Tag Archive: Sarah Jean Horwitz


Our borg Best of 2019 list continues today with the Best Books of 2019.  If you missed them, check out our review of the Best Movies of 2019 here, the Kick-Ass Heroines of 2019 here, the Best in Television 2019 here, and the Best Comics of 2019 here.

We reviewed more than 100 books that we recommended to our readers this year, and some even made it onto our favorites shelf.  We don’t print reviews of books that we read and don’t recommend, so this shortlist reflects only this year’s cream of the crop.

So let’s get going.  Here are our selections for this year:

Best Read, Best Fantasy Read, Best New Edition of Previous Published Work, Best Translated Work – A Hero Born: Legends of the Condor Heroes 1 by Jin Yong, translated by Anna Holmwood (St. Martin’s Press).  The first book in one of the most read books of all time finally makes its way to the U.S. after its premiere in Great Britain.  Readers will learn why George Lucas pulled its concepts for his Skywalker saga, and why generations of Chinese fans of fantasy of flocked to its heroes and villains.  Honorable mention for Best Fantasy Read: A Labyrinth of Scions and Sorcery by Curtis Craddock (Tor Books), The Dark Lord Clementine by Sarah Jean Horwitz (Algonquin Young Readers).

Best New Novel, Best Horror Novel, Best Historical Novel, Best Mystery Novel – The Cthulhu Casebooks: Sherlock Holmes and the Sussex Sea-Devils by James Lovegrove (Titan Books).  A truly literary work combining a smart Holmesian adventure and the dark mind of H.P. Lovecraft.  Readers will love Lovegrove’s approach, Holmes and Watson’s journey, and all the creepy surprises.

Best Sci-Fi Novel, Best Thriller – The Andromeda Evolution by Daniel H. Wilson (HarperCollins).  Wilson successfully conjured the spirit of Michael Crichton for this smart, creepy, and oddly current sci-fi sequel to The Andromeda Strain.  A cast of characters just like Crichton would have put together, and a must-read.

Best Franchise Tie-In Novel – Firefly: Magnificent Nine by James Lovegrove (Titan Books).  One of the best authors around crafts a worthy story to expand the Firefly canon and give fans their own new movie of sorts for the franchise.  Runner-up: Alien: Prototype by Tim Waggoner (Titan Books).  Honorable Mention: Death of the Planet of the Apes by Andrew E.C. Gaska (Titan Books).

Best Retro Read – Mike Hammer: Murder, My Love, by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins (Titan Books).  Collins continues to bring Spillane’s characters to life with thrilling prose and all the best pieces of noir drama and action.  Honorable mention: Brothers Keepers by Donald E. Westlake (Hard Case Crime).

Best Genre Non-Fiction – Industrial Light & Magic Presents: Making of Solo: A Star Wars Story by Rob Bredow (Harry N. Abrams).  Bredow’s unique access to the production made for a rare opportunity in any production to see details of the filmmaking process.  Every movie should have such a great deep dive behind the scenes.  Honorable mention: The Making of Alien by J.W. Rinzler (Titan Books).

There’s much more of our selections for 2019’s Best in Print to go…

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Review by Elizabeth C. Bunce

Sarah Jean Horwitz (Carmer & Grit) has conjured up the perfect middle-grade fantasy read… for all ages.  In The Dark Lord Clementine, a crisp, lively novel, she introduces us to a bold new heroine: Clementine Morcerous, heir to the Dark Lordship of the Seven Sisters Mountains.  Clementine’s Dark Lordling duties include tending to the frightful denizens of the Silent Farm: the magically-animated scarecrows, the venomous snakes in the snake pit, the fire-breathing chickens, and the nightmares.  Meanwhile, her father menaces the villagers below their mountain stronghold with curses, atmospheric phenomena, and other Qualifing Dastardly Deeds, to keep his status as Dark Lord active.

But the Seven Sisters hide a secret, and Clementine is sworn to protect it.  When Clementine’s father is cursed by a rival for his Dark Lordship, all the duties of the farm, including the dastardly deeds—as well as trying to save her father—fall to Clementine.  She gamely flings herself into the role of Dark Lord to Be, doing her level best to communicate with the cryptic Lady of the Lake, fend off witches, and wrangle an unexpected—and surprisingly loyal—band of knights.  Almost against her will, Clementine builds an army of friends determined to see her succeed in her Dark Lord ambitions.

The book is called The Dark Lord Clementine, however, and all is not as it seems.  Betrayal lurks among her newfound companions, and Clementine must decide whether being the Dark Lord is really all it’s cracked up to be.

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