The Dark Lord's Handbook

  • by Paul Dale
  • Narrated by Gildart Jackson
  • 13 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

"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.
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- Sean

Not a book about a villain

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

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.

Has The Dark Lord's Handbook turned you off from other books in this genre?

HELL YES. never touching this kind of trite again.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

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.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

the premise has potential but is squandered unsalvagably

Any additional comments?

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.

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- zachary

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-04-2014
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio