Start reading The Dark Lord's Handbook on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

The Dark Lord's Handbook [Kindle Edition]

Paul Dale
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.49
Kindle Price: $2.99
You Save: $10.50 (78%)

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle Edition for FREE. Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $2.99  
Paperback $12.14  
Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged $25.95 or Free with Audible 30-day free trial
Audio, CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged $26.99  
Kindle Delivers
Kindle Delivers
Subscribe to the Kindle Delivers monthly e-mail to find out about each month's Kindle book deals, new releases, editors' picks and more. Learn more (U.S. customers only)

Book Description

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, battles to be fought, hours of endless soliloquy in front of the mirror–it's a never-ending job. Not to mention deciding what to wear. (After hours, days, even weeks of consideration, it will be black.)

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.

To become a Dark Lord is no easy thing. Morden had better be a quick study.

Volume 1 110,000 words

The Dark Lord's Handbook: Conquest coming summer 2014.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul Dale is the author of Il Libro Segreto del Signore Oscuro. He has a degree in physics from Bath University and a master's degree in creative writing from Bath Spa University. When he's not writing, he's cycling, which means he doesn't get much writing done. Paul lives in Bath, England.

With acting credits that span stage and screen, Gildart Jackson is most often recognized for his role as Gideon on Charmed. Other notable TV roles include Jackson Palmer on Providence and Simon Prentiss on General Hospital, and his theater roles include Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, and Adrian in Private Eyes at the Old Globe.

Product Details

  • File Size: 848 KB
  • Print Length: 328 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Paul Dale; 4 edition (February 2, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00756ZO4Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,018 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious High- Fantasy Parody March 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Dark Lord's Handbook

In the never-ending warfare between Good and Evil, there needs always be-a Hero-and a Dark Lord. The problem on Evil's side is that Dark Lord candidates seem few and far between; and when one is killed by the Hero, then Evil simply must wait until the next one is born, which could be centuries. But Evil had a clever idea: it wrote a Manual, a Handbook for the Dark Lord. Problem is, in addition to a candidate being born in the first place, it really helps if said potential Dark Lord can even read the Handbook-and then manage not to forget its stipulations.

"The Dark Lord's Handbook" is a subtly hilarious tale penned in the mode of a medieval-style high-fantasy. The characters are delightful, caricatures come to life and given some spin to make them individuals, not stereotypes. The background description, locales, and settings are excellently done. I wouldn't recommend this for YA or younger readers, due to some terminology and situations. However, adult readers will definitely find their fancies tickled as they follow the exploits of young Mordred, the newest Dark Lord, and his evolution into world despot. The journey will take him from the humble village inn of his birth, into an altered reality few could have imagined, as he discovers his true heritage and his purpose in life. Author Paul Dales manages to suspend our disbelief and make the story seem natural, even realistic, thus keeping reader's interest (whilst we are laughing along the way). The novel works both as a light-hearted epic fantasy, and as a parody of the more laborious works in that sub-genre.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book by a first time author February 13, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's always enjoyable to read the first book an author writes. Just like any first time author the book maybe not be as polished as some but it more than makes up for it in originality. "The Dark lords handbook" has that freshness to it and has a Terry Pratchett-esque feel to it that will appeal to those who enjoy a fantasy book with a level of comedy to it.
Now looking forward to a sequel.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I opened the book. Hilarity ensued. December 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Imagine for a moment you're at the pub with the lads. One of the boys mentions that TNT (or the British equivalent, what have you) is showing the Lord of the Rings trilogy start to finish this weekend. The conversation progresses and leads the group to wonder how two hobbits from the Shire could possibly have overcome the powerful Dark Lord Sauron. Theories abound, namely that he put the bulk of his power over the world into one ring. Which he then lost.

How could he have made such a catastrophic strategic mistake?

And isn't literature and film just riddled with other examples of Dark Lords making similar errors?

Then one of your mates, the one who is, by all accounts, regarded as the smartest of the group, suggests that these could all be avoided if there were only a handbook for the Dark Lord to refer to in times of trial.

Enter the genius plot of the Dark Lord's Handbook.

I had a fantastic time reading this book. My particular favorite chapter was the monologue instruction, closely followed by the handbook's suggestion that the Dark Lord should try to, if not in actual fact but in appearance, be the Hero's father.

Even though you think the story within will be predictable, much like the formula most fantasy follows, it's not. I love how the Hero in this novel believes he is noble, but in fact is anything but and the Dark Lord really isn't all that committed to the handbook's evil machinations.

Who is really running things, you ask? Ah, well, you'll have to read the book to find out, but suffice it to say, it was a brilliant bit of satire of our own present-day society.

I've heard that Paul Dale intends to pen a sequel, and if that's the case, hooray! I'm sure I'll enjoy it every bit as much as this.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting twist on the genre July 17, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After I got through my initial disappointment of this not actually being the handbook itself but rather a story about someone else reading the handbook, I was along for the ride. It tells the tale of a fledgling dark lord, Morden, who receives the titular handbook and uses its lessons to Rise and begin to take over the world.

This is a clever premise and the author turns many common fantasy tropes on their heads, which I appreciate, telling a fairly compelling story along the way. I liked (or at least was interested in) almost all of the characters and was surprised by a few twists the story took. In fact, for most of my reading session, I wasn't sure exactly where everything was headed, which for the fantasy genre, is always a good thing.

There were a few grammatical quibbles that another pass by an editor could fix, but nothing that detracted too much from the experience. The main problem I had was with a few of the jokes that fell flat for me. One that stands out in particular is (minor spoiler ahead) when the orcs sack a town, they hang the guards up by their underwear, using a technique that the orcs referred to as "the wedgie". I know this is supposed to be comedic, but the best comedy in the book is the jokes that arise from the situation, not anachronistic humor. There are a few other examples throughout (the subject of "lawyers" was a bit nonsensical to me as well) and in some places, the book delves into other subjects (mortgage backed securities) that don't really mesh well with the setting (I had braced myself for a tirade about sub-prime lending that, thankfully, never appeared). It could have worked if the author was a bit sneakier about it, but it felt heavy handed to me, along with some of the other talk about the middle class.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a fun satire
At the start this book seems like a simple parody of the "hero/villain" story, with all the requisite base characters (the gruff woodsman, the disenchanted youths, etc). Read more
Published 16 days ago by Chris Aitken
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever, funny book that is worth your time
I found this book after looking on a forum for great anti hero books, and am so happy I did. The characters are interesting and funny, and while it doesnt try to be high... Read more
Published 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great witty read
I was leery at first but I enjoyed this story almost as much as I enjoy any Pratchett romp. Wicked funny.
Published 29 days ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars but pleasant and fun.
Light reading, but pleasant and fun.
Published 1 month ago by David K. Best
4.0 out of 5 stars Clever
It was clever. Lots of amusing references to fantasy classics.
Published 1 month ago by Barbara Schnell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
entertaining read
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars I think this would be so much better if I felt the "Hero" could have...
Not to mention the love interest girl is the definition of an abusive relationship, I think I may be going a little into book 2 but if the love interest hadn't existed at all I... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Vi King
4.0 out of 5 stars In particular the second half of the book takes some rather annoying...
This story is full of originality and tongue in cheek references to the fantasy genre, it is also a little bland on character development and world building. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Chris Sutherlin
5.0 out of 5 stars All Hail The Dark Lord
An awesome mix of "Old" and "New"
The subtle colloguialisms mixed into a D&D high fantasy theme is magic After reading immediately downloaded the next book for the holiday... Read more
Published 3 months ago by John
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by William G. Buchholz
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Paul Dale lives in Bath, England. When he's not writing, he's cycling, and can often be found struggling up the hills around his home. He is the author of The Dark Lord's Handbook series (two volumes).

Paul has a BSc in Physics with Applied Physics from Bath University and a Master of Arts Degree in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category