Thursday, November 03, 2011

A School for Villains - Ardyth De Bruyn


If there's one thing Danny's not, it's evil.  But when it's good to be bad, it's nearly impossible to get kicked out of villain school.

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 fulfill 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-colored monkey, and the cafeteria lady enjoys serving stewed cockroaches or fried 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.

Bio:  Ardyth DeBruyn is a native Oregonian with a restless nature and a degree in Anthropology. After hiking over 1500 miles across Europe and living on the Mexican border for a year, she settled back in the Pacific Northwest (for now) to write fantasy stories. She has decided she can type herself into adventures faster than walk. She has fiction published in a number of webzines and a novel, “Chosen Sister,” available as an e-book. Her second novel, “A School for Villains,” is now available at Amazon, and coming soon to other e-book outlets.
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Note from the blogger: I had the pleasure of reading this book in critiques. That was quite awhile ago. I knew that Ardyth's first published book, "Chosen Sister," had been released through WildChild Publishing. I guessed this book would also go through the same publisher. Instead, Ardyth decided to do her own thing based on the success of other Indie authors. One thing Ardyth has is an Ace in the Hole. Her brilliant artist brother, Leo, created not only a stunning cover, but black and white interior illustrations.

This is such a fun book to read. I'm very happy Ardyth is doing it right along with her own way. This is definitely a book that should belong to your read over and over collection of YA fantasy.


Chapter 2

The Dark Chariot Pays a Visit

Danny woke with a sense of impending doom. The large black envelope, primly propped up against the candlestick on his bedside table, did not suggest today was going to go any better than yesterday. The silver seal, shaped like a devil’s head, seemed to grin mockingly at him. Underneath, in lacy silver lettering, read: Dark Lord Academy—pro peiore potestate. Danny rubbed his eyes and looked again. Nope, still there. He swallowed hard and reached out to poke it with a finger.

The envelope fell flat.

Danny sat up and groaned. It was much too early to deal with something like this. Should he open it? Could he not open it? Danny glowered. He’d let Pa do the honors. That way if it was cursed, it would be justice for Pa to get it. He dragged himself out of bed, carefully picked up the letter, and pinched Dicky’s foot as he passed him on the way out.

“Get up, lazybones.”

“Oww,” Dicky mumbled and buried his head in the blankets.

Danny rolled his eyes and headed into the main room. Amos stood by the fire, stirring the pot of porridge. Pa lounged in his usual chair, discussing horseshoe orders. Resisting the desire to glare at Pa, as it would only get him angry and insistent, Danny shoved the letter at him.

“What’s that?” Pa asked.

“Didn’t you put it by my bed?”

“No.” Pa frowned. “But then, those Dark Lords are uncanny fellows. I suppose they magicked it here.” He handed the envelope back to Danny. “Go ahead, son.”

That was distinctly not reassuring. They’d responded that fast? Danny needed time to think this through, a plan to prove he wasn’t fit for villain school. “What if it’s dangerous?”

Pa laughed. “Oh, come on, it’s not like they’d hurt one of their well-paying students. Open it.”

Danny hid a grimace. Taking a deep breath, he broke the seal. A column of black smoke burst from the envelope. He dropped it and jumped backwards. High-pitched laughter came from inside.


The smoke condensed into a squat and contorted creature. Danny squinted. It was pond-slime green, had pointy ears that stuck out sideways, and a nasty leer on its face. Danny had never seen a goblin before, but this had to be what they looked like.

If that doesn't tempt you, then you just aren't a fan of YA fantasy.

1 comment:

  1. Aww. This sounds like a sweet and interesting little read. Very different, too. :)