To become a Dark Lord is no easy thing. The simple ambition to hold dominion over the world and bend all to your will sounds straightforward, but it's not. There are armies to raise, fortresses to build, heroes to defeat, and battles to be fought. After many spectacular failures, Evil decided to lend more than inspiration to these would-be tyrants. He wrote an easy-to-follow Dark Lord's Handbook. And yet the next Dark Lord that came along screwed up like all the others. It had been hundreds of years, and the Handbook was lost in the annals of time, along with all that was mythic and exciting in the world. Then one day, a randy dragon had a chance encounter. Nine months later a Dark Lord was born. In time, the Handbook found its way to this new contender: Morden.
©2008 Paul Dale (P)2014 Tantor
""Beware the monologue!""
Every hero has a beginning, but what about the villians? If it weren't for villains there would be no heroes, and that's where this story begins. Dale was able to craft a humorous novel about becoming a Dark Lord that made sense. The handbook spoke to the Dark Lord in-training of getting caught up in monologue while a hero is present, or putting all your power and energy into a single magical item just to lose it (as if it personally knew Sauron itself).
Most of the advice given by the handbook are phrases you may already be familiar with, but with a twist.
Ex: "Absolute power corrupts absolutely, but isn't that the point?"
This novel is certainly not for everyone, but if you play Dungeons & Dragons and looking for a guide to creating your next star villain then this is not a bad choice.
"Started out good but turned into a drag"
No, this felt like a cringe worthy attempt at a disc world novel.
Learn to actually develop characters instead of just talking about how they are suppose to be, and possible add some women who are annoying as hell and actually have more than 1 dimension of being evil/contrary/hot. Also... maybe come up with a more original name for the dragon than the one right out of World of Warcraft? Come on! He even mentions the Black Dragonflight WTF?
Spoke way too slowly and the voice acting as lady deathwing was unbearable, also the accents changed randomly so you can't tell who he is suppose to be.
The entire middle section about a pointless voyage and a ridiculous war.
"a bit disappointing"
A book that can't seem to decide if it wants to be Pratchetteque or McLellanesque. It makes a lot of references of Pratchett ("one day the dwarf parents tell their son he isn't a dwarf") but in the end becomes more serious, borrowing style from the Powder Mage books.
Quite disappointing, and not what I expected. The characters were mostly obnoxious and annoying, with a few exceptions.
"Not a book about a villain"
the story could have been about a villain being a villain. Instead you get a main character brood like a 13 year old boy and do nothing, want nothing, and attempt to work toward nothing. as the book goes on the main character does less and less and the story shifts away from him more and more until it is about other characters who also do absolutely nothing.
a villain should want or need something and sacrafice things in order to achive that goal, making them a villain. a character sacrifices friendship when he betrays his freind, sacrifices his humanity when he becomes undead... our character nighther wants anything particularly nor sacrifices anything to achive his not existent goals.
he feels like he would like to be a dark lord... poof a magic book and an army find him and tell him he is a dark lord! he has no power or intelligence and gets into trouble, POOF. turns out he is a dragon (mind you he doesn't do anything as a dragon, just sort of hangs out and people run away).
this is a book about things happening to people and then those people waiting for something eles to happen.
hell no characters make any decisions the entire book. they are just swept up in events that happen to them without even seeming register that they are happening
the central conceit, that there is a book that teaches dark lords how to do there job, is quirky and slightly humorous... but besides reading that handbook our character does nothing. there are lengthy chapters of the character reading about how a dark lord might gather power about him..... does our main character apply this knowledge? do we see him take initiative or do we get to watch him establish his strength? no. are these passages entertaining? not really, unless endless references to the lord of the rings is entertaining to you.
there is no mystery, no suspense, no action, no character development.
Give the story a villain, make that villain interesting and have him aggressively pursue his goals, do anything at all with the handbook premise besides wink at the audience, have something happen or someone make a decision at some point.
HELL YES. never touching this kind of trite again.
used more than 3 voices for the characters. every ork sounded like an old man, every woman sounded like a British noble and the main character was the narrators voice being flat.
the premise has potential but is squandered unsalvagably
save your money: synopsis: there is a book that teaches someone how to be a dark lord, the main character reads it and accomplishes nothing else. there is a stilted attempt to make the morgage crisis of the 2000s a valid plot point in a fantasy setting and besides being vaguely clever is pointless and dull. there good job you have saved yourself hours.
I enjoyed it, especially when the book took a short break to talk about economy
I loved the characters, but I felt like things only got about 60% developed through the first 3/4 of the book.
The chancellor was clearly the best character and was also one of the least exposed.
This story actually made me snort a few times at work! I must for anyone who enjoys subtle comedy.
"better than i anticipated"
my only negative comment is that the middle of the book was slow and seemed to informative vs just a good story
"some nice twists"
a nice twist on the dark leaf hero thing, interesting development of the characters. I'd be interested in a sequel
"villian you want to win"
the world is corrupt and needs to be ruled what's morden to do. except take up the calling. even if he does it for himself he is justified in his actions. with a villainous hero on his tail morden can't fail in his as it would be his end.
"An unexpectedly good read"
The book grows from the same ground as Terry Pratchett, Tom Holt and Robert Asprin and balances dry humour with a solid story.
The reading is superlative and complements the text well.
"Really rather boring..."
It sets itself up as a tongue in cheek look at the whole fantasy 'hero vs villain' thing, but quicky loses the plot.
The titular Dark Lord in training doesnt have much of the charisma or eccentricities you'd expect of someone going into the world domination buisiness. In fact he doesnt seem to make very many decisions on his own at all, spending most of his time being pushed around by plot devices rather than any motivation of his own.
The bloodthirsty hero is a joke that sorely needed a punchline
Much of the supporting cast seem to be irrelevant to the plot completely, Chancellor Penbury in particular didnt seem to do much of anything for the amount of time the story wastes on him.
Also, they travel east to discover "yellow orcs with slanty eyes"
Really? For shame Paul Dale
Though this is far from the worst Fantasy I've ever read (Talking to you Ben Hale), I would not suggest this book to others. Instead, try Pratchett and Gaiman's "Good Omens"
I thought this would be a predictable rip off of similar amusing fantasy novels. But it wasn't at all. A delightfully amusing diversion. The story of Morden, who's career choice is being a dark lord. Made me laugh and kept me thoroughly entertained.
Yes I have...he does comedic narration very well. Good array of charachters
Cant say that with out giving the story away
Well worth a credit. Good story and good narration and great entertainment value. There is a second book which I hope audible brings out.
"An Unexpected Favourite"
After adding Gildart Jackson to my favourite narrators I was recommended The Dark Lord's Handbook by Audible and really enjoyed it. The characters and story are well crafted and I hope this story continues. A must read for any fantasy fan.
"A Dark Lord Rises!.....cocks it up and tries again"
I wasn't sure about this when i started listening but the story and characters really got me in the end. the narration was excellent.
It's a fantasy book from the dark lords point of view , those difficult teenage years, trying to fit in, early success and bending the rest of the school to your will!
Its about being good at being bad, and being bad at being good.
I enjoyed the foul mouthed love interested, the Machiavellian chancellor and the truly thick hero.
For the fist time you will be cheering for the dark side.
Id like to see what comes next for Morden
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