The Outcast King
A year had passed since Ben Holiday bought the Magic Kingdom from the wizard Meeks, to find his road to the crown filled with hazards and pitfalls set by Meeks. He had won, aided by three loyal friends: Questor Thews, an ill-trained Court Wizard; the Court Scribe Abernathy, a talking dog; and the lovely Willow, who sometimes had to become a tree.
Now Ben sat at breakfast, telling of a troubling dream about his former partner Miles Bennett in grave trouble. Questor had also had a dream – of finding the lost books of magic. And Willow had dreamed of a black unicorn and a golden bridle to control it. But when Ben set out to see Miles, he found the man doing well, and he hastened back to Landover.
Questor returned with the books of magic; but one was badly burned and the other held only drawings of unicorns. Willow, who had gone to see her mother about the unicorn, had not come back.
That night, Ben woke to see Meeks gloating over him. Meeks claimed he sent all the dreams, that he now had the medallion that gave the King power to summon the mysterious knight-protector, the Paladin, and that had cast a spell to assume Ben's appearnance. Ben now looked like a dirty vagrant, he sneered.
Ben found himself outcast, no longer recognized by any friend. But somehow, all his greatest enemies seemed to know him. And without the medallion, he couldn't seek the help of the Paladin against them. There was only the prism cat – whatever that might be!
Terence Dean "Terry" Brooks (born 1944) is is a writer of fantasy fiction. Terry Brooks writes mainly high fantasy, and has also written two movie novelizations.
Terry Brooks was a practising attorney for many years, but now writes full time. His first novel, The Sword of Shannara (1977), remained on the New York Times bestseller list for 5 months.