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The Black Unicorn (Magic Kingdom of Landover #2)

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3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  13,681 Ratings  ·  226 Reviews
A year had passed since Ben Holiday bought the Magic Kingdom from the wizard Meeks, who had set a series of pitfalls against him. Ben survived, by the aid of three loyal friends: Questor Thews, an ill-trained wizard; Abernathy, a talking dog, the Court Scribe; and the lovely Willow, who sometimes had to be a tree.

But Ben had been troubled by dreams of disaster to his forme
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Audio CD, 0 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Brilliance Audio (first published January 1st 1987)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aryn
Apr 01, 2012 Aryn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy Fans Looking For Something Mindless
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
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Summer
Aug 14, 2008 Summer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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deilann
Jul 16, 2015 deilann rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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Charlton
Apr 12, 2015 Charlton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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.
Artnoose Noose
Aug 15, 2010 Artnoose Noose rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Artnoose by: my own lapse of judgment
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
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
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Emily
Feb 09, 2014 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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Scott Holstad
Oct 22, 2014 Scott Holstad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
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
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Lauren
Jul 13, 2011 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, own
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 ...more
Bram Vandenbussche
Jun 09, 2013 Bram Vandenbussche rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of easy reading fantasy
I really was hoping that I would like this series. It started off so promising in the first book, but this just dissapoints.

It starts off really early in the game when one of the cheesiest plot devices is used to kickstart the story. Now, I'm willing to overlook this fact because the style of this series is focused on using all the available clichés in fantasy literature, where it not for the fact that the main character is a frickin' idiot.

The entire book I found myself yelling at him; "Don't g
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Jenny
Jul 02, 2007 Jenny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy fans, fusho.
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
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drowningmermaid
Dec 07, 2011 drowningmermaid rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
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
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Brian Schiebout
Nov 19, 2013 Brian Schiebout rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Lee
Aug 02, 2010 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
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
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Alexz721
Sep 18, 2015 Alexz721 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The first Magic Kingdom of Landover book was a nice throwback to simpler fantasy worlds, and had some genuinely funny moments and good writing. Sadly, the second book is a pale imitation, and also a ripoff rather than a homage to The Last Unicorn. The two biggest problems are that all the characters indisputably act stupider than the personalities that were established for them the last book. Ben, who was constantly portrayed as a scrappy, intelligent, thoughtful protagonist in the first book is ...more
Parcoast
So this is a good sequel to the first Landover book in that it further expands the characters and, being a fantasy, the world. The missed opportunity is that we didn't see a common conflict introduced or developed. Sure, we met some common enemies, but common conflict would have tied this book to the previous one (and any that are to follow) nicely. Also, I don't think that the magic in this series is explained well. I guess I don't see the theory of how it works, and for an adult fantasy I thin ...more
Riana
Feb 11, 2014 Riana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After a whole year in Landover, Ben Holiday has got his kingdom running almost too smoothly. Mysterious dreams, all had on the same night by Ben, Questor Thews and Willow the Sylph, tempts them off, each on their own quest. Their individual decisions set off a whole series of events, which all seem to revolve around one thing: the Black Unicorn. Through all their adventures, Ben discovers that his real struggle is not against his apparent enemies, but against deception.

Brooks seems to build on h
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Lissibith
Apr 12, 2014 Lissibith rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, novel
Let's start with this bit of advice for aspiring authors - if you're going to borrow several concepts without much change from someone else's story, don't namedrop that other book unless you're doing a parody of some sort.

There's a couple reasons for that. First being it just looks sort of lazy once a reader realizes it. And second being, it ruins some of the impact of your story for people who've already read the other one. And if you're already lifting elements from elsewhere without much chan
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Vicky
Mar 18, 2014 Vicky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as enjoyable as the first one but still good.
Myles
Jan 24, 2015 Myles rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Magic Kingdom for Sale - Sold! ended with Ben Holiday in possession of his magic powers of kingliness and defeated/banished/subdued the main antagonists towards his rule. There was a lot about the kingdom left unsaid, particularly concerning the people that sold it to him in the first place.

On finishing The Black Unicorn, most things were still left unsaid.

I pray you, expand the cover image as Darrell K. Sweet has surpassed himself with this one. Our vacant-eyed love interest, Willow, leads the
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Pandalou
I started this book straight after the first book in the series, as I didn't want the story to end there. However, I put the book down halfway through as I lost interest and got fed up of waiting for Ben to catch up. He seemed to be dragged through the story by the other characters (who I loved and did keep the story alive). However, this frustrated me and seemed to slow the pace of the story down.

I did give this book another go a month later and found it to have an amusing element with a new c
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Stephanie
It took me quite awhile to finish this book. Ben Holiday finds himself tricked out of his Kingship by Meeks, his old rival. Through a deceptive magic, Ben no longer looks like himself and to set things right he must regather his friends and convince everyone that he is the true king. All the while, there's a black unicorn that everyone obsessively wants to capture ... for what purpose... who knows?

This was just not fun to read. There are a few wonderful turns of phrase and bright moments, but o
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Lisa James
Sep 23, 2011 Lisa James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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.
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.
Matteo Pellegrini

Da quando ha comprato il regno di Landover dal mago Meeks è passato un anno e, dopo tanti problemi, Ben Holiday spera di godersi un po' di pace insieme con i suoi bizzarri e fedeli amici: un mago maldestro, una bella fanciulla capace di trasformarsi in albero e un cane parlante. Invece dei sogni terrificanti cominciano a disturbare il loro sonno. Non è una coincidenza, ma una nuova minaccia di Meeks, che può essere sventata solo dal mitico Paladino. Per Ben e i suoi compagni è l'inizio dell'enne

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Gemma
Jul 30, 2012 Gemma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Even better than the first one!

See? I TOLD you we hadn't seen the last of Nightshade! And I knew there would be more with Strabo and Meeks! I knew it!

It might be a bit premature to say this, but it's good to know that Ben Holiday is still on a character arc. Even after all the lessons he learned in his efforts to secure his throne in the original, he still has that much more to discover about Landover and especially himself. The fairies might have sent him Edgewood Dirk, the prism cat, to help
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M.E. Kinkade
Used book stores are amazing places, but they can lead to book-mania.
I blame the irrationality of book-mania for this book. It was in the clearance section (of Half Price Books! Even more cheap!), and I hadn't read anything pure fantasy in awhile, and honestly it has a picture of a unicorn on the cover, so yeah, I bought it.
I realized about a third of the way through that I'd made a mistake, but I kept going--surely it will get better anytime now.
It didn't.
First, this is a sequel, but I've not
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Cindy
Aug 27, 2013 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed The Black Unicorn. The continuation of Ben Holiday's life in Landover. A year has passed since he has first arrived and he seems to be settling in nicely as king. That is, until the dreams start happening. The wizard Meeks starts to infiltrate the dreams of Ben, Willow and Questor which in turn leads the 3 on different paths. They will eventually all end up together to stop Meeks from trying to take back Landover and capture the Black Unicorn.

I enjoyed the story of Ben's self discover
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Michael Perez
Oct 28, 2013 Michael Perez rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, adventure
I first read this book at the age of 14 in the mid-90s. I remember liking it, but I couldn't remember anything about the story. So I re-read it over the past few days. Now I know why I forgot everything about this story. It's not stellar, and so I've decided to drop my rating down to three stars (from four). The book follows the saga of a Chicago-born lawyer who bought a magical kingdom from a high-brow department store Christmas wishlist in order to escape the weariness of his life as a recent ...more
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Terry Brooks was born in Illinois in 1944, where he spent a great deal of his childhood and early adulthood dreaming up stories in and around Sinnissippi Park, the very same park that would eventually become the setting for his bestselling Word & Void trilogy. He went to college and received his undergraduate degree from Hamilton College, where he majored in English Literature, and he received ...more
More about Terry Brooks...

Other Books in the Series

Magic Kingdom of Landover (6 books)
  • Magic Kingdom For Sale/Sold (Magic Kingdom of Landover, #1)
  • Wizard at Large (Magic Kingdom of Landover, #3)
  • The Tangle Box (Magic Kingdom of Landover, #4)
  • Witches' Brew (Magic Kingdom of Landover, #5)
  • A Princess of Landover (Magic Kingdom of Landover, #6)

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“Who would you be but who you are?” 176 likes
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