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. . . .
Brooks bestselling Shannara trilogy may have been at heart a formulaic fantasy but its vigorous storytelling and intriguing characters won many readers. In his first non-Shannara novel, he takes on another well-worn premise: the contemporary Earthling transported to a fantasy world. Ben Holiday is a lawyer who finds little satisfaction in his work. His yearning for a simpler life seems thwarted when he finds the magic kinddom of Landover, a close analogy of Earth, with precariously balanced powers threatening each other, massive pollution, and general discontent centering on a lack of faith in leaders. This first volume in the new series is mainly introductory as Ben meets the locals and dashes off a few impossible tasks to assert his right to the throne. While still inventive, Brooks fails badly in his lackluster, unbelievable protagonist, his preachy moral tags and the adolescent, daydream quality of Ben's triumphs. Shannarafans are in for a disappointment. 150,000 first printing; major ad/promo; author tour.