Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Dark Lord Clementine” as Want to Read:
The Dark Lord Clementine
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Dark Lord Clementine

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  550 ratings  ·  163 reviews
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 El
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Algonquin Young Readers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Dark Lord Clementine, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Dark Lord Clementine

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  550 ratings  ·  163 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Dark Lord Clementine
Miranda Reads

"Father," Clementine said as she watched him spear a piece of melon on the tip of his pointy wooden finger. "I do believe you have been cursed."
Twelve-year-old Clementine comes from a long line of Dark Lords.

She's trained since birth to earn ber birthright.

Her father, Elithor, was strict but fair. He taught her dark magic, how to speak to peasants and more.
There was no reason in the world to feel sorry for Clementine Morcerous. She had everything the townspeople could only drea
Irena BookDustMagic
Actual rating: 3,5

When I got an invitation to read and review The Dark Lord Clementine I was pretty happy because it sounded like a funny, paranormal middle grade book.
This turned out to be a perfect novel to open Halloween season with, because it has magical and spooky elements, but it is still pretty light and funny. A perfect middle grade in that genre, if you ask me!

The Dark Lord Clementine follows the story of a cursed Dark Lord’s daughter who would do anything to cure her father.
Lea | That_Bookdragon
4/5 ⭐️

Thank you so much to Algonquin Young Readers for providing me with an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest opinion. I was lucky to be part of the blog tour for this amazing Middle Grade book! HERE

"Clementine Morcerous awoke one morning to discover that her father had no nose."

Twelve-year-old Clementine Morcerous is the daughter and sole heir of the Dark Lord Elithor. As such, she has been taught since her earliest childhood that she must instill fear to the people aroun
Feb 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Terribly cute, like the Dark Lord in Training herself!

This had all kinds of awesome in it: The Lady of the Lake tossing swords at people, hoping they'll catch them. A bird made out of a book who lays eggs that turn into spells. Night mares. Color-changing "mood hair" that I would actually really love! Unicorns! A sheep named Dave!

I do wish it had gotten moving a lot sooner, I feel like the first half meandered quite a bit, without really building the world I wanted to see. Things were hinted at,
Christi M
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rooting for the bad guys (or girl in this case) has never been so much fun. While Clementine is still a Dark-Lord-in-training, her father has been attacked by a curse and it is up to Clementine to find a way to break the curse as well as perform all of his required dastardly deeds.


I can’t tell you how much I love middle grade books like these. There’s such a cuteness and cleverness in how the story is framed and presented that it makes for a fantastic read.

It all starts one morning when
Wendi Lee
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars, rounded down

I really enjoyed reading about Clementine Morcerous, who feels resigned to someday become the next Dark Lord (after her father, Elithor), and embrace evil instead of a secret flower garden and the other things that mark her as different than other generations of Dark Lords. When Elithor is cursed by a Whittling Witch, Clementine struggles to find a way to obey his orders (most notably, to never let anyone know that anything is amiss with their evil overlord) and keep the c
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
**I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review**

What a delightful book (sorry Elithor)! This book actually had a lot more depth than I had expected based on the summary. There are lessons on finding your place in your family, standing up for others, the ups and downs of putting yourself out there to others, making difficult choices, being selfless, and being the person you are meant to be rather than the one others expect you to be.

Clementine is such a
Madison Mary
May 22, 2020 rated it liked it
"Her happiest memory had nothing to do with her father or her very calling in life, at all. Her happiest memory had been escaping them."

A coming-of-age middle grade about a young girl fighting for herself and realising her own path

Clementine Morcerous has been training to follow her father legacy of becoming a Dark Lord since she was born. When her father falls victim to a curse from a vengeful Witch, Clementine must take over as acting Dark Lord before they lose their castle. But as
Ms. Yingling
Jul 22, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

I love "dark lord" books like Dark Lord : the early years by Jamie Thomson or The Dark Lord of Derkholm by Jones, but I can't get my students to read them. I'll have to pass on this one, but if books like Vernon's Castle Hangnail do well in your library, definitely look into this one.
Beth Cato
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, middle, fantasy
I received a gratis copy of the ebook for award consideration.

The Dark Lord Clementine is an incredibly witty, fun frolic in a fresh new fantasy world. I would have adored this book as a kid and enjoyed it as an adult too--and had to fight the urge to giggle aloud more than once as I read in a waiting room.

Clementine is the only child of the Dark Lord Elithor. She's been raised in isolation, instructed in the importance of villainy as she helps to manage their silent farm with nightmares and fla
Michelle Kenneth -
I enjoyed this book a little more than I anticipated. After we are introduced to Darka, Sebastien, the Brack Knights, Dave the Black Sheep, and the hedge witches, the story gets so much better.

Here is this girl who believes that she must be the next dark overlord of Seven Sisters, because that is the role she is born into. Everyone has their role and hers is to be a dark lord. But when it comes right down to it, maybe being a dark lord isn't all it's cracked up to be.

The lesson at the end of th
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommended MG read for fans of Matilda, Wizard of Oz, and The Enchanted Forest Chronicles. Clementine is a plucky, smart heroine who is struggling with the identity that's expected of her (Dark Lord's heir) versus her desire for friendship in a lonely castle with a distant, cold father. The black sheep and the Lady of the Lake are hilarious. The village boys end up surprising in their growth and Sebastien is implied as a future love interest, though nothing romantic happens (since they'r ...more
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well-crafted characters, a little snark, playfulness with a great many of the cliches of fantasy, and the kinds of dilemmas all of us face (who do we trust? how are we friends? what purpose and meaning in my life do I want? how much do I give in to peer demands?) make this a great middle-reader read, by one's self or as a family. Entertaining and thought-provoking.
Angela Germany
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorites this year!!! I hope there is a sequel.
At first I just kind of liked this, but by the end I found myself really into the whole story and loving Clementine quite a bit so I bumped it up to 4 stars. At first it reminded me a little bit of Castle Hangnail, but it's got a very different tone after the beginning. I loved the mixture of characters and I REALLY loved Darka's story arc. It's a weird blend of funny, poignant, and magical, so if you're looking for something a bit different it would be a good choice. ...more
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.

Read my full review at Lost in Literature
Megan (ReadingRover)
3.5 stars
I received an ARC copy of this book from Edelweiss

A very cute and fun book! Definitely a unique idea about what it would be like to be the daughter of a 'dark lord' and to grow up like that. All the characters in this are really fun and they all battle with pre-conceived notions of what is 'good' and 'bad' in the world depending on where they are coming from and their past experiences. A good mix of fun magic and commentary on morality.
Jenna (Falling Letters)
Cybils 2019 finalist (middle grades speculative fiction)
chloe ♡
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
i received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. all opinions below are my own.

this was such a fun read! middle grade novels never fail to cheer me up, and oh my goodness, i’m so glad i decided to pick this up because it was exactly what i needed – i’ve been so stressed the past few weeks and the dark lord clementine put a huge goofy smile on my face.

the world building is incredibly amazing. clementine, the main character, is the daughter of a dark lord who lives in a cast
Lark of The Bookwyrm's Hoard
Oh, I love this book! Its style and narrative voice remind me a bit of Diana Wynn Jones, or Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn. It’s magical, quirky, whimsical, humorous, and often exciting. At the same time, it deals with very real feelings and challenges that many children and young adults face: the weight of parental expectations, conflicting feelings of love and anger; the challenge to know and be true to yourself. There’s fear, deception, and betrayal in these pages, but also courage, hones ...more
★★★★☆½ Rounded up to 5 stars.!

"Her happiest memory had nothing to do with her father or her very calling in life, at all. Her happiest memory had been escaping them."

Clementine is the only heir and is to become the next Dark Lord. Once her father, Dark Lord Elithor, is cursed, Clementine has a lot put on her shoulders and must take on the responsibilities of the Dark Lord. However she begins to question the evil ways her father has always run things and is no longer so sure she wants to be
Em Jay
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Oh, I loved this book! It's so much FUN! The concept (and the title) are golden, posing a simple yet intriguing premise: what would it be like to grow up as the daughter of an Evil Overlord?

Clementine Morcerous is one of my new favourite protagonists. She's proud and commanding, as would befit a Dark Lady, yet has an incredible amount of heart and bravery. Her struggle to maintain order as her father's whittling curse progresses is both heart-rending and bursting with quirky adventures, from an
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Clementine's life is almost completely silent, thanks to her father's aversion to noise. The castle is staffed by automatons who take care of the poison apple orchard and the nightmares (among other things). Her father is Dark Lord Elithor, feared by the villagers and the hedgewitches who live nearby. That doesn't help when Elithor is cursed and Clementine has to figure out how to save and protect her home and her father, though. We meet the Lady in the Lake, unicorns, witches and even some knig ...more
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m starting to think I could really get into being a Dark Lord.

This was a wonderfully clever, charming story that upends traditional fairy tale roles and imparts a sweet and worthy lesson in the end without getting too preachy or saccharine.

But the real treasures in this book are in the details: A chatty (simultaneously literal and figurative) black sheep, a grimoire in the form of a chicken, and loads of clever little jokes on the proclivities of fairy tale baddies.

An enjoyable, light story
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-releases
Video version of this review here:

Sarah Jean Horwitz's new middle grade fantasy novel "The Dark Lord Clementine" is a totally charming spin on classic fantasy tropes. It doesn't always feel wholly original, but the mash-up of familiar story elements is part of the charm.

Twelve-year-old Clementine is certain of her place in the world. As her father's sole child and heir, she will one day inherit the title of the Dark Lord Morcerous and terrorize the inhabitants of the
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy from Algonquin Young Readers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Clementine has been groomed to become the next Dark Lord since her birth, but she’s always felt lonely and not exactly what her father imagined his heir would be like. One day, her father is cursed by a powerful rival and starts wasting away. As soon as he’s not strong enough to run his own lands, Clementine takes over as the temporary Evil Overlord. She quickly discovers that she can’t do things by
Alyson Stone
Sep 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, middle-fic, arc
Book: The Dark Lord Clementine
Author: Sarah Jean Horwitz
Rating: 3 Out of 5 Stars

I would like to thank the publisher, Algonquin Young Readers, for providing me with this ARC.

This is a middle grade fantasy book. The summary sounded really interesting to me and I knew I had to read this. To me, this sounded like a very dark book full of twists and turns. Sadly, though that isn’t what we got. I get that it is supposed to be sweet and whatnot, but I felt like the whole thing was kind of poorly done
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you @kidlitexchange and @algonquinyr for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own. The Dark Lord Clementine by @sunshinejh is set to release 10.1.19!

Clementine is the daughter of a feared Dark Lord. Problem is she doesn’t quite agree with her chosen way of life. She loves tending to a hidden flower garden and gets rather lonely at her castle. When her father is cursed by a mysterious Whittle Witch, her life and surroundings slowly start falling apart. She does her best to keep
Clementine is the daughter of the local Dark Lord. As such she has been properly trained to view the local villagers as servants to be mistreated. In addition, she's learning magic in order to perform dastardly deeds. But Clementine prefers to spend time with the nightmares (skeletal horses) in the barn, or in her secret garden. But after her father is cursed by the Whittle Witch and starts to turn into a wooden puppet for her to whittle away, Clementine is left trying to hold Castle Brack and t ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Last Human
  • Changeling (The Oddmire, #1)
  • Scary Stories for Young Foxes
  • Homerooms and Hall Passes
  • We're Not from Here
  • The Magnificent Monsters of Cedar Street
  • Anya and the Dragon (Anya, #1)
  • The World Ends in April
  • The Story That Cannot Be Told
  • Zenobia July
  • Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation
  • Maybe He Just Likes You
  • Roll with It
  • Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat (Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat, #1)
  • The Best at It
  • The Class
  • Cape (The League of Secret Heroes, #1)
  • Cog
See similar books…
Sarah Jean Horwitz is the author of the middle grade fantasy books CARMER AND GRIT and THE DARK LORD CLEMENTINE. Sarah grew up next door to a cemetery and down the street from an abandoned fairytale theme park, which probably explains a lot. She currently lives near Boston, MA.

News & Interviews

As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
19 likes · 3 comments