see him as a romantic rival– the book doesn’t scream love triangle to me (which I’m thankful for) and I love that he’s a solid, good character. I would guess that whatever guilt he has that has prompted him to stay around (aka not being blameless in the curse) is over something relatively insignificant (but that also parallels nicely with Beauty and the Beast).
Harper and Rhen feel very organic to me; I think the pacing of their conversations and the fact that they actually talk rather than stick to assumptions bodes well for a healthy relationship (I ship em!) And the scene at the inn with the cards and Grey saying he simply asked her was so memorable.
I love how all of a sudden the story become so much darker when Harper discovered Rhen’s old rooms covered in blood and then he explained what his grandfather did to the magesmiths.
I think that Grey might be related to the magesmiths as he is able to travel to Harper’s universe and that would need a lot of power. Or he has been cursed too, to help Rhen make a woman fall in love with him when he loves Rhen himself. I saw someone comment yesterday that they see something between Rhen and Grey and I’ve clearly ran with it.
Harper is such a good person taking the extra food to the inn. But I do see where Rhen is coming from saying that giving away food may eventually cause more harm than good.
Can’t wait to read more!!
Another good set of chapters, I feel like I’m waiting for a big change in tempo soon for the action to really kick in.
I really like Rhen as a beast character, feel like he’s way more sympathetic than others. He’s standing out as my favourite so far.
I can’t wait to see more of Lillith. Great villain potential there – good spin too making the enchantress a baddie
Bring on moren
Lilith is definitely one of the best villains ever seen in a YA novel. Truly hateful! I really want to know why she cursed Rhen. I feel like there’s more than just vengeance here…
I’m really curious at the very end of chapter 16, has Rhen gone back to the castle to get more food? Is he being nice? Does he realise that Harper is right, and he’s not omnipotent?? Looking forward to tomorrow
Hey Anissa! Hey awesome nerds!
It’s day 2 of the FairyLoot read-along for “A Curse so Dark and Lonely” and I have only 70-ish pages left (Sorry… not really sorry! ?)
First things first, let me just say that I haven’t felt so invested in a novel since my ACOTAR/ACOMAF/ACOWAR reading days, and that definitely says something. I love the characters of this book so very much and I loathe Lilith with a passion! ? Can’t we just end here here and now, and let Harper and Rhen be happy?
The plot is so freaking intriguing and I know this is going to be one of my all-time-favourite novels because… dah! It’s a “Beauty and the Beast” retelling. ??
On with today’s posts, there were some amazing interactions, some EPIC quotes (e.g.: “My lord, I did nothing. I sat down and asked.”, “Of course my final chance would be a girl determined to undermine me and create new obstacles at every turn.”) and so much sexual tension that my hopeless romantic heart felt warm and happy and certain that this curse is going to break, no matter what! ❤️
The land of “Disi” was so hilarious and something tells me it’s going to play a crucial role as the plot keeps unfolding. Again, I felt like Harper was a bit reckless, going to visit Freya and the kids at the inn to bring the food, but that simply proves how selfless and caring she really is. Amazing qualities for a female lead.
Also, Rhen’s mind is simply… so fall-in-lovable! ?
As for the enchantresses and Rhen’s grandfather, I feel, too, that he’s the reason why this whole curse started out in the first place.
I’m so excited about this book and it’s so hard not to keep ranting, but well… I’ll see you all tomorrow, dearies.
P.S.: Silver hell! I was this close to spoil something, but… Shhh! My lips are sealed!
Day 2’s chapters were so full of information! I’m just in love with this retelling. I’m wondering if to break the curse his kingdom has to “fall back in love” with him.? It would be a much more difficult curse to break if that is the case. I can’t wait to see what happens next!!!
Until tomorrow happy reading?
Ooh like that idea about the kingdom needing to fall back in love with him. Good work.
I couldn’t stop at Chapter 16, I just kept on reading. It’s got such good flow and the characters are so vivid, it’s impossible to put down!
I think Grey is still my favourite, and I’m still so torn because he and Harper get on so well but it’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling, so it HAS to be Rhen, right? I’m finding him a bit arrogant and hard to like but I’m thinking after the years of being cursed he’s been through it’s not suprising he’s a bit difficult. I love the scene/quote a few other comments have already mentioned – “I sat down and asked.” And that moment when Harper pointed out he was thinking about winning some game, not falling in love. You tell him, girl!
I truly enjoyed these chapters and you are right Anissa those two scenes stood out to me as well but also the one at the end, when they are on their way to the Inn.
I do understand both Harper and Rhen at the end. I would probably do the same thing and try to give them food (or at least I hope I would) but I also understand Rhens arguments and I think he actually cares for his people. Maybe not before the curse but I think he does now. In my opinion he thought about what he could and should do and how it could go wrong (Saying that I don’t mean that I completely agree with him on that). Also I think that due to this curse going on for so long that he is at this moment trying to break it and wanting to give up at the same time. I believe that’s why he is acting the way he is sometimes, ’cause he doesn’t know what to do and how to fix it.
But I might be completely wrong here ^^’
I really want to know more about the time before the curse and what kind of people Rhen and Grey were then. And I want a lot more Grey, although I like all of them I think he is my favorite so far. Don’t know why exactly…
Still I really like the way Harper is written and I truly enjoy her POV chapters.
Right now I still manage to stop myself from reading any more chapters than the schedule says. And I am actually proud XD We’ll see if I can keep that up…
“There are many things I am forbidden to say… Yet many I am not.”
LMAO Grey is such a sassypants! xD
I love the coziness of the chapters taking place at the Inn! I can see why Harper kind of wants to stay there (and I think deep down Rhen does too).
I really need to go to bed now – last night I read til midnight and it’s past 11pm again now …oops. But I look forward to reading more tomorrow. Harper is already one of the most badass protagonists I’ve ever come across in YA.
This is my first FairyLoot read along and I’m so excited to read others thoughts on the book while we read the chapters together!
I really like Harper! She is such an interesting and down to earth character. I also respect that her disability doesn’t hold her back in any way.
I feel like there is going to be a love triangle. Harper and Grey have interesting chemistry and Rhen definitely felt jealous when he caught them playing cards.
I know it is early on in the book but I’m rooting for Rhen!
This book is getting so interesting, and I am excited to see how it will all play out! I am really enjoying getting to know these characters. I was really interested in seeing the kingdom outside the castle, and I hope we get more as the story progresses! As far as romance goes, I can really see it going many different ways. This is a BatB retelling, so it would seem that Harper and Rhen are going to end up together. However I am hoping that it doesn’t go as expected. I want to be surprised! I can honestly see Harper/Rhen, Harper/Grey or Rhen/Grey. Any of them could happen! I am just really excited to see where this story is going to go!
Loving them all even more. We learnt so much in this section about the curse and Lillith. She’s how Buffy could have turned after she had sex with Angel and he rejected her. Or … you know how actually Angel turned evil and started killing people.
The red room of pain … sorry that’s another series was pretty scary for Harper and it shows she’s human. Totally not immune to the idea of violence and bloodshed. What will this mean for the monster bit! I love that she admits she fell from the Trellis too. Her first thought was for Grey. Bless. Almost reminded me of the legend of Bluebeard and is a bit more dramatic than coming across a wilted rose!
Really good to get to hear from the villagers about what they are thinking and – out of the mouths of babes.
Agree that the quiet moments with the card game and the kitchen were a nice change of pace. And again Grey is the cutest distracting her from being upset.
I love how Rhen doesn’t quite know how to handle a feminist. And OMG Harper’s comment about why he was shirtless. Brilliant.
Less Rhen/Grey ship vibes in this section. Would love Grey to be able to stand up to Rhen’s petty crap at some point. He screwed up at the end – classic overthinker.
Self-referential beauty and the beast comments. I’m glad the fact that she’s likely to know this story comes up – in knowing she’s meant to fall in love with him and mentions of Stockholm syndrome. She definitely feels the physical attraction.
That room reminded me of Bluebeard as well 🙂
Second day, and I had to stop myself from more… Can tomorrow come quickly?
I’m enjoying this book A LOT. I agree with you that those two moments are the best of today’s part. And I do not know who I like more! I was surprised with Grey and that playing cards game, the sincerity and it was a nice moment between Harper and Grey. But then the kitchen part with Rhen also gives me feels!! That chapter ending quote “the blood is mine” omg way to end a chapter! Will there be more explanation to that part? About the blood? Intriguing… Finnally we know about the kingdom history, so it’s not Rhen entire fault… Some things were answered but I have so many questions still.. we’ll see.
I love Harper with Will the horse going to that family to give them food. Determined to save the day! So badass 😀
Can’t wait for tomorrow! I need answers and action!!
Forgot to say it’s interesting that the beast seems to change form each season. I wonder if that links to anything in particular?
Also the mental health aspect of ‘killing himself’ was quite striking. Good to see some self preservation when he thinks Harper might want to try to escape knowing it’s his last year.
Enjoyed these chapters. Liked learning more about the curse.
Plot twist, Harper falls in love with Grey! I adore him so much, maybe I’m projecting.
I wanted to smack Rhen towards the end there but I still like him, dang it!
I’m really enjoying the alternating POV. Being able to see why the characters act the way they do through their own eyes is really interesting, particularly with the number of disagreements Rhen and Harper have. I also really liked how the arguement about the food was portrayed between Rhen and Harper, as I think they both have valid points, and I feel its unusual to have an argument in a book show both sides in quite such a balanced manner.
Looking forward to reading the rest.
I like how honest Rhen was with Harper about the curse and his task to end it. I also like that she straight up guessed it (cause she’s a smart cookie) and told him it’s not happening haha.
I think it was a dumb idea for her to try and deliver the food to the inn on her own. I mean, there was just an attack literally the night before. Maybe that’s something to consider before riding off on your own in an unfamiliar land?
I feel like Rhen and Harper are very similar, both incredibly stubborn and so sure that their way is the right way. They’re also very insightful about each other which maybe bodes well for them forming a relationship. But the only one with any sense is definitely Grey.
I’m most interested to learn more about the geopolitical situation in Emberfall. 5 years of no outside trade and no police force… I feel like things have probably gone downhill…
I feel sorry for Rhen. He does act arrogant and clueless with women, but imagine how desperate he must be! This is his last chance and he is blowing it at every turn. And Harper is so stubborn, it’s hard for me to see how their relationship will turn around. The room full of blood didn’t exactly help either. When Harper was handing out food, I could see her as a princess for the people, though. The story is great, loving it!
I am wondering if Lilith maybe seduced Rhen with the intent of cursing him as payback for the past? As extensive as this curse is there’s no way it was made up on the fly and she seems like that would be likely with her character.
I totally agree about the scenes in the Inn with Grey and Harper and the kitchen with Harper and Rhen.
I really love the dynamic between Harper and Grey and I’m really hoping that goes somewhere.. sorry Rhen but I’m not for you….
However, I like that Rhen really opens up to Harper about the curse, it explains a lot and she will be good for his self pitying.
And I love that takes the food to the Inn. She has a point and I think Rhen missed those opportunities to show he is at least trying to help his kingdom. He can finally see this through what Harper does. Although, his arguments as to why he doesn’t are good…
Oooohh goodie, more interactions between Harper and Grey, and Harper and Rhen, both of which have been very good.
Harper and Grey have this excellent chemistry, maybe romantically, or like best friends I feel. They communicate very well together. Even I could fall for this guy.
Harper and Rhen, I like how they’re getting closer. I didn’t expect Rhen to open up this early into the story. I thought he’d be more closed off due to all the failed attempts at love. I think once he gets rid of his arrogance, pride, and sense of entitlement (being a Prince), he could be the kind of person a girl could love.
I can’t wait to read the next lot of chapters.
A little late but I still love the book more and more the more I read!
The deeper in we go the more we are learning about all of them. I definitely like all three of the main characters. I can tell Harper has chemistry with both Grey and Rhen, just in different ways. I hope that this doesn’t lead to a love triangle though. I am just not a fan of those kinds of stories anymore.
I love that Harper’s first instinct when she learns about the reappearing kitchen food is to take it to the Inn. She is very kindhearted and empathetic even though she has her own misfortunes to deal with, so to speak. I do think she should have told them what she wanted to do though. I think they still would have let her go but the way it played out makes sense too.
I am still really enjoying this story and the pages just fly by.
She’s crazy, but I think Grey and Rhen needed a change and a bit of crazy for the final season. Who would risk jumping from so high?
I think the soldiers will appear again, or the woman and kids will come to the palace…. oooohhhh, I want more!
I have to say I LOVE this choice! I was so happy when i learned like me Harper has a physical disability. I also loved that the inside flap never mentioned it and doesn’t make a huge deal out of it because the fact is disability or not we are just like any other girls. This is a great one and the author does an amazing job with harpers feisty personality. She reminds me a lot of myself!