Happy Thursday and welcome to my stop on The Dark Lord Clementine blog tour!! I’m so excited because today I get to share an excerpt of the book with you! Read on to find the excerpt, plus more about the book and author!
The Dark Lord Clementine by Sarah Jean Horwitz
Published by Algonquin Young Readers on October 1, 2019
Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Magic
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 Elithor is cursed by a mysterious rival.
Now, Clementine must not only search for a way to break the curse, but also take on the full responsibilities of the Dark Lord. As Clementine forms her first friendships, discovers more about her own magic than she ever dared to explore, and is called upon to break her father’s code of good and evil, she starts to question the very life she’s been fighting for. What if the Dark Lord Clementine doesn’t want to be dark after all?
Clementine Morcerous awoke one morning to discover that her father had no nose.
This was not exactly unexpected. Several mornings previously, the Dark Lord Elithor Morcerous had greeted her with slightly less nose than usual, and a bit of a weaker chin. The difference was so small that Clementine, who was quite small herself, barely noticed it. She did notice something different about him—he was her father, after all—but she thought perhaps he had gotten a rather unflattering haircut.
An unflattering haircut could not explain the next few days, however, as the Dark Lord Elithor’s nose became skinnier and skinnier, and his chin weaker and weaker. It could also not explain why his skin took on the raw-looking texture of freshly chopped wood, or why the ends of his fingers sharpened first into long points, and then shorter and shorter ones. It was as if every day, something were eating away at him—chipping away at him, Clementine’s mind helpfully suggested—but the Dark Lord carried on as if nothing were the matter, even when the tip of his finger snapped off as he was ladling out the pea soup at dinner.
It was so light it barely made a plop as it landed in the tureen. They ate the soup anyway.
Clementine Morcerous knew that if the Dark Lord Elithor had three gifts in this world, they were:
- The invention and implementation of magical Dastardly Deeds
- Not Talking About Anything
But the day she sat down to breakfast, rubbed the last bits of sleep from her eyes, and looked up to see her father sitting across the table from her, quite alarmingly nose- less . . . well. Clementine decided that was the day they were going to Talk About Something.
“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.”
The melon cube paused on its journey to his poor thin lips.
“Ah,” said her father, his thick eyebrows rising. “Do you?”
He then returned his focus to his plate, as if she’d merely made a comment on the weather. His finger had sliced through the melon cube. He picked it up again with some difficulty.
“Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it?” demanded Clementine. “Something is . . . well . . . chipping away at you!”
Clementine regretted using the word “chipping” as soon as it was out of her mouth. Yet a consequence of Finally Talking About Anything is that words, once set free into the world, aren’t in the habit of going back where they came from.
The only sound in the room was the Dark Lord’s labored breathing, a thin whistling from the two tiny slits left in his face where his nostrils should’ve been. His eyebrows threatened to meet in the middle. He looked down at his plate again, and even the melon seemed to turn a paler green under the force of his glare.
“No . . .” he said softly. “Not. Chipping.” He spat out the words like they were curses themselves and finally looked up at a very concerned Clementine.
Sarah Jean Horwitz was raised in suburban New Jersey, where she lived next door to a cemetery and down the street from an abandoned fairy tale theme park. Her love of storytelling grew from listening to her mother’s original “fractured” fairy tales, a childhood spent in community theater, and far too many rereads of Harry Potter and Anne of Green Gables.
Sarah was a film production student at Emerson College when she took her first screenwriting class and realized that making up a movie’s story was a lot more fun than actually making it happen, and also that cameras are really heavy. She graduated with a B.A. in Visual & Media Arts and a concentration in writing for film and television in 2012.
Naturally, the first project she decided to write after graduating film school was a book. A few years, a handful of continental U.S. states, and many odd jobs later, that book became THE WINGSNATCHERS, the first book in the Carmer and Grit series. THE WINGSNATCHERS was a Kids Indie Next List pick and a Junior Library Guild Selection. The second book in the series, THE CROOKED CASTLE, was released in April 2018. Sarah’s next project is the standalone middle grade fantasy novel THE DARK LORD CLEMENTINE, which will be released by Algonquin Young Readers in October 2019.
Sarah’s other passions include feminism, circus arts, extensive thematic playlists, improvisational movement, tattoos, curly hair care, and making people eat their vegetables. She currently works as an executive assistant and lives with her partner near Cambridge, MA.
Are you adding this book to your #TBR? It’s been on mine for months, and I’m so excited to read it! Let me know if you’re adding it in the comments and have a splendiferous day!