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

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  174 ratings  ·  89 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
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 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  174 ratings  ·  89 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Dark Lord Clementine
Miranda Reads
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing

"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 dream of:
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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

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 around her. She
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
chloe ♡
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
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
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
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.
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 just
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
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
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.
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, ...more
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
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-mt-bookpile
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 ...more
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: middle-fic, fantasy, 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
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalleys
This review is based on an ARC of The Dark Lord Clementine which I received courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher (Algonquin Young Readers).

4.5 stars

If Holly Back and Neil Gaiman raised a child to be an author this is the kind of novel you'd expect from them. There be unicorns, witches, Dark Lords (of varying gender), nightmares, a girl with magical hair, a Lady of a Lake, a cursed sheep, and a martyr! And that's just to name a few of my favorites! This isn't just your average Middle Grade
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
Kasey Giard
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a cute book! The story world is quirky and adorable, and the writing is fun but with a lot of emotion packed into it. I giggled through some scenes and had teary eyes in others. It was so easy to identify with Clementine’s wish to do the right thing while also battling her loneliness and her longing to find her own place in life.

The relationships pulled me into the story, too. Clementine gets to know a village boy and a traveling hunter, and through them gains something she’s never
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
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this quite a bit more than I expected to. It was sufficiently complex to be an engaging fantasy, but sufficiently direct to be a successful stand alone middle grade novel. The cover led me to presume I was going to be reading something more simplistic than what I found inside. Sarah's writing is clever, sophisticated (but never pretentious) and entertaining. Solid, solid book.
Melinda Beatty
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is utterly charming, funny and sweet--what happens when you've spent your whole life preparing to be a Dark Lord, but when push comes to shove, it just might not be for you? A lovely tale of friendship, expectations and forgiveness.
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it

Enjoyed this thoroughly. With a hint of Pratchett about it, this book was fun with an excellent female lead and some really great secondary customers. Can’t wait to sell it!
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, rc19
lots of fun!
Oct 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Super cute and great ending!
 Nyarlathotep Twelfth Month The Haunted Reading Room
If I could read epic fantasy, whether MG, YA/NA, or Adult, as enthralling as this utterly delightful MG DARK LORD CLEMENTINE, I would delightfully engage in reading Fantasy every day. What a joy is the irrepressible, grandly determined, feisty "Empress of Snark" (my phrase) Clementine, only child and sole heir of the current Dark Lord of Castle Brack. Even in childhood, she is strong in character and impetus, creative, imaginative, and forward-thinking. I so adored devouring her story!
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved Clementine, she was such a great main character and I found that by the end of the book I just wanted everyone to like her as much as I did! I really enjoyed all the funny twists on the normal fantasy adventure that Horwitz added - like the addition of a Gricken instead of just a Grimoire (it’s Clementines family Grimoire that has turned into a chicken and thus lays golden eggs of spells from the book). This is definitely a great new middle grade read and I can’t wait for everyone to ...more
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, magic, 2019
E-ARC via Edelweiss

The Dark Lord Clementine has the kind of premise that I so love, with a character who's unpredictable, and not going to behave in a typical way that you'd expect. I just adored Clementine and the way that she changed throughout the story. How her search for answers to her father's curse allowed her to explore her own feelings about being the heir of Castle Brack and whether she really had what it takes to follow in her father's footsteps as an evil lord. She does have all the
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Naked Mole Rat Saves the World
  • The Okay Witch
  • Anya and the Dragon (Anya, #1)
  • Changeling (The Oddmire #1)
  • Maybe He Just Likes You
  • Midsummer's Mayhem
  • Stargazing
  • Bloodlust & Bonnets
  • The Bone Garden
  • My Jasper June
  • Mooncakes
  • Queen of the Sea
  • Best Friends (Real Friends, #2)
  • Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All
  • Dead Voices (Small Spaces #2)
  • Malamander (Malamander, #1)
  • Cursed
  • All the Greys on Greene Street
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.