This is a very creative fantasy. The author and I have read many of the same books and seen many of the same movies and it appears we share a quirky sense of humor. I know this due to his frequent references to obscure events in other books. The protagonist is a graduate student working on his dissertation through a practicum where he is the "Dark Lord" an evil ruler. Avery, the Dark Lord graduate student's premise is that the forces of good need to be united by their opposition to great evil. Once the great evil is conquered there will be eons of peace and prosperity.
This all takes place on a subworld which might be identified as a parallel but not equal world. The center of the subworld universe is Mysterium where Avery is studying magic. Subworlds are more ephemeral than inner worlds such as Earth. Avery hopes by stabilizing Trelari, he can keep it from devolving into chaos and destruction.
Murphy's law leads Avery down the proverbial primrose path where his plans go off the tracks. He is forced to return to Trelari and start a quest with the heroes that opposed him as the Dark Lord. The quest is arduous and Avery discovers that without immense magic he isn't much of a hero.
This is an entertaining story with a complex plot and loads of humor.
This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.