Dirk Lloyd, the Dark Lord trapped in the boy of a weedy schoolboy, returns in a darkly hilarious adventure set in the most ghoulish school you’ll encounter this side of the Darklands …

Fourth in the brilliant series that began with the Roald Dahl Funny Prize-winning DARK LORD: THE TEENAGE YEARS, also chosen as one of the Sunday Times’s 100 Modern Children Classics.

At the end of the American Civil War, Charley – a young African-American slave from the deep south – is ostensibly freed. But then her adopted mother is raped and lynched at the hands of a mob and Charley is left alone. In a terrifyingly lawless land, where the colour of a person’s skin can bring violent death, Charley disguises herself as a man and joins the army. Soon she’s being sent to the prairies to fight a whole new war against the “savage Indians”. Trapped in a world of injustice and inequality, it’s only when Charley is posted to Apache territory that she begins to learn what it is to be truly free.

When Kenny drags Nicky out of bed one morning, Nicky has no idea that he is about to witness a terrible act of destruction, and the senseless killing of an innocent animal. But Nicky manages to save something precious from the disaster, and his and Kenny’s lives are changed forever…

Dirk – according to his own account – is the earthly incarnation of a Dark Lord, supreme ruler of the Darklands and leader of great armies of orcs and warriors, intent on destruction and bloody devastation.

Following a colossal final battle between the forces of good and evil, the Dark Lord was defeated and hurled by his arch-foe’s spells into the Pit of Uttermost Despair. At the bottom of the Pit lies… a supermarket car park in the municipal town of Whiteshields, somewhere in modern day England.

And when he is found, and tries to explain that he is the Dark Lord, people think he means Dirk Lloyd. The fact that he’s trapped in the puny body of a schoolboy doesn’t help.