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The Black Unicorn PDF, ePub eBook A year had passed since Ben Holiday bought the Magic Kingdom from the wizard, Meeks. But unbeknownst to him, he has been the victim of a trap by Meeks, who has succeeded in stealing the Paladin and appropriating his face. Suddenly none of Ben's friends know him, but all of his enemies do. He must win it all back again--only this time on his own!

30 review for The Black Unicorn

  1. 5 out of 5

    Aryn

    The King of Landover has had his identity stolen by an evil wizard! Everyone believes the wizard to be Ben Holiday, the King, and Ben Holiday appears to them as a stranger. He is cast out of his castle by his friends. Thus begins a journey searching for the woman, Willow, who in turn is on a journey looking for the Black Unicorn. This is a tale of magic, demons, dragons, unicorns, self-discovery and understanding, and love. This was a fun read. When my ex's dad bought me the first book in the ser The King of Landover has had his identity stolen by an evil wizard! Everyone believes the wizard to be Ben Holiday, the King, and Ben Holiday appears to them as a stranger. He is cast out of his castle by his friends. Thus begins a journey searching for the woman, Willow, who in turn is on a journey looking for the Black Unicorn. This is a tale of magic, demons, dragons, unicorns, self-discovery and understanding, and love. This was a fun read. When my ex's dad bought me the first book in the series years ago, when I finished it, I had turned to my ex and said, "Wow, that was campy fantasy." I hold by that assessment. It felt like fun, campy, classic fantasy. My favorite character by far, was a Prism Cat from the fairy realm, named Edgewood Dirk. Ben Holiday is not the brightest crayon in the box, by a long shot and Dirk spends all of his time cat-slapping sense into him. Of course, this sense takes almost 220 pages to sink in. I had the "twist" figured out pretty quickly; Ben, however, had to have it kicked into him by a talking cat. The themes were strong; though, from time to time, I felt like I was being bludgeoned by said themes with a brick, because Ben was just so oblivious. Ben spends the entire book looking for this sylph, Willow. He obsesses over her at every fucking turn and yet, it takes him until the very very end to admit to himself that he (view spoiler)[is in love. (hide spoiler)] What a fucking moron. Gods, it was a fun read but Ben really needed to have some sense knocked into him, hard.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Joy H.

    RE: The Black Unicorn by Terry Brooks I recently finished reading this book, the second in Brooks' Landover series. (I have also read the first in the series, Kingdom for Sale, Sold!) I enjoyed following up on the characters and story from the first book. It was fun to read, not as compelling as some other books I've read, but fun to read just the same. I took it a little at a time because at times the plot seemed to be a bit slow. So I'd close the book and go onto another book until I was ready RE: The Black Unicorn by Terry Brooks I recently finished reading this book, the second in Brooks' Landover series. (I have also read the first in the series, Kingdom for Sale, Sold!) I enjoyed following up on the characters and story from the first book. It was fun to read, not as compelling as some other books I've read, but fun to read just the same. I took it a little at a time because at times the plot seemed to be a bit slow. So I'd close the book and go onto another book until I was ready to relax again with this gentle fantasy. It's a friendly read. I'd call it "gentle suspense". I enjoyed all the characters as well as Brooks' easy style, dotted with little sparks of humor.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Summer

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The Landover series continues in the mode of the first book, right down to the cast. There's only one new character of real consequence; fortunately it's a wonderful one. The prism cat Dirk, with his aloof, obtuse, disdainful, maddening catness, upstages even Questor. The latter has a few good moments - accidentally/on purpose producing a shower of poseys and butterflies and allowing the elusive unicorn to escape. But when the inept wizard challenges the dragon to a contest of magical skill, the The Landover series continues in the mode of the first book, right down to the cast. There's only one new character of real consequence; fortunately it's a wonderful one. The prism cat Dirk, with his aloof, obtuse, disdainful, maddening catness, upstages even Questor. The latter has a few good moments - accidentally/on purpose producing a shower of poseys and butterflies and allowing the elusive unicorn to escape. But when the inept wizard challenges the dragon to a contest of magical skill, the duel fails to deliver its potential hilarity. As for the rest... the writing ranges from fair to terrible ('the tenacity of gastric-induced stress'??!) There's a big information dump at the end, the Important Stuff is handled cheesily, and the characters spend a lot of time pondering the obvious. One cannot help but feel a bit of Dirk's disdain for such bumbling bipeds. Not even the all-knowing cat remarks on just how shallow they all are. There's a great little moment when the reluctant canine Abernathy is faced with destroying the magical books that may return him to his human form, but past that crisis, you realize that was the only interesting thing about him. Brooks has wrung all of his characters dry. And though Landover's future stretches out before it, there's nothing left to tell.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Valyssia Leigh

    This is the last book in this series I'll read. I really don't like the MC. Ben Holiday is whiny and too stupid to have the history his author claims. I coped with this during the first book because he has quite a lot to whine about, and while there's nothing novel about the concept of a hidden fantasy world that exists alongside our own, the setup was still mildly amusing. In this book the whiner is back. He's been king of Landover for a year. In the time, he's learned nothing. He's done nothin This is the last book in this series I'll read. I really don't like the MC. Ben Holiday is whiny and too stupid to have the history his author claims. I coped with this during the first book because he has quite a lot to whine about, and while there's nothing novel about the concept of a hidden fantasy world that exists alongside our own, the setup was still mildly amusing. In this book the whiner is back. He's been king of Landover for a year. In the time, he's learned nothing. He's done nothing. He's just as stupid and just as whiny. The plot of this novel involves him losing his identity to an 'old magic' and with it the throne of Landover. *sigh* Better than half of the content of this book involves Ben Holiday, High King of Landover and former high power attorney from Chicago whining at and arguing with a cat. Ben's problem: a bad, bad man convinces him that he isn't himself. The MC suffers from a run of the mill identity crisis rooted in nothing more magical than simple anxiety. The cat outright tells him that every sapient being creates its own reality. Ben can't figure out what that means! He's supposedly managed to get through law school, and has founded a successful law firm, yet he doesn't know that if he goes into court believing himself a failure, he will lose. And the tedium grinds on for another 250 or so pages after this gem is dropped. I could also note that this is yet another fantasy series with one female character to serve as bucket and prop for the hero, but what's the point? I could grow old and die having done nothing more than inventory victims of the male ego. That I didn't tear my hair out is the only thing 'good' I found about this book. And that wasn't about the book, at all. So, yay! Go me! I still possess enough patience to spare a bit for bad fiction.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Artnoose McMoose

    Because I live in a house with a science fiction / fantasy library in the living room, I challenged myself to read the following three books: 1. One Piers Anthony novel 2. One Star Trek novel 3. One Terry Brooks novel I started with this book and about 25 pages into it, I wondered about this challenge. I wondered why I was wasting my time reading bad books when there are so many good books on my list I want to read. And this is a bad book. Really poor writing. Predictable character types, cliche meta Because I live in a house with a science fiction / fantasy library in the living room, I challenged myself to read the following three books: 1. One Piers Anthony novel 2. One Star Trek novel 3. One Terry Brooks novel I started with this book and about 25 pages into it, I wondered about this challenge. I wondered why I was wasting my time reading bad books when there are so many good books on my list I want to read. And this is a bad book. Really poor writing. Predictable character types, cliche metaphors, you name it. I got about a third of the way through and realized it just wasn't worth the "unicorn book" merit badge on my Nerd Scouts sash.

  6. 5 out of 5

    deilann

    Originally posted on SpecFic Junkie. In this book, everyone holds the idiot ball! And so a lot of bad things happen! Somehow, that's not entirely enjoyable! There are mild spoilers in this review! Look! Exclamation marks! So, the first thing Ben Holiday is told about being King of Landover is that the magical king amulet thing can't be taken away from him. He has to give it away voluntarily. So when bigBadEvilWizard says that he gave it away in a dream that Holiday can't remember, he just believes Originally posted on SpecFic Junkie. In this book, everyone holds the idiot ball! And so a lot of bad things happen! Somehow, that's not entirely enjoyable! There are mild spoilers in this review! Look! Exclamation marks! So, the first thing Ben Holiday is told about being King of Landover is that the magical king amulet thing can't be taken away from him. He has to give it away voluntarily. So when bigBadEvilWizard says that he gave it away in a dream that Holiday can't remember, he just believes him. So now bigBadEvilWizard is doing bigBadEvilWizard things and Holiday is just out of luck because no one recognizes him. In fact, no one recognizes that the person they think is Holiday, who they think is a pretty rad king, is doing bigBadEvilWizard things, rather than rad King things. And Holiday can't figure out that when everyone tells him the magic that's making him not recognized as King of Landover is his own doing, all it means is that he's not confident in himself. So, why is that really fucking annoying? Because the entire last book's premise was that he couldn't truly be King of Landover until he believed in himself. Oh, hey, look! Recycling! The only person who's not holding the idiot ball the entire fucking time is Abernathy, the court scribe and resident dog. Well, and maybe Willow, but we don't see her much until the end, where everyone figures everything out at once. (Okay, to give the plot some credit his biffles figure out the whole "not!King" thing a bit before everyone figures out the sort of central plot McGuffin.) Abernathy, see, had the right mind to think that three people who feel compelled to do things they've dreamed might be being manipulated and shouldn't immediately run off to do shit they dreamed. Ha! So clever, that dog!Scribe. Blah, blah, blah unicorns and magic. Seriously, though. Who makes a unicorn a fucking McGuffin? Unicorns totes deserve better. Readers deserve better. Do yourself a favor: skip this one. I might have found it good when I was a teenager, but I know I can and will read better books. Well, unless I start a bad one. Also, there's a better book called Black Unicorn anyway.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    Originally read: Many years ago.... (around 1998) Re-read May 2016 4 1/2 stars *Review in progress* I really do love this series. Easy and enjoyable. Lots of magic, a bit of action and comedy and lots of terrific story and fantastic creatures! We get a new character in this one. Dirk the Prism Cat. He is one of my new favorites in this series. A cat and Fae creature in every way! Ben is a bit dense in this one and he really plays the poor victim card but at least he doesn't fully give up. This book Originally read: Many years ago.... (around 1998) Re-read May 2016 4 1/2 stars *Review in progress* I really do love this series. Easy and enjoyable. Lots of magic, a bit of action and comedy and lots of terrific story and fantastic creatures! We get a new character in this one. Dirk the Prism Cat. He is one of my new favorites in this series. A cat and Fae creature in every way! Ben is a bit dense in this one and he really plays the poor victim card but at least he doesn't fully give up. This book focuses on several different members of the core group, which was different from the first book where all we see is Ben's perspective. Although Willow's timeline seems off from other members for the first 1/2 of the book which bothered me a bit. Meeks is a sneaky but cowardly man who drives me nuts! And what is up with the River Master in this book?! I have no idea what to think of his character anymore... The cover I almost hate. First off, Willow's shade of green is too bright I think. Unnatural. A pale green is how I envisioned her but this image tries to ruin that. And the "unicorn" looks like a donkey! Why?! Just....No.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Charlton

    I really liked this book,and thought it was as good if not better than Magic Kingdom For Sale-Sold. More story-lines going on at the same time and just a touch of intrigue.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kirstie

    After waking from vivid dreams Ben, Quester, and Willow set off individually on quests prompted by their dreams. Though they don't know it their quests are connected, and not in a good way. I love Edgewood Dirk(who doesn't love a fae cat ;p ) and am glad that now Willow is out doing her own things (even if for male driven reasons), and I have to say the general concept of a black unicorn is really cool, plus the unicorn related revelation at the end of the book is actually pretty damn cool. I just After waking from vivid dreams Ben, Quester, and Willow set off individually on quests prompted by their dreams. Though they don't know it their quests are connected, and not in a good way. I love Edgewood Dirk(who doesn't love a fae cat ;p ) and am glad that now Willow is out doing her own things (even if for male driven reasons), and I have to say the general concept of a black unicorn is really cool, plus the unicorn related revelation at the end of the book is actually pretty damn cool. I just sort of felt it was too obvious from too early on that (view spoiler)[ the 'cursed' medallion was actually still Ben's medallion, just glamoured. It was also a touch too contrived that Quester Thews wouldn't even consider the possibility that he wasn't the impostor, like we needed Ben out of the castle so suddenly Quester became a dumbass (which he isn't, he's a little old but mostly just makes mistakes with magic and is over confident in it but comes across as otherwise fairly savvy. It just felt too driven by the needs of the plot, not actual character behaviour, maybe if there had have been a hint that Quester had been addled by drink or some such so I could buy him totally dismissing claims of magic shenangians. (hide spoiler)] There are a few pacing issues, but generally it's another nice quick read with a good few laughs thrown in (though to be honest it's just humour in the writing now, I wouldn't say the book is trying to be a comedy overall like the first).

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tatra

    I have figured out why I am so-so on these books. I mean, it is good fantasy, but some part of me goes ‘eh’ and that is because the characters are not growning. They are pretty much unchanging and they are also not really nice. They don’t listen to each other at all.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    Overall I liked listening to the book. There is a part of me though that struggles with the Hero's density of mind at times, which probably stops me from giving it 5 stars, but beyond that the book was very enjoyable.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan D

    This was another great book. Terry Brooks absolutely hits it out of the park. He knows fantasy better than any other author. While "Magic Kingdom of Sale-Sold" was a fun, lighthearted satire, this book, "The Black Unicorn" took a dark turn. It was still satirical and funny, but had some difficult concepts. The scene with Meeks' return honestly had me shaking because I was so frightened of him. I really empathized with the main character even more than I did in the first book. The prism-cat was a This was another great book. Terry Brooks absolutely hits it out of the park. He knows fantasy better than any other author. While "Magic Kingdom of Sale-Sold" was a fun, lighthearted satire, this book, "The Black Unicorn" took a dark turn. It was still satirical and funny, but had some difficult concepts. The scene with Meeks' return honestly had me shaking because I was so frightened of him. I really empathized with the main character even more than I did in the first book. The prism-cat was absolutely hilarious even though I wanted to enter the book just so I could strangle it. Brooks personified cats and dogs and other magical creatures very well. The ending of this book actually has less of a hook for a sequel(even though Brooks wrote the third book in this trilogy immediately after). Ben Holiday seems to continue to serve as a metaphor for people who read Fantasy. This time, however, he represents when readers of Fantasy are pulled into a story that they don't want or enjoy. Like Ben, we as readers have to realize that whether we enjoy a book or not is more up to us than the authors, and not the other way around. If we truly work at it, we will realize the value in every book and find some enjoyment out of it(Still trying to figure out how this applies to "The Awakening" but the message still holds true). Overall, very fun book. To me, it's not as fun or good a story as the first one, but it's still fantastic. 8.8 out of 10(but it truly deserves to be bumped up to 5 stars out of 5 on goodreads). [Next book is a classic. Silas Marner: By George Elliot. It's my favorite classic and I look forward to re-reading it.]

  13. 5 out of 5

    Scott Holstad

    Boy, a lot of people really don't like this book. Well, I do. Granted, it's not as good as the first book in this Landover series, but I still think it tells a good story. In it, one night Ben Holiday, the new king of Landover, his wizard Questor Thews, and the sylph Willow all have dreams that compel them to go on individual quests because of what they see in their dreams -- Ben sees his former law partner in Chicago in trouble and crying out for Ben's help, Questor sees some magic books he can Boy, a lot of people really don't like this book. Well, I do. Granted, it's not as good as the first book in this Landover series, but I still think it tells a good story. In it, one night Ben Holiday, the new king of Landover, his wizard Questor Thews, and the sylph Willow all have dreams that compel them to go on individual quests because of what they see in their dreams -- Ben sees his former law partner in Chicago in trouble and crying out for Ben's help, Questor sees some magic books he can acquire, and Willow sees a black unicorn and a gold bridle meant for it. However, the evil wizard, Meeks, reappears and is the source of these dreams. He follows Ben back into Landover and exchanges identities with Ben, getting Ben kicked out of the castle and taking over the rule of the land. He then takes possession of the books that Questor attained and goes on an extensive search for the black unicorn, which apparently possesses some serious magic that he wants to harness. Meanwhile, Ben sets out on a search for Willow, anticipating great danger for her and wanting to save her from it. He is joined by a fantastic character, a fairie creature in the form of a "prism" cat named Edgewood Dirk. He accompanies Ben on his journeys, saves his life on occasion, and tries to impart wisdom in a game playing, cryptic cat-like way that merely infuriates Ben. (Brooks seems to really GET cats in his portrayal here.) He learns nothing. And this is where people have a problem with the book. In the first book, Ben used his skills learned as a world class lawyer to guide his way through becoming king of Landover. In this book, he's dense as a rock. I mean, dumb as hell. Midway through the book, a 10-year-old child can figure out what has happened to Ben, but it's not til the end of the book that he himself does, this after Dirk has hinted at it repeatedly. Apparently this infuriates a number of fans. I take it with a grain of salt and knock the book down a star. Of course, since this is a four book series, you know Ben's going to beat Meeks and win in the end, but it's fun to see it occur. And there's the love interest between Ben and Willow, although it's also frustrating to see how dense Ben is about his feelings regarding Willow. Still, this wasn't a bad book. I like magic and fantasy and there's plenty of that here. I've already read the third book in this series and I think it's a bit better, so chalk this up to trying to write a sequel to a really good first book and falling a bit short. Nonetheless, recommended.

  14. 5 out of 5

    drowningmermaid

    Why write one fantasy book when you can write two? All this book is, is a recap of book one-- a reintroduction to everyone you saw there with no forward development. Good thing it's been eighteen years since I read book one. Secondly, OMG the big "mystery" revealed on page 300-- yeah. I figured that out closer to page 50. It's infuriating having to watch imbeciles. And Meeks is the least-frightening villain I've come across in a while. Also, it focuses almost exclusively on the characters tagging Why write one fantasy book when you can write two? All this book is, is a recap of book one-- a reintroduction to everyone you saw there with no forward development. Good thing it's been eighteen years since I read book one. Secondly, OMG the big "mystery" revealed on page 300-- yeah. I figured that out closer to page 50. It's infuriating having to watch imbeciles. And Meeks is the least-frightening villain I've come across in a while. Also, it focuses almost exclusively on the characters tagging along behind, rather than the character (Willow) who's doing the actual action. This makes the story seem a tad off-base, and is also annoying. (Why should sweet little sap *pun intended* WILLOW have enough of a character to DO anything actually interesting?) Seriously, it didn't bug me when I was twelve, but now Willow is really sort of bothersome. Isn't anyone else a little squicked out by the way she is constantly described as "child-like"-- and this quality makes her somehow sexy and desirable? Um, ick? Her primary distinguishing characteristic is her "impossible beauty" and she is only capable of thinking kind, sweet, beautiful thoughts. But dude, she's green-- with long, flowing hair coming from her forearms and shins (and armpits?) and she has the face of an five-year-old. I'm . . . kinda not feeling it. Her being a tree once a month doesn't seem anywhere near as un-boinkable as what she is the rest of the time. Really, she is the ultimate female lackey, necessary in every male ennui novel. In the male ennui novel, the (white) male lead feels a lingering discontent, goes out on some new adventure, and hooks up with some new chick-- whom he doesn't really love, he's too manly for that. You can kind of see the problems in their relationship since Willow spends the entire book searching out the black orgasmic unicorn. (Why couldn't the climax be her touching the horn? That would at least make more sense than having her 15th touch be meaningful and shattering and whatnot.) --- A brilliant CD reading salvages an annoyingly straightforward fantasy story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    I picked this up and the two further sequels when I saw them at the used book store. I remember reading it when I was in eighth grade, and it brought back the memories. It has the usual fantasy funs, unicorns, wizards, good vs. evil, witches, bog wumps, and bunches of fairy creatures. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the first book. That's OK - I remember (mostly). However, it's not as good now as I remember it being in eighth grade. The only reason I finished it was my own grim determination to do I picked this up and the two further sequels when I saw them at the used book store. I remember reading it when I was in eighth grade, and it brought back the memories. It has the usual fantasy funs, unicorns, wizards, good vs. evil, witches, bog wumps, and bunches of fairy creatures. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the first book. That's OK - I remember (mostly). However, it's not as good now as I remember it being in eighth grade. The only reason I finished it was my own grim determination to do so, but I got rather bored about a quarter of the way through it. Perhaps it's because I've read it before, or perhaps it's because I read The Alchemist} directly prior, and the depth of the two books does not compare. As far as entertaining and easy fantasy go, though, [author: Terry Brooks always delivers. I will keep it on my shelf forever. Even though the cover illustration makes "the most beautiful woman in any world" look like a cross between a female body builder, a horse, and some river moss. Plot synopsis: Ben Holiday bought a magic kingdom in the first book... battle ensued, continually referenced in the second book. Everyone in the castle is sent dreams that send them on quests... for the purposes of EVIL. The sylph (refer to above cover description) is sent to capture the black unicorn that has been seen, the wizard is sent to get some magical books, and the king Ben is sent back to Manhattan to make sure his best friend is OK. He unwittingly brings back his mortal enemy to the magic kingdom, who intends to use the black unicorn and magic books for his own nefarious purposes. His plot is, of course, foiled. There is much more subplot than all that, but it's not worth you reading unless you read the book. Which will take you about two days, with work and coffee breaks.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    One night, Ben Holiday, High Lord of Landover, and his companions the wizard, Questor Thews and the sylph, Willow, each have a dream which compels them on a quest. The three journeys seem unrelated, but they may not be. The reappearance of the evil wizard Meeks and the sighting of a Black Unicorn might also have something do to with the situation. This is a rather lackluster novel of magic and journeying across a fantasy world, which this author seems to be known for (except the lackluster part. One night, Ben Holiday, High Lord of Landover, and his companions the wizard, Questor Thews and the sylph, Willow, each have a dream which compels them on a quest. The three journeys seem unrelated, but they may not be. The reappearance of the evil wizard Meeks and the sighting of a Black Unicorn might also have something do to with the situation. This is a rather lackluster novel of magic and journeying across a fantasy world, which this author seems to be known for (except the lackluster part. I hear a lot of people really like this guy's books). I wasn't impressed with the first book of his that I read. The second one I quite enjoyed, with it's rather unique premise of having a regular guy from our world become king of a fairy world, but now that he's kind of settled in to the whole fairy kingdom thing, it becomes more reminiscent of every other swords/fairy creatures/good vs. evil magic book I've ever read. Also, I figured out the mysterious secret of the magical plot way, way before the characters did. I probably won't continue this series right away. Oh! I almost forgot. The one redeeming quality this book has is that of the prism cat, Edgewood Dirk, who follows Ben on his quest and imparts important information in a cryptic cat-like way. He was so funny, and so very, very like what I would imagine a magical talking cat would be, so aloof and arrogant. I loved him. That's what frustrates me about this author. The premise of Magic Kingdom for Sale -- Sold! was wrought with so much potential for amusement, but he mostly played it straight. This book, with more from Dirk and the scribe/talking dog Abernathy, could have been better. It's like he's hovering around the edge of awesome, but can't quite get there.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brian Schiebout

    The Black Unicorn by Terry Brooks is the second book in the Landover series. The story begins when Ben Holiday, King of Landover and two of his closest companions have dreams which they believe portend something important. As a result Ben goes back to earth to check on his old partner while Willow the Sylph looks for a golden bridle and Questor Thews, the wizard looks for the lost books of magic. However Ben soon learns that his trip to earth was a scheme to allow the evil wizard Meeks back into The Black Unicorn by Terry Brooks is the second book in the Landover series. The story begins when Ben Holiday, King of Landover and two of his closest companions have dreams which they believe portend something important. As a result Ben goes back to earth to check on his old partner while Willow the Sylph looks for a golden bridle and Questor Thews, the wizard looks for the lost books of magic. However Ben soon learns that his trip to earth was a scheme to allow the evil wizard Meeks back into Landover where he uses his magic on Ben so that he can take over the throne. Soon Ben finds himself an exile in his own land which starts to show signs of the new evil leader. overall however this a story about deception. The worst deception that occurs to us is often self deception and for Ben this is the case. First he has deceived himself about the power which Meeks holds and so has given him power over himself. He also has deceived himself about his feelings for Willow as often occurs with a man toward a woman. People often pretend that they are only friends with those whom are truly the person they can least live with. This book however taught me that I must look honestly at myself and remember because of God that no man has power over me. No matter what happens God will still love me and if I have him I am fully filled.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Books-treasureortrash

    Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes I found the story to be interesting and I really liked how each of them faced and dealt with their own challenges.The story shows growth within all characters, although I thought that Ben had to make the greatest self-discovery in order to overcome his challenge. I enjoyed reading how each of them dealt with the dilemmas they faced as they completed their journeys. We also get to know all the characters a little better. The story was well written and leads us to chee Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes I found the story to be interesting and I really liked how each of them faced and dealt with their own challenges.The story shows growth within all characters, although I thought that Ben had to make the greatest self-discovery in order to overcome his challenge. I enjoyed reading how each of them dealt with the dilemmas they faced as they completed their journeys. We also get to know all the characters a little better. The story was well written and leads us to cheer on our protagonists to successfully complete each of their tasks. This is a stand alone story which I always find satisfying, yet it is also clearly part of a larger story. I recommend you read the books from the beginning to get a better understanding of the world in which they live. The story also builds from one book to the other, yet each book can be read independently from any other. If you enjoy reading Terry Brooks, then you will enjoy this book, it is a good fantasy novel that is fun to read. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series to see what new adventures our characters will become involved in. For my full review go to: http://books-treasureortrash.com/?p=803

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    When I finished Magic Kingdom for Sale-Sold I could not stand to end the story there. I had fallen in love with the world and the characters I had come to know. I started this book that same night. This book allowed me to keep the adventure going, but it was not as good as the first. In the first Landover book Ben is a very clever man. He impressed me with his bravery and his intelligence. In this book, though, he doesn't do any of the work until the very end of the book. Other characters show u When I finished Magic Kingdom for Sale-Sold I could not stand to end the story there. I had fallen in love with the world and the characters I had come to know. I started this book that same night. This book allowed me to keep the adventure going, but it was not as good as the first. In the first Landover book Ben is a very clever man. He impressed me with his bravery and his intelligence. In this book, though, he doesn't do any of the work until the very end of the book. Other characters show up here and there to help him along because he wasn't making any progress himself. They even gave him the answer. He was just not smart enough to see it. That frusrated me to no end. I could predict what he needed to do not long after he began his adventure. The Ben from the first book would not have been so blind. I was a BIG fan of some of the new characters you get to meet in this book. It was also a lot of fun to have the old characters back. I did like this book...a lot. I was just disappointed. The first book left my expectations high.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laura Cushing

    Second in thr Landover series. Ben is tricked by the evil wizard Meeks and his friends no longer recognize him as king. His only companion is a prism cat named Dirk. Meanwhile, Willow goes in search of a black unicorn she has seen in dreams. The second book does more world building, though I still don't have a solid grip of how magic works in this universe. The relationships between the characters undergo some growth. I love how cat like Dirk is, magical talking and all he still has cattitude and Second in thr Landover series. Ben is tricked by the evil wizard Meeks and his friends no longer recognize him as king. His only companion is a prism cat named Dirk. Meanwhile, Willow goes in search of a black unicorn she has seen in dreams. The second book does more world building, though I still don't have a solid grip of how magic works in this universe. The relationships between the characters undergo some growth. I love how cat like Dirk is, magical talking and all he still has cattitude and feline behaviours. Will read on.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lee

    It's been a year since Ben Holiday bought the magic kingdom of Landover. However, when he has a troubling dream, Ben realizes that he must make a return visit to his old world. Ben's dream turns out to be a trap, and he is tricked into bringing the evil wizard Meeks back to Landover. Meeks quickly switches identities with Ben, and sends him off to wander Landover as a wretched nobody. Can Ben Holiday learn to overcome the magic that has stolen his identity, and rescue those he loves in this stran It's been a year since Ben Holiday bought the magic kingdom of Landover. However, when he has a troubling dream, Ben realizes that he must make a return visit to his old world. Ben's dream turns out to be a trap, and he is tricked into bringing the evil wizard Meeks back to Landover. Meeks quickly switches identities with Ben, and sends him off to wander Landover as a wretched nobody. Can Ben Holiday learn to overcome the magic that has stolen his identity, and rescue those he loves in this strange new world?

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey Hanson

    I like this series, but it definitely has its weird moments. For some reason, this book has never been my favorite in the series. Generally, I enjoy this series because it is pretty light-hearted with a lot of creative characters and a unique world. I think I like this one a bit less because it addresses a lot of the same issues (and villain) as the first one. Also, I've always found Willow a bit odd. I'm not entirely sure why, but I thinks he's almost too serene. I tend to like feisty character I like this series, but it definitely has its weird moments. For some reason, this book has never been my favorite in the series. Generally, I enjoy this series because it is pretty light-hearted with a lot of creative characters and a unique world. I think I like this one a bit less because it addresses a lot of the same issues (and villain) as the first one. Also, I've always found Willow a bit odd. I'm not entirely sure why, but I thinks he's almost too serene. I tend to like feisty characters like Abernathy much more. The addition of Edgewood Dirk was also pretty interesting.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lisa James

    This one was cute, with the plot twist I didn't see coming. Ben has his work cut out for him in this follow up to Magic Kingdom for Sale :) It's a fun romp, & you are cheering for Ben to get things figured out before his enemies get him.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    I read these some years ago and while they are not "real memorable" plot wise (they are lighthearted and convoluted) they are memorable as "fun. I prefer them to most of Brooks other works...the ones of a more serious vein.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Vicky

    Not as enjoyable as the first one but still good.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Manuel

    The Black Unicorn is not a perfect book. I would say that it is a step down from Terry Brook's first installment in the Magic Kingdom of Landover series. However, I would also say it isn't as bad as some make it out to be. I'll admit I went back and forth between giving this a four or three stars, but four won out and I'll let you know why. Let's start off with the bad. The book feels like it rehashes themes from the last book a little too much. While the story is mainly fueled by the quest for t The Black Unicorn is not a perfect book. I would say that it is a step down from Terry Brook's first installment in the Magic Kingdom of Landover series. However, I would also say it isn't as bad as some make it out to be. I'll admit I went back and forth between giving this a four or three stars, but four won out and I'll let you know why. Let's start off with the bad. The book feels like it rehashes themes from the last book a little too much. While the story is mainly fueled by the quest for the black unicorn, it takes awhile to figure out how all of the early plot threads tie into that. We spend a good portion of the first half dealing with Ben Holiday's lack of confidence and fear, which was an issue that was dealt with last book as well. Personally I thought that Ben seemed very dense in this book compared the the first and it took almost the entire book for him to put things together. It was a little frustrating. That and if Ben and his friends would have simply listened to the voice of reason from Abernathy at the beginning of the book, well there wouldn't have been much of a book. Yet, everyone ignores him and decides to go on their respective quests anyway. We need a book, so of course they ignore him, but still it's a bit frustrating when good advice is ignored and something that could have been avoided is ran towards. Now while these things were all a bit frustrating, upon further thought they weren't as bad as I originally thought. The reason why, is that I think they are rather believable actions. Ben, Questor, and Willow all had dreams and they all, with perhaps the exception of Willow, played on fears or desires of the characters. Ben was reminded of the guilt he felt about leaving his partner in Chicago and Questor was given the chance to find the hidden books of magic that may allow him to become more adept in the ways of magic. It would make sense that they would be tempted to go even with Abernathy pointing out the danger. We are often led by our emotions and feelings than by reason. Also with Ben being fairly dense, this is also believable. Ben has only been in this world of magic for about a year. He doesn't know everything, in fact he probably knows very little still. Enough to function daily for sure, but the different kinds of magic and everything are beyond him and a good portion of Landover as well it would seem. Not to mention the series of events in the book turn his world upside down, and I think it would be hard not to be a little dense and unable to put things together. And even though books often like to show a character overcoming their fears and anxieties for good, it is more believable that they would come up again later until some underlying issues behind them are dealt with. So while these issues don't make for a great book, they also aren't as bad as I originally thought. Now for the good. This book in many ways is a natural continuation of the Landover series. We knew that Meeks wouldn't go quietly into the night and his time to strike has come. He makes for a good villain. Strong enough to be a force to be reckoned with, but also cowardly enough to not try a head on approach. This story works as a way of dealing with him and fits well within the story set out in the first book, even using his knowledge of Ben's and Questor's weaknesses to manipulated them masterfully at the beginning of the book. There are also a lot of fun moments in the book. These are mainly supplied by the new character, Edgewood Dirk the prism cat. Dirk is a wonderful mix of fun and frustration. He acts as a companion to Ben after Meeks takes his identity and has him kicked out of the castle, but while useful also causes no end of frustration to Ben. Simply because he's a cat and that's what cats do, and fairy cats seem to do it even more than regular cats. Honestly, I think his help often makes Ben more confused than anything else, even though Dirk seems to think he is being very helpful all this while. Another fun moment is the Nightshade versus Strabo incident. It's a pretty awesome little showdown for a number of reasons. We've been told they were enemies in the first book, but getting to see a bit of their enmity, both in words and actions was pretty fun. Add is some elements of the overall plot that go on in that scene and it winds up as possibly one of the best sections of the book. As I said at the beginning, The Black Unicorn isn't a perfect book. There are some potential flaws to the book. However, even though these flaws bothered me at first with some thought they began to bother me less and felt like actions that people would take in that situation, as frustrating as they may be. Even so I felt like it was a fitting sequel to the first Landover book and dealt with the question of Meeks and what his next move would be. It will never be my favorite book, but I still enjoyed my time with it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michael Joosten

    I vascillated between a two-star and three-star rating, because I don't really think The Black Unicorn is a *good* book, but I did finish it and kept at it fairly willingly in the process... but if I put it down there wasn't a burning urge to go back to it. I read The Magic Kingdom for Sale...SOLD and its attendant series as a teenager (nearly 20 years ago) and remembered next to nothing of it, but it was frustrating to reread all the same, because the dredged-up half-memories that came to zombie I vascillated between a two-star and three-star rating, because I don't really think The Black Unicorn is a *good* book, but I did finish it and kept at it fairly willingly in the process... but if I put it down there wasn't a burning urge to go back to it. I read The Magic Kingdom for Sale...SOLD and its attendant series as a teenager (nearly 20 years ago) and remembered next to nothing of it, but it was frustrating to reread all the same, because the dredged-up half-memories that came to zombie-like life gave away the entire plot, and if you know what the villain has done, you end up thinking that the hero is especially obtuse for not seeing it, and those who know the truth are pointlessly (rather than, as intended, magically) frustrating for not saying anything more clear. The biggest problem with Brooks--well, with young Brooks, because I admit I haven't (re)read any of his more recent work is a tendency to overwrite. There are nearly 300 pages in this book, but there's probably about 100-150 of actual plot and characterisation. The rest is the POV character of the given chapter thinking... and thinking... and pondering. If this were stripped out, the book would be a solid 3-stars-plus. With it left in, there's a lot of unnecessary filler. Which is unfortunate, because I do like a lot of the world-building. It isn't wildly groundbreaking, but it is solidly done and comfortably enjoyable within the fairy-tale/fantasy tradition. The characters are types to a fault, but that's not necessarily a problem in a fairy-tale.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rick

    In this second book set in the Magic Kingdom of Landover Ben finds himself a stranger in his own kingdom. Because of dreams that he, the court magician Quester Thews, and the sylph Willow had a series of events were set in motion that caused Ben to lose the kingdom to Meeks. Meeks is the evil half-brother of Quester and strong magician. Due to his dream, Ben goes back to Chicago to visit Miles who appeared to be in trouble in his dream. Meeks hitches a ride with Ben as an insect in his clothing. In this second book set in the Magic Kingdom of Landover Ben finds himself a stranger in his own kingdom. Because of dreams that he, the court magician Quester Thews, and the sylph Willow had a series of events were set in motion that caused Ben to lose the kingdom to Meeks. Meeks is the evil half-brother of Quester and strong magician. Due to his dream, Ben goes back to Chicago to visit Miles who appeared to be in trouble in his dream. Meeks hitches a ride with Ben as an insect in his clothing. Thus, Ben takes Meeks back to Landover. This act leads to Ben losing his kingdom to Meeks and the rest of the group including Abernathy, the court scribe who is a dog. This came about due to an error by Quester. The book progresses nicely with a few slow places. It centers around the separate adventures of Ben, Willow, Quester, and Abernathy. Fillip and Sot the G'Home Gnomes also try to lend a hand. Of course, you could guess that all ends well simply because there is a third Landover book. Want to know how it happened? Pick up the book and read it. You won't be disappointed.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Emilee Powell

    I am always conflicted when I read this book. On the one hand, I adore the Prism Cat, who embodies the essence of cat to a Cheshire Cat perfection. Unfortunately, in the act of making the Prism Cat the fount of aloof wisdom, Ben becomes an absolute ijut. The continued mention of how Ben is a lawyer and should be able to figure things out makes me really want to swat Ben for being so utterly dense. In his defense, he's working out some emotional issues, and lovesick puppies are nearly always as t I am always conflicted when I read this book. On the one hand, I adore the Prism Cat, who embodies the essence of cat to a Cheshire Cat perfection. Unfortunately, in the act of making the Prism Cat the fount of aloof wisdom, Ben becomes an absolute ijut. The continued mention of how Ben is a lawyer and should be able to figure things out makes me really want to swat Ben for being so utterly dense. In his defense, he's working out some emotional issues, and lovesick puppies are nearly always as thick as bricks, but it would have been nice for Ben to have caught on sometime remotely close to when the reader figures things out. I did enjoy the cat's "Your an idiot, I already basically explained everything to you, just sit there and think for a bit because seriously this isn't that hard," lecture.

  30. 5 out of 5

    David McElroy

    My feelings for this book are strikingly similar to those of the first book in the series, Magic Kingdom For Sale/Sold. On the downside, it was a bit wordy at times and there were certain plot lines that didn't feel like they needed the amount of time devoted to them that there was. However, on the plus side, the overall plot was intriguing, the characters were solid all around (even if Ben's thickheadedness did begin to wear on my nerves!), and the world continued to be an enjoyable place to ex My feelings for this book are strikingly similar to those of the first book in the series, Magic Kingdom For Sale/Sold. On the downside, it was a bit wordy at times and there were certain plot lines that didn't feel like they needed the amount of time devoted to them that there was. However, on the plus side, the overall plot was intriguing, the characters were solid all around (even if Ben's thickheadedness did begin to wear on my nerves!), and the world continued to be an enjoyable place to explore and learn more about. Moving on to the next book...

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