A Princess of Landover by Terry Brooks

Now, you know an author has done his job when you pick up a book and not even fifteen pages in you feel inspired to write. Despite not having felt particularly excited about writing in the last couple weeks, that was exactly how I felt when I picked up this book.

Sure, it’s been 15 years since the book before it in this series was written so I’m a little rusty on the story line but even so it’s easy to pick up and Brooks gives you enough details to go along even without remembering everything from the previous five books in the series.  Disclosure here, I have a soft spot for this particular series. When I was really little I would always demand that my dad make up stories to tell me when I was bored (for example, waiting to get a haircut or something). He used to take the characters from the Magic Kingdom For Sale–Sold series and make up short stories about them. When I finally read the book myself it had a whole new dimension to it because I already knew and loved the crazy characters and their quirky personalities.

Terry Brooks has since become my favorite author. Out of the 24 books I’ve read of his, he has yet to let me down. (Something else to note, it takes Brooks only about a year or two to produce a new book, which is fantastic and exciting for readers.)

What strikes me about this book is the way he falls perfectly into the tone of the main character, Mistaya Holiday. In this case, unlike most of his other books, a fifteen year old is driving the story and the voice matches accordingly while still maintaining the mystery and intelligence of his other books. There’s always more going on than you can predict even though you are constantly being provided with clues that, when the solution is found, click into place.

This series takes place five years after Witches’ Brew. Mistaya Holiday, now fifteen, has been sent to her father’s world (Earth) to make friends, learn about people, and receive an education she can’t get cooped up in Sterling Silver (the magical, living castle that takes care of the royal family of Landover) with only inept wizard Questor Thews, Abernathy the half-dog half-man scribe, and a magical mud puppy named Haltwhistle for companions. Not a big fan of this plan, Mistaya manages to get herself kicked out of the boarding school where she was sent and returns home to a not-so-thrilled father. To make matter worse, a not-so-nobleman, recently widowed, has asked for her hand in marriage. To make matters worse, her father decides she should go to Libiris, the royal library, abandoned and located in a remote part of the kingdom, to continue her education. Being fifteen, Mistaya is none to thrilled with her parents decision and runs away, intent on staying away until she can come up with a better option than those offered to her. But where does one go when trying not to be found? (Especially when your father has a magical devise that allows him to scan the entire kingdom better than if he had a GPS tracker?) To the last place he will look for you. Which, in Mistaya’s case, is Libiris. But things in Libiris, though forgotten by the citizens of Landover, is not as forgotten as Ben Holiday would have liked and Mistaya soon finds the old library filled with mystery and danger. Can she get to the bottom of everything and save Landover in time?

If you haven’t read the rest of the Magic Kingdom Series at all (beginning with Magic Kingdom For Sale–Sold) you’ll find yourself confused while reading A Princess of Landover, as this one picks up where the others left off and many of the details are directly related to what happened in the other books. But if you have an even vague sense of the past, then you will find the return of old characters welcome (in particular we get a suprise visit from the ever mysterious Prism Cat Edgewood Dirk) and an exciting new tale in store.

The biggest downside to the book was that it felt rushed. Where most of Brooks’ books tend to be somewhere in the six to seven hundred page range, this book was only a little over three hundred pages. Not to say that a book needs to be long to be good, but it felt as though the long journey and the character growth that normally comes from it happened almost instantaneously. I would have likes a little more time in the various places that Mistaya went and for it to be a little more difficult for everything to come together in the end.

But even with the faster than normal novel, I was more than thrilled to get back to Terry Brooks’s world–any of his worlds. Landover is still as rich in detail and life as ever and Brooks has set it up for much more adventure to come.

Read the Landover Series now!


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