Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Review: My Sparkling Misfortune by Laura Lond

My Sparkling Misfortune by Laura Lond
Release Date: March 1, 2011
Publisher: CreateSpace
Pages: 164
Received: Finished copy from author
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads Page 


From Goodreads:

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.


What a surprising little book!

I am so happy I read blogs. It was the collection of glowing reviews from A YA Reader, Brush Up On Your Reading, J'Adore Happy Endings, and My Precious that spurred me to contact author Laura Lond and request a copy for review. I am SO glad I did, because this book is such a gem!

Do you like to laugh?

Well, get ready to laugh! Lord Arkus is a villain and he relishes it. His first-person narration totally makes this book and had me snickering throughout the entire 164 pages--starting with the very first page. His snarky commentary and the way he revels in his villainy are hilarious.

If you like the tongue-in-cheek style of writing found in Patricia C. Wrede's (excellent) Enchanted Forest Chronicles or Vivian Vande Velde's novels and short stories, then I think you'll absolutely love My Sparkling Misfortune.

A story with heart

Lord Arkus and the laughs he inspired were enough to make me love this book, but there is so much more! The messages in My Sparkling Misfortune are pretty clear, but not so much that I ever groaned about them. Instead, I loved that they were there because they completely warmed my heart. This is such a feel-good story about friendship, self-worth, stereotypes, and how a person should be judged on their actions not their labels.

These touching messages, the way the characters delivered them, and the characters themselves made me grow so attached to this world. I didn't want the story to end and I hope Laura Lond writes more about Lord Arkus and his sparkling misfortune.

This is how you do it!

For only 164 pages, there's a surprising amount of plot. I loved how Laura Lond introduced bits of information throughout the book that slowly came together to form a bigger picture. I thought it was clever, but I think MG kids (the intended audience) will really get a kick out of piecing the puzzle together.

Not only that, but the elements that make up the book are a combination of wonderfully fractured fantasy themes and characters (again, think The Enchanted Forest Chronicles) combined with impressively original ideas. The whole concept of sparklings and gormaks was so unique. I'm still in delighted shock at how much depth Laura Lond was able to add to her world/creature-building with so few pages. Fantastic!

Bottom line

I hope there's more! The ending is left pretty open, though the main events are all wrapped up nicely. I want more resolution on one plot point in particular, but the biggest reason I'm chomping at the bit for more is because I'm so in love with Laura Lond's characters and world. As soon as a sequel comes out (please!) I'm snatching that sucker up!  

Edit: In case you missed it, Lord Arkus himself has posted in the comments to inform us all that a sequel is in the works! My Royal Pain Quest will be out in October of 2011!

Extra bonus: The illustrations by Alla Alekseyeva are fantastic! Plus, it's super cheap right now on Amazon for the Kindle edition! (I'm not an Amazon Affiliate, so I won't profit if you do buy it. I'm just a shameless book pusher.)

Explanation of rating system: Star Rating Key 

Do you have any questions about My Sparkling Misfortune that I haven't addressed? 
Feel free to ask in the comments!

Looking for another book like this? 
You might like: 

Click on the covers to go to my reviews.


  1. The blurb hooked me right then and there! Haha, I love all the sparkling that's mentioned ;) I loved Vivian Vande Velde's book, Heir Apparent, so if you recommend this one for fans of that one, then count me in! I really like how this book touches on deeper messages, and that probably has a great impact on younger audiences. Plus, there's illustrations! How much better can the deal get? Fantastic review, Smalls!

  2. This sounds wonderful - I've put it at the top of my TBR, for whenever I get around to buying books again. I was hooked by the summary, and so I'm so glad you liked it. I'm definitely going to get my hands on a copy of this book. Thanks, Small!

    T.B. I totally agree! And I love Heir Apparent too! I reread it last week, and will be posting a review on my blog, Pica Reads, within the next week.

  3. I remember you mentioning this book before, and I sort of wanted to read it ever since.

    I'm so glad it turned out so great! I sort of love villains in a way, so I think I'm going to love this.


    Awesome review.

  4. Oh this sounds like such a feel good read and sometimes it feels like there isn't enough of them out there. Even though fantasy is not my thing you have got me thinking maybe about this book. Awesome review again Small :)

  5. I do love me some snarkiness and this sounds hilarious; I wasn't familiar with this book before but I'm definitely intrigued now.

  6. I love snarky characters and this Lord Arkus sounds delightful. Stories with heart that don't hit the reader over the head with messages repeatedly sounds like my cup of tea. I'm really surprised this one is only 164 pgs! Looking forward to reading this one. Thanks for the recommendation and great review, Small!

  7. Yay, so glad you loved this one! I'm hoping that there's going to be a sequel too. I can always use a few more laughs.

  8. Another great one to add to the list. I'll recommend this one to the librarian at school for sure! I can tell how much you love this one!


  9. It sounds like a cute little story. I enjoy reading a little MG every so often. Fablehaven was an awesome series. I really do love fairy tales. I'm going to have to look this one up!

    In the Closet With a Bibliophile

  10. Only 164 pages and packed with this much greatness? I've gotta read it!

  11. Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

    How nice to have stumbled across this discussion of my adventures. Snarky, yes, that I am...

    Anyway, I just wanted to stop by and confirm that I indeed plan to release a sequel this coming October. It will be titled My Royal Pain Quest.

    All the best,
    Lord Arkus

  12. This is so awesome, I'm glad you liked this one as much as I did. What a great review. You have summed up my thoughts exactly! :-) I'm with you, I hope there is more...

  13. T.B., Glad I’m not the only one who saw the word “sparkling” and thought, “Yes please!” :P Do you know Vivian Vande Velde’s kind of dry humor? That’s what I think this book has in common. The voice of the narrator is great and has a very similar sense of humor. I hope you like it!

    Pica, I hope you like it! I can see you liking it given your tastes. :)

    Alex, Lord Arkus kind of reminded me of a Disney villain…but with more heart. I think you’ll like it!

    Nic, It is a feel good book. It is fantasy and more MG, but I think you might like it.

    Bookworm1858, It’s very funny. Lord Arkus totally doesn’t hold back with the snarkiness and blunt honesty about his villainy. I hope you like it!

    Rummanah, The messages are pretty obvious, but I think Lord Arkus and the plot are so strong that they don’t get overwhelmed. I was surprised at how much was in such a short book too! I hope you like it :)

    A Canadian Girl, Thank you for your review which helped motivate me to read it! I’m so glad I did. There will be a sequel!

    Heather, Thanks for recommending it to your library! I think you’d like it, too. :)

    Jen, Fablehaven is on my list! I have the first book stashed…somewhere :P I hope you like this one!

    Alyssa, I hope you like it!

    Lord Arkus, Wonderful news!

    Gina, There will be more! Thank you so much for your review :D


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