The Tangle Box by Terry Brooks

This entry is part [part not set] of 5 in the series The Magic Kingdom of Landover

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Book Four of The Magic Kingdon of Landover Series
Publisher: Del Rey (March 1, 1995), 368 pages, Language: English, ISBN-10: 0345387007, ISBN-13: 978-0345387004

Ben Holiday was a lawyer from our world in modern times, he was unhappy and kind of lost because he lost his wife and their unborn child in a tragic accident. One day he finds a most unusual ad in the paper. It is for the sale of a real live magic kingdom for $1,000,000.  This magic kingdom has fairy magic, witches, trolls, and other strange creatures including a living castle. Now Ben is living as King of Landover with his new wife, Willow, who is a wood sylph.

This is the fourth book in The Magic Kingdom of Landover Series.  To date there are a total of six books in this series.  Terry Brooks is also very well known for the numerous books he has written in the Shannara Series, but these two series are totally unrelated.  The Magic Kingdon of Landover Series are fantasy books that go back and forth from contempory to traditional fantasy depending on the location of the book.  This book is written and the story is told in the third person narrative from the various character’s point of view.

This book combines three stories together.  Ben Holiday, Strabo the dragon and Nightshade the witch are lost inside the tangle box.  The tangle box is a magical device which confines them both physically and mentally (they do not even know who they really are.) The evil faerie creature which was originally caught in the tangle box is now loose in Landover and causing a great deal of trouble.  Meanwhile Willow has her own task to fulfill. She is pregnant with a child that is part once-faerie, part human and part magic from Landover.  This is not a normal child and it will not be a normal birth, instead the child will be born while Willow is in her tree state and the soil needs to be from the faerie mists, earth and Landover.

Brooks did a good job of maintaining the three storylines and yet also expertly intertwining them, it kept the story interesting.  This is my favourite book in the series. I liked how the story unfolded and I like all the characters.  It was interesting how Ben, Nightshade and Strabo got along with each other in the tangle box. We get a better understanding of each of these characters and their interpersonal relationships form new meaning based on their interactions within the tangle box. In someways this story was similar to Wizard at Large.  In both books an evil creature switches place with one of the main characters in Landover and then creates trouble. I enjoyed the story and thought it had a great ending.   I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

This is a stand alone story which I always find satisfying, yet it is also clearly part of a larger story. I recommend you read the books from the beginning to get a better understanding of the world in which they live.  The story also builds from one book to the other, yet each book can be read independently from any other. If you enjoy reading Terry Brooks, then you will enjoy this book, it is a good fantasy novel that is fun to read.

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