Thursday, July 31, 2014

Case Study No. 1477: Mistaya Holiday, Andjen "Thom" Thomlinson and Craswell Crabbit

"A Princess of Landover" book trailer
Series: Landover
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Del Rey; Reprint edition (July 27, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345458532
ISBN-13: 978-0345458537
Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 4 x 6.7 inches
Tags: A Princess of Landover by Terry Brooks
Added: 7 months ago
From: ToonLib
Views: 22

Mistaya Holiday, fifteen-year-old daughter of High Lord Ben Holiday, has been sent to the Carrington School For Girls to learn more about Ben's world.

However, her experience there is less than pleasant and soon, she returns to Landover.

Ben, angry and disappointed with his daughter, has suggested that she go to work restoring Libiris, Landover's library.

Immediately mortified at the prospect of cleaning up the neglected library, Mistaya decides to seek refuge with the her grandfather, the River Master.

To make matters even worse for Mistaya, she has discovered that Lord Laphroig, lord of Rhyndweir, has the intention of marrying her.

Upon reaching her grandfather, she finds out that he doesn't intend to offer her sanctuary from her parents. Instead, he sends her on her way.

Disheartened, Mistaya decides to go to the last place her parents would think to look for her: Libiris.

Once there, Mistaya meets Thom, a young boy indentured to His Eminance, the library's director.

Thom's task includes cataloging and organizing the library's books along with the help of some other less-than-desirable creatures.

Almost immediately, however, Mistaya senses a presence about Libiris and soon she discovers that these is much more to this old library than books ...

For Libiris has a magic all its own, and there are dark forces at work within her.

Will Mistaya be able to discover the secret of Libiris before its too late and will she be forced to marry the strange Lord Laphroig?



A Princess of Landover
by Terry Brooks

Ben Holiday, mere mortal turned monarch of the magic kingdom of Landover, has grappled with numerous contenders for his throne, but nothing could have prepared him for the most daunting of challengers: his headstrong teenage daughter, Mistaya. After getting suspended from an exclusive private school in our world, Mistaya is determined to resume her real education-learning sorcery from court wizard Questor Thews-whether her parents like it or not. Then, horrified that a repulsive Landover nobleman seeks to marry her, Mistaya decides that the only way to run her own life is to run away from home.

So begins an eventful odyssey peppered with a formidable dragon, recalcitrant Gnomes, an inscrutable magic cat, a handsome librarian, a sinister sorcerer, and more than a few narrow escapes as fate draws Landover's intrepid princess into the thick of a mystery that will put her mettle to the test - and possibly bring the kingdom to its knees.



A Princess of Landover by Terry Brooks is the sixth novel of the Magic Kingdom of Landover series, published in August of 2009 (fourteen years after the previous entry in the series, "Witches' Brew").

The book began a prologue on the witch Nightshade still trapped in the form of a crow in a cage in Woodland Park Zoo, having been exiled from Landover for more than five years. Apart from having mysteriously appeared in the cage, her red eyes marked her different from other birds and elicited brief interest from animal experts. They gave up trying to study her after failing repeatedly to capture her, despite her being in a cage.

The story proper began in the principal's office of the exclusive private school Carringon Women's Preparatory in New England where Mistaya "Misty" Holiday had been sent by Ben to "learn about places other than" Landover. The school was informed that her parents were away most of the time and all correspondence to be made via Miles Bennett, Ben's former law partner. The headmistress Harriet Appleton was with Misty, recounting the girl's previous visits to the same office.

The first was when Misty organized a school protest and shut down classes for three days when the school tried to remove a two hundred year old tree from the school grounds.

The second was when Misty formed an unapproved club for students to "engage in a bonding-with-nature program", the sticking point for the school authorities being ritualistic scarring for the members, which Misty thought would "convey the depth of commitment" and "reminder of the pain and suffering human ignorance fostered". Besides, Misty thought it should not be a problem as the "scarring was done in places that weren't normally exposed to the light of day".

The third and current visit came about because Misty had done something to terrify fellow student Rhonda Masterson to the point of hysterics and had to be sedated by a nurse. Rhonda and other blue-blooded East Coast snots had been bullying Misty until the latter was pushed too far by being called a name Misty refused to repeat. In retaliation, Misty conjured up an image of Strabo, the last dragon of Landover.

Though the headmistress could not be sure what Misty had done, she suspended Misty from school and indicated she would consider accepting Misty back if Misty agrees to be the type of student expected in Carringon.

Misty was only too glad to leave and decided to do so immediately instead of waiting for the Christmas break. Taking a flight to Dulles, the Waynesboro[disambiguation needed], she returned to Landover through a portal located in George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, passable only by certain magic.

As Misty arrived in Landover, thinking about resuming her study of magic with Questor, she was met unexpectedly by Strabo, who somehow knew and made it clear he did not appreciate his image being used by Misty. Her next encounter was much more pleasant, with the mud puppy Haltwhistle coming to greet her. The third encounter before she reached home was a tied-up G'home Gnome Poggwydd, whom she rescued.

Once at home in Sterling Silver, Ben was informed to his dismay the reason of Misty's return. After a heated argument with Misty, Ben discussed with his advisors. Questor Thews and Abernathy

Questor suggested for Misty to be sent to organize the Libiris, a royal library which was started by the last wise and dedicated king of Landover, to foster greater interest in reading for all subjects of Landover. The project stalled and the library fell into neglect. Questor proposed fixing the library and reopening it would be a worthwhile project for Misty. It was revealed that Questor and Abernathy also withheld something from Ben about the libiris.

Before Ben could approach Mistaya about the project, he was presented with a proposal of marriage to his daughter from Laphroig, lord of Rhyndweir, the largest of the Greensward baronies. Personally repulsed, Ben diplomatically avoided giving a direct answer. However, Laphroig chose to interpret it as tacit approval to woo the girl, and sprung himself upon Misty who had not been informed.

Aghast, Misty rebelled and refused to accept Ben's explanation, nor his idea of her going to the Libiris. She chose to run away from home to her grandfather and enlisted the aid of Poggwydd to hide some of the packings she would need. Unfortunately, it also resulted in her becoming stuck with the Gnome as a travelling companion.

In addition, she was joined by the mysterious cat Edgewood Dirk who seemed to be able to come and go as it pleases, and refused to talk or appear other than an ordinary cat except when alone with her.

When Misty arrived at her grandfather's domain of the lake country, he allowed her to stay but refused to take her side against her father. Realising her grandfather was going to send her back, Misty took a chance when Edgewood Dirk offered her to escape.

At Dirk's subtle proddings, Misty realised the only place she can go to escape from being found by her father or grandfather was the Libiris, the very place she was supposed to go in the first place. Convincing herself that she was going on her own accord, Misty presented herself as a peasant girl to the Libiris.

Misty was almost turned away by the Libiris staff Rufus Pinch, had not his assistant Thom who intervened and pretended Misty was his sister Ellice. Together, they seemed to persuade Craswell Crabbit, the person in charge of Libiris, to allow Misty to stay and help with the work in organising the books.

While Ben and the River King had been trying unsuccessfully to locate Misty, Laphroig deployed his spies to watch the royal castle, convinced he could take advantage of the situation. Questor and Abernathy discussed between themselves what would be the "last place" anyone would think of looking for Misty and came to a startling conclusion that the Libiris might be the place.

Questor made a secret visit to the Libiris and contacted Misty. By then, Misty realised something strange was going on in the Libiris and was convinced Crabbit was up to something bad. She was determined to stay on to investigate while Questor was to return to Sterling Silver, ready to act as backup if necessary.

Misty discovered some similarities between the Libiris and the sentient castle Sterling Silver. With Thom's help, she learned that books of magic were being passed to demons of Abaddon. And with some help from Edgewood Dirk, she was able to implement a temporary fix.

Unfortunately, Misty's efforts were discovered by Craswell who had her and Thom captured. Apparently, Craswell had known all along her identity as Princess of Landover.

Meanwhile, through his spies watching Sterling Silver, Laphroig learned the location of Mistaya and set forth there with a large group of armed men to demand Misty from Crabbit. Deciding to play off Laphroig and Ben against each other, Crabbit offered to help by inducing Misty to agree to marry Laphroig, using the threat of Thom's life in the process.

Misty came up with a plan quickly and agreed to the ceremony, demanding it to be held outdoors, and promising not to escape. Once in place, she cast a spell to bring forth the image of Strabo again. Though the illusion was done correctly, the uproar it caused was short lived and she and Thom remained prisoners. However, that was only part of her plan - her goal was to incite the appearance of the real Strabo who promised to visit her if she ever invoke his image again.

The arrival of the real Strabo was much more effective at disrupting the wedding, but Strabo soon got distracting chasing after the armoured men-at-arms which he considered delicacies. Misty was still faced with the armed Laphroig, Pinch who had a crossbow and Crabbit the magician. A stunning explosion occurred when Laphroig's thrown dagger, Pinch's crossbow bolt, and magic from Crabbit and Misty came together.

When the explosion cleared and Misty recovered from being stunned, Laphroig had been turned to stone and there was no sign of Crabbit nor Pinch. Misty had no time to congratulate herself for the demons of Abaddon were breaking through within the Libiris.

With Thom's help, Misty managed to seal the breach from Abaddon. The Libiris began to heal itself, being a creation from the materials taken from Sterling Silver. It was all over by the time Ben and the others from Sterling Silver arrived.

Thom turned out to be the missing brother of Laphroig. Succeeding to the barony, he chose to give the land to the subjects of Rhyndweir in return for reasonable tax to the crown.

Back in the Woodland Park Zoo, the strange crow with red eyes disappeared as mysteriously as it had appeared before. And as mysteriously, two men in strange attire appeared in the same cage, ranting in an unknown language. After being taken away by security, the two ended up in custody of Homeland Security, which also could not understand them nor figure out where they came from.



* Questor Thews, the court wizard, and Abernathy, the court scribe, thought that Mistaya's time might be well occupied by going to the castle Libiris and reorganizing the realm's books of history and magic. Unbeknownst to them, who was still living there?

Craswell Crabbit was a wizard of great power and ambition. Crabbit had been exiled to Libiris by the last real king before Ben Holiday. He had been biding his time there, waiting for some event that would propel him back into the royal court. He was quite full of himself and demanded to be called "His Eminence".

* Working in the stacks of the library, Mistaya heard someone crying for help. Who was it?

Libiris was made from some of the materials used to build Sterling Silver, the main castle of the realm. Being infused with fairy magic, Sterling Silver was sentient and took care of itself and provided for the royal family. Some, but not enough, of Sterling Sliver's building materials were used in Libiris, so it was self-aware but could not care for itself. Crabbit had made a deal with the demons of Abaddon to give them books of magic so they could learn conjuring to escape being locked in their realm. A hole was cut in Libiris' wall to take the books to the demons, who dwelled beneath Landover and were kept there by wards of magic. Libiris could not heal the gash herself and called out to others to help her.

* Who did Thom, Crabbit's indentured servant, turn out to be?

Thom (Andjen Thomlinson) was Laphroig's younger brother, who disappeared when Laphroig became Lord of Rhyndweir. Fearing for his life, he ran away and ended up at Libiris. Crabbit agreed to hide him for five years in return for his services reorganizing the library. In reality, Crabbit was keeping him there until he could barter Thom for some advantage.



For the remainder of the day, Mistaya worked side by side with Thom in the dark and musty confines of the Stacks, cataloging and shelving the books that were stored there. Each book had to be removed, checked against a master list that His Eminence had supplied to Thom, cleaned and repaired as best as possible, and then returned to its space. The shelves themselves had to be scrubbed, since dust and grime had accumulated in clumps and layers thick enough to provide homes for nests of insects, which had long since gone condo. The work was slow and laborious, and by the end of the day they had barely completed one small section of the acres that required attention.

Of course, the task would have taken a dedicated crew of twenty able-bodied men and women as long as two years to complete, so they were somewhat at a disadvantage having only themselves and the completely unreliable Throg Monkeys as laborers. The annoying little creatures skulked around like evil weasels, appearing out of the gloom and then disappearing back into it once more, coming and going as they pleased. When they bothered to pass by, they regarded Thom with undisguised dislike and Mistaya with malevolent intent. Thom managed to get them to do some work, mostly the heavy lifting of the books from the shelves to the floor for easy reach, using the whistle they hated so to bring them to heel. But mostly they just drifted about, demonstrating no interest in the charge His Eminence, supposedly, had given them.

Still, some work was accomplished, and by the end of the day Mistaya could look with pride on the small area of shelving to which she had successfully lent her efforts. The ancient wood gleamed with waxing and polishing and the books rested upon it proudly, each in its place, giving the space a look of bright promise. She took special pleasure in hearing Thom compliment her on her efforts, pointing out how much easier things were now that she was there to help.

Neither of them made any mention of the fact that Rufus Pinch had been spying on them the entire time, making a poor job of concealing himself as he peeked around corners and through gaps, his eyes narrowed suspiciously. What he was trying to accomplish was anybody's guess, but after their first sighting of him resulted in a quick exchange of wordless looks, they pretty much ignored his pathetic efforts in favor of concentrating on the task at hand. Mistaya did find herself wondering more than once if the little man was intent on making this his life's work, but imagined that eventually he would grow tired of the game.

She also found herself wondering how in the world the job of repairing and restoring Libiris and her books would ever be accomplished if things didn't change dramatically from the status quo. As things stood now, it would not be likely that the work would wrap up in her lifetime. But she wasn't there for that, she kept reminding herself. She was only there to hide until she could figure out a way to bargain with her parents about her future. She was working at Libiris not because she wanted to but because it was the only way she would be allowed to stay. As soon as she was able to do so, she was going to leave this dreadful, dingy place and go somewhere else entirely, somewhere at least marginally reasonable.

All of which reminded her that she was in this mess in the first place because she had listened to Edgewood Dirk, and the cat had not reappeared since.

"Tell me something about yourself," Thom asked her later, as they were eating dinner in the kitchen. As usual, there were only the two of them. Rufus Pinch seemed to have given up spying on them for the day and the Throg Monkeys had gone back into the gloom. "Nothing too revealing; I'm not asking you to give up your secrets. Just something you think I might like to know."

She thought about it a moment, giving him a measured look. "And then you will do the same?"

He grinned. "Of course."

"All right." She thought some more. What could she say that would really amaze him? She wanted to do that, to shock him. But at the same time she had to be careful not to give anything away.

"I know," she said finally. She squared her shoulders. "I have met the dragon Strabo, and talked with him."

He stared at her as if she had lost her mind. It was exactly the reaction she had hoped for. "You have not," he insisted. "You couldn't have."

"But I have. It happened when I was ten years old. I was outside my village, carrying milk to my grandmother's cottage." She was improvising now, making it up as she went. "The dragon landed in a field and ate a cow right in front of me! When he was done, he looked at me and asked me what I was staring at. I couldn't speak, I was so afraid. But the dragon said not to worry, that as a rule he didn't eat little girls. Only now and then, and this wasn't either. Then he flew away."

He exhaled sharply. "Right in front of you? I would have been afraid, too! I've seen the dragon flying, but I can't imagine talking to it." He leaned forward, his face serious. "I think you were very brave."

She blushed despite herself, not so much at the compliment as at the knowledge that she was perpetrating a deliberate deception in order to impress him. She liked Thom, and she wanted him to see her as something more than a runaway with strange traveling companions. Her meeting with Strabo hadn't been anything like what she had described, but she couldn't tell him the truth without giving away her identity.

"I wasn't so brave," she said, making a dismissive gesture. "The dragon wasn't interested in me."

"You would have made a nice snack," he suggested. "Did you believe it when he said he wouldn't eat you?"

She shrugged. "He was scary looking, but not aggressive. He didn't threaten me. He just made that one comment, that's all he did." She was anxious to move on. "All right, now it's your turn. Tell me something about you that I should know."

He gave her his boyish grin and shook his head. "I don't think I have anything to tell you half as interesting as what you just told me." He rested his chin in the cup of his hands. "Let's see. Well, I like books. I read all the time."

"That's not surprising," she challenged. "You work in a library."

"Lots of people work at places they don't have any interest in." He paused. "How about this? I don't like fighting with weapons. I'm not very good at it."

She gave him a look. He didn't seem all that awkward. In fact, she thought he looked pretty capable. "What else?" she pressed. "That's not enough yet. You have to tell me something important, something you wouldn't tell just anyone."

He leaned back, looking much put upon. "You can't expect me to match the dragon story. Well, okay. I saw the dragon once, flying by, high up; I already told you that. Does that count?"

She shook her head. "Something else."

"There isn't anything else!" he exclaimed in mock exasperation. "Wait! Okay, one other thing I can tell you." He leaned forward again, bending close and lowering his voice. "I'm not here because I am an apprentice. I'm here because I'm indentured to His Eminence."

"Indentured? Like a servant or slave? You mean he owns you?"

"Something like that, I guess. My father sold me to him for five years to satisfy a family debt. I have to stay here working for him until my five years are up." He cocked an eyebrow at her. "I'm only in my third year."

She was appalled. "Why would your father do that?"

"Ah," he said, drawing the word out. "That's the question, isn't it?"

She frowned. "Well, you have to tell me!"

He shook his head in rebuke. "Not until you tell me something more about yourself. Then I'll tell you the rest."

She leaped to her feet. "That isn't fair!"

"Who said anything about playing fair?" He stretched lazily. "Anyway, I'm off to bed. We start early around here, and tomorrow is your first full day in the Stacks. You'll need all the sleep you can get."

She stared at him in disbelief, started to say something, then stopped. He was already getting to his feet, picking up his plate, and carrying it to the basin to wash. She was furious, but would not give him the satisfaction of finding that out. Two could play this game. She was already thinking about what she would tell him tomorrow that would shock him even more.

He gave her a cheerful wave as he walked out the door, and she smiled back sweetly.

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