The first thing that struck me when I read this book was that I could tell that Terry Brooks, in his former life, was a lawyer. That in and off itself is not surprising since the job of a lawyer is basically to tell stories. Okay, probably not corporate lawyers and such but if you are in criminal law or personal injury the key to being a successful lawyer is the ability not only to tell a story but to tell a good story. Okay, you may be asking the question 'shouldn't lawyers tell the truth?'
Actually, you probably aren't asking that question despite the fact that, at least in Australia, lawyers aren't supposed to lie. Then again lawyers are supposed to represent their clients and they can only go on what their client's tell them. When a client tells you something it is not your job as a lawyer to immediately disbelieve them. The only time you do is when there is enough evidence to point to the contrary. For instance, if your client is telling you that he wasn't at the building that was broken into but there is very clear video evidence that he was, and you know that he was there, then you will basically be pushing the proverbial waste up the proverbial hill trying to argue otherwise (and just try to pull the 'video was tampered with' argument).
Anyway, the main character in this book, who ironically is forty years old, is suffering a mid-life crisis. Okay, his wife was killed in a motor vehicle accident so all he has left is his career as a lawyer. However one night, while flicking through a gift catalogue, he comes across an advertisement for a magic kingdom and against the advice of his only friend he decides to fork out the million dollars that the seller is asking for it. The catch is that when he finally takes possession of the kingdom, as king, he discovers that the kingdom is pretty much like an old run down house that needs a lot of work to bring it back to its original condition.
I was originally attracted to this book because of its title. It seemed different in a way, however I must admit, while it was an entertaining read, that is pretty much all it was: entertainment. I really don't want to criticise Terry Brook's too much, but I would hardly say that he is an above average writer. He can write, but it is nothing that is all that fantastic. Basically this story is sort of like a fairy tale, but not quite a fairy tale. It differs from his Shannara books (or at least the one that I read) in that it has somewhat more of a high magic, fairy tale, feel too it, rather than the more down to Earth fantasy that Shannara has. Despite the appearance of it being more of a cartoon than his other books, it is not really a comedy, and I don't think it is meant to be, though from the title I sort of got the impression that maybe it was.