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Magic Kingdom for Sale--Sold (Magic Kingdom of Landover #1)

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  28,542 Ratings  ·  900 Reviews
Book One in the Magic Kingdom of Landover Series

Landover was a genuine magic kingdom, with fairy folk and wizardry, just as the advertisement promised. But after he purchased it, Ben Holiday learned that there were a few details the ad had failed to mention.

The kingdom was in ruin. The Barons refused to recognize the king, and the peasants were without hope. A dragon was l
Published November 29th 2007 by Brilliance Audio (first published March 12th 1986)
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Rob There are no overly adult themes in the book. Love, loss, and combat are all handled pretty lightly without a lot of over the top or in depth detail.…moreThere are no overly adult themes in the book. Love, loss, and combat are all handled pretty lightly without a lot of over the top or in depth detail. This should be fine for any teenage or adult reader.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 21, 2009 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was a book that constantly frustrated me by not making the most of its premise. Here you have a pretty original premise, a humorous tone, and a diverse cast of characters, and yet all that emerges is a mildly engaging but not wholly entertaining read. There were countless missed opportunities, and I couldn't help wondering how this book would have fared in, say, Terry Pratchett's far more capable hands.
Mike (the Paladin)
Sep 09, 2016 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I actually enjoyed this series better than his more serious offerings.

My attention drawn back to this one sentence review...I found a typo.

The book is a humorous one but not a straight comedy. This falls into the category of literature (and media for that matter) which might be called "humorous or comedy drama". It's done pretty well. (By the way, if you read/finish the book you may think that I had a sort of "prejudice" toward the hero because of, one of the characters...not so, really.)

A. Dawes
Sep 13, 2016 A. Dawes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is lighter fare - the kind of book that takes your mind off the real world. Having read it almost three decades ago, I don't know if I'm truly qualified to review it now, but I remember it as a refreshingly palate cleanser at the time. I went on to read and enjoy three more in the series.

Plot wise, it's not overly original. It's the basic portal Narnia type of novel. So I can't say that it shaped the field or massively influenced it. Basically, your white American male, Ben Holiday, is a l
Jan 31, 2012 Helen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is my first Terry Brooks and I was a little hesitant going in. One of my good friends had recently skewered Swords of Shannara and I thought I might be stepping into a pile of crap. However, I was pleasantly surprised with this story. It was light and fun and I had a good time reading it. Maybe Brooks got better as he continued to write or maybe this story just hit me at the right time. Whatever it was, I liked this.
Feb 11, 2008 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite book by Terry Brooks! A normal business man finds himself looking to a propertiy for sale... but its a kingdom! He doesn't even believe it and he goes to find out about it. He ends up buying it and goes to a far off world of new kinds. Where he meets a wizard who turned himself into a dog, and his friend Willow a girl who at night turned into a tree. This was not what he had expected to find in his new home. As well as the responsability to go on an adventure to save the town ...more
3.0 to 3.5 stars. A pretty good book if you are looking for a "lighter fare" fantasy novel. I thought the main character was well written and the story was engaging.
Jan 27, 2011 Lowed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2011
I always thought this was a funny read. But it wasn't! To tell you, managing a fantasy kingdom is not as easy as it sounds. But I had a good time here. I had a good time at Landover that it makes me sick of frustration that I could not find the second book of the series!
Aug 08, 2008 Summer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
It took me a while to sink into this book... seemed like a lot of time was spent in Ben Holiday's disbelief at finding himself in Landover. Yes, it was any sane person's natural response to leave town and enter a hidden world where a person can be accidentally half-transformed into a dog; I just don't want to spend so long wallowing in it.

It took me a while to feel any sort of sympathy for any of the characters. For most of the book I was laughing when they got into trouble - although some of t
Nicole Pramik
Jul 12, 2016 Nicole Pramik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Magic Kingdom for Sale – Sold! is an enjoyable read. It isn’t epic like The Lord of the Rings but it’s not trying to be. Its world building is solid and believable and its characters are fun. Ben Holiday makes for a great, relatable protagonist with just enough flaws to keep him from being too perfect yet noble enough to keep him honorable. The secondary characters like Questor Thews (the court magician), Abernathy (the court scribe who was transformed into a dog), and Willow (the sylph), are in ...more
Jul 25, 2012 Gemma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I was intrigued by the premise of buying a fairy world (kingship included!), and thank God I was, because it took a few chapters for this to take off for me. Once things got settled, this was a pretty fun and entertaining read for me.

Ben Holiday, lawyer and widower, came across as mopey and unbalanced at first. I can't say he didn't have his reasons, though. His wife was dead, and he was contemplating buying the kingdom of Landover for one million dollars, all on a whim. He was full of doubts fo
Nov 23, 2008 Jenni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love fantasy books, so of course Terry Brooks was on my list of must reads. The Landover series books were great for many reasons. First it was a light read. I am not saying there is no moral dilemas or complexity, just that you dont have to wrap your brain too deeply around it. I also liked it for the entertainment factor. There was action, but not too much, love interests, but not too much, magic... well you can't overdo that in a fantasy book, evil villians, a bumbling wizard (every fantasy ...more
Apr 10, 2012 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ben Holiday, attorney at law, is dissatisfied with his life. He sees the justice system becoming more and more flawed and his profession become the butt of every bad lawyer joke. His wife has passed away and he is increasingly withdrawn. When he sees an advertisement for a honest-to-goodness magic kingdom in the Christmas Wishbook, he seizes on his chance to give some more meaning and purpose to his life. He's got more than he bargained for when he arrives to find the kingdom in disrepair and no ...more
Joy H.
Re: _Magic Kingdom for Sale--Sold" by Terry Brooks

This is part of Brooks' Magic Kingdom of Landover series. This book is the series opener. My GR friend, Werner says: "With this series, there is a case for reading the books in order; the first one gives some essential basic information, and there is a progressive development of the characters...".

I enjoyed reading this book of fantasy. It kept me reading. It was easy to follow and the fantasy characters were fun to read about. There's suspense
This was definitely a fun and easy read. Ben Holiday is a disenchanted lawyer who is trying to find some purpose to his life after his wife and unborn child died in a tragic accident. When he sees an advertisement for a magic kingdom being sold for $1 Million, he all but jumps at the chance, even though he only partially believes it could be real.

Of course it is, and there is everything promised in the ad -- except not quite exactly as promised. Everything is running down and withering, because
Mar 29, 2009 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
What a neat idea! Very well done other world fantasy novel that's just plain fun & a fast read. The writing is tight for Brooks & the characters are all vibrant. Highly recommended for a beach read.

Brooks is not my favorite author. The first book of his I read was The Sword of Shannara & it absolutely infuriated me since it was such a rip-off of The Hobbit. I wouldn't read anything else by him for years, but eventually I relented since my wife & I had read almost everything else
Momof3-in an Ash and Cael sandwich
Thank you to my papa for the recommendation!

I enjoyed this, the ending was excellent!
I had a little issue with the beginning, if I've agreed to suspend disbelief, I don't need 70 pages of Ben trying to convince himself or talking of the silliness or impossibility or whatever. I understand the point of it and we learn a good deal about Ben's character and his past and his current state of mind, but it went on a little long for me.

This book is also incredibly descriptive. This is not a bad thing,
Kelsey Hanson
Nov 04, 2015 Kelsey Hanson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
Back in the early 2000s when I first discovered Terry Brooks, I read this series mainly as a way to pass the time when I read out of "Shannara" books. Now rereading this, I appreciate it much more now. I think it is perhaps as an adult, I better appreciate Ben's world weariness and the thought of "What would you do if you had the chance to rule a country and essentially create your own government". This book is also very fun and imaginative with a snarky main character. I also really like the g' ...more
Al Philipson
Jul 15, 2016 Al Philipson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brooks' writing is superb. It flows well and doesn't distract from the story itself. I felt that I was there, struggling along with Ben (the main character).

The story line itself was decent and worth an occasional re-read (this is my second time). For me, it was slow in a couple of places and a bit frustrating (possibly because Ben was having TOO much trouble securing his throne?). I'll probably read it again in a few years if I'm still processing oxygen.
May 16, 2015 Charlton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I really liked this book,for me I found it entertaining from start to finish.

This is my 2nd review,the 1st time I read it was 30 years ago.
I do think the book was better this time.It was a little slow in the beginning,but to be expected for the backstory on the character.But after he gets to Landover things really pick-up.From one adventure to the next it was a very entertaining read.
Daniel Ionson
I do like Terry Brooks. I really enjoyed his Scions of S. series. But this simply did not work for me on any level.
I really liked the sound of this book. Ben Holiday, a fairly depressed lawyer, decides to get away from it all by spending a million dollars on a real life Magic Kingdom. He also gets to be King, however once he gets there he find things are not as expected.....

He is one of thirty Kings that have brought Landover in the past twenty years. Hardly anyone shows up to his coronation and no one wants to pledge themselves to him. There's also a dragon setting fire to things and a demon that wants to k
Apr 06, 2010 Robert rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
It sounds like the premise of a hilarious comic fantasy: Successful lawyer sees a magic kingdom for sale in a Christmas catalogue, buys it, and becomes king. Except, things are not as grand as they seem, and he finds himself accompanied by a talking dog, an incompetent wizard, and two goblins as his only retinue...

Unfortunately, the book never really delivers anything at all. The writing is bland, the humour is, for the most part, absent, and the story is altogether a misfire. There is a touch o
I was pretty unimpressed...but I think it's just not my type of book. I never got into Douglas Adams or Monty Python either. I wonder if a lot of the humor just went right over my was too dry, or to wet, or something...anyhow, although I could see where the humor was, I just wasn't finding it funny.

Additionally, story alone was pretty dull stuff. A man buys a's not what he expected...he goes from person to person asking for help and then it all ties nicely
Jun 13, 2009 tomlinton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
What a totally fun read!
The author sets up a dissatisfied lawyer
to spend a million bucks on magic kingdom
and then run into hair raising problem after hair raising problem
I started the book late
then dreamt one of my standard frustration dreams
about work I did long ago
and to my amazement
took control and stayed asleep
waking and remembering
what I had done to overcome
Next day I started this book over
and read it through
and came away convinced--
many problems are manifestations
of our own fears
The Kindle
Opera fiabesca con incursioni nel parodistico da parte di Brooks, autore di grido negli anni '90.
"Il magico regno di Landover" si mantiene sempre su binari parecchio soft e leggeri, permettendo alla storia di essere fruibile anche da lettori più piccoli, o comunque meno esigenti.
Indimenticabili, tra tutti i personaggi, Abernathy e Questor Thews, due comprimari iconici capaci di rubare la scena a più riprese al protagonista.

Detto questo, l'opera risente di alcune influenze di Shannara, dichiarand
Sep 03, 2009 Paige rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was a really good book (not that I expected anything different from Terry Brooks). The premise was absolutely wonderful - someone from our world finding an ad to be King of a fantasy land. The story kept me going and kept me guessing. I'd definitely recommend this book to those who love their fantasy.

Josh Lioncourt
May 11, 2009 Josh Lioncourt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book...a classic if ever there was one. If you're a fan of the fantasy genre...and even if you're not...the sheer fun of the book is likely to appeal to you. It's a great, fun adventure story, with tongue firmly planted in cheek.
Briane Pagel
Dec 04, 2016 Briane Pagel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With Magic Kingdom For Sale: Sold! I realized that even books can fall into the 1980s, and that the 1980s is, in fact, its own genre. It's something I kind of knew already, but was driven home by the Netflix series Stranger Things, and now by Magic Kingdom For Sale: Sold!.

The 1980s' as I think of it in the fantasy/scifi genre is marked by mostly lighthearted, or at least lighterhearted, stories, primarily stories of people who find themselves thrust into an adventure by chance -- but it turns o
Jun 29, 2010 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-bad, i-own
Last fall, Princess of Landover was released…a new book in the Landover series after more than a decade. I had read the Landover books back in the 90s but had largely forgotten many details of the story, so I decided I may as well catch back up before reading the new book.

In Magic Kingdom For Sale -- Sold, we follow a meandering lawyer in his quest to find purpose in a life that has become dull and unfulfilling. On a whim, he responds to an advertisement selling the right to be king in a fantasy
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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)
  • The Black Unicorn (Magic Kingdom of Landover, #2)
  • 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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“There was that sense of abandoning the familiar for the unknown that characterizes all journeys made for the first time.” 0 likes
“Miles saw him as a grief-stricken recluse, hiding from the world while he mourned his dead wife. Maybe that was the way everyone saw him. But Annie’s death had not created the condition; it had merely emphasized it.” 0 likes
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