Reviewed by Rhyse
This is an excitable, enjoyable novel with many plot twists. Clementine must reverse a curse that was cast on her father and has a hard time deciding if she will or will not follow in her father’s footsteps. Clementine gains friends while straying from the path of evil.— From Young Readers Advisory Board
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?
About the Author
“A hilariously heartwarming magical adventure . . . Clementine [is] a remarkably three-dimensional character. Her imperfections, many failures and constant letdowns make her likable and relatable. Her ridiculous antics…will charm and delight young readers . . . The Dark Lord Clementine is infused with humor and adventure, but the foundation of the story—friendship, loyalty and compassion—never wavers. Clementine is a worthy heroine. At the start of the novel, she lives a lonely, sequestered life with her father, but as the story progresses, her world opens into a unique and beautifully absurd wonderland. This clever, inventive novel knows the value of a good-versus-evil story that is served fresh, yet familiar.”
—The New York Times Book Review
"Chock-full of the cheerfully macabre . . . This quirky novel stands out from the crowd in its hilarity and its compelling premise; give it to readers who like villains who aren’t, really."
—The Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books
"Horwitz has created a perfect blend of wit and heart in this fresh fantasy adventure . . . Highly recommended, this title will keep a wide variety of readers entertained with its compelling characters and witty twists on the fairy tale universe."
—School Library Journal
"Horwitz primes readers to expect the unexpected—and delivers. . . .Horwitz’s ingenuity for bizarre enchantment and characterization proves boundless . . . In a wry, satisfying ending, Clementine hints at future enchantments ahead.”
“A spell-binding tale of dark lords and unicorns.”
—The Newark Star-Ledger
“The castle is full of sorcery and cleverly devised magical objects, and the legends about the mountains surrounding it give Horwitz’s imagined world a unique history. The story has plenty of heart and charm. Themes of trust, forgiveness, and belonging deepen this enjoyable fantasy.”
—The Horn Book
“The descriptions of magical beings are fittingly awe-inspiring . . . this inventive fantasy twists conventions while involving readers through good storytelling laced with irony and wit."
“After luring readers in with wordplay and tongue-in-cheek, genre-savvy humor, the plot takes an emotionally rich thematic turn, dwelling on community and forgiveness—all the while building toward a mythical, mystical arc involving the unicorn. The few action sequences are mined for utmost impact, as are the slice-of-life scenes and flashback vignettes . . . Absolutely delightful.”