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The Dark Lord's Handbook Audiobook

The Dark Lord's Handbook

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Publisher's Summary

To become a Dark Lord is no easy thing. The simple ambition to hold dominion over the world and bend all to your will sounds straightforward, but it's not. There are armies to raise, fortresses to build, heroes to defeat, and battles to be fought. After many spectacular failures, Evil decided to lend more than inspiration to these would-be tyrants. He wrote an easy-to-follow Dark Lord's Handbook. And yet the next Dark Lord that came along screwed up like all the others. It had been hundreds of years, and the Handbook was lost in the annals of time, along with all that was mythic and exciting in the world. Then one day, a randy dragon had a chance encounter. Nine months later a Dark Lord was born. In time, the Handbook found its way to this new contender: Morden.

©2008 Paul Dale (P)2014 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (318 )
5 star
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Overall
4.1 (304 )
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Story
4.4 (304 )
5 star
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4 star
 (94)
3 star
 (23)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
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  •  
    Sean 07-31-15
    Sean 07-31-15 Member Since 2016

    "Not all those who wander are lost" -JRR Tolkien

    HELPFUL VOTES
    59
    ratings
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    Story
    ""Beware the monologue!""


    Every hero has a beginning, but what about the villians? If it weren't for villains there would be no heroes, and that's where this story begins. Dale was able to craft a humorous novel about becoming a Dark Lord that made sense. The handbook spoke to the Dark Lord in-training of getting caught up in monologue while a hero is present, or putting all your power and energy into a single magical item just to lose it (as if it personally knew Sauron itself).

    Most of the advice given by the handbook are phrases you may already be familiar with, but with a twist.
    Ex: "Absolute power corrupts absolutely, but isn't that the point?"

    This novel is certainly not for everyone, but if you play Dungeons & Dragons and looking for a guide to creating your next star villain then this is not a bad choice.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kulain 01-12-15
    Kulain 01-12-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Started out good but turned into a drag"
    Would you try another book from Paul Dale and/or Gildart Jackson?

    No, this felt like a cringe worthy attempt at a disc world novel.


    What could Paul Dale have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Learn to actually develop characters instead of just talking about how they are suppose to be, and possible add some women who are annoying as hell and actually have more than 1 dimension of being evil/contrary/hot. Also... maybe come up with a more original name for the dragon than the one right out of World of Warcraft? Come on! He even mentions the Black Dragonflight WTF?


    What didn’t you like about Gildart Jackson’s performance?

    Spoke way too slowly and the voice acting as lady deathwing was unbearable, also the accents changed randomly so you can't tell who he is suppose to be.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Dark Lord's Handbook?

    The entire middle section about a pointless voyage and a ridiculous war.


    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    zachary 03-09-17
    zachary 03-09-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
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    11
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    Story
    "Not a book about a villain"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    the story could have been about a villain being a villain. Instead you get a main character brood like a 13 year old boy and do nothing, want nothing, and attempt to work toward nothing. as the book goes on the main character does less and less and the story shifts away from him more and more until it is about other characters who also do absolutely nothing.

    a villain should want or need something and sacrafice things in order to achive that goal, making them a villain. a character sacrifices friendship when he betrays his freind, sacrifices his humanity when he becomes undead... our character nighther wants anything particularly nor sacrifices anything to achive his not existent goals.

    he feels like he would like to be a dark lord... poof a magic book and an army find him and tell him he is a dark lord! he has no power or intelligence and gets into trouble, POOF. turns out he is a dragon (mind you he doesn't do anything as a dragon, just sort of hangs out and people run away).

    this is a book about things happening to people and then those people waiting for something eles to happen.

    hell no characters make any decisions the entire book. they are just swept up in events that happen to them without even seeming register that they are happening

    the central conceit, that there is a book that teaches dark lords how to do there job, is quirky and slightly humorous... but besides reading that handbook our character does nothing. there are lengthy chapters of the character reading about how a dark lord might gather power about him..... does our main character apply this knowledge? do we see him take initiative or do we get to watch him establish his strength? no. are these passages entertaining? not really, unless endless references to the lord of the rings is entertaining to you.

    there is no mystery, no suspense, no action, no character development.

    Give the story a villain, make that villain interesting and have him aggressively pursue his goals, do anything at all with the handbook premise besides wink at the audience, have something happen or someone make a decision at some point.



    Has The Dark Lord's Handbook turned you off from other books in this genre?

    HELL YES. never touching this kind of trite again.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    used more than 3 voices for the characters. every ork sounded like an old man, every woman sounded like a British noble and the main character was the narrators voice being flat.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    the premise has potential but is squandered unsalvagably


    Any additional comments?

    save your money: synopsis: there is a book that teaches someone how to be a dark lord, the main character reads it and accomplishes nothing else. there is a stilted attempt to make the morgage crisis of the 2000s a valid plot point in a fantasy setting and besides being vaguely clever is pointless and dull. there good job you have saved yourself hours.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron CLEVELAND, OH, United States 07-29-15
    Aaron CLEVELAND, OH, United States 07-29-15 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Interesting story, but odd narration"

    I usually enjoy a story which does not have a clearly defined antagonist and protagonist. This story was no exception. The idea of a handbook for how to be evil was very tongue in cheek and a great device.

    The narrator had an odd cadence in the way he read. His character voices were good and varied to give each character their own life. The way he read the story kept me from becoming too immersed. It almost sounded like he was reading the story as he was writing it. There were elements where that type of narration was perfect, but it was very strange when narrating exposition and dialogue between most of the characters. I think I would have enjoyed the story much more if I had read a hard copy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Reiter 05-06-17
    Mike Reiter 05-06-17 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A decent twist on the classic evil vs Hero"

    A classic hero vs the ultimate evil story, think Star Wars, Lord of the Rings etc. but starts out before the ultimate bad guy is actually the ultimate bad guy. Good tongue in cheek references to all the cliches with good taunting of them afterward. A couple of easy plot twists to keep it interesting, even becoming a Dark Lord has its pitfalls, and you have a decent listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erik 03-31-17
    Erik 03-31-17 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    33
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    Story
    "a bit disappointing"

    A book that can't seem to decide if it wants to be Pratchetteque or McLellanesque. It makes a lot of references of Pratchett ("one day the dwarf parents tell their son he isn't a dwarf") but in the end becomes more serious, borrowing style from the Powder Mage books.
    Quite disappointing, and not what I expected. The characters were mostly obnoxious and annoying, with a few exceptions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jens 10-11-16
    Jens 10-11-16 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    7
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    Story
    "Quirky"

    I enjoyed it, especially when the book took a short break to talk about economy

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda 08-23-16
    Amanda 08-23-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    Story
    "Started slow"

    I loved the characters, but I felt like things only got about 60% developed through the first 3/4 of the book.

    The chancellor was clearly the best character and was also one of the least exposed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ariel 07-29-16
    Ariel 07-29-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
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    27
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    Story
    "Hilarious!"

    This story actually made me snort a few times at work! I must for anyone who enjoys subtle comedy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rickey 06-06-16
    Rickey 06-06-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "better than i anticipated"

    my only negative comment is that the middle of the book was slow and seemed to informative vs just a good story

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Owen Cliffe
    12/22/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An unexpectedly good read"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The book grows from the same ground as Terry Pratchett, Tom Holt and Robert Asprin and balances dry humour with a solid story.


    What does Gildart Jackson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    The reading is superlative and complements the text well.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • C. Ferguson
    10/18/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really rather boring..."

    Very disappointing
    It sets itself up as a tongue in cheek look at the whole fantasy 'hero vs villain' thing, but quicky loses the plot.

    The titular Dark Lord in training doesnt have much of the charisma or eccentricities you'd expect of someone going into the world domination buisiness. In fact he doesnt seem to make very many decisions on his own at all, spending most of his time being pushed around by plot devices rather than any motivation of his own.
    The bloodthirsty hero is a joke that sorely needed a punchline
    Much of the supporting cast seem to be irrelevant to the plot completely, Chancellor Penbury in particular didnt seem to do much of anything for the amount of time the story wastes on him.

    Also, they travel east to discover "yellow orcs with slanty eyes"
    Really? For shame Paul Dale


    Though this is far from the worst Fantasy I've ever read (Talking to you Ben Hale), I would not suggest this book to others. Instead, try Pratchett and Gaiman's "Good Omens"

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Susan
    HOVE, United Kingdom
    3/23/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great fun"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I thought this would be a predictable rip off of similar amusing fantasy novels. But it wasn't at all. A delightfully amusing diversion. The story of Morden, who's career choice is being a dark lord. Made me laugh and kept me thoroughly entertained.


    What other book might you compare The Dark Lord's Handbook to, and why?

    Terry Pratchet....


    Have you listened to any of Gildart Jackson’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Yes I have...he does comedic narration very well. Good array of charachters


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Cant say that with out giving the story away


    Any additional comments?

    Well worth a credit. Good story and good narration and great entertainment value. There is a second book which I hope audible brings out.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Marc
    10/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An Unexpected Favourite"

    After adding Gildart Jackson to my favourite narrators I was recommended The Dark Lord's Handbook by Audible and really enjoyed it. The characters and story are well crafted and I hope this story continues. A must read for any fantasy fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • James
    Mansfield, United Kingdom
    4/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Dark Lord Rises!.....cocks it up and tries again"

    I wasn't sure about this when i started listening but the story and characters really got me in the end. the narration was excellent.

    It's a fantasy book from the dark lords point of view , those difficult teenage years, trying to fit in, early success and bending the rest of the school to your will!

    Its about being good at being bad, and being bad at being good.

    I enjoyed the foul mouthed love interested, the Machiavellian chancellor and the truly thick hero.

    For the fist time you will be cheering for the dark side.

    Id like to see what comes next for Morden

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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