October 2011, Kindle,
Themes: darker side of magical life, fierce yet loyal creatures, magic school, interesting forms of detention, good vs evil debate, heaps of humour
Thirteen-year-old Danny is astounded when his father decides to send him to Dark Lord Academy to learn to be a villain. Pa claims it will make him stand out and fulfil his own lost childhood dreams. Being evil doesn't appeal to Danny, but he's always been a good and obedient son, so he goes.
Dark Lord Academy's not just unappealing, it's downright terrible. His advisor dyes Danny's blond hair black and changes his name to the unpronounceable Zxygrth. He can't get the hang of maniacal laughter, his second-in-command servant is a puke-coloured monkey, and the cafeteria lady enjoys serving stewed cockroaches or friend bat wings. A run in with a hero results in hate mail and he gets caught up in a rivalry with the school bully. The only way for Danny to stay alive is to find his inner villain.
Danny was pretty unfortunate in what happened to him, even more so because right until the end he wonders what is good and evil. It's very easy to cross the lines of both. I adored his friends, in particular Daisy who is outgoing and appears good (but isn't). She is superenthusiastic about everything which reminds me of myself when I'm hyper. What made this witty read more entertaining were some of the amusing takes from a certain HP series, making this a 10/10 read.
Be sure to check out Ardyth's website to learn more about her and her books.
Read Ardyth's Chosen Sister (this is the new version of the cover, being printed in paperback. Contrary to the original cover, the book isn't Young Adult, it's 9 years +)