NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Sweet, charming and skillful . . . an enjoyable journey, a helluva ride.”—January magazine
Ben Holiday, mere mortal turned monarch of the magic kingdom of Landover, has grappled with numerous contenders for his throne, but nothing could have prepared him for the most daunting of challengers: his headstrong teenage daughter, Mistaya. After getting suspended from an exclusive private school in our world, Mistaya is determined to resume her real education—learning sorcery from court wizard Questor Thews—whether her parents like it or not. Then, horrified that a repulsive Landover nobleman seeks to marry her, Mistaya decides that the only way to run her own life is to run away from home.
So begins an eventful odyssey peppered with a formidable dragon, recalcitrant Gnomes, an inscrutable magic cat, a handsome librarian, a sinister sorcerer, and more than a few narrow escapes as fate draws Landover’s intrepid princess into the thick of a mystery that will put her mettle to the test—and possibly bring the kingdom to its knees.
“Fans of Brooks’s magic kingdom of Landover will welcome this title. . . . There are plenty of treats.”—Publishers Weekly
Former Chicago lawyer Ben Holiday was very proud and quite happy. And why shouldn’t he be? The Magic Kingdom which he ruled as High Lord was finally at peace. He was free to lie back and watch as his new daughter grew. And grow she did—by leaps and bournds, shooting through infancy in a matter of months. She took her first steps and learned to swim in the same week. An amalgam of magic and heredity, Mistaya was born a seedling, nourished by soils from Landover, Earth, and the fairy mists, come into being in the dank, misty deadness of the Deep Fell. She was as lovely as her mother, the sylph Willow, with dazzling green eyes that cut to the soul. Ben wished he could enjoy his daughter’s childhood and his happy kingdom forever.
Alas, those idyllic days were not to last. For Rydall, king of lands beyond the fairy mist, rode up to the gates of Sterling Silver and shattered peace of Landover. His armies were poised on the border, ready to invade unless Ben accepted a challenge: Rydall would send seven champions to face Ben, each in a different form. If Ben triumphed over all seven, Rydall would then abandon his claims to the kingdom.
Some counseled the High Lord to refuse Rydall’s challenge, but Holiday could not, for Mistaya had been snatched from her guardians by foul magic. And Rydall held the key to her fate. . . .
Everything should have been quiet and pleasant for Ben Holiday, the former Chicago lawyer who became sovereign of the Magic Kingdom of Landover. But it wasn’t.
Horris Kew, conjurer, confidence-man, and trickster, had returned to Landover from Ben’s own world. Alas, Horris had not returned of his own volition—he had been sent by the Gorse, a sorcerer of great evil, whom Horris had unwittingly freed from the magic Tangle Box, where it had long ago been imprisoned by the fairy folk. Now it had returned to enslave those who had once dared condemn it. But first, it would rid Landover of all who could stand in its way. . . .
Soon Ben found himself imprisoned within the gloom of the Tangle Box, lost in its mists and its labyrinthine ways. The only one who could free Ben from the Tangle Box was the lady Willow. But she had disappeared, was gone from Landover on a mysterious mission of her own. . . .
Book Three of the Magic Kingdom of Landover Series
It all began when the half-able wizard Questor Thews announced that finally he could restore the Court Scribe Abernathy to human form. It was his spell that had turned Abernathy into a Wheaten Terrier—though with hands and able to talk.
All went well—until the wizard breathed the magic dust of his spell and suddenly sneezed. Then, where Abernathy had stood, there was only a bottle containing a particularly evil imp. It had been in the collection of Michael Ard Rhi, former King of Landover, now exiled to Earth. Abernathy must now be a part of that collection!
High Lord Ben Holiday set forth for Earth, taking his green but beautiful love, Willow, with him. Unfortunately, they were long in returning. And without the soil in which to root as a tree at times, Willow could not long survive.
That left it up to Questor Thews to save them. Grimly he set out to seek help, knowing himself to be incompetent. And to make things worse, the imp had escaped and sought the help of the evil witch Nightshade, now back from exile in Faerie.
A year had passed since Ben Holiday bought the Magic Kingdom from the wizard Meeks, who had set a series of pitfalls against him. Ben survived, by the aid of three loyal friends: Questor Thews, and ill-trained wizard; Abernathy, a talking dog, the Court Scribe; and the lovely Willow, who sometimes had to be a tree.
Bu ben had been troubled by dreams of disaster to his former partner, Miles Bennett. Yet when he returned to Earth, Ben found Miles doing splendidly.
Unknown to Ben, the dreams had been a trap by Meeks, who had returned to the Magic Kingdom as a tiny insect hidden in Ben’s clothing. That first night back in Landover, Ben awoke to see Meeks gloating over him. claiming to have the medallion that could summon the mysterious knight-protector, the Paladin, and that he had cast a spell to witch appearances with Ben.
Ben found himself outcast, no longer recognized by any friend, though all his powerful enemies seemed to know him. Without the medallion, he couldn’t seek the help of the Paladin against Meeks. There was only the prism cat—whatever that might be!
And where was Willow—and the mysterious black unicorn she’d set out to find?
Here in his first non-Shannara novel, Terry Brooks has written a gripping story of mystery, magic, and adventure—sure to delight fantasy readers everywhere.
Landover was a genuine magic kingdom, with fairy folk and wizardry, just as the advertisement has promised. But after he purchased it, Ben Holiday learned that there were a few details the ad had failed to mention.
The kingdom was in ruin. The Barons refused to recognize a king, and the peasants were without hope. A dragon was laying waste the countryside, while an evil witch plotted to destroy everything.
Ben’s only followers were the incompetent Court Magician; Abernathy, the talking dog who served as Court Scribe; and the lovely Willow—but she had a habit of putting down roots in the moonlight and turning into a tree. The Paladin, legendary champion of the Kings of Landover, seemed to be only a myth and an empty suit of armor.
To put the final touch on the whole affair, Ben soon learned that the Iron Mark, terrible lord of the demons, had challenged all prospective Kings of Landover to duel to the death—a duel which no human could hope to win.
The task of proving his right to be King seemed hopeless. But Ben Holiday was stubborn. . . .