How to Become the Dark Lord and Die Trying


By Django Wexler

Formats and Prices




$25.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around May 21, 2024. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Groundhog Day meets Deadpool in Django Wexler’s raunchy, hilarious, blood-splattered fantasy tale about a young woman who, tired of defending humanity from the Dark Lord, decides to become the Dark Lord herself.

"Takes the old saying 'If you can't beat 'em, join 'em,' to the next level. A sarcastic, action-packed, intrigue-filled (mis)adventure. One of the funniest books I've read in a long time."–Matt Dinniman, author of Dungeon Crawler Carl

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.

A humorous western isekai featuring the reincarnation of an antihero female lead.

Burningblade & Silvereye
Ashes of the Sun 
Blood of the Chosen 
Emperor of Ruin


  • "Tremendous fun."
    Kirkus (starred)
  • "Takes the old saying 'If you can't beat 'em, join 'em,' to the next level. A sarcastic, action-packed, intrigue-filled (mis)adventure. One of the funniest books I've read in a long time."
    Matt Dinniman, author of Dungeon Crawler Carl
  • “All hail Dark Lord Davi! How to Become the Dark Lord and Die Trying is outrageously fun, filled with campy humor, action and unexpected warm-heartedness. I grinned from the first page to the last.” 
    Fonda Lee, author of Jade City
  • "Funny as hell, multi-layered, and affecting. Wexler's irreverent demolition of the fantasy genre doubles as a reverent exploration of where the magic comes from."
    Scott Lynch, author of The Lies of Locke Lamora
  • "By turning the themes of chosen-one fantasy on their head, this sardonic romp from Wexler brings out the smiles ... Wexler balances the snarky asides with the angst of Davi’s repeating existence and evolving awareness that her actions have consequences. Under the flippancy, a truly touching grimdark story lurks, complete with hilarious footnotes. Readers will be wowed."
    Publishers Weekly (starred)
  • "All-afterburners Isekai adventure—twisty, pacey, and full of reverent irreverence for fantasy. I can't get enough."
    Max Gladstone, New York Times Bestselling Author
  • "Wickedly sharp, funny, and raunchy. Wexler delights in punching holes in the beloved cliches of fantasy, and I adore this. If you ever thought: if I was the villain, I'd actually be smart about things, then this is the book for you."
    Jenn Lyons, author of The Ruin of Kings
  • Davi's first-person narration is electric, filled with obscenities and hilarities... [her] questionable ethics, active libido, comfortable bisexuality, and leadership skills combine for a fresh and exciting take on the fantasy adventure.
    Shelf Awareness (starred)
  • "Fast-paced, brilliantly raunchy, unforgettable. The Pratchett-esque American isekai you didn't know you wanted. My favorite read of the year."
    Seanan McGuire, author of Middlegame
  • "A howlingly funny romp about a lone woman's quest to become the dark lord and her surprisingly endearing minions."
    Aliette de Bodard, author of The Red Scholar's Wake
  • "Django Wexler takes the concept of progression fantasy to a whole new level in this darkly comic delight of a novel. Finding comedic, and sometimes tragic, potential in the absurdities and contradictions offered by well worn fantasy tropes, How to Become a Dark Lord and Die Trying works wonderfully as both satire and tribute."
    Anthony Ryan, author of The Pariah
  • “Witty and clever but stuffed with heart to boot, a wonderful twist on familiar tropes presented with skill and polish and Wexler’s trademark pacing. I can hardly wait to read the next one!”
    Howard Andrew Jones, author of The Desert of Souls
  • "Awesome! This book is all kinds of fun. It’s dark, irreverent, and funny as hell. I tore through this thing in a day. It’s that good. All Hail Dark Lord Davi!"
    Sylvain Neuvel, the author of The Themis Files
  • "This book cold-cocked me out of the worst reading slump of my life, and I'm not just saying that to stay on Dark Lord Davi's dark side. Join the horde and read it!"
    Yoon Ha Lee, author of Ninefox Gambit
  • "High-brow fantasy? Low-brow hilarity? Maybe the other way around? Whatever, it's awesome. If only I was trapped in a time loop, then I could enjoy this gem fresh every day. Wexler's done it again!"
    Jason M. Hough, New York Times bestselling author
  • "Highly recommended for anyone who loved watching the 'hero' die in Edge of Tomorrow, readers who enjoy Christopher Buehlman’s, K.J. Parker’s and T. Kingfisher’s snarky, sarcastic, and ultimately pragmatic protagonists with hearts of gold, and especially readers looking for stories where the stock villains finally get a fair shake ... a wild ride of fake it ’til you make it, full of high adventure and low chuckles every step of the way."
    Library Journal
  • "A brash swords-and-satire romp that draws you into its rollicking adventure even as it pokes fun at the whole genre. Gamers in particular will appreciate the irreverent upending of classic roleplaying tropes."
    James L. Sutter, co-creator of the Pathfinder and Starfinder Roleplaying Games
  • "Wexler smashes a dozen tropes and then glues them back together like a Japanese vase in what can only be called a page-turning manic pixie Dark Lord story. Part portal fantasy, part Groundhog Day, part R-rated D&D campaign gone off the rails, and just so much damned fun. I honestly can’t remember the last time I had this much sheer fun with a book. "
    Peter Clines, NYT bestselling author of The Broken Room
  • "Lord of the Rings crossed with Groundhog Day, narrated by a gender-flipped Deadpool."
    Mike Brooks, author of The Black Coast
  • "Wexler’s wise-cracking heroine grabs the reader in the first sentence and never (and I mean never) lets go. With expert pacing, the plot has rhythm and energy...An utter delight from start to finish. Both hilarious and wise at once, Wexler has created a brilliant comedic novel and one hell of a ride!"
    Constance Sayers, author A Witch in Time
  • "A riotous fantasy-adventure series starter featuring Davi, a protagonist whose sarcasm and wit make her instantly endearing ... a rollicking ride readers won't want to miss."

On Sale
May 21, 2024
Page Count
432 pages

Django Wexler

Django Wexler

About the Author

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 writing, he wrangles computers, paints tiny soldiers, and plays games of all sorts.

Learn more about this author