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Witches' Brew (The Magic Kingdom of Landover) Hardcover – March 14, 1995

4.4 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Picking up where The Tangle Box left off, Brooks continues his increasingly convoluted narrative, again following the trials and tribulations of former lawyer?and currently Landover's ruler?Ben Holiday. Even as Holiday battles evil forces to keep his domain secure and his loved ones safe, his daughter, Mistaya, is kidnapped by his nemesis, the disgruntled witch Nightshade. Threatened by the mysterious Rydall, King of the Marnhull, Holiday must prepare to meet seven potentially deadly challenges. Meanwhile, his faithful sidekicks, Abernathy the scribe and Questor Thews the wizard, are sent to Earth, where Abernathy renews his acquaintance with Elizabeth, now an attractive teenager. Despite entertaining passages (Mistaya's training in witchcraft) and moments of depth (Holiday's struggles with his inner demons), the novel still feels cobbled together, a kind of prelude for the romances and battles of later installments. Fortunately, the familiar characters remain as appealing as when they first appeared, despite their involvement in these transparent and hackneyed situations.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

For the fifth time, Brooks brings us Ben Holiday in the Magic Kingdom of Landover. Ben's daughter, Mistaya, is growing with supernatural speed, just in time to become the object of a kidnapping. The kidnappers are working for the hostile potentate Rydall, who is challenging Ben to seven contests, winner take all--" all" in this case being the Magic Kingdom. As usual, Ben and his comrades and allies are forced to use both sheer magical muscle and subtler ingenuity to come out with their skins whole. As usual, they succeed. The Magic Kingdom books continue to be ingenious, witty, and generally fun to read, even though they do not reach for the exalted high-fantasty heights of Brooks' Shannara novels. Roland Green
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Product Details

  • Series: The Magic Kingdom of Landover
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; 1st edition (March 14, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345387015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345387011
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #655,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
The best book of the series, I loved every word of it. This book has everything. I loved how old enemies became friends, old friends became new enemies, and how everything wound itself together so much that there was nothing else for the end but one climatic explosion throwing you for loops you never expected. Half the time I spent reading this book I was in total shock from the surprise of not knowing what was going to happen next. You could not end any series of novels better than Terry Brooks did with this one. This was as great book and a must read, you will really enjoy it if you like the magical and suspenceful elements of fantasy novels as much as I do.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This one is almost as good as "The Tangle Box," if you can believe it. Nightshade's hatred seems a bit over the top, but I guess that is her character. Again, Ben is confounded by things he can't understand and he doesn't really know what to do, even though it is clear to the reader what is going on, down to Nightshade's sidekick. But the plot is well developed and the mud puppy bit is a great addition! Poor Abernathy. Enough said. Read this one. You really must.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book gave me chills the second time I read it, let alone the first! I liked it because it reads smoothly, has suspence, and over all just a good story. It normally takes me two to three weeks to read a book of this size, but i finished this one in 2 days. I couldn't put the book down. I hope that Terry Brooks comes out with some more books in this series. (I might even have to spend the money to get a hardcover)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Book Five of the Landover series by Terry Brooks. Plays off the ending of Brooks' last landover book -The Tangle Box-. The story line: A King from another land outside of landover challenges Holiday for the crown and medallion of Landover. Holiday refuses and his daughter Mystaya is kidnapped. Holiday must accept the chasllenge if he is to get his daughter back. The challenge is he must defeat 7 creatures sent to kill him. What he doesn't know is that his daughter is unaware she has been kidnapped and is helping create the monsters sent to kill her father. In the end Holiday and her daughter both figure out what is secretely happening and expose the truth. To give more detail would ruin the book. Read it if you liked the Tangle Box!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a good book, however it's not the best of the Landover series. The tangle box is a finer book but this one is still worth reading if you are a fantasy fan. The novel centers on the Witch nightshade's plan to destroy The High Lord and the instrument of the witch'es choosing is Mistaya, the High Lord's daughter. Usually the landover books are longer than this and perhaps if it was longer I would have enjoyed it more. There was somthing missing. Yet there are some truly scary scenes involving an ardsheal and other monsters so if you like monsters and lots of fighting this book is for you.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Witches' Brew (1995) is the fifth fantasy novel in the Magic Kingdom of Landover series, following The Tangle Box. In the previous volume, Horris foiled the Gorse's plans. Ben was finally reunited with Willow and his newborn child. Later, Horris was sent back to Earth and became a bestselling fantasy author.

In this novel, Ben Holiday is a former trial lawyer. He has been King of Landover for about five years. He is married to Willow and has a two year old daughter.

Willow is a sylph, the daughter of the River Master and a wood nymph. She is also Ben's wife.

Mistaya is the daughter of Ben and Willow. Misty was gestated by soil from Landover, Earth and the fairy mists. She grew into a human looking infant, but developed more quickly. She has the body of a ten year old and the mind of someone in the mid twenties.

Questor Thews is the court wizard of Landover. He was the half-brother of the former court wizard. His wizardry has improved and he has gained more wisdom.

Abernathy is the court scribe. He is also a talking dog. He had once been a human, but had been transformed by Questor. The wizard has not yet been able to restore his human form.

Bunion is a kobold. He is the court runner, strong, fierce and able to move faster and further than almost any other creature. He has been with Ben since the beginning of these adventures.

Haltwhistle is a mud puppy. He serves the Earth Mother and has his own form of magic.

Nightshade is the Witch of Deep Fell. She came from the fairy mists long ago. She hates Ben, especially since the tangle box affair.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In this sequel to The Tangle Box, two strangers appear at the gate of Sterling Silver Castle – the leader identifies himself as Rydall, King of the Marnhull, and challenging Ben Holiday to a contest over the throne of Landover. And when Ben and Willow’s daughter, Mistaya, is abducted and Questor Thews and Abernathy disappear, it leaves Ben in the fight of his life. It’s Ben’s worse nightmare come to life, and he fears that even if he wins he will lose.

But, there is more going on than meets the eye. Rydall is merely a tool of the witch Nightshade, who wants to kill Ben Holiday in a particularly nasty way, and wants to use Mistaya to do it. Questor Thews and Abernathy have been sent to Earth, and are looking for a key that will allow them to return to Landover, but the cost may be more than they could have feared.

Overall, I found this to be another very good book in the series. There’s a lot of great action, some really interesting monsters, and a lot of really interesting character development – we learn a lot especially about Nightshade. My one complaint against the story is that while some characters are likable (Questor Thews and Abernathy), and some interesting (Nightshade and Strabo), and some both (Ben Holiday and Willow), Mistaya is not actually either. Too formal and distant to be likable (though she is never unlikable), she is never developed enough to become interesting. I found that disappointing.

But, that said, my problems with Mistaya were not large enough to at all spoil the book for me. I still found it exciting and suspenseful, and I really enjoyed it. This is a great book in a great series, and I do not hesitate to recommend it to everyone!
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