Dark Lord: School's Out, by Jamie Thomson

Dark Lord: School's Out, by Jamie Thomson (Walker Childrens, Feb., 2014 in the US)

Give these books to any young fantasy gamers in your  life.  Give them to any Goth Girls you know who don't mind a bit of fun being poked at them.  Give them to any fantasy reading kid who wants a break from the serious side of the genre.  Give me the third book, even though it's not even out yet in the UK, let alone over here....

As was told in book 1, Dark Lord: the Early Years (my review),  the Dark Lord of the Dark Lands has been defeated by the power of Good, and sent into another realm--our world.   No longer a fearsome being with terrible powers, he's now a kid in foster care named Dirk Lloyd.  His powers are (for the most part) gone, and more importantly, much of the vile evil ichorosity inside him ended up spewing forth onto the parking lot where he landed.  But he still knows who he really is....and he won't let his foster brother, Chris, and the Goth girl Sooz, their good friend, forget either (and  happily all of Dirk's posturing and threats and Dark Lordliness stay this side of funny).

But in any even, an effort to restore Dirk to the Dark Lands at the end of Book 1 went wrong, and Sooz was the one who travelled there!  But fortunately, Sooz (thanks to her Goth proclivities) is undaunted (though with nicely contrasting moments of daunted homesickness and despair, which I liked--so often young heroes are just too brave for me to take).   And fortunately Sooz is in possession of Dirk's dark ring, which gives her magical powers.  She finds Dirk's  Dark Tower, gathers together his minions, and sets herself up as a Dark Queen.  Only, because she'd not actually evil, her rule is more benevolent than not.

(I really really loved this part of Sooz's story.  The exploring of the tower, the redecorating, the henchman befriending, the wardrobe choices she makes-- all delightful).

And in the meantime, Chris and Dirk are working on rescue plans, including the transformation of Chris' cell-phone into a dark phone that can call Sooz....

And also in the meantime, the "good" guys are trying to kill Dirk in our world, destroy Sooz in their world, and throw into prison anyone who disagrees with them...

So basically the tremendously fun premise  of book 1 (Dark Lord in kid's body) is now part of a richer, bigger story that is still tremendously fun, but with more depth to it.  There's a dash of serious-ness viz friendships, loyalty, and the blurriness between good and evil.   Dirk is one of those delightfully ambiguous anti-heroes, and the tension between Dirk the Friend and Dirk the Dark Lord is nicely tense. 

1 comment:

  1. OH! So the book was originally published in the UK? I had no clue!
    I'm glad you reviewed it. :)


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