Book Review – My Sparkling Misfortune by Laura Lond

MySparklingMisfortuneTitle: My Sparkling Misfortune
Author: Laura Lond
Illustrator: Alla Alekseyeva
Publisher: Laura Lond
First Published: 2011
Genre: Lighthearted Fantasy (YA)

He says he’s a villain, and he considers himself a good one — or would that a bad one? But he’s not. Not really. Not at heart. At his core, it seems that the Dark Lord Arkus (AKA the Lakeland Knight) is a hero in denial. In the course of this story, circumstances, and his reactions to them, make it increasingly difficult for him to ignore this.

To avoid spoilers, I’ll say little more about the plot.

The setting is a traditional fantasy world with kings, princes, knights, an evil necromancer with skeleton minions, and even a damsel in distress at one point. Then, there are the gormarks and the sparklings. They are described as ‘spirits,’ although they seem more like fairies or something like that to me. Of course, there are no good, commonly accepted scientific definitions for fantasy creatures like these. After all, they’re imaginary, but I tend to think of ‘spirits’ as a synonym for ‘ghosts,’ whereas the gormarks and sparklings definitely can take a physical form, and Arkus ends up with two of them physically following him. One of them is of the ‘evil’ gormark variety, and it wants to kill him. The other is a ‘sparkling,’ which everyone knows only attach themselves to true heroes.

The story is told in first person, with Arkus as the narrator, and the prose style makes it read almost like a journal or a letter (or, these days, a blog post). The vocabulary is simple, and although there were a few places where word choice or syntax seemed odd to me, overall the prose is well executed given the style.

An added bonus in this book is the artwork. There are several sketches of scenes, normally between chapters, and they are well done in an appropriate fantasy style. They are a nice addition to the story.

This is not a sophisticated book. It’s a fairytale. The simple message is that it is better to be loved than feared. It is better to help than to harm. There is little by way of satire, social commentary, or philosophical insight, but these timeless truths are worth repeating. The prose, straightforward plot, and length put this short book firmly in the YA category. Nonetheless, I think many older readers will enjoy it. I did. There is a good bit of innocent humor and it is a lot of fun. I recommend it for those who like to read about true heroes.

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About Dave

A reader and writer of speculative fiction. See my website for more information on me and my writing. https://dlmorrese.wordpress.com/

Posted on February 18, 2013, in Book Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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