Today I Read…The Dark Lord & The Seamstress

tDL&tSToday I read The Dark Lord & The Seamstress written by J.M. Frey and illustrated by Jennifer Vendrig. This is the product of the successful Kickstarter that I wrote about back in September.

Once upon a time there was a seamstress of unsurpassed talent, a woman of kindness and intelligence and beauty. The Dark Lord of Hell heard of her skill, and sent a messenger asking her to come and make him fine new suits of clothing, clothes worthy of his magnificence (and a little more modern in style). But when she arrived, something unexpected happened. The Dark Lord fell in love.

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With the recent rise in the popularity of adult colouring books (which is a great trend, because they’re super fun and besides my niece rarely lets me colour in hers–sharing is not a toddler’s strong suit), Frey has been marketing The Dark Lord and the Seamstress as an adult coloring book in verse. And her colouring contests have been fun, and artist Jennifer Vendrig’s illustrations are charming (though I still think my favourites are the chibi ones that she drew for the marketing and Kickstarter campaign–they’re just so cute! Especially the expression on the Seamstress’ face when she sees the Dark Lord’s dorky mismatched outfit!) Dark Lord

But it almost feels like the focus on the pictures is a bit of a disservice to the story, which is equally as charming. It’s a lovely fairy tale, very reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast, except that the Dark Lord is not cursed to his appearance, more misunderstood. When the Seamstress learns to look beyond his red skin and frightful job and his terrible taste in clothing, she sees that his love is true. He is never forced to change, while she uses her talents to help dress the inhabitants of both Heaven and Hell. Both angels and devils are clothed in love and blood, in something that unites them all.

This is a picture book, but one I’d give to an older child. The rhyming verses sometimes use some advanced and old-fashioned words that might need to be explained. That said, this would be an excellent story to read aloud to an older child who can already read, say grade 4 and up.

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Once upon a time, oh yes,

So very long ago,

There was of course a lovely girl,

Who came to learn to sew.

And as it goes, fair listener,

She learned to sew so well

That even the Dark Lord Himself

Heard of her talent, down in Hell.

Dark Lord and the Seamstress Kickstarter

So my friend J.M. Frey, the author ofTriptych and Hero is a Four Letter Word, has written a picture book, called The Dark Lord and the Seamstress, with art by Jennifer Vendrig. It’s a staff pick on Kickstarter, and there’s only a few days left to donate. It’s over halfway there–it would be amazing if in the last few days it could get fully funded and out in time for All Hallows’ Read as planned. You can read the first few verses on the Kickstarter page, as well as see some of the preliminary art. Though personally I love the art for the announcement, as seen below–doesn’t he just look like a Really Big Dork, and she’s just So Not Impressed?

Dark LordIt’s an adorable book written by a very talented author, and I can’t wait to get my copy and review it here for all of you lovely readers–and if you donate to the Kickstarter, you can get your own signed copy, with your name on the backers’ list printed in every copy! Your name in a published book! You know, not on the cover, but it’s a start to every reader’s authorial dream, right? And everyone needs an adorable picture book. Plus, Christmas is coming up–it’d be a great gift! (hint hint)

So please donate, and see this whimsical little story come to life via the magic of Kickstarter.