I’m going to preface this review by sending a huge thank you to Algonquin books for continuing to invite me to read and review novels that I never would have read. Many of them have introduced me to new worlds and experiences, and some have brightened my day, made me tear-up, and just be so ecstatic to be a reader–much like I felt for this novel:
Sarah Jean Horwitz
April 20, 2021
Algonquin Young Readers
Blurb: The new face of big evil is a little . . . small.
Dastardly deeds aren’t exactly the first things that come to mind when one hears the name “Clementine,” but as the sole heir of the infamous Dark Lord Elithor, twelve-year-old Clementine Morcerous has been groomed since birth to be the best (worst?) Evil Overlord she can be. But everything changes the day her father is cursed by a mysterious rival.
Now, Clementine must not only search for a way to break the curse, but also take on the full responsibilities of the Dark Lord. But when it’s time for her to perform dastardly deeds against the townspeople—including her brand-new friends—she begins to question her father’s code of good and evil. What if the Dark Lord Clementine doesn’t want to be a dark lord after all?
A whittling witch has cursed Clementine’s father, The Dark Lord, and he is disappearing bit by bit. He has forbade Clementine from trying to find the witch, but he hasn’t forbade her trying to find out about the witch. Our ever curious, intelligent Clementine is all about loopholes. At twelve, with hair that changes color as per her emotions, Clementine is discovering what it means to be a Dark Lord and that perhaps it isn’t really for her in Sarah Jean Horwitz’ The Dark Lord Clementine.
Filled with memorable characters and adventures, The Dark Lord Clementine was a complete joy to read despite the fact that I am way past the target audience. Horwitz created a fantastic world of witches, unicorns, magical creatures like fire-throwing chickens, young boys who become sheep and young boys who wish to be knights. As a lot of the story made me smile and kept me entertained, some also tugged at my heartstrings, especially the idea of slaying magical unicorns because the magic in their horns contains endless possibilities.
Clementine is a character I will never forget and almost wish she were part of a series, but frequently creating a series dissolves the power of one rich story well told.
While The Dark Lord Clementine is directed toward middle-graders, anyone who loves a magical story will be enthralled by this one.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
5 out of 5 butterflies