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Sebastian Darke: Prince of Fools (Sebastian Darke #1)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  882 Ratings  ·  121 Reviews
The lord of Laughter, the Monarch of Mirth–if only the bumbling 17-year-old Sebastian Darke could be a successful jester like his father. The problem is Sebastian’s not funny. But after his father’s death, with no choice but to beg in the streets, the half-human, half-elf teen sets off with Max, his father’s slightly cynical Buffalope, to offer his services as a jester to ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 8th 2008 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published December 28th 2006)
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Rating details
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Jun 06, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really really wanted to like this book, but I just couldn't. A jester who can't tell a joke for his life and a speaking buffalope sound somewhat promising, but it isn't. I would have loved to give this book more than 1 star, but this lone star is for the writing style and the attempt at making different characters.

This book is a typical hero story and I knew all of the time what was going to happen next, there are no unpredictable twists and turns and Philip Caveney somehow didn't even try tom
Jun 03, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
real rating: 2.5 stars.

I really wanted to like this book. And I did at certain points. For instance, the cover design and parts of the interior design were awesome! I didn't like the margins--they were huge. Also, Cornelius was a great character. I loved how fierce he was and what an amazing warrior he was, better than anyone else even though he was a little person.

The thing that bothered me was that it seemed like the book couldn't figure out if it was YA or middle readers. I'm sure it was YA,
Jul 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i really enjoyed this. We listened to it in the car to UT. Cause of recommendations i even had to buy it!!!

The audio was excellent. The voice was amazing.

My favorite chapter names was "That Stupid Gurl" (and i don't usually use the word 'stupid'.

Cornelius and Max were wonderful characters. we can't wait to see what happens yet.
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book until I realized that there was a sequel (which I'll have to read, of course)- a fairy tale of sorts where friendship conquers all, the boy doesn't quite get the girl (but it makes sense), good conquers evil, and a Buffalope god named Colin, and fart jokes. There have to be fart jokes. One of the best audiobooks I've read in a while, and a fun read. Glad the author chose not to wrap up everything (although the adventure did end), and I suppose I won't belittle the opportunity t ...more
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an awesome book for middle school/ high school boys looking to get into adventure & fantasy! Possibly great for reluctant readers. I listened to the audio and really enjoyed the different characters. The entire plot is set up very similarly to a Dungeons & Dragons campaign with adventuring/battle scenes/humor/complicated teen feelings. It was really great and will definitely be suggesting this to my students
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My main criticism: The real star here is Cornelius and I rather wish he got top billing.

This is an easy, enjoyable fantasy novel. Nothing to strain your brain, just good fun reading, ideal for tweens and teens and adults who want a fun, easy read. When I finished it, I passed it on to my 12 year old and he's enjoying it as well. I will probably seek out the sequels.
Reader Girl
Max the intelligent talking buffalope and Cornelius the tiny wunderknight are classic, but I can't quite get the measure of Sebastian -- things just seem to happen to him. I stayed up late reading the book, though, so it's obviously good!
Jasmine Guffick
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great quick read, brilliant for younger readers to read who like an adventure read with warriors and talking animals!! and princesses in distress.
Nov 17, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
see more reviews

This book was a book club read from the teen book club at my local library. I was not sure what I was getting into when I received it; however by the book summary on the back of the book, it sounded entertaining.

The story is a classic fairytale with setting and creatures from a fantasy. Sebastian Darke who starts on a quest with his buffalope to the kingdom to apply for the job of the court jester. His father was a great jester and Sebastian hope
Alexander adalah seorang pelawak kawakan di kerajaan Cletus. Semua lelucon, sindiran dan ceritanya mampu membuat ruangan istana penuh dengan ledakan tawa. Tak heran dengan kemampuannya itu, ia sanggup member kemewahan kepada istri dan Sebastian,anak laki-lakinya.

Sayangnya keadaan itu hanya terjadi beberapa tahun. Raja Cletus mangka dan diganti dengan putranya Daniel yang ternyata tak mewarisi sedikitpun selera humor ayahnya. Sehingga tak perlu heran jika Alexander kehilangan pekerjaan dan semua
Susanti Priyandari
Sebastian Darke, dalam proses pencarian jati diri, meyakini dirinya mewarisi gen-gen melawak dari ayahnya. Sejak ayahnya meninggal secara tragis saat menyiapkan lawakan, Sebastian bertekad meneruskan mimpi ayahnya menjadi pelawak istana. So, dimulailah perjalanan Sebastian berkelana dengan didampingi Max, buffalope yang diamanatkan sang ayah untuk menjaga Sebastian Darke, putra semata wayangnya, ke Keladon dengan harapan bertemu Raja Septimus dan menjadi pelawak kerajaan.

Ternyata, perjalanan me
Rumput Bergoyang
Dec 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Sebastian Darke ingin menjadi pelawak kerajaan, seperti ayahnya yang sudah meninggal. Ia bersama Max (seekor buffalope—makhluk semacam kerbau) pergi melakukan perjalanan menuju Keladon untuk mewujudkan keinginan itu. Tapi Sebastian cuma remaja yang kemampuan melawaknya masih jauh dengan kehebatan ayahnya. Max, buffalope tua itu adalah orang eh hewan yang sering menyangsikannya. Ya, ternyata dia bisa bicara!

Perjalanan yang mereka tempuh dengan modal nekat itu tidak semulus yang diharapkan. Melewa
Nov 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Xavier Dahlstet
Per 6
Book Review

Caveney prince of fools reminds me of myself with the struggles and way of life. A seventeen year old Jester who travels to the city and becomes a proper jester like his father and saves himself and his mother from poverty. Sebastion can't tell a joketo save his life. I thought the book was well put together and had many details of each obstacle and decisions he was put to.
The theme of the book is many people would dp anything to keep their family together
Miss Ryoko
Apr 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Actual rating: 3.5

I couldn't decide if I wanted to give this book a 3 star rating or a 4 star rating, so I went in the middle. There were things I really liked about this book, but at the same time I felt the plot itself wasn't very creative or original, hence the conundrum.

First things first, there is no doubt about Philip Caveney's ability to write! He is a fantastic writer! The language, the descriptions, the feeling you got from the words were all perfect. Everything fit the story so well. H
El Templo
"Estas navidades encontramos dos libros con portadas similares en la sección de novedades juveniles. Uno de ellos, Sebastian Darke, príncipe de los bufones, publicado por Alfaguara, llama la atención por su colorido y el alegre cascabel que cuelga de él. El otro, Mimus, cortesía de la editorial Anaya, muestra en su portada a un bufón de sonrisa inquietante y hasta siniestra. ¿Qué es esto? ¿Dos libros de temática similar que salen casi a la vez? ¿Casualidad o contraprogramación editorial? La curi ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Natalie Tsang for

Poor Sebastian Darke is just not funny. For most people, this is a minor inconvenience, but for the son of a successful jester, this is bad news.

After his father's untimely death, Sebastian is forced to put on his father's costume and continue his trade. The jester outfit doesn't really fit and neither does the profession. Undeterred but mostly just desperate, Sebastian sets off with his father's Buffalope, Max, to offer his humorous services to Kin
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sebastian Darke, Prince of Fools, by Philip Caveney is an amazing book. Sebastian Darke, half human, half elf, is a jester. He is following in his father's footsteps, while wearing really big shoes. His father was a jester extraordinaire, famed throughout the land. The Lord of Laughter, the Monarch of Mirth. Pretty big shoes to fill, quite literally. There is just one problem for Sebastian... he is not funny.
Sebastian, in hopes of finding a court to preform in, travels to the faraway kingdom
Dec 04, 2010 rated it liked it
In literature, the “Classic Four” characters are the hero, the heroine, the villain and the clown. In Philip Caveney’s adventure tale, he relegates the clown (or in this case, the clown wannabe) to the role of hero, and lets the heroic figure (a pint size Perseus) take on the role of sidekick. While in the western genre the protagonist’s valiant steed can take on a significant role in the plot, Phillip Caveney, provides his hero with a talking buffalope with a sardonic sense of humor that rivals ...more
Catherine Mayo
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sebastian Darke Prince of Fools is beautifully written and very funny. The character of Max the talking buffalope who lapses into carnivorous habits is a wonderful retake on Eeyore for older children, and the fantastical creatures have fantastic names – gallock, javralat, luper and more. The references to the local mythologies are very funny – the giant Mungus who supports the weight of the world, Max’s Colin the God of Buffalopes who holds the world as a gigantic steel ring through his nose. Se ...more
Sep 07, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Here I tell you what’s wrong with the first book of Sebastian Darke:
It’s so Hollywood-ishly predictable, and thus boring. So boring that I skipped many pages of the last chapters.

It started well, actually. Really well. I really enjoyed the first quarter, thinking that the book offered something quite new. A perspiring fool and a talking buffalope bickering all the way – that felt really funny and witty. But as the story went on, I got a strong feeling that I knew what was going to happen, what t
Meg B
Feb 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sebastian Darke is a less-than-talented court jester who journeys to a faraway kingdom to make his way into the world with his talking buffalope, Max. On the way, he comes across an extremely short warrior who becomes his traveling companion and trusted ally, and they both battle fierce opponents to save a princess from bandits and return her to her throne.

It was a cute story; very humorous and light hearted. I felt like I was reading a cartoon, with the 2-dimentional characters and their quirk
Dec 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Very fun read. Story moves at a good pace and characters are fun- especially Max.

Looking forward to the second book in the series.
BCL Teen Librarians
Sep 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humorous
Sebastian Darke is not funny, which can be a problem... when you are supposed to be a jester. Nevertheless, Sebastian and his talking buffalope Max (slightly cynical, but very strong) set off to become a court jester in a distant court. They meet Cornelius, a tiny (but fierce!) warrior along the way. They rescue Princess Kerin from Brigands too. If only they knew that her uncle, King Septimus, was the one who arranged to have the princess killed... they're all in a whole lot of trouble!

It sounds
Aug 11, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Grades 6-8
Shelves: ya-fiction
After Sebastian Darke's father passes away, Sebastian must now become a successful jester like his father to support himself and his mother. The problem is Sebastian isn't funny. With the help of his father's Buffalope, Sebastian hopes to be employed under King Septimus who is the richest monarch in the world. On their journey, they meet Captain Cornelius Drummel who is extremely short, but a very fierce fighter despite his heighth. The three encounter a rescue of a princess who just happens to ...more
Tim Lindsay
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A short summary of the plot:
A young half elf half human goes on a journey to work as a jester in another kingdom. On the journey he fights brigands and rescues a princess. Once he gets their and gets tricked and says bad but true things about the king. The king has a devious plan to get rid of the princess to keep the throne when she comes to age. She gets taken to Brigania and becomes a slave and the elfling has to save her with his freinds. Once they save her they go back to the kingdom and ki
Anne Mathison
A superb swashbuckling action story with heart and humour: Philip Caveney's first children's book is a rich and funny tale that will delight children and adults alike. The unlikely heroes of the story are Sebastian Darke, a wannabe court jester whose only problem is that he's rubbish at telling jokes; Max, his trusty buffalope, who carries the world and a big chip on his shoulders and gets all the best lines; and Cornelius, a mighty, fearsome warrior, who just about comes up to Sebastian's waist ...more
Nov 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sebastian Darke... on the shelf of unlikely heroes, he is a subtle gem that sat on my I'll-read-it-someday pile for ages. I'm glad I picked him up and met him at last. The hapless son of a jester and his talking buffalope are off to seek their fortunes and hope to find a job in King Septimus' court. Along the way, they meet a marvel of a man, small in stature but big in courage and a troubled princess who doesn't even know she's in trouble. Although there aren't many plot points in common, I con ...more
Oct 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Well, I liked the characters and while the plot was a touch predictable - especially with the addition of the villain's POV - it was a fun read.

I think the biggest issue I had with the book is that at first I didn't much like the main. I wanted to like him but it took a while to warm up to him. The second big issue was that, for a younger geared book, there were some surprisingly bloody and vicious scenes which made the story a bit uneven.

It was still enjoyable enough for me to probably continue
Jun 20, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-middle-readers, ya
to be fair, more a 3.5.

it got rounded up because:
-the characters were original
-the story was amusing
-the author invented a believable and pretty original world
-you want to know how it ends

that said, there's a fair amount of predictability in the book. i'd hazard the last bit might surprise a few readers, and it keeps from the nice-little-bow trap. these days though, foreshadowing is a lost art, replaced by foretelling. this book is not any different in that regard. those that love a good antihe
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Philip Caveney was born in North Wales in 1951. The son of an RAF officer, he spent much of his childhood travelling the length and breadth of Britain and spent several years in Malaysia and Singapore.

He attended the Kelsterton College Of Art where he obtained a diploma in Graphic Design. Whilst there, he became drummer (and latterly vocalist) with rock band, Hieronymus Bosch.

After leaving college
More about Philip Caveney...

Other Books in the Series

Sebastian Darke (4 books)
  • Prince of Pirates (Sebastian Darke, #2)
  • Sebastian Darke: Prince of Explorers (Sebastian Darke, #3)
  • A Buffalope's Tale

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“There was a long silence while they sat there staring at each other, a moment that was rudely interrupted by the sound of Max breaking wind.” 3 likes
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