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4.0 out of 5 stars First Terry Brooks Book I ever read,
Way back when I first started into fantasy, this one caught my eye. To buy a Kingdom was a cool idea. Of course at the time they don't explain all the 'bad' things which go with it and that you have to leave this world. LOved it.
Exceptional fantasy storytelling.
If you like books like this one, might I suggest another I've recently come across. The Unsuspecting...
Published on March 25 2006 by Jerry

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars I was expecting more
The book cover for 'Magic Kingdom' didn't look very promising to me, but I was inspired by its reviews, its comical premise, and the fact that Terry Brooks wrote it--hey, one of fantasy's best supposedly, though I never really made it through the first book of Shannara. The name itself suggests a fun, light-weight, humor filled adventure and that's what I went in...
Published on July 7 2004 by I. M. Umoh


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4.0 out of 5 stars First Terry Brooks Book I ever read,, March 25 2006
Way back when I first started into fantasy, this one caught my eye. To buy a Kingdom was a cool idea. Of course at the time they don't explain all the 'bad' things which go with it and that you have to leave this world. LOved it.
Exceptional fantasy storytelling.
If you like books like this one, might I suggest another I've recently come across. The Unsuspecting Mage by Brian S. Pratt. It's another fantasy adventure sure to please. I highly recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great initial concept, Dec 5 2011
By 
L. Guilbault "L.G." (brooks, alberta Canada) - See all my reviews
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This book series starts off by playing on one of humans' base desire for changing the face of history. By purchasing this magic kingdom, the protagonist fulfills what we all wish for: travelling to another world or time and influencing the outcomes in ways that otherwise are impossible. I first read this book in school (grade 9) and I have been hooked ever since. I just recently made my way back to the books and am in the middle of reading all the chapters.
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3.0 out of 5 stars I was expecting more, July 7 2004
The book cover for 'Magic Kingdom' didn't look very promising to me, but I was inspired by its reviews, its comical premise, and the fact that Terry Brooks wrote it--hey, one of fantasy's best supposedly, though I never really made it through the first book of Shannara. The name itself suggests a fun, light-weight, humor filled adventure and that's what I went in expecting.
I was disappointed. Almost all elements of Landover follow standard fairy-tale cliches. Granted, that is pretty much what was promised, but the book did little to make up for its lack of originality, in humor or otherwise. It's actually quite serious and dry, and too much of it is just plain boring. Sometimes I found myself taking in the words as quickly as possible without bothering to visualize the scenes or soak it in, just to get on with it. Strange since usually when a book doesn't interest me I'll hardly finish it, I guess in this case, like Ben, I was stubborn.
It starts slow enough, introducing us to Ben Holiday's normal life preceding the purchase of Landover, and doesn't really pick up that much once he moves into the Kingdom and we are introduced to his four companions: bumbling wizard Questor, the talking dog squire Abernathy, and a couple of fierce monkeyish warrior kinda guys.
One major gripe I have is that Landover feels so barren, like endless plains of uninhabited earth. For the most part it fails to give us a sense of a real, living world. "Where are all the people?" I asked myself at one point. There was no sense of things happening, until of course the fivesome journey forth to wherever they must be for the story to progress and people seem to appear. At some points you'd think they're living on the moon or something.
It's really the last 100 pages that save my impression of the book, it turns into a real page-turner with some surprising and captivating elements. The character of Strabo the dragon is awesome, very well done, my favorite in the entire book. Most of the characters throughout are quite well done I think, if not outstanding. I take that back. They serve their purpose I should say, though some of the scenes between them strike me as cringe-worthily melodramatic. Let me quickly inject a complaint that the constant quibbling of Questor and the dog wore swiftly thin. I didn't care much for Willow, she seemed thrown in just to serve the "necessary" romance portion, which I didn't care for at all. It's forgivable since it wasn't the focus of the book but it was pretty straightforward and cringe-worthy. Throwing in a fairy-tale creature more-or-less reserved for Ben just seems like the easy route, and it kinda annoyed me adding to the "substanceless fantasy" feel. For being the only other female character can't say I'm too impressed.
Now I realize this review is starting to drag on so I'll sum it up. Terry Brooks still has work to do to esteem himself in my eyes, from what I've read of him he doesn't strike me as that creative and his writing lacks that... grandeur. I will pick up book two of this series because, even though it's far from the best out there, somehow it managed to keep me reading to the end and I came to enjoy Landover and its tiny group of mismatched characters. I wish to stick around a little longer.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good book, seriously toned..., June 23 2004
By 
Earl P. Dean (Lexington, KY USA) - See all my reviews
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A highly successful lawyer falls into deep depression over a death in the family, as I remember. To fight this crisis he decides to do something brash: answer and ad he sees in the newspaper: to buy a magic kingdom for one million dollars. To the shock of his partners, he leaves his law practice. Then, having bought the kingdom, he discovers it has...quirks, which he has not expected. As king, he must rid the kingdom of a dark paladin and other evils. This book was good, with a spiritually resonant ending. I enjoyed it, and I will read its sequels. But it is not the refreshing, zealous sort of work he took delight in writing in Sword of Shannara and Elfstones of Shannara. This is sometimes a sad book, sometimes speckled with humor. Overall, it comes across as a mysterious adventure. I award it three stars instead of four because of occasionally strained humor that did not make me laugh, and a few thematically heavy turns that initially dragged me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My wife's first SF/Fantasy book, May 26 2004
Terry Brooks has a very charming writing style, totally disarming. You could notice that evenin his first Shanarra book; even while the story was a 100% rip-off of Tolkien.
I bought a used copy to read on the plane over the Atlantic; it served its purpose of providing good, sometimes clever, well written entertainment. My wife then read it - the first book of this genre she has ever read.
The story hoovers between science fiction and fantasy. A lawyer buys a magic kingdom. The kingdom is dying, and just a few faithful servants to the throne try to save it. The lawyer finds out that they seller has tried to cheat him, but instead of running he sets out to do his kingly duties.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Just plain and simple fun, March 20 2004
By 
Tyler Tanner (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
Ben Holiday, a successful lawyer and recent widower purchases a magic kingdom out of an exclusive catalog for a million dollars.

A great fantasy done by one of the best. A fun and action packed adventure that is refreshingly unpretentious. What makes this work is that the book never tries to be more than what it is. There is no deep rooted symbolism or abstract concepts to be found here. Just a cast of great semi-quirky caracters in a book with a unique charm. Those who like their fantasy in an epic scale look elsewhere. All others enjoy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Different from the rest, March 15 2004
By A Customer
I am an avid reader of fantasy so I thought I had already read any possible plot that an author could come up with. Yet with this book Terry Brooks has demonstrated the depth and scope of fantasy and has reminded me me once again why I originally gave myself into the pleasurable quicksand world of fantasy literature.
The plot is very meaningful. It would be extremely difficult to find anybody who has not at some point or other wished to just escape into a magic kingdom of his own and live a life of idyll and glory without any of our modern problems and stress. Brooks plays on this yearning to show the sometimes hilarious, sometimes scary consequences of such a wish. At the end though, what with the happy ending, such a yearning in the reader would just be strengthened, leaving a bittersweet aftertaste.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Different than the normal High Fantasy, Feb. 2 2004
By 
Christopher Nash "Fantasy Fanatic" (Whiteman AFB MO) - See all my reviews
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Ben Holiday, a long-time lawyer, who recently lost his wife Annie, finds an odd advertisement in the Wishbook Catalogue. The ad stated that a magical land, Landover, is for sale for one million dollars. He decided that this would be perfect because it would allow him to forget his sorrow. Thus begins his adventure and his ascension to the throne of Landover. In Landover, he must overcome demons, dragons, witches, as well as human obsticles. This was a fairly enjoyable book. It lacked the usual complexity of other fantasy novels, but had a very interesting twist to the story line. The author writes with a sense of humor. He also adds love into the mix. I would recommend this book for a short quick novel to pass some free time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Admittedly Sappy..., Jan. 19 2004
By A Customer
But still a very entertaining read, as seems to be the standard of any Terry Brooks novel.
Continuing his tradition of taking the blandest of plots and making it one of the most interesting books you'll ever read, he uses the idea of a 20th-century lawyer escaping into a world of run-of-the-mill, fairy tale fantasy, and keeps the reader turning the pages the whole way through. In my case, after reading his Shannara novels, I didn't expect any amazing emotional insights to be granted to me in the course of the reading, or the deepest of characters or the most ingenious conflicts or a world in which I could see myself making a decent living. There are plenty of books and series that I could (and have) read if I were looking for something of that caliber. Brooks writes solely to entertain, and he succeeded with this book.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Weak and rushed, Dec 21 2003
By 
K. A. Smith (Santa Cruz, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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I'd seen this book around, thought about getting it, and finally did. I love fantasy and thought because Brooks was a best-seller and all that, that this would be a delightful book. Boy was I wrong. Okay, it's a very neat idea, and the plot was tight, but that's about where my compliments end. There's virtually NO character development. I didn't care in the least about Holiday. I could not relate to him, or to any of the characters. I could not get into Holiday's mind. I didn't feel welcome. It felt like the story was rushed and happened way too quickly and easily. There were no guts to this story; it's superficial. It was silly--not in a good way--trite, and paper thin.
If you want to read a story about a real-world person entering a land of fantasy and having adventures there, read "The Woods Out Back" by RA Salvatore! THAT book is absolutely fabulous! It's witty, well constructed, believable, honest, meaningful, engaging--everything that "Magic Kingdom..." isn't. I heartily recommend it instead!
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Magic Kingdom For Sale--Sold!: (#1)
Magic Kingdom For Sale--Sold!: (#1) by Terry Brooks (Hardcover - March 12 1986)
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