Title: The Dark Lord's Handbook
Author: Paul Dale
Summary: "To become a Dark Lord is no easy thing. The simple ambition to hold dominion over the world sounds straightforward but it's not. After many spectacular failures, Evil wrote an easy to follow Dark Lord's Handbook. It had been hundreds of years, and the Handbook was seemingly lost in the annals of time. But then the Handbook found its way to a new contender, Morden. He had better be a quick study."
Source: I purchased this on my own.
Review: I really enjoyed this book. It was a lot of fun, which is certainly what a description like the above promised that it would be. The extended description reminded me of a line from "The Princess Bride" which is among the annals of legend for late twenty-something geeks everywhere, and thus drew me right in.
It had a lot of wry humor, poking astute fun at our archetypes for epic fantasy. There was more than a dash of social satire. It had much grey in characters pretending to be black and white, and some fun and funny stuff going on all around them. Some of the Deathwing stuff particularly amused me, mainly just the idea of the domestic life of dragons. Yet all the way, it gave you what it was poking fun at: an epic fantasy.
There were times that I found it dragging and kind of wandering, but it wasn't ever enough to drop me out of enjoying the general narrative or make me want to stop reading. I liked the ending, really, but it was missing that extra something that made me "close" the book and go: wow! Even so, it was an incredibly solid and enjoyable read that I would recommend to anyone who likes a dry wit and well-played satire.
I give it a solid 4 Fireballs.