My Sparkling Misfortune
(The Lakeland Knight series, Volume 1)
Laura Lond and Alla Alekseyeva
Amazon Digital Services
Fiction, YA Fantasy
DESCRIPTION: No man would ever accuse Lord Arkus of heroism - at least, none who live to tell the tale. Clever, devious, greedy, and ruthless, Arkus has made a reputation as one of the leading villains in the land, bane of prince and knight and goodly folk of all stripes. But even among villains exists a certain code of honor - which is why, when Prince Kellemar (normally the heroic type) proposed a temporary pooling of resources to deal with a shared threat, Arkus took him at his word. Unfortunately, while villains may have honor, heroic princes evidently do not. The deal was a trap, one that nearly cost Arkus his life. Barely escaping, losing his castle and his most trusted minions, he schemes vengeance in exile... but he cannot do evil alone. He needs a supernatural servant. And he knows just where - and how - to ensare one. But Arkus makes a vital mistake: the spirit he traps isn't evil. It's a sparkling, notorious companion of heroes and do-gooders. And it seems to suffer from the delusion that a hero's heart hides beneath his villainous skin.
It's going to be a long and painful road to vengeance. Or redemption. Whichever Arkus reaches first... assuming the sparkling hasn't driven him crazy before he gets there.
REVIEW: As one might expect, this is a lighthearted tale, a fun play on fantasy convention. The world isn't especially deep or distinctive, and the characters aren't startlingly original, but both do their job and held my interest for the length of the book. It reads fast and has some fun moments; but for the ending, which turns into a cliffhanger, it would've rated four stars. Unfortunately, I felt a bit cheated by the lack of resolution. This isn't so much an independent volume, as advertised, but the first half of a larger book. I also felt parts of the story were a little thin; I never really got a sense of Arkus as a villain, so his gradual transformation wasn't as unexpected as I thought the authors intended it to be. Overall, though, it's not a bad story, and I wouldn't rule out reading the second Lakeland Knight book. (Especially if it ever becomes available for free...)