Nancy Keane's

Booktalks -- Quick and Simple


Main Page

Author List

Title List

New This Month

Interest Level

Subject List



Booktalking Tips

Book Review Sources

Reading lists


Nancy Keane's Children's Website

Brooks, Terry.
New York : Ballantine, 1987.
ISBN 0345317580

Do you ever spend time pouring over a catalog, dreaming about the things you want to buy?  That’s how this story starts, Ben received a catalog from Rosen’s, Ltd. in the mail.  It was addressed to his wife, dead now for two years.  Don’t they know enough to remove someone’s name from their mailing list after they’ve died?  Remembering how much his wife enjoyed this particular catalog, Ben sits down to look through it.  (Read from dummy catalog—I used a catalog I was tossing and pasted on a new cover with a Santa Claus and the header Rosen’s, Ltd. Christmas Wishbook.  On the inside I pasted [one to a page] descriptions of six of the items from the book, ending with the description of Landover.)  Surely this is some sort of practical joke.  There’s no such thing as a magic kingdom.  But Rosen’s has a certain reputation about what is offered in its catalog.  Ben is at a point in his law career where he is frustrated by the system.  That certainly influences his decision to take some time off and fly to New York to look into the business of this magic kingdom.  During the interview with Mr. Meeks, Ben learns that if he isn’t perfectly satisfied with the kingdom he can return within 10 days and get his money back, except for a 5% handling fee.  After that first 10 days he must stay for a year before he can leave the kingdom and still be able to return to it.  Ben looks at his life and decides he can take a year off in order to give this magic kingdom a try.   Not that he tells anyone that's where he is going.  When Ben arrives in Landover he is greeted by a demon.  Then he finds out that his kingdom isn't quite as advertised.  His court wizard is not very good at magic.  His personal attendant and court scribe is an enchanted dog.  His personal bodyguards look like long-eared monkeys.  And that's the sum of his retinue.  No servants, no army, a castle falling to ruin.  Only a few peasants come to his coronation.  What has Ben gotten himself into?  Well, the real fun starts once Ben sets out trying to restore his kingdom to its former glory.  More than his lawyerly skills are challenged as he matches wits with knights, faeries, and demons.  (Mary Huebscher, Librarian, Holy Cross of San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

SUBJECTS:     Good and evil -- Fiction.
                        Fantasy fiction.


Permission is granted for the noncommercial duplication and use of this resource, provided it is substantially unchanged from its present form and appropriate credit is given.