Friday, July 22, 2011

My Sparkling Misfortune by Laura Lond

Title: My Sparkling Misfortune
Author: Laura Lond
Series: -
Published: April 28, 2010
Publisher: Dream Books, LLC
Pages: 164 (paperback)
I received this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Lord Arkus of Blackriver Castle readily admits that he is a villain and sees no reason why it should stop him from being the protagonist of this book. After all, Prince Kellemar, an aspiring hero, has defeated him in a rather questionable way. Bent on revenge, Arkus attempts to capture a powerful evil spirit who would make him nearly invincible, but a last-minute mistake leaves him with a sparkling instead a goody-goody spirit that helps heroes, watches over little children, and messes up villains plans. Bound to Lord Arkus for five years of service and sworn to act in his best interests, the sparkling is not easy to get rid of, and of course his understanding of best interests is quite different from what Lord Arkus has in mind. --Goodreads

My Sparkling Misfortune offers a twist on the traditional fantasy fairy tale stories that lovers of the movie Megamind will enjoy. I can’t help but make that comparison, since both stories feature bad guys who want nothing more than to be known as the most devious and evil person on the planet. Lord Arkus begins his tale by bragging about how evil he is. But when the pompous Prince Kellemar tricks him into running from the kingdom, he goes hunting for a Gormak, an evil spirit to help with his evil plans. Much to his dismay, Lord Arkus winds up catching a Sparkling, a good spirit. And while Lord Arkus realizes that he can use the Sparkling’s powers to protect him from forces hunting him, he can’t directly use the spirit’s powers for anything evil. Being a bad guy is hard enough as it is without a good spirit breathing down your neck, but the Sparkling (named Jarvis) is intent on turning Arkus into a good guy. Talk about pressure!

My Sparkling Misfortune is one of those books that readers of all ages will be able to appreciate and enjoy. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book that had me giggling on just about every page, but My Sparkling Misfortune broke that streak. With such a snarky and hypocritical protagonist who refuses to admit that he actually has a heart of gold…well, how can you blame me? I was sold after the very first paragraph. Lord Arkus’ voice is strong, clear, and the irony and hypocrisy in his actions was hilarious. I could easily read 600 more pages of his story and not get bored. For as evil as he said he was, I just couldn’t bring myself to hate him, especially after he starts working with Jarvis. Jarvis was a wonderful supporting character, able to hold his own against Arkus’ volatile personality. The way the two of them bickered had me thinking that they were a married couple, rather than a master and servant.

Even though the book is short (just over 160 pages), it doesn’t lack in plot, detail, or positive morals. Lond’s world building is top notch, with just enough description for the reader to understand the magic of Arkus’ world and its culture. Even those who are not used to reading fantasy or those who are intimidated by it will find that My Sparkling Misfortune is easy to slip into. Like I said before, I’m positive all who pick up this book will have a fun time reading it! I hope that Lond writes a sequel sometime in the near future.