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The Black Unicorn (Magic Kingdom of Landover #2)

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  15,092 Ratings  ·  259 Reviews
The Black Unicorn (Landover)
Mass Market Paperback, 307 pages
Published August 12th 1988 by Del Rey Books (first published 1987)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mar 31, 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
Aug 08, 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
Artnoose Noose
Aug 12, 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
Jul 04, 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
Dec 13, 2010 Jamie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
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.
Apr 17, 2017 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to
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.
Scott Holstad
May 24, 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
Jan 03, 2015 Myles rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, c20th
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
Sep 23, 2009 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
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
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.
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
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
Feb 19, 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
Laura Cushing
Sep 01, 2016 Laura Cushing rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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 ...more
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.
Lisa James
Sep 05, 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.
Feb 24, 2014 Vicky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as enjoyable as the first one but still good.
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 ...more
Sharon Shanahan
Mar 23, 2017 Sharon Shanahan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining, but as with many books, the second does not live up to the first.
Mar 04, 2017 Ethan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Black Unicorn by Terry Brooks was a good continuation of the story started in Magic Kingdom for Sale/Sold. The growth of the main character is very well written.
Barbara Sherrick
I love anything by Terry Brooks. He is by far my favorite author ever. I read these books years ago and loved them. His Shannara books are deeper reading. I like the Landover books because they are light hearted and fun. I think everyone is being too critical. You just need to step back and enjoy the fun without getting too deep. The books are fast paced and I find I just can't put them down. This second go around reading them is just as good as the first. The characters are so real and each has ...more
Jan 03, 2017 Nykki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love the ending of this book. Makes me believe in magic again.
Apr 28, 2008 Chris rated it liked it
Shelves: not-bad, i-own
The second book in the Landover series starts out (after a brief prologue) with our cast of characters sitting around at breakfast talking about dreams. Don't worry, this is indeed a fantasy adventure novel and not some Freudian Interpretation of Dreams textbook. However, there is a lot of psychological exploration of character and motivation that happens in this book. In fact, that's one of the elements of Brooks's writing that I often enjoy…the internal conflict that many of the characters go ...more
Apr 05, 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
Michael Perez
Apr 17, 2009 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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