Magic Kingdom for Sale/Sold PDF/EPUB ☆ Magic Kingdom

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Magic Kingdom for Sale/Sold 3.0 to 3.5 stars A pretty good book if you are looking for a lighter fare fantasy novel I thought the main character was well written and the story was engaging. This is lighter fare the kind of book that takes your mind off the real world Having read it almost three decades ago, I don t know if I m truly qualified to review it now, but I remember it as a refreshing palate cleanser at the time I went on to read and enjoy threein the series Plot wise, it s not overly original It s the basic portal Narnia type of novel So I can t say that it shaped the field or massively influenced it Basically, your white American male, Ben Holiday, is a lit This is lighter fare the kind of book that takes your mind off the real world Having read it almost three decades ago, I don t know if I m truly qualified to review it now, but I remember it as a refreshing palate cleanser at the time I went on to read and enjoy threein the series Plot wise, it s not overly original It s the basic portal Narnia type of novel So I can t say that it shaped the field or massively influenced it Basically, your white American male, Ben Holiday, is a little over the mundane American lifestyle and purchases the Magical Kingdom of Landover for 1 million dollars Landover is the real McCoy, replete with wizards and all manner of fae folk It seems the perfect opportunity to start afresh for Ben.Yet, like any bargain, there s a catch The Kingdom has been neglected greedy barons haven t paid taxes there s a dragon called Strabo wreaking havoc on the farmlands a nefarious witch, Nightshade, who takes pleasure in destruction and finally, the Lord of the Demonic Underworld has challenged the new king, Ben, to a duel to the death But Ben has friends, a wizard who Ben has turned into a talking dog, and a dryad like lady who transforms into a tree at night once a month As you can imagine, it s simply a fun page turner Brooks, as always, is fairly derivative, but he handles this world very well And I m eventually going to finish the rest of the series as it s simply a great escape Landover was a genuine magic kingdom, complete with fairy folk and wizardry, just as the advertisement had promised But after he purchased it for a million dollars, Ben Holiday discovered that there were a few details the ad had failed to mention Such as the fact that the kingdom was falling into ruin The barons refused to recognize a king and taxes hadn t been collected for years The dragon, Strabo, was laying waste to the countryside, while the evil witch, Nightshade, was plotting to destroy no less than everything And if that weren t enough for a prospective king to deal with, Ben soon learned that the Iron Mark, terrible lord of the demons, challenged all pretenders to the throne of Landover to a duel to the death a duel no mere mortal could hope to win But Ben Holiday had one human trait that even magic couldn t overcome Ben Holiday was stubborn My wife Barb enjoys being read to as well as reading by herself , and generally likes fantasy, as do I So it s not surprising that we ve read a fair amount together in that genre, nor that Terry Brooks was an author we ran across early We first read and liked his debut novel, The Sword of Shannara, reasonably well but we both agree that it has a very derivative dependence on Tolkien, which goes far beyond the obvious influence the British genre giant exerted on all the fantasists who followe My wife Barb enjoys being read to as well as reading by herself , and generally likes fantasy, as do I So it s not surprising that we ve read a fair amount together in that genre, nor that Terry Brooks was an author we ran across early We first read and liked his debut novel, The Sword of Shannara, reasonably well but we both agree that it has a very derivative dependence on Tolkien, which goes far beyond the obvious influence the British genre giant exerted on all the fantasists who followed him In fairness to Brooks, he does displayoriginality in at least a couple of the voluminous Shannara sequels, though those are the only ones we ve read The Magic Kingdom of Landover series of which this novel is the opener , IMO, is where Brooks actually finds his own authentic voice, and produces something that s not just a Tolkien knock off For that reason, and because of its intrinsic appeal, it s the part of his corpus that we ve liked the best and returned to the most.I ve characterized this as fantasy with a humorous touch, not humorous fantasy By that distinction, I mean that it s not written with the sole purpose of being funny practically from cover to cover, in the manner of, say, Terry Pratchett s Discworld books or Robert Asprin s Myth Conceptions series Our protagonist has experienced tragedy and been marked by it, which sets up the whole premise here the situation and plotting is not inherently humorous, and involves real danger, and Brooks incorporates serious and constructive psychological messages woven into the warp and woof of the tale But he also leavens it with a certain strand of situational and verbal humor in places the character of Questor Thews in particular helps to provide comic relief at times, as do the antics of the G home Gnomes so called because any people they visit soon come to tell them Go home, Gnomes though I can t remember if they re actually introduced in this book The overall tone is also, to my mind, somewhat lighter than that of the Shannara books that I ve read.Though only 39, Ben Holiday is a very successful and as a result, very wealthy lawyers in his milieu can make a LOT of money corporate attorney But since the accidental death of his pregnant wife two years ago, he s been empty inside, just going through the motions of living, ready for an escape any escape So when, as our story opens, his fortuitous thumbing through a high priced gift catalog turns up an ad for a supposedly bona fide kingship of a land where magic genuinely works, dragons exist, and medieval chivalry prevails, for the price of a million dollars, he s actually ready to consider the invitation Escape into your dreams and be born again Of course, he thinks, it has to be a bogus come on As it turns out, it s not Landover really exists, in a dimension of reality apart from our world but accessible, if you know how to do it and a mysterious man named Meeks will truly peddle that knowledge, for the asking price But there are a few critical facts that the ad doesn t mention, and which our hero will learn only once he s in Landover.Brooks tells a good, involving story, well paced, with rounded and engaging characters whom the reader will like well, except for the villains Fantasy elements are handled effectively, and will appeal to genre fans While it s not written with younger readers directly in mind, the book is suitable for all ages I don t recall any noticeable bad language, there s no sexual content, and none of the violence is grisly gory The sociology of Landover beyond the fact that its human society is feudal, with barons ruling over peasants isn t particularly well developed, and Ben s journey towards emotional healing is arguably a bit too glib, and not treated with great psychological depth But those are relatively minor quibbles.There are six books in the series to date Barb and I read and liked the next four The Black Unicorn, Wizard at Large The Tangle Box and Witches Brew All of these were read back in the 90s, and we got the books at a local flea market I only became aware of the sixth book, A Princess of Landover, very recently, so I can t say anything about it specifically But since, knowing how much of a backlog of retrospective reviews of pre Goodreads books I need to write, I m unlikely to review the others individually I will say I d recommend all of the first five books to fantasy fans, and to those wanting to try out the genre The books really should be read in order, to better understand the characters and story arc This is my first Terry Brooks and I was a little hesitant going in One of my good friends had recently skewered Swords of Shannara and I thought I might be stepping into a pile of crap However, I was pleasantly surprised with this story It was light and fun and I had a good time reading it Maybe Brooks got better as he continued to write or maybe this story just hit me at the right time Whatever it was, I liked this. This is my favorite book by Terry Brooks A normal business man finds himself looking to a propertiy for sale but its a kingdom He doesn t even believe it and he goes to find out about it He ends up buying it and goes to a far off world of new kinds Where he meets a wizard who turned himself into a dog, and his friend Willow a girl who at night turned into a tree This was not what he had expected to find in his new home As well as the responsability to go on an adventure to save the town This is my favorite book by Terry Brooks A normal business man finds himself looking to a propertiy for sale but its a kingdom He doesn t even believe it and he goes to find out about it He ends up buying it and goes to a far off world of new kinds Where he meets a wizard who turned himself into a dog, and his friend Willow a girl who at night turned into a tree This was not what he had expected to find in his new home As well as the responsability to go on an adventure to save the town in which he was now king It took me a while to sink into this book seemed like a lot of time was spent in Ben Holiday s disbelief at finding himself in Landover Yes, it was any sane person s natural response to leave town and enter a hidden world where a person can be accidentally half transformed into a dog I just don t want to spend so long wallowing in it It took me a while to feel any sort of sympathy for any of the characters For most of the book I was laughing when they got into trouble although some of t It took me a while to sink into this book seemed like a lot of time was spent in Ben Holiday s disbelief at finding himself in Landover Yes, it was any sane person s natural response to leave town and enter a hidden world where a person can be accidentally half transformed into a dog I just don t want to spend so long wallowing in it It took me a while to feel any sort of sympathy for any of the characters For most of the book I was laughing when they got into trouble although some of the characters warrant it particularly the inept wizard Questor, my favorite character Not until Ben s harrowing journey through Fairie did I start caring about him at all.The women of the story were flat While Willow was throwing herself at Ben I just gagged although I liked her a little better when she turned out to be not quite the sex object Ben would have liked And it was redeeming on Ben s part that threatened with her loss, he finally comes to accept her for what she is Nightshade wasinteresting, as the villains often are, but she was pretty much just evil, no motivation Not that the male characters were particularly better, but at least they were original.The Paladin s secret was frankly cheesy, and I didn t feel there was really enough precedent for it I may have just missed that, though And the attempt to bring some sort of psychological depth to the story came off as a little less than poignant.Still, there were redeeming points and even a few deep thoughts What do we seek in fantacy, be it through fiction or fairy tales, or through an ad in a department store wishbook Is it for us as it is Ben Holiday escape, wonder, nicely drawn lines between good and evil, big clashing battles instead of endless legalistic hearings in the name of justice In the piece of anti fantasy fantasy I m cobbling together, I take lots of stabs at those things But offered a chance to make a difference as a single person, I must admit I d be sold I always thought this was a funny read But it wasn t To tell you, managing a fantasy kingdom is not as easy as it sounds But I had a good time here I had a good time at Landover that it makes me sick of frustration that I could not find the second book of the series This was a book that constantly frustrated me by not making the most of its premise Here you have a pretty original premise, a humorous tone, and a diverse cast of characters, and yet all that emerges is a mildly engaging but not wholly entertaining read There were countless missed opportunities, and I couldn t help wondering how this book would have fared in, say, Terry Pratchett s farcapable hands. I actually enjoyed this series better than hisserious offerings.My attention drawn back to this one sentence reviewI found a typo.The book is a humorous one but not a straight comedy This falls into the category of literature and media for that matter which might be called humorous or comedy drama It s done pretty well By the way, if you read finish the book you may think that I had a sort of prejudice toward the hero because of, one of the charactersnot so, really Lesson I actually enjoyed this series better than hisserious offerings.My attention drawn back to this one sentence reviewI found a typo.The book is a humorous one but not a straight comedy This falls into the category of literature and media for that matter which might be called humorous or comedy drama It s done pretty well By the way, if you read finish the book you may think that I had a sort of prejudice toward the hero because of, one of the charactersnot so, really Lessons to be learned from the book Be careful of what you buy from those exclusive gift catalogs at Christmas