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Magic Kingdom for Sale - Sold

Terry Brooks

Average Review Rating Average Rating 7/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Orbit

Published : 1986

Copyright : Terry Brooks 1986

ISBN-10 : PB 1-85723-256-9
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-85723-256-1

Publisher's Write-Up

Landover is a genuine magic kingdom, complete with fairy folk and wizardry, just as the advertisement promised. But after he purchases it for a million dollars, Ben Holiday discovers that there are a few details the ad failed to mention.

Such as the fact that the kingdom is falling into ruin. The barons refuse to recognise a king and taxes haven't been collected for years. The dragon, Strabo, is laying waste to the countryside, while the evil witch, Nightshade, is plotting to destroy the world. And if that isn't enough for a prospective king to deal with, Ben soon learns that the Iron Mark, terrible lord of the demons, has challenged all pretenders to the throne of Landover to a duel to death - a duel no mere mortal can hope to win.

But Ben Holiday has one human trait that even magic can't overcome. Ben Holiday is stubborn.

Magic Kingdom for Sale - Sold! is the first book in a gripping fantasy of mystery, magic and adventure from the author of the world-famous Shannara series.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (010502) Rating (7/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 7/10
This is the first of the Magic Kingdom of Landover series, and a present bought for me by Nigel. I think that they were a special offer by the book club, but never look a gift horse in the mouth and all that.

Ben is a disillusioned lawyer whose wife has died in a car accident and who feels that he is merely existing, not living in any way shape or form, and when he comes across a Magic Kingdom for sale in a specialist catalogue which used to be delivered to his wife, he thinks on the subject before arranging to meet a man called Meeks in New York.

Meeks is a strange man, and offers to sell the throne of this magical place to Ben for a million dollars. Ben thinks that this is an opportunity to try to get some sense of purpose back into his life, and agrees the sale.
Part of the deal is that if he decides that he does not want the kingdom within ten days, he can return to his world and he will receive his money back, but this is rather disrupted when, upon arriving in Landover, the inept magician, Questor Thews, gives him a sleeping draught which lays him out for the majority of the time which he could have spent looking carefully looking over his purchase.

The kingdom of Landover is joined to our world through the fairy world, and therefore involves little travelling for Ben, and on his way through the fairy lands, he sees a rather battered Knight, described as the paladin, the champion of the kings of Landover, unfortunately when Ben has problems, he seems unable to call the Knight to do his bidding.
The problems that Ben encounters show him to be a sensible man, who appreciates the difficulties faced by the kingdom after twenty years without a true king.

There have been kings, but all have purchased the throne, as has Ben, although they have had insufficiently noble motives to make them stay - they number more than twenty in so many years, so the people are resigned, to say the least, to the crown not participating in the life of the country.

This is well written, but for me was a bit childlike, even the characters are going to appeal to children, with the wizard who is more likely to release a flock of butterflies than to achieve something which would help the travelling king to escape from danger, his advisor was a man who has been transformed into a terrier, and a sylph, a child of the woods who falls in love with Ben at first sight, and who insists that it is her fate to be with him.

If I were fourteen I would probably have marked this much higher than I have done, but nevertheless, it is an engaging and lively start to a series, and I shall read further.
Chrissi (1st May 2002)

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