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The kingdom was in ruin. The Barons refused to recognize the king, and the peasants were without hope. A dragon was laying waste the countryside, while an evil witch plotted to destroy everything.
Ben's only followers were the incompetent Court Magician; Abernathy, the talking dog who served as Court Scribe; and the lovely Willow - but she had a habit of putting down roots in the moonlight and turning into a tree. The Paladin, legendary champion of the Kings of Landover, seemed to be only a myth and an empty suit of armor.
To put a final touch on the whole affair, Ben soon learned that the Iron Mark, terrible lord of the demons, had challenged all prospective Kings of Landover to a duel to the death - a duel which no human could hope to win.
The task of proving his right to be King seemed hopeless. But Ben Holiday was stubborn.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Al on 12-05-09
If you're looking for Tolkein....
This is not it! This is light hearted, easy to follow, and will still suck you in.... if you let it. I wanted something that wasn't mired in so much detail it would put me to sleep (Tolkein) while I drove! I got exactly what I wanted with this book.
I listen in a car and occasionally get distracted, this did not impact the enjoyment I had listening to this book. I will continue to listen to the rest of the series.
At first listen, I wasn't sure I was going to like the narrator, but now... surprisingly, I am a fan as others have also written.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful
By Bryan J. Peterson on 09-03-11
A great start to a great series.
I read the first two books of this series back in Junior High and picked the rest up over the next few years. Then I discovered the Brilliance Audio versions, though at the time they only had abridged versions available. Fortunately they had and still have an excellent narrator. Dick Hill narrates both the abridged and unabridged versions and does an excellent job on both. His deep, rich baritone lends itself well to narration, although I agree with those who say his characterization of Abernathy sounds disturbingly like the Geico Gecko. One thing I do wish he'd kept up with from the abridged versions was how when a character was talking on the telephone, the enginneers would add an appropriate effect to one side of the conversation so that it sounded as though it were in fact coming through a phone receiver.
The story opens as Ben Holiday, a trial lawyer from Chicago, receives a Christmas catalog from a New York department store where his wife Annie, dead two years, loved to shop. While thumbing through the catalog, Ben discovers that a fantasy kingdom called Landover is being offered for sale, and that the byer will rule the realm as king. Having become disillusioned with his life since the death of Annie, Ben takes a leap of faith and makes the purchase. Upon arrival in Landover however,Ben discovers the kingdom in shambles. Taxes have not been collected in years, the monarchy has fallen apart and the people refuse to recognize him as king, and a dragon, Strabo, has been ravaging the countryside unchecked for twenty years. There is also the threat of the evil sorceress Nightshade to contend with. Also, the lack of a permanent king has caused the magic to fade from the land, taking with it its life. On top of all this, Ben learns he must soon do battle with the Iron Mark, a demon lord from the netherworld of Abaddon, who himself has claimed the kingship. Only time will tell whether or not Ben will be able to pull through and save the land from ruin.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful