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The Tangle Box


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Ex-lawyer Ben Holiday's peaceful reign as king of the magic realm of Landover takes a decided turn for the worse with the arrival of con man and conjurer Horris Kew, an unwitting agent for an evil power that seeks to control the good folk of the kingdom. Where Brooks's popular Shannara novels (The Talismans of Shannara, LJ 2/ 15/93) pay tribute to traditional epic fantasy, his Landover series-of which this is the latest-displays the author's genuine flair for humorous fantasy. A good selection for most fantasy collections, and one that will probably be in demand.

Gr 9 Up-Horris Kew, an Ichabod Crane look-alike who was exiled to Earth, and his bird Bigger have unwittingly returned to the Magic Kingdom of Landover and brought back with them an Evil darkness. So begins Terry Brooks's light fantasy (Random/Del Rey, 1994) narrated by Dick Hill, whose reading will immediately draw in listeners. Discover exactly what or who the Evil Darkness is, whether Ben will make it out of the Tangle Box, why Willow leaves her husband, Ben, and goes off on a journey by herself, and what will become of the kingdom of Landover. Who will stop the ancient Evil and save the kingdom? Hill's narration provides unique voices and distinct personalities for each character. What fun to have a king, a queen, a court scribe who is part dog, a court wizard, a witch, a dragon, a faerie-cat, a talking bird, and an ancient Evil populate this tale. For those unfamiliar with any of the previous titles in the series, it may be a bit difficult at the beginning to figure out the nature of some of the characters, but as the story progresses it is fairly easy to catch up. High school students will enjoy this humorous fantasy with adult situations.-Anita Lawson, Otsego High School, MI Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Brooks continues the magical adventures of Ben Holiday, ex-trial lawyer and now the reigning ruler in the Magic Kingdom of Landover. This latest installment in the series is slower and less charming than its predecessors ( Magic Kingdom for Sale--Sold! ; Wizard at Large) , but it is still likely to please readers already hooked. Horris Kew and his talking avian sidekick are brought back from Earth to Landover, where Horris is tricked into letting the Gorse, an evil spirit, out of the Tangle Box, where it has spent a very long time dwelling on its entrapment by the fairies. Now the Gorse wants to overrun Landover and manages to imprison Ben Holiday, the witch Nightshade and the dragon Strabo inside the Tangle Box. Holiday's wife, the non-human Queen Willow, is pregnant and must perform her own difficult quest to ensure a healthy birthing for the child. Meanwhile, with Holiday out of the way, the sinister Gorse coerces Horris into creating serious mischief in the Kingdom. This rather haphazard tale liberally inserts many of the characters made popular in previous books, which may be an asset for hardcore readers who like their fantasy lite. Author tour. (May)

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