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 the Dark Lord Elithor 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. As Clementine forms her first friendships, discovers more about her own magic than she ever dared to explore, and is called upon to break her father’s code of good and evil, she starts to question the very life she’s been fighting for. What if the Dark Lord Clementine doesn’t want to be dark after all?
It’s easy to read the first chapter of this book and assume it’s going to be silly, and at times it definitely is, but it’s more than that. This book is about redefining yourself and choosing your own path. It was an oddly dark book at times, with Clementine having to watch her father slowly be “whittled” down to a puppet unable to talk.
Clementine is an amazing character who is strong and intelligent and inspiring. I felt sad for her a lot especially at the beginning as she is a very lonely child. This only intensifies as her father becomes unable to care for their lands when he becomes beset upon by a curse that causes him so slowly diminish.
Throughout the rest of the book, Clementine is left to her own devices trying to keep the Morcerous name dark and dastardly, while following the rules her father set out. One question keeps coming back to her again and again “does she have to be the next Dark Lord”?
In the end, this multi-layered book is about the hurt that happens to children when their parents try to “protect them” from their real-life stuff by keeping them in the dark. It’s also about finding, forging and determining your own path despite what your parents want.
An emotionally evocative and powerful book where Clementine manages to right not only her life but sorts out a few of the adult lives around her. I laughed and I cried and mostly I loved.
I give The Dark Lord Clementine 5 out of 5 stars
The Dark Lord Clementine by Sarah Jean Horwitz was publishe 1 October 2019 from Algonquin Books. You can purchase your own copy at Mighty Ape, Whitcoulls, Booktopia, or wherever you like to purchase books.
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A Review Copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers in exchange for an honest review.