The Tangle Box (Magic Kingdom of Landover Series #4)

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Overview

Book Four in the Magic Kingdom of Landover series

Everything should have been quiet and pleasant for Ben Holiday, former Chicago lawyer become sovereign of the Magic Kingdom of Landover. But it wasn't. Horris Kew, conjurer, confidence-man, and trickster, had returned to Landover from Ben's own world. Alas, Horris had not returned of his own volition - he had been sent by the Gorse, a sorcerer of great evil, whom Horris had unwittingly freed from the magic Tangle Box, where it ...

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The Tangle Box (Magic Kingdom of Landover Series #4)

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Overview

Book Four in the Magic Kingdom of Landover series

Everything should have been quiet and pleasant for Ben Holiday, former Chicago lawyer become sovereign of the Magic Kingdom of Landover. But it wasn't. Horris Kew, conjurer, confidence-man, and trickster, had returned to Landover from Ben's own world. Alas, Horris had not returned of his own volition - he had been sent by the Gorse, a sorcerer of great evil, whom Horris had unwittingly freed from the magic Tangle Box, where it had long ago been imprisoned by the fairy folk. Now it had returned to enslave those who had once dared to condemn it. But first, it would rid Landover of all who could stand in its way . . . Soon Ben found himself imprisoned within the gloom of the Tangle Box, lost in the mists and its labyrinthine ways. The only one who could free Ben from the tangle box was the lady Willow. But she had disappeared, gone from Landover on a mysterious mission of her own. . .

Troublesome magical trickster Horris Kew has unleashed a powerful evil sorcerer who's bent on ruling Landover. And that means destroying its king, Ben Holiday.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Brooks's 1994 novel creates a vast imaginary world telling the tale of the mysterious Tangle Box that threatens the Kingdom of Landover. With his trademark straightforward approach, Dick Hill brings this story to life in a realistic and believable reading that is wonderfully underplayed yet subtly wondrous and otherworldly. Hill's characters are real and honest, his omniscient narrator a guiding light for this complicated fable. Once again displaying his massive dialectical pallet, Hill offers memorable characters sure to entertain and enthrall listeners for hours. A Del Rey paperback (Reviews, Apr. 4, 1994). (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Brooks continues the magical adventures of Ben Holiday, ex-trial lawyer and now the reigning ruler in the Magic Kingdom of Landover. This latest installment in the series is slower and less charming than its predecessors (Magic Kingdom for Sale--Sold!; Wizard at Large) , but it is still likely to please readers already hooked. Horris Kew and his talking avian sidekick are brought back from Earth to Landover, where Horris is tricked into letting the Gorse, an evil spirit, out of the Tangle Box, where it has spent a very long time dwelling on its entrapment by the fairies. Now the Gorse wants to overrun Landover and manages to imprison Ben Holiday, the witch Nightshade and the dragon Strabo inside the Tangle Box. Holiday's wife, the non-human Queen Willow, is pregnant and must perform her own difficult quest to ensure a healthy birthing for the child. Meanwhile, with Holiday out of the way, the sinister Gorse coerces Horris into creating serious mischief in the Kingdom. This rather haphazard tale liberally inserts many of the characters made popular in previous books, which may be an asset for hardcore readers who like their fantasy lite.
Library Journal
Ex-lawyer Ben Holiday's peaceful reign as king of the magic realm of Landover takes a decided turn for the worse with the arrival of con man and conjurer Horris Kew, an unwitting agent for an evil power that seeks to control the good folk of the kingdom. Where Brooks's popular Shannara novels (The Talismans of Shannara, LJ 2/ 15/93) pay tribute to traditional epic fantasy, his Landover series-of which this is the latest-displays the author's genuine flair for humorous fantasy. A good selection for most fantasy collections, and one that will probably be in demand.
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

Horris Kew, an Ichabod Crane look-alike who was exiled to Earth, and his bird Bigger have unwittingly returned to the Magic Kingdom of Landover and brought back with them an Evil darkness. So begins Terry Brooks's light fantasy (Random/Del Rey, 1994) narrated by Dick Hill, whose reading will immediately draw in listeners. Discover exactly what or who the Evil Darkness is, whether Ben will make it out of the Tangle Box, why Willow leaves her husband, Ben, and goes off on a journey by herself, and what will become of the kingdom of Landover. Who will stop the ancient Evil and save the kingdom? Hill's narration provides unique voices and distinct personalities for each character. What fun to have a king, a queen, a court scribe who is part dog, a court wizard, a witch, a dragon, a faerie-cat, a talking bird, and an ancient Evil populate this tale. For those unfamiliar with any of the previous titles in the series, it may be a bit difficult at the beginning to figure out the nature of some of the characters, but as the story progresses it is fairly easy to catch up. High school students will enjoy this humorous fantasy with adult situations.-Anita Lawson, Otsego High School, MI

Roland Green
In his latest novel, the creator of the world of Shannara returns to his somewhat more original creation, the Magic Kingdom of Landover. Sovereign Ben Holiday attempts to be merciful in allowing a couple of exiled sorcerers to return to Landover. Unfortunately, the exiles are stalking horses for the Gorse, a potent and evil sorcerer who seeks revenge upon the fairy folk. Ben ends up in the Tangle Box, his only hope for freedom the Lady Willow, who is unfortunately not available when she is needed. All works out tolerably well in the end, and Brooks once again proves he has a surer touch with humorous fantasy than with the saga. Unlikely to lack readers wherever fantasy fans congregate.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345387004
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/28/1995
  • Series: Magic Kingdom of Landover Series , #4
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 368
  • Lexile: 870L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.84 (w) x 4.12 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Terry Brooks
Terry Brooks published his first novel, The Sword of Shannara, in 1977. It was a New York Times bestseller for more than six months. He has published twenty-five New York Times bestsellers since. Two of those--the novels Running with the Demon and A Knight of the Word--were chosen by the Rocky Mountain News (Denver) as among the best fantasy novels of the twentieth century. A practicing lawyer until his third book was published, Brooks now writes full-time. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, Judine.

Biography

"I found my way to fantasy/adventure. When I got there, I knew I'd found a home," said Terence Dean Brooks, creator of the blockbuster, New York Times bestselling Shannara, Landover, and Word & Void series. Not only is Brooks at home in the highly competitive realm of fantasy literature, many would call him the genre’s modern-day patriarch – Tolkien’s successor. While that title is debatable, Brooks is, without a doubt, one of the world’s most prolific and successful authors of otherworld (and our world) fantasy. Few writers in any genre can boast a more entertaining collection of work – and a more ravenous and loyal fan base -- than can Terry Brooks.

The most rewarding aspect to writing for Brooks is “when someone who never read a book reads [one of mine] and says that the experience changed everything and got them reading.” Because of his very engaging, quick-flowing writing style, countless numbers of young people have been introduced to the wonderful world of reading through Brooks’s adventures. The miraculous thing, however, is that these same fans – whether they’re now 20, 30, or 40 years old – still devour each new release like a starving man would a steak dinner. Credit Brooks’s boundless imagination, endearing characters, fresh storylines and underlying complexities for keeping his older, more discerning audience hooked.

Brooks began writing when he was just ten years old, but he did not discover fantasy until much later. As a high school student he jumped from writing science fiction to westerns to adventure to nonfiction, unable to settle on one form. That changed when, at the age of 21, Brooks was introduced to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien provided Brooks with a forum “that would allow him to release onto paper his own ideas about life, love, and the wonder that fills his world," according to his web site.

In 1977, after six trying years, Brooks published novel his first novel, The Sword of Shannara. And quickly it gave him – and his publisher (the newly created Ballantine imprint, Del Rey) – quite a thrill; the fantasy adventure featuring the young Halfling, Shea Ohmsford; the mysterious wizard Allanon; Flick, the trusty companion; and the demonic Warlock Lord, was not only well received -- it was a smash, spending over five months on The New York Times bestseller list. In 1982 Brooks released the follow-up, The Elfstones of Shannara (which Brooks says may be his favorite), to equal success. He closed out the initial trilogy in 1985 with The Wishsong of Shannara, and has since completed two more Shannara sets, The Heritage of Shannara books and the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara books.

As fans of Brooks know, the man doesn’t like to stay put. “I lived in Illinois for the first 42 years of my life, and I told myself when I left in 1986 that I would never live any one place again,” Brooks said. He now spends his time between his homes in Seattle and Hawaii; he and his wife also spend a great deal of time on the road each year connecting with the fans. These same nomadic tendencies are also apparent in his writing. Instead of staying comfortably within his proven, bestselling Shannara series, Terry frequently takes chances, steps outside, and tries something new. His marvelous Landover and Word & Void series are the results. While both are vastly different from Shannara, they are equally compelling. Word & Void – a contemporary, dark urban fantasy series set in a fantasy-touched Illinois – is quite possibly Brooks’s most acclaimed series. The Rocky Mountain News called the series’ first two books (Running with the Demon and The Knight of the Word “two of the finest science fiction/fantasy novels of the 20th century.”

Good To Know

When The Sword of Shannara hit The New York Times bestseller list, Brooks became the first modern fantasy author to achieve that pinnacle.

The Sword of Shannara was also the first work of fiction to ever hit The New York Times trade paperback bestseller list. Thanks to a faithful and growing fan base, the books continue to reach the list.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was not Terry's first novelization. He also novelized Steven Spielberg's 1991 movie, Hook.

Brooks’s The Phantom Menace novelization is also not his only connection to George Lucas. Both The Sword of Shannara and the original Star Wars novel, A New Hope, were edited by Judy Lynn del Rey and published in the same year (1977) to blockbuster success.

The Sword of Shannara was initially turned down by DAW Books. Instead, DAW sent Terry to Lester del Rey, who recognized Terry’s blockbuster potential and bought it. And the rest, they say, is history.

Brooks’s influences include: J.R.R. Tolkien, Alexander Dumas, James Fenimore Cooper, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Mallory's Morte d'Arthur.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Terence Dean Brooks (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Pacific Northwest and Hawaii
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 8, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Sterling, Illinois
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English, Hamilton College, 1966; J.D., Washington and Lee University
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 32 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2001

    preety good, if you disliked the other ones in the series don't read it! The third is the best from all.

    Ben holiday and Willow are in a new adventure and as usuall they go two separate ways in two different paths. Horris came back to Landover where he had been exiled and now retured with the tangle box with a shadow inside it whe will lead Horris to Big trouble!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I Liked It...

    'The Tangle Box' was not my favorite of the series, so far. To me it did not live up to the quirky fun and exciting danger of the first three books in the series. It seems to me that the story of Landover may be taking a turn in a different direction. It seems less fun and very much more serious. However, I still really enjoyed and liked this book, a lot! (Confusing, huh?)
    Horris and Biggar are exiles from Landover, and when their scam of a wise man backfires, they are forced to return back to Landover. It seems that Skat Mandu, their made-up, imaginary wise man turns out to be for real!
    Willow tells Ben that she is pregnant, reluctantly. She is fearful that he will not understand a fairy birthing is not what he expects.
    Now Skat Mandu has his plans for the kingdom of Landover, and it's involving the Tangle Box. The Tangle Box is something that the meager and lousy wizard Horris has had for a very long time, but has never been able to open.
    The elemental, Earth Mother tells Willow that her child is important and special. The baby will have the heritage of three worlds; Landover, Ben's world, and that of the fairy mists. Willow must collect soils from all three worlds to ensure her babies safe birth.
    By capturing the three powers of the kingdom not only into the trap of the Tangle Box, but giving them new identities such as the Knight, the Lady, and the Gargoyle, Skat Mandu is able to open the kingdom to the demons of Abaddon!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I Liked It...

    'The Tangle Box' was not my favorite of the series, so far. To me it did not live up to the quirky fun and exciting danger of the first three books in the series. It seems to me that the story of Landover may be taking a turn in a different direction. It seems less fun and very much more serious. However, I still really enjoyed and liked this book, a lot! (Confusing, huh?)
    Horris and Biggar are exiles from Landover, and when their scam of a wise man backfires, they are forced to return back to Landover. It seems that Skat Mandu, their made-up, imaginary wise man turns out to be for real!
    Willow tells Ben that she is pregnant, reluctantly. She is fearful that he will not understand a fairy birthing is not what he expects.
    Now Skat Mandu has his plans for the kingdom of Landover, and it's involving the Tangle Box. The Tangle Box is something that the meager and lousy wizard Horris has had for a very long time, but has never been able to open.
    The elemental, Earth Mother tells Willow that her child is important and special. The baby will have the heritage of three worlds; Landover, Ben's world, and that of the fairy mists. Willow must collect soils from all three worlds to ensure her babies safe birth.
    By capturing the three powers of the kingdom not only into the trap of the Tangle Box, but giving them new identities such as the Knight, the Lady, and the Gargoyle, Skat Mandu is able to open the kingdom to the demons of Abaddon!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2001

    a reviewer

    The first one is the best and this is the second best but you might want to read some others first because you need background information.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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