How To Become the Dark Lord and Die Trying (Dark Lord Davi #1), by Django Wexler

28 May 2024

The Book

How To Become the Dark Lord and Die Trying
Series: Dark Lord Davi
Pages: 432
Age Group: Adult
Published on 21 May 2024
Publisher: Orbit Books
HumourDark Fantasy
Available on:


Groundhog Day meets Guardians of the Galaxy in Django Wexler’s laugh-out-loud fantasy tale about a young woman who, tired of defending humanity from the Dark Lord, decides to become the Dark Lord herself

.Davi has done this all before. She’s tried to be the hero and take down the all-powerful Dark Lord. A hundred times she’s rallied humanity and made the final charge. But the time loop always gets her in the end. Sometimes she’s killed quickly. Sometimes it takes a while. But she’s been defeated every time.

This time? She’s done being the hero and done being stuck in this endless time loop. If the Dark Lord always wins, then maybe that’s who she needs to be. It’s Davi’s turn to play on the winning side.  

My Review

How To Become the Dark Lord and Die Trying is the first book in the humoristic dark fantasy duology Dark Lord Davi, written by Django Wexler, and published by Orbit Books. After 237 lives wasted in a temporal loop, Davi is tired for tying to be the hero and defend humanity; if the Dark Lord always wins, it's time for Davi to take this path and for once be on the winning side. But becoming the Dark Lord is a process that will take us to crazy situations and a whole new learning process.

Wexler takes the classic corpus of fantasy in this novel, and satirizes it in ways that make reading it a really fun experience, full of pop culture references. Davi's path towards becoming the Dark Lord will include becoming the leader of an orc band, intimate with fox people and even dealing with Eldritch like creatures, but never losing the irony and the sense of humour in the process, something that it's perfectly captured with the first person narration that the author has chosen; including plenty of footnotes that serves as additional commentary to the text.

Characters have an amount of depth that I didn't expect outside of the own Davi, but eventually you end loving the band that accompanies Davi. Talking about our aspirant to Dark Lord, you can totally get why she has decided to take a new path; 237 lives after, Davi definitely thinks that maybe there's no solution to the whole task of saving the kingdom, and that kind of nihilism drives her towards the dark side. Snarky and witty, but a person who also cares deeply for those that are part of her band.

Wexler's writing style is addictive, making this a book you fastly devour; he makes navigating through the loop a really smooth process, especially at those first those times that reduce Davi's path to a "trial-and-error" scheme, that for me felt at times like an RPG videogame with the quicksave option. You try, see that's not the correct choice, and repeat until you get to the desired path, but with the caveat that your starting point is always the same.

While it's not a perfect book, it's certainly a really fun read if you vibe with a modern humour style; if you were wondering how could be a sort of Tiranny campaign mashed up with a more traditional fantasy world, Dark Lord Davi is a great option!

The Author/s

Django Wexler

Django Wexler

Django Wexler graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh with degrees in creative writing and computer science, and worked for the university in artificial intelligence research. Eventually he migrated to Microsoft in Seattle, where he now lives with two cats and a teetering mountain of books. When not planning Shadow Campaigns, he wrangles computers, paints tiny soldiers, and plays games of all sorts.