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21. On a Pale Horse (Incarnations
22. Two to the Fifth (Xanth)
23. Golem in the Gears (The Magic
24. The Magic Fart
25. Juxtaposition (Apprentice Adept)
26. Shame of Man (Geodyssey, Saga
27. Tarot
28. Hard Sell
29. Zombie Lover
30. The Adventures of Kelvin of Rud:Across
31. Isle of View (Magic of Xanth,
32. Rings of Ice
33. Of Man and Manta
34. Being a Green Mother (Incarnations
35. Split Infinity (Apprentice Adept)
36. DoOon Mode
37. Hope of Earth (Geodyssey)
38. The Color of Her Panties (Xanth,
39. Night Mare (Xanth Novels)
40. Dream A Little Dream: A Tale of

21. On a Pale Horse (Incarnations of Immortality, Bk. 1)
by Piers Anthony
Mass Market Paperback: 336 Pages (1986-09-12)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345338588
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
When Zane shot Death, he learned, too late, that he would have to assume his place, speeding over the world riding his pale horse, and ending the lives of others. Sooner than he would have thought possible, Zane found himself being drawn to Satan's plot. Already the Prince of Evil was forging a trap in which Zane must act to destroy Luna, the woman he loved...unless he could discover the only way out....
The first novel of the INCARNATIONS OF IMMORATLITY series.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (214)

2-0 out of 5 stars juvenile
When the grim reaper shows up a few seconds early, Zane shoots him instead of using the gun on himself as he'd planned. Now, instead of being dead, Zane is Death. He has to take over the office, riding around the world in his convertible pale horse collecting and measuring the souls of those who've committed equal amounts of good and evil during their lives -- those who are "in balance." In his new guise (complete with all of the accoutrements: scythe, hooded cloak, skeleton face, etc), Zane sets out to change Death's image while dealing with his own personal demons.

This is a fun premise and I expected Piers Anthony to do a lot with it, but unfortunately I found On a Pale Horse to be mostly illogical, trite and, worst sin of all, just plain boring. Part of the problem is that it doesn't know if it wants to be a comedy, a love story, or a heavy philosophical treatise. It tries to do all three (it should have been possible), but it fails at all three. The comedy, as usual for Piers Anthony, consists of puns, allusions, and light black humor. For example, when Zane asks Mortis (the pale horse) something to which the answer is negative, Mortis says "neigh" (that was the only one I actually laughed at). I enjoy puns in real-life dialogue (they indicate a quick wit), but they don't often work for me in print and this is one of the reasons I don't read Piers Anthony (I gave up on the first Xanth book after 4 chapters, but I tried On a Pale Horse because it sounded mature and interesting).

There were some things I did find funny -- Death lives in a house that looks like a funeral home and answers fan mail, Satan uses his publicity budget to sponsor Hellathons, group plans, and billboard advertising, a soul's balance of good and evil is computed like an income tax, and you should hear Satan argue with a female Irish fishmonger -- but mostly I found the humor and cheesy dialogue to be juvenile.

The love story is juvenile, too.Zane meets and immediately falls in love with Luna, whose main attractions are that she is beautiful, well-dressed, serious, and likes the same kind of art as Zane. After only a couple of conversations which they apparently think are deep, they are in love, but the reader certainly doesn't feel it.

The humor and the romance are silly, but the thing that really killed On a Pale Horse for me was that it tries to be thoughtful and enlightening as Zane attends a variety of deathbed scenarios that illustrate the unfairness, loneliness, guilt, relief, grief, and ugliness of death. In these scenes (there's a long string of them), there is a lot of repetitive introspection and pondering and some "lessons" about the selfishness of suicide, the effects of incest or rape, the tragedy of an untimely death, the positive and negative aspects of war. Sounds like it could be profound, and I know it's supposed to be profound because in the rather pompous and lengthy (one hour on audio) author's note at the end, Mr. Anthony says "it is a satiric look at contemporary society with some savagely pointed criticism. It's also a serious exploration of man's relation to death... an ambitious hard-hitting social commentary." Except it's not. It's rather superficially processed and it's all stuff that most thinking adults have pondered many times before. There's nothing new here, even for 1984 when it was published.

Just as one example, there's a long scene in which Zane (as Death) enters a medical facility where machines are keeping dying people alive against their wishes. When he shuts down the power and they all are relieved that they can now die, he thinks he has greatly sinned and that now he'll have to make up for it by doing more good deeds. Of course, we the readers recognize that his mercy is the good deed and that it's not a sin to let people die naturally, but why hasn't this occurred to him before, especially since he's had personal experience with the issue and he's been thinking about it for months? Luna tells him "I think sometimes you just have to sin in order to do the right thing" which is a profound revelation for Zane, but it makes me wonder why an adult who hasn't advanced very far through Kohlberg's stages of moral development was chosen to be Death. This sophomoric philosophizing might work better in a YA novel, but On a Pale Horse, with its succubi and other sexual references, is marketed to adults.

I was beyond bored with On a Pale Horse and the only reason I managed to finish it was so that I could thoroughly review it. Unfortunately, I was listening on audio and couldn't skim. The reader, George Guidall, wonderful as he is, actually seems to slow down during the introspective scenes (I guess so that I can have time to process the heavy material?).

Another reason that the attempted weightiness of the story didn't work for me is that On a Pale Horse is completely based on Christian theology. It's okay that Anthony gets some of it really wrong (purgatory is not Biblical, and neither is the idea that criminals and children of rape or incest are unacceptable to Heaven), but what's hard to overlook is that no mention is made of redemption, which is the crux of Christian belief (and a popular theme in fantasy literature). The whole point of Christianity is that Jesus paid the price for sin, so souls are not measured by the balance of good and evil deeds, but by whether or not they belong to Jesus.

Of course, a savior would completely throw off Piers Anthony's entire premise, which is that man must secure a place in heaven by doing more good than evil. In order for this to work, Christ must be excluded, but in that case it seems that it would be better to not use CHRISTianity as the basis for the story because it forces the premise to fail. Mr. Anthony knows that, he knows we know it, and he wants us to just wink it away so that his story works with all of the clever Christian puns and allusions. For the most part I was able to do that, and I could have been perfectly happy doing that if On a Pale Horse didn't ask me to think. But when it asks me to seriously consider eternal issues and the nature of sin and death, good and evil, and Heaven and Hell in the context of a Christian system, then I have trouble leaving redemption out of the picture -- my thinking is restricted and I don't get very far if I have to omit key elements of the doctrine. For this reason, On a Pale Horse would have worked better as strictly a comedy.

3-0 out of 5 stars Nice get-away-from-it-all novel
On a Pale Horse resembles a modern Divine Comedy. Except here Dante is not lead through hell by Virgil. Instead, Zane our protagonist is guided by the nubile ghost of Molly Malone the fishmonger, who proves as canny as Virgil. Like the Divine Comedy, elements of fantasy are fused with religion and mythology. While this fusion may put off some Christians and some fantasy fanciers, the story worked for me: Piers Anthony displays a delightful sense of humor in this well-paced and imaginative tale. There were what I felt to be loose ends to the story but perhaps these are resolved in Book 2.

Highly commended to readers of fantasy who want to get away from it all in a book.

3-0 out of 5 stars 'Dead Like Me' sucks...
I find it interesting that a bunch of people who read this book because they 'loved' the show 'Dead Like Me' would complain that this book isn't good. 'Dead Like Me' is terrible.

This book was OK. Anthony's best effort was probably 'Shade of The Tree', but I've never really been a huge fan of his. I found the Xanth series fairly boring. I recall some of the 'Apprentice Adept' series as being good, but I read them when I was eight years old.
The story is heavily in the P.A. style, and I was waiting for a young girl/old man relationship to pop up. It didn't happen in this particular book, but it shows up later in the series.
This one is the better of the books in the 'Incarnations of Immortality', and may be the best. I've only read the first five, so I'm not entirely sure. It's definitely the best of that series out of the ones I've read, and really the only one I actually enjoyed.
It was better than anything I've ever read by Dean Koontz. OR John Grisham, that I will say.

I'd recommend it for fans of his 'Mode' series (which was almost, kind of ahead of it's time, slightly; but then again, I read those books when I was thirteen/fourteen), if they haven't already read this for some odd reason.

3-0 out of 5 stars Balanced between Good and Evil
Let me first say that I own this book and the entire series that follows.Let me also say that I started and finished that series while I was in High School.At the time, I thought it was one of the most ingenious things I'd ever heard of.I loved the blending of science fiction and fantasy elements; the characters; and the overall premise.

Now, I'm 28 and my tastes have matured somewhat.I still peruse the books occasionally, but the fact is that most of my enjoyment comes from nostalgia rather then the quality of the book.

Here's the good:The premise is still magnificent.A man accidentally kills Death and, as such, is forced to take over his role in the cosmos.The idea that the Incarnation of Death (as well as Time, Fate, War, and Nature) is simply a job that is performed by a (former) mortal is intriguing to me.I like the idea of giving a human face to such abstract concepts.The adventure is fun, and I still sometimes imagine what it would be like to live in such a world.

Now the bad: Basically, it's not very well written, particularly during the dialogue.Language is stilted and formal, lacking the natural flow with which a normal person speaks (think of the dialogue from the Star Wars prequels).Also, there's no individual voice.If you were given five different scraps of dialogue, taken out of context, you'd never have a clue who was speaking because everybody speaks the same way.For example, I'd never heard the word "bailiwick" until reading this book, yet everybody in this universe both knows it and uses it at every possible opportunity.There are more such examples, but that's the first that pops into my mind.

I might recommend this book for younger readers as a first foray into science fiction or fantasy (though there are some pretty up front sexual moments, so, if you're a parent, you may want to decide what's too young.I was in High School and hadn't seen sex even referenced in a book before this).For older readers, who are already well-read, you may want to give this one a pass.

My best recommendation would be to find somebody who loves this book and have them tell you the story.Doubtless, they'll give you the best highlights, and gloss over the lesser parts.That way you still get the benefit of the wonderful premise and plot line, but you can avoid having to read the juvenile writing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Piers Anthony
Lost the book one day, but now I have it to pass the series on to my family! Great book series, should be a movie series! ... Read more

22. Two to the Fifth (Xanth)
by Piers Anthony
Mass Market Paperback: 384 Pages (2009-09-29)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765358948
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

The future of Xanth is in frightful peril. A powerful magical bird named Ragna Roc has embarked on a campaign to become absolute ruler of that mystical realm. Those who swear loyalty to him are spared. The rest have simply disappeared.

So powerful are Ragna’s sorceries that even the Good Magician Humfrey dares not confront him directly. Instead he enlists Cyrus the Cyborg, a handsome half-human playwright with little knowledge of the world, in a stealthy subterfuge. Cyrus must assemble a troupe of traveling players to attract Ragna’s interest. And hidden in disguise among the bevy of beautiful young actresses are the young princesses, Melody, Harmony, and Rhythm, whose magics might just be a match for the evil bird.

But Ragna has planted a spy in the midst of the troupe, one who knows their deepest secrets, including the true nature of Cyrus’s forbidden love for one of the young princesses. Only a mysterious child called Kadence, and a cryptic clue — “Two to the Fifth" — may give the companions the edge they need to defeat Ragna’s dictatorial dreams.

Brimming with passion and merriment, drama and deception, Piers Anthony’s thirty-second Xanth fantasy is a pun-packed performance sure to provoke applause and ovations from the series’ myriad fans.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars Another blaster from the Master!
He still manages to surprise me. Piers Anthony has once again come up with a new, innovative, and naughty way to capture his audience. I own all of the current Xanth novels (in paperback, cheaper that way), not to mention the Adept series and Bio of A Space Tyrant, and there are no duplicating storylines. Over and over, he amazes me. Check it out. Oh, and drop him a line if you have a pun (the worse, the better) you'd like to tell him. If it is new, and sufficiently groan-worthy, he may add it into his next book!!

2-0 out of 5 stars A mere shadow of the Xanth I knew...
Oh how the mighty have fallen... It seems Piers should have let Xanth be before he ran out of the will or desire to do it justice.I fondly remember reading 'A Spell For Chameleon' years ago, and that book led me into many others in the Xanth series.The stories were always light fare, but nuanced enough to make them more satisfying than pure bubblegum fantasy.I recently picked up 'Two to the Fifth' in the airport, to maybe get back to the wild world of Xanth briefly, and could barely finish the thing.This book is rife with strained puns, overly expository dialog, gratuitous sexuality, and very poorly developed character backstories.It reads as if written by a horny 10th-grader with ADD instead of a beloved fantasy veteran.If you're a Xanth fan, or just someone thinking about visiting for the first time, do yourself a favor and steer clear of this one.

1-0 out of 5 stars Borders on pedophilia
I am not a big Piers Anthony fan except for his Xanth books. I love puns and I was hooked ever since A Spell for Chameleon. He has had some great and no so great books in the series but I have always enjoyed them until this one.
They have always been a bit titillating with a lot of references to topless women and men freaking out when they view a woman's panties, but anything raunchier has always been covered up under the Adult Conspiracy. But this book goes way over the top with the main character being seduced by a 12 yr old girl. The whole book seems to be nothing more than a sexual romp and every woman trying to find ways to seduce the men in their book. I was very bothered by this book and would not recommend it to anyone.

3-0 out of 5 stars Two to the Fifth
Xanth #32: Two to the Fifth, by Piers Anthony

I've been reading a lot of Xanth novels lately, and "Two to the Fifth" is the only one I've really enjoyed after reading a few other lackluster installments in the fantasy series.

I do have one big complaint about this book, and that is Anthony violates his own "Adult Conspiracy" and has a 12 year old girl (Princess Rhythm) have a relationship with an adult male. The relationship isn't a little thing either; it's thrown in the reader's face quite often and is a big plot point. It irritated me somewhat, and I was sick of being reminded of their relationship over and over. Anthony seems to be turning into something of a pervert, and while it's a bit refreshing to have him move beyond the oppressive "Adult Conspiracy," doing it in this way wasn't the best.

Well, enough harping on that. Because once you get over that point, you'll be reading one of the better Xanth novels in recent years. Cyrus Cyborg goes to see the Good Magician and learns his life's desire - to be a playwright. His Service for the Answer is to rescue Xanth from the clutches of an evil roc who is intent on taking over the magic land. Cyrus and his troupe are the only ones who can defeat Ragna Roc.

A nicely large part of the book details the troupe's formation and evolution into a talented acting company. I really liked Anthony's take on writer's block - instead of keeping one from writing, in Xanth, one *needs* a writer's block, complete with a muse inside to inspire the writer. The plays Cyrus creates are fun as well.

All in all, a good Xanth book with just one big stumbling block, but at least Anthony does clean things up at the end. A little too neatly for real life, but then again, Xanth is a land of fantasy. And for once, there isn't an overabundance of puns, which was a real plus for me.


1-0 out of 5 stars disappointed in Xanth this time
I used to love the Xanth novels.....But I couldn't get halfway through this one.The entire book (up to the point I gave up reading it) was nothing but one cyborg's issues with and fantasies about women and their constant objectification - frankly, garbage....Used to be an entertaining series.....Sorry, Mr. Anthony - Can we please improve on future Xanth novels? ... Read more

23. Golem in the Gears (The Magic of Xanth, Book 9)
by Piers Anthony
Mass Market Paperback: 327 Pages (1986-01-12)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$2.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345318862
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Grundy Golem got no respect. So, to prove himself, he volunteered for a quest to find the long-lost dragon, Stanley Steamer. On the way, he somehow manages to free a damsel in distress-- but not without incurring the wrath of the Sea Hag in the process. And when it comes to avenging herself on Grundy, the Sea Hag will never give up....
... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars Grundy the hero!
During the ninth visit to the world of Xanth, Grundy gets to be the hero of his very own quest and, of course, to find everlasting love. What a great premise, eh?

Grundy has been known to us faithful Xanth readers since the very beginning. He was a golem created from string and cloth to be able to interpret any language into any other. In one of the previous books he gets to have his fondest wish granted and he is turned into flesh and blood. However, this creates its own problem as he is now the only one of his kind. He is very conscious of his diminutive size, and in compensation for that has adopted a very sarcastic conversational style in which he puts down everyone he meets. This sarcastic commentary on everyone and everything gets him into constant trouble.

The book starts with his getting entangled with some toads who do not like his words and attempt to eat him. He just barely gets out of that problem and decides that he should really do something meaningful to raise his stature amongst the residents of Xanth. This leads him to talk to Ivy who is missing her pet dragon (Stanley Steamer). Now that Grundy has a Quest, he goes to see the wise magician who, as usual, tells him only part of what he needs to know.

Grundy goes off on his quest to retrieve Stanley and hilarity ensues as is usual in Xanth books. Pun after pun rolls off the page and your face will likely be permanently fixed in a quasi-simle as Grundy grows up. First, he discovers that being nice to people yields better results than his heretofore sarcastic manner. Then, he discovers Rapunzel and saves her from the Sea Hag with the help of some unlikely creatures. The discovery of Stanley, his rescue from his place of captivity and the trek back to Castle Roogna are all told in a fun way that makes you pull for the heroes of the story while teaching life lessons and being punishly funny.

The ending of the story is also logical as Grundy finds his true love and saves both Xanth and many other locales by proving how smart he really is. Small size is no obstacle when you have a brain as large as his! Very fun and recommended reading to all.

3-0 out of 5 stars It Was Alright
I enjoyed the book quite a bit, however, there was one thing I disliked about it. This goes for most of this authors books, but the majority of the characters all have an above average intelligence. It just makes the characters lack diversity, as well as making the book seem less realistic, although it is a fantasy novel.

With the exception of my prior statment, the book was marvelous - I paticuarly liked how they made Grundy golem a main character this time, because in previous books the main characters always seemed to be Bink or some relative of his.

Over all, I think this is a good book if you are a fan of this author or this genere. Its not the best book of his I've read, but it was good.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites!
I've read all of the books before this one, and I am starting on the next, Vale of the Vole. When Grundy went out in search of Stanley Steamer, I kept wondering if he would shoot his mouth off and get eaten by a neighboring creature. It didn't happen though. He did shoot his mouth off, but that's also what got him out of a whole mess of trouble. It was GREAT!!

5-0 out of 5 stars I LOVE this book!!
Of all the Xanth novels, this one is my favorite.I liked Grundy from his first appearance in the series, and Piers Anthony has a way to make the characters seem very real and human where in many of the fantasy stories I have read, the characters are the steriotypical overly heroic hero and wimpy maiden (Which isn't always bad).I especially liked the romance in it, the Xanth novels turned me into a hopeless romantic when I was 11. This is a great Xanth book, with suspense, excitement, a great villian, and a "little" romance.

3-0 out of 5 stars Loved it and Hated it!
When this book first came out I was really excited.Finally a Xanth book centering in Grundy.The little golem had been there insulting everyone right from the second book.He'd earned it!
But I should've known better than to get too worked up.In my excitement I'd forgotten one very important thing about Peirs Anthony - All his lead characters suck!
No matter what the book or who is leading it, he always manages to make them boring, thick headed and clumsy in every way possible.It's a pity because he has a lot of supporting characters that are great.But as soon as they take the position of main characters, they somehow turn into Bink clones.
I loved Grundy until this book.I loved his rudeness and total disrespect for people's feelings.But in this book he became a hero and it didn't suit him at all.
But there were good points.
The sweet little relationship between Grundy and Repunzel.
The fact that women weren't insulted as much as in the other Xanth books.

Ummm...That's it, I think.I'm all out of good things to say.
This book destroyed my favourite character but still manages to be one of the better Xanth books. ... Read more

24. The Magic Fart
by Piers Anthony
Paperback: 188 Pages (2003-08-31)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$13.22
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1594260087
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The long awaited sequel to Pornucopia!"Picking up where Pornucopia left off, our hero Prior Gross receives word that his ideal woman, which he never knew existed, is in trouble! Off he goes to the Land of Fartingale where farts are magic!"A rollicking good time! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

1-0 out of 5 stars jschlick
Quite frankly I'm appalled that this book is available on Amazon for just anyone to buy. I get that this book is supposed to have a "WOW" factor but its a brutal read of very graphic and disturbing sexual interactions.I don't think this book should be available for just anyone to buy. I really enjoyed other Piers Anthony books that I read in high school.No high school student should read this book it's disturbing as an adult!There was nothing enjoyable about reading this book, which is sad. Do not buy this book.It's so terrible I don't know what to do with it. I don't want it on my shelf and I don't want to donate it anywhere.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book was amazing
Wow, this book just blew me away. The concept is so fresh and different.

If you want to really be amazed by a book and laugh your pants off at the same time, this book is def. for you.

I wasn't really expecting this from Piers Anthony because I have read his other series. This series is nothing like those at all. It is genius and genuinely fun to read!!! You should buy it!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars totally engrossing
couldnt put the book down! then again i was the same way with pornacopia. both books are well written an keep you engaged in the world pior has found himself in. hoping for maybe a third book?

5-0 out of 5 stars The long awaited sequel to Pornucopia!
Picking up where Pornucopia left off, our hero Prior Gross receives word that his ideal woman, whom he never knew existed, is in trouble! Off he goes to the Land of Fartingale where farts are magic!

A rollicking good time! ... Read more

25. Juxtaposition (Apprentice Adept)
by Piers Anthony
Mass Market Paperback: 368 Pages (1987-06-12)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345349342
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Stile had problems on two different worlds. On Proton he was threatened with murder, and on Phaze, an alternate world ruled by magic, he had to master magic, fight a dragon, win the friendship of a lady unicorn, locate his enemy among the paranoid Adepts and return out of Phaze to win the Great Games on Proton. After that, he was ready to face the real problems!
... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good book
The first couple of books in this series were the best. I am only reading the rest of the series because I wanted to see how it ends. However, most of the remaining books seem to be basically telling the same story as the first book over and over.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not a good ending
I usually like Anthony's books, and I enjoyed the first two of the Adept series.This one just seems pale in comparison.Too much happening to make much sense, too many unlikely events (yeah, even in a fantasy novel).Just didn't make any sense.The fact that no one seems much surprised about the existence of a parallel universe I can't help but find odd.Heck, what seemed like a huge secret in the first two books turns out to be common knowledge to the point where no one so much as blinks an eye.Winning the games, which had been a key focus up till now, has all the excitement of watching grass grow.Even the final game is totally anti-climatic.The 'big finish' is so obvious to the reader that its painful to have to read the final three chapters Anthony takes to actually have it happen.

I almost wish I'd have just quit at the first two.I'll stick with the Xanth series (although it long ago ran out of steam) and the Pale Horse series.

4-0 out of 5 stars Appropriate ending
I was able to figure out the ending long before, but it was still enjoyable to finally finish this trilogy. I had originally bought it in the eighties when it was first published, but had never finished book 2. This time I was adamant about finishing the trilogy. (I didn't realize that there were another three books written even though I own one.) As I was getting close to finishing the second book, I couldn't find the third! Since I was pre-ordering the last Harry Potter book and needed something to get over $25 for free shipping, I figured I might as well re-order the third book. Needless to say, I found the original days after receiving the new copy and before finishing book two, so this book has never been opened. Still, even though the price was double what I originally paid for it, it was worth it. The original series was a very good read. I'm not a fan of Piers Anthony personal beliefs, but I think he's a talented writer. Thank you Piers for a very readable and fun series.

5-0 out of 5 stars great book for guys
Great conclusion to the series I like how his fantasy doesn't get as wordy as a Tolkein book. both excellent writers in their own sense but this book was just right for me.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Worthwhile read
I picked up this book before the rest of the series for a reading report in High School. I instantly fell in love with the thought of corresponding frames and wished to read the rest of the series. Unfortunatly, for me the excitment went downhill from there. I will always consider this book the best of the series and recomend it to anyone who loves fantasy writings. ... Read more

26. Shame of Man (Geodyssey, Saga 2)
by Piers Anthony
Mass Market Paperback: 512 Pages (1995-12-15)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$5.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812550919
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A magnificent epic of danger, desire, triumph and tragedy, Piers' Anthony's Shame of Man is nothing less than the story of humanity itself. It is the story of two lovers reborn throughout history--Hugh, a dreamer and musician, and his beloved Ann, a beautiful dancer--as they struggle to preserve their family and their way of life during some of the most turbulent periods of our savage past--and our troubled future. Through their eyes we experience humanity's greatest achievements, and witness its greatest shame, the relentless exploitation of nature that now threatens our very survival.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

3-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable book
This was a rather good book and a decent follow-up to Isle of Woman. I actually enjoyed the more primitive parts of this book (the ones that happened more than 10,000 years ago), because after that, the stories have a lot of smut in them. Not that adult stuff is bad, since most of us are adults, but I do wish that Mr. Anthony would rely on it less as a plot device, he uses it SO much in most if not all of his books, and it gets really old.

I mean, after a while, I was getting REALLY tired of reading about Hu and Sis because it was just the same thing over and over and OVER, and I'm thinking to myself, COME ON. It's crazy, especially when the family has basically the same story through their reincarnations (losing Chip, finding an abandoned Mina, etc) so it got rather monotonous with about 1/2-1/3 of the stories (the last third of this book) and I wish Mr, Anthony had focused more on the real plot instead of all the drama with Sis. This is why I only gave the book 3 stars, because while it was creative (the non-smut part) it got very repetitive, and I was getting bored about 2/3 through the book.

4-0 out of 5 stars 2nd Book in Series
This book is sequel to Isle of Woman, which I did like a lot This one was good but not as good as the first. Shame of Man mostly revolved around the character Hue, or Hugh or other variations of his was used also. Revolving around one character made it different from the first book because the first had two main characters and it was more of a love story. This one was more about struggles of man versus evil or man vs. survival. There was more history and mythology involved in this also, which I found in parts were kinda of dry and hard for my thought process. I had a problem with trying to figure out in each chapter reincarnation, who was who because their names changed slightly each time to fit the area a time period. It also had characters from the first book in the series so I was trying to remember them as well and sometimes coming up blank. Then there was new character to which I would try to figure out if I had met them yet. So that made it a little frustrating. I still like the book and the thought of the way it is written but whether I will read the third one in the series, Hope of Earth, is up in the air. On one side I really liked Isle of Woman but on the other Shame of Man was only so so. Maybe it was just the fact that the story was man vs. evil and that there is always a balancing act between the two and not yay good won! I don't know resembles life to much for me. Yet if it had been yay good wins I probably would have said predicable.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mankind across 8 million years--in a single family's story
Across eight million years, mankind repeats a single story. Hu/Hugh finds his true love, battles a brother-sister team, raises one genetic son, one adopted daughter, and one adopted son, and discovers and practices music while his wife develops dance. In more than a dozen lands--from early Africa to China, Mongolia, Easter Island, Palestine, and even Tasmania, Hu and Anne explore their relationship, Hu's weird obsession with Ss, and the art of becoming good parents.

As this family pursues survival, they discover the dangers of falling outside the pack. When Hu refuses to join in a hunt for giant orangetangs, believing them too manlike to serve as food, he is cast out of his pack and nearly dies. But the result of the hunt is, over time, the elimination of a kindred species and their replacement with the dominant man. Likewise, in the recent past, Hugh's decision to support tree-spiking nearly results in his arrest. Short term profit maximization becomes more important than the long term survival of the planet.

Author Piers Anthony continues his fascinating exploration of mankind's history--and mankind's relationship to the planet. Throughout history, living creatures have shaped the earth without being aware of the consequences of their actions. Man, by virtue of his intelligence, is able to do far more to Earth than most species--and in a far shorter time. But Anthony manages (mostly) to avoid a preachy political manifesto in the form of a story. Instead, the oddesy of Hu and Anne through the millions of years, with a variety of faces, becomes a compelling and fascinating story. With Anthony's strong writing, this book is hard to put down.

Is Anthony right--will mankind be doomed to exercise extreme social control in order to prevent our own extinction? It certainly seems possible. Indeed, the Bush administration's decision to name environmental activists leaders in 'domestic terrorism' indicates how far mankind must come in a very short time if we are to begin to even take into account the very real costs that our actions impose on Earth.

SHAME OF MAN is the kind of story that makes you think--and stretches your brain. There's plenty of tragedy here, but also a solid adventure, a love story, retelling of mythology, and a number of windows to societies outside those that Americans are generally exposed to in their history classes.

1-0 out of 5 stars Typical Anthony
As usual, it's filled with sexism, women as victims or sluts, a convoluted plot, shallow characters and poor dialogue. It didn't sound at all historical - it sounded like modern people in costume. Badly done, but its typical Anthony fare.

5-0 out of 5 stars Illuminates eight million years of history
The second Geodyssey volume from Piers Anthony, 'Shame of Man' follows the lives of Hugh and Ann, illuminating as they do eight million years of history. The self-contained formula of 'Isle of Woman' is maintained; however, characters from that novel usefully return as occasional backdrop. The scenery remains wonderfully varied, with the narrative opening in the Great Rift Valley and continuing as far afield as Vietnam, Newfoundland and Scotland's Orkney Islands.The strongest of the twenty scenarios occurs 3,000 years ago, around the time of King David. Anthony's choice of Philistine characters here illustrates his approach: he doesn't always avoid the history textbooks' ground, but is nonetheless loath to retread conventional paths. Thus we see Japan visited in the third century AD, and on Genghis Khan's rise to fame we see an enemy's colossal misjudgment where other authors might substitute triumphant slaughter. The requisite Mediterranean setting is not Rome but New Carthage; similarly, when the story touches down in 1862 the siege is not of Richmond but of Shanghai, where millions died in the Taiping rebellion.Anthony expresses concern that global catastrophe lurks around the corner, and this is brought home to the reader most clearly in the microcosm of Easter Island (neatly sandwiched between Genghis and Scheherazade). Indeed, even the characters gradually become aware of it. The future of the sensible ones is glimpsed in Tasmania half a century hence. The use to which they put their technology, and their need to do so, is rich food for thought. ... Read more

27. Tarot
by Piers Anthony
Paperback: 616 Pages (1987-11-01)
list price: US$9.95
Isbn: 0441798411
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book in good condition
Read this book years ago and loved it so I bought it for my wife. Veryinsightful and imaginative.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a well written book...
This novel is as well-crafted as a Tarot deck itself.

If you've never seen a Tarot deck or you are a lifelong master reader, I think you'll find this book intriguing.This really is one of the best books I've ever read.Deep.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderous view of society, philosophy, and religion
With a main character who delves into every subject imaginable from racial relations to indepth looks at several major religions, this book is enough to make you stop and evaluate how much of your own life is represented in here.It was a beautiful view of a seeker trying to find the truth, and discoverin how much of his own past is related to the truths, and histories, that he is finding.It is also closely related with another series of Anthony's, with a crossover in fact for the fifth book in the Cluster Cycle, "Viscious Circle."For those who enjoy finding their place in the universe, this book is a must.

5-0 out of 5 stars The meaning of life is.....................
Originally published as a trilogy, Tarot provides a original slant on world religions.Students of religion or sociology would benefit from reading this book because it shows how people of different belief systemsmust work together to survive.An amazing amount of detail is present indescribing the many religions discussed (I was particularly impressed withhow in-depth the Mormon faith was described. Wow!)This book is mostdefinitely a keeper, to be read and re-read many times over.Even if youcan only find a used copy, get it!It is not for anyone with a narrowmind, however, since everything from religion to sex is discussed by thecharacters.It is one of Anthony's better works, rating even above hisIncarnations of Immortality series -- good, earthy, thought-provokingscience fiction.

5-0 out of 5 stars So that's what religion is!
Peirs Anthony's twisted way of dealing with reality yet again reaches an all time high. This time although he questions the perception of religion. For all of you out there who are bible thumping maniacs to heathens this is the book for you. Some of the content in the book is disturbing if you are not prepared but the message given is well worth hearing. Truly one of Anthony's best works. Be prepared to take some time to read it. It's worth it if you are not easily offended. It will open the eyes and expand the mind of all who read it. If you have ever taken a philosophy class and did not like the way it effected your life I suggest you steer clear of this baby, but on the otherhand if your looking for explanations and want the truth this novel is not to be missed! ... Read more

28. Hard Sell
by Piers Anthony
Paperback: 10 Pages (1993-05-01)
list price: US$4.99 -- used & new: US$3.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0441317480
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Mr. Fisk Centers buys real estate on Mars, where he drives a supersonic car in a suicide race and visits a robot mortician for a sample embalming. Reprint. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Humorous Look at the Future of Capitalism!
In Hard Sell, Piers Anthony does a great job taking the sci fi genre on a capricious side-quest.So crawl into the trenches of our capitalist future with Fisk.The Ferengi had better watch their backs...

2-0 out of 5 stars Collection of Mid-Life Musings
OK...I am a huge fan of Anthony and have 90% of his novels.This is a collection of disjointed musings.Man falls for bad sales pitch, loses fortune, fails at multiple jobs, adopts a Daughter (some kind of fascination from the author here) novel ends.The last 30 pages are a prelude to another book......

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is one of the best books i've ever read!!!
I have to admit that when i started this book i had my doubts about it.But after I read the opening sales pitch,made by the mars salesmen,I was hooked!I've read alot of his other books,but this was one of the best!!

4-0 out of 5 stars not bad
These aren't Anthony's most vibrant, three-dimensional characters (Okay, we get it, Fisk has trouble reconciling his basic decency with his career. Move on).It's funny, but that's it.This isn't helping SF's reputationany.

It isn't really a novel, but a short story collection withconnecting material.If you're new to Anthony, by all means go for it. But if you're any kind of SF fan, you'll have read at least a few of thesein their original forms.

5-0 out of 5 stars THIS WAS AS FUNNY AS HELL.
I loved Piers Anthony's Hard Sell.

it is about this man named Fisk. He does something

stupid with mostly all his cash. so he has to try

and make his way in the work force.

he even gets an 11 year old daughternamed Yola. ... Read more

29. Zombie Lover
by Piers Anthony
Mass Market Paperback: 352 Pages (1999-10-15)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$24.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812555120
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Horrors and Hilarity Collide as a Vivacious Young Visitor to Xanth Faces a Fate Far Worse than Death.

Breanna, a beautiful young newcomer to the enchanted land of Zanth, must deal with a distressing dilemma.She has unwittingly attracted the affections of King Xeth, ruler of Xanth's Zombies, who yearns to make her Queen of the Undead! Her quest to preserve her innocence, and find her destiny, takes her on an exhilarating excursion packed with perils, puzzles, and piles of puns. Zombie Lover will provide a profusion of macabre merriment for
Xanth's many fans.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (30)

3-0 out of 5 stars Xanth 22: Zombie Lover
Xanth #22: Zombie Lover, by Piers Anthony

I think "Zombie Lover" was the first Xanth book I read, and it's a perfect book for getting into the series. Breanna, the main character, isn't a native of Xanth but instead migrated with the Black Wave; human migration into Xanth has always happened in waves of people. And so the readers see Xanth through Breanna's eyes, which is a great way to see it if you're new to the series.

Not overfull of puns, as some of the later Xanth books are, "Zombie Lover" follows Breanna as she tries to escape marrying a zombie king. Anthony examines bigotry and racism through her attitude toward zombies, which mirrors the feelings some have toward Breanna herself as she is black.

Parallel to Breanna's story are the stories of Jenny, and of the kings of Xanth, who accidently drank Lethe water, causing them to forget where home was. Jenny, an elf and another non-native of Xanth, is writing invitations and planning a massive wedding, but no one knows who the bride is.

"Zombie Lover" is a solid installment in the series, and is better than some of the recent Xanth books published.


4-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable novel
This was the first Xanth novel I ever read, but it was easy enough to get into. I wasn't too confused by reference to other Xanth novels as they were minimal and were not much focused on. Some of the jokes were rather funny, and the plot had enough humorous twists in it (and a couple of cool surprises!) to keep me well-entertained. It was a rather enjoyable book, though I definitely like Incarnations of Immortality better. overall 3.5/5 stars.

1-0 out of 5 stars What a shame
What a disappointment this book was. I used to be such a huge Piers Anthony fan but, unfortunately, this book has changed that. Anyone picking up this book and expecting to find a fun, light-hearted, magical read (the like usually found in a Xanth book) will instead find a disturbing racist, sexist horror of a tale. The main character is almost raped a number of times (which is more or less dismissed by the author as par for the course), a pair of sisters try to seduce their great grandfather (and are only playfully chastised for it), black people are likened to zombies in the author's effort to show that he's morally enlightened, and a good portion of the book is devoted to illustrating that the only thing women are concerned with is tricking, sexing, and inevitably trapping a man into marriage, because a woman is next to useless without a man (and the only thing women are good for is sex). I've read every single book in the Xanth series up to Zombie Lover (and every book in the Incarnations of Immortality Series, also by Piers Anthony), and I really wish I could go back to when I hadn't read this book. This series used to be such a fun little world to escape into, but I found myself becoming disenchanted with the author. I hadn't realized he was such a perverted, bigoted, chauvinst. Now that I've seen what Piers Anthony's view of the world is really like, I don't think I'll be reading any more of his work. Which is a shame because, up to this point, he's been one of my favorite writers.

2-0 out of 5 stars Ehh...
I craved for a fantasy read and stumbled onto Piers Anthony (my first time reading him) and who could turn down a book titled Zombie Lover? Our 15-year-old, black wave hero Breanna takes the reader on a tour of Xanth (and other worlds) as she runs from a zombie king in a Snow White kissed awake tale gone wrong. Along the way she picks up many delightful characters and intrigue continues. I was a bit turned off as Anthony insists on explaining all of his puns to the reader and the end of the book was rather predictable (i.e. I mostly skimmed the last 40-pages or so). I was really turned off at the never ending smorgasbord of [...] and bottoms and poorly done sexual quips. In addition, half of my love for fantasy tends to be the cover art and I was hugely disappointed that Breanna was depicted as a slightly tan white girl rather than the black girl she's described as in the story. Additionally, Anthony's commentary on race seemed very superficial and uninformed. Overall it was a fun "bad" read but one I definitely had political problems with.

5-0 out of 5 stars Can't put it down
When I read any of the books from the xanth series I forget to sleep I just stay up and read till it is done I love these books I just finished this one for the 2nd time different style then most of his previous books but still a great one to read! Read em all you will love them! ... Read more

30. The Adventures of Kelvin of Rud:Across the Frames:Dragon's Gold, Serpent's Silver & Chimaera's Copper
by Piers Anthony, Robert E. Margroff
Hardcover: 696 Pages (1993-09-14)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$31.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0517100126
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
A collection of three complete novels by the best-selling author and his longtime collaborator follows the inhabitants of alternate worlds in Dragon's Gold, Serpent's Silver, and Chimera's Copper. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great compilation
This was one of the original books that got me into reading Piers Anthony.This is the compilation of Dragon's Gold, Serpent's Silver and Chimaera's Copper, the three books telling the tales of Kelvin of Rud.Using ancient technology, Kelvin of Rud travels between three worlds, fulfilling prophecies and saving kingdoms from tyrannical despots.There's a good mix of actual magic, and sparse space age technology, illustrating the adage that any technology, sufficiently advanced, appears to be magical.I'm not one for giving away plots too much, so I will simply state that these books are well written and provided me with a good read when I was a young teenager, and continue to do so now as an adult when I reread through them.A fine addition to any fantasy lovers collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars VERY GOOD!
Wounderful books filled with excitement and Adventure.You Have to love it's exiting characters and Plot.The dragons are wounderful and amazing to read about! ... Read more

31. Isle of View (Magic of Xanth, #13)
by Piers Anthony
Mass Market Paperback: 352 Pages (1990-10-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$976.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380759470
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Loveworn Love Lost

Perplexed Prince Dolph, Xanth's precocious shapeshifter, should be in love but isn't. Nonetheless, he must chose between two fiancées -- Nada the uninterested and Electra the uninteresting -- or all three of them will suffer the most dire consequences. Luckily a convenient catastrophe has popped up to distract Dolph form his dilemma -- the foal-napping of young Che Centaur by goblins. And the only one who knows where Che is is a nice but remarkably naive elflike gir named Jenny from the World of Two Moons. If anyone can save the missing centaur...she sure can't.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

4-0 out of 5 stars Love conquers all
Prince Dolph has a decision to make and it is not an easy one. Since the age of 13 he has been betorthed to two girls. He is in love with one, and likes the other one. The problem is that the one he loves, is older than him by five years and she does not love him, but is committed to the relationship because of the royal political situation. So, if Dolph asks her, she will marry him and be his wife. The other girl loves Dolph, but Dolph only likes her. Electra was woken up from her enchanted sleep by Dolph's kiss but she will die when she turns 18 unless Dolph marries her. What a quandary!

In this book, we find out how this quandary is resolved. But, first, there are several other mysteries and twists that must be resolved. The main theme of this book is a whole different storyline. It seems that Che Centaur has been foal-napped by Goblins and the whole Xanth realm is searched to find him. Che is unique in that he is the only foal who has wings and can fly and the Simurgh proclaimed that he will be responsible for a major change in Xanth and committed all the flying creatures to protect him. Unfortunately, Goblins are not flying creatures, so when Che is foal-napped, a nasty situation develops.

Another major element here is that we are introdcued to Jenny Elf who appears from the land of Two Moons. In the Xanth Note at the end of the book we find out that Jenny Elf is a charater created by Anthony to help a young girl who was struck and paralyzed by a drunk driver. Talking with Piers Anthony helped bring Jenny out of her comma, so Piers introduces another of the real Jenny's favorite characters into this book and wraps some of the real Jenny's attributes into Jenny Elf. So, here we have an unusual character who assumes a very major role in the development of this story and of Xanth itself in the form of a 12 year old Elf girl.

The ususal Xanth puns and twists and turns are all there - although in much more muted form than in previous volumes. The main characters are there and we all know about how nasty the goblins are. This book represents a departure though in that the themes are getting more mature. When the Goblinate of the Golden Horde appears, we get a pretty graphic depiction of how they live - and it is not really meant for youngsters. Also, the whole sexual theme that has been a constant throughout the previous books (the sight of girl's panties) takes on a more adult direction with much more direct entendres (for instance, at one point Dolph is talking with the demoness Metria and he says that he should plug her hole - causing her to stop and think...).

Those who like Xanth and its innocence may be a bit perturbed by this changes, but I believe they are for the better and make this series a more interesting one for the rest of us. So, I recommend it and think it is one of the better Xanth's to have come out. Now that this story arc of four books is over, I wonder what's next?

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
Wonderful book and series - very funny, good for adults and kids too I think!

4-0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly enjoyable read
Isle of View is a typical Piers Anthony romp through the land of Xanth, with all puns and bad jokes present. If you haven't liked the Xanth books in the past, then you won't like this one, because it's more of the same.

I, on the other hand, have become quite fond of Anthony's irreverent punning and hilarious cast of characters. We get to see a different side of the centaur society with the outcast family of winged centaurs when Che, the foal, is kid- ...err... foal-napped.

The ensuing action (and hilarity) make this a worthy addition to the Xanth lineup. Does anybody know the way there? I think I'd like to move in....

5-0 out of 5 stars PA's most mature Xanth fantasy besides anything with Bink
The nature of love is thoroughly explored in a novel with a provocative name that takes off from HEAVEN CENT. Anthony transmutes a real-life physically challenged girl hit by a drunk driver into a blind goblin girl with chiefly aspriations over her brutish brethren.Meanwhile, Prince Dolph and his two fiancees, Electra and Princess Nada, set out on a quest that never distracts them from their personal dilemma, but along the way Dolph discovers the true nature of love.It's fortunate that Nada evolved from a bit part, because she is not the typical cold beautiful princess.Her friendship with Electra gives her depth, as does her duty to her people...but once again, someone manages to misunderstand an oracle's words.There are jokes aplenty about summoning the stork, the Adult Conspiracy, and men's stupefaction at women's underwear, but Dolph evolves beyond that, as one would expect of a shapeshifter.

Anthony actually has a history of successful loving couples: Millie and Jonathan, Trent and Iris, Bink and Chameleon, Smash and Tandy, Humfrey and Gorgon, and Bria and Esk.

5-0 out of 5 stars Piers has done it again!
Isle of View is a fun-filled, action-packed extravaganza! It's absolutely my favorite of all the Xanth novels. I would recommend this book to anyone. ... Read more

32. Rings of Ice
by Piers Anthony
Paperback: 187 Pages (1987-06)
list price: US$3.50 -- used & new: US$17.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380000369
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Rainy Day Read
Rings of Ice / 0-380-00036-9

I'm a moderate Piers Anthony fan, although goodness knows he has his flaws from time to time. I do enjoy his stand-alone science fiction, though, and "Rings of Ice" definitely delivers a punch.

Though it is a valid criticism of the book that several of the characters are somewhat shallow and one-dimensional, I think it is important to note that the individual characters here are not meant to be the main focus of the story. When the world begins to disastrously flood in a standard "science gone wrong" scenario, these dysfunctional and one-dimensional people must come together as a group, a family, in order to truly survive.

In this light, the characters' dysfunctionality enhances the story because a new view of "survival of the fittest" is presented here - our characters survive not because they individually are "fit", but because they are "fit" as a group, a combined whole, and the strengths of each character outweigh the weaknesses of the others. Each main character has a potentially fatal weakness, but it is the group as a whole that works to overcome those weaknesses. This in of itself is a fascinating departure from standard fare survival fiction, where He-Men heroes and She-Ra heroines survive because they are just such ruggedly awesome Galt-clones.

I highly recommend this book for a rainy day read. Note, though, that this book is probably not for small children - "Rings of Ice" includes, among other things, cannibalism 'a la Donner party' and a wonderful transvestite character whose inclusion may raise questions from young readers.

2-0 out of 5 stars Interesting Idea...but not one of Anthony's best
The idea behind this story is an interesting one, but you can tell this is his first novel.The idea is that a large comet(s) are exploded and diverted in such a way as to bring some additional rain to Earth.The ill conceived plan goes drastically wrong, and the earth is once again deluged with non-stop rain.Cilivization and the environment break down, and Anthony's band of misfits - being led by a man with a vision in a Winnebago - try to survive.
If you are a die hard Anthony fan, you should read this to help you understand his evolution as a writer.If not a die hard fan, you may want to avoid this one and try some of his other Sci-fi - like his Orn, Omnivore, and Ox trilogy, or Kirlian Quest Series.

4-0 out of 5 stars A weekend warrior
I read this book when I was 15, on a rainy weekend in Florida. The book was a bit far fetched but most novels by Piers Anthony are. I was thrilled to find the book 13 years later on Amazon.com. I loved the book and have often thought what if the rain did not stop? Piers Anthony opened my mind to what changes could happen in a chaotic explosion of evolution, whom is fit to survive? what does it take to be the fittest? The Darwins of the world can rejoice! A Definite read for the thrill seekers that seeks to challenge their mind through a writers evolutionary fantasy.

1-0 out of 5 stars Pure trash
I had a feeling going into this novel that it would be kind of trashy, but I am a sucker for apocalyptic/end-of-the-world stories, so I thought I'd read it anyway.

Bad, bad idea.

The writing is incredibly juvenille and amateurish (I cringed at how Anthony abuses the poor exclamation point), yet the content is often very adult and gruesome and not something I would recommend to young readers. The only remotely likeable characters are killed off and I just wanted to slap some sense into the rest of them. A rather nasty misogynistic thread runs through the entire piece as well. Parts of the story that could have been interesting are glossed over or rendered entirely unbelievable by the way they are presented. I honestly can't believe that crap like this could have gotten professionally published.

Don't waste your time or money on this one.

1-0 out of 5 stars He can never make up for the pain this book caused me.
Man, this book was bad. I mean BAD. I don't know what the other reviewers were reading, but this was just...I have no words.

Why did I pick it up? Piers Anthony supposedly can write a decent standalone novel, I really liked the early books in all his adult series, I am fond of "end of the world" stories...the book was thin. I had hope. That was my fatal mistake.

All six people are dysfunctional - Zera is whiny, annoying and takes forever to catch on. Gus is pathetic - hydrophobic, lazy, lacking in social skills and constantly leering at the women. Gordan/Gloria is another fine example of Anthony's misogyny - Gloria is only good at girly things, Gordon is great at manly things. By the end of the book, I hated them all and hoped they'd just die.

The interactions between all of them are immature and in many places, just plain unrealistic. The storyline was dull and uninteresting, the ending, disappointing, and the writing was very clunky and amateurish. ... Read more

33. Of Man and Manta
by Piers Anthony
Paperback: 624 Pages (1989-11-10)
-- used & new: US$38.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0552135488
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34. Being a Green Mother (Incarnations of Immortality, Book Five)
by Piers Anthony
Mass Market Paperback: 320 Pages (1988-09-12)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345322231
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Orb had a rare gift--the magic which manifested whenever she sang or played her harp. No one could resist her music. But she knew that greater magic lay in the Llano, the mystic music that controlled all things. The quest for the Llano occupied Orb's life. Until she met Natasha, handsome and charming, and an even finer musician. But her mother Niobe came as an Aspect of Fire, with the news that Orb had been chosen for the role of Incarnation of Nature--The Green Mother. But she also warned of a prophecy that Orb was to marry Evil. Could she be sure that Natasha was not really Satan, the Master of Illusion, laying a trap for her...?
... Read more

Customer Reviews (42)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great addition
Being A Green Mother by Peirs Anthony is a wonderful addition to the Incarnation of immortality series. This book is full of magic, adventure, and tale through an alternate history of the world. In the begging we join Orb as a young girl right ash she start to hear the song of the morning, when her dad find that she can hear it he helps her learn more about it. Later it transitions to when she is eighteen and is just beginning her quest. Aided by her magic carpet and magic harp she has to follow the Gypsies history to fide the secret llano. Later in her life she is faced with the destiny of becoming the incarnation of earth or to marry Satan, and Satan will stop at nothing to get his evil plan done.

5-0 out of 5 stars book 5
This book is fifth in a series of seven. It arrived in excellent condition and the prioe was right. I would not hesitate to order from this supplier again.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
I picked up this book at the library at my highschool (having since graduated) I was not aware that it was part of a series, it had simply caught my interest so I picked it up and checked out. I was a bit confused, since it was the fifth in a series, but the story still reads very well on its own, and after I read more Incarnations books, the stories made sense, especially since right after this, I picked up With a Tangled Skein, and it helped me to better understand the relationships between Orb and Niobe, and their respective roles as Incarnations. Overall a great book.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my Favorites
This is one of my favorite incarnations stories.I feel like this book really ties together all the other stories you've been reading up to this point.I was excited to read this book from the beginning.The "Green Mother" just seemed like one of the more facinating incarnations in my mind.I think she has the best love story as well.I would rank this one, Fate's, and the Devil's stories in the top three.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing book
My wife recently introduced me to the Incarnations of Immortality series.When I finished the first, On a Pale Horse I was blown away.It was so much better than any of the Xanth novels.I moved quickly to the second,Bearing An Hourglass, and was slightly disappointed (it was sluggish, but very good).I moved on to a slightly better With a Tangled Skein.We haven't found a copy of the 4th book Wielding a Red Sword yet, so I skipped ahead.Just yesterday I finished the 5th book, "Being a Green Mother."All I can say is "D@mn!!"
The final chapter absolutely blew me away.The series, so far, is excellent (even when sluggish).The last chapter of this book is so powerful and moving that it drove me to tears.(Only 2 other books have ever done that.)
One warning though, if you can avoid it, don't read the blurb on the back of the book.I felt like it gave too much away. ... Read more

35. Split Infinity (Apprentice Adept)
by Piers Anthony
Mass Market Paperback: 368 Pages (1987-10-12)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.04
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345354915
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
On the technological, decadent world of Proton, someone was trying to destroy Stile, serf and master Gamesman. His only escape lay in Phaze, a world totally ruled by magic. Soon he learned that his alternate self had already been murdered, and that he was next. On Proton, his fate depended on winning the great Games. On Phaze, he must master magic to survive. And if he used any magic at all, his friends were determined to kill him at once!

Amazon.com Review
Split Infinity is the first book in Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adeptseries. Here two worlds exist side by side: Proton and Phaze. Proton is ascience fiction world, where everything works in a logical and scientificmanner. Phaze is a fantasy world similar to Anthony's Xanth in thatthere's no such thing as science--it's all done with magic! The wildplot involves a young adventurer named Stiles who lives in Proton andlearns that his "double" in Phaze has been murdered. To solve his own demise,Stiles must travel between the two realities, each abounding with theexpected confusions and unexpected plot twists for which Anthony is famous.An artful blending of SF and fantasy clichés and situations, SplitInfinity shows Piers Anthony at the top of his ingenious game(s).--Stanley Wiater ... Read more

Customer Reviews (55)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
I love this book.I read it as a young teenager and still love it as an adult.I can only recommend the first two or three books, though.The rest of the series is repetitive - basically the first couple of books rewritten with the original characters children.

5-0 out of 5 stars What's Not To Love?
Split Infinity starts out with two premises that I find immensely appealing. The first is future worlds of both technology and magic. The second is a sexy loving robot who is as fully developed as an independent character as any human. I'm intrigued by the idea of interspecies romance (human and robot), and the trilogy that starts with this book explores that idea well. What we have is a sexy, fun, science fiction, magic, fantasy, romantic, adventure story with a lot for everyone who is not a prude. For anyone who feels lovingly shared sex with others not quite like yourself, or a world of casual nudity, is offensive I would have to say to stay away from this book. For everyone else, dive in and have fun!

2-0 out of 5 stars Lacking in all the wrong places
While I am hardly the expert on the science fiction/fantasy genres, I felt compelled to at least offer an opinion on this book before moving on. My experience in this category of books only goes back a few months when I began reading Robert Asprin (worked through Myth, the Phule series, and Time Scout). Meaning: I have no real basis of comparison.

As a standalone work of literature, this book is highly lacking. While I will most likely finish it due to a personal compulsion for completion (yes, I'm only halfway through and writing about it), I doubt I will continue with the series.

I have never witnessed so much hubris from a character who is so obviously NOT multi-faceted enough to express his flaws. There was one stretch of the book where Anthony kept writing how Stile was "interested in this, and naturally talented!" His ability to pick up women, while not as offensive to me as to some other readers (and I am female) was simply pointless and seemed to almost reflect the author's need instead of Stile's. Couldn't he have given Stile a deeper, more intrinsic draw to continue traveling from one world to the other? 'Oh, I can't stay here, I promised this OTHER girl I'd go back...but I'll come back for you too, because well, you love me too!' Some humility would have been refreshing. Maybe this bites him later in the series, but I will have grown sick of him by then and will most likely never see it occur.

But I digress. To summarize, avoid this book unless you're looking for a quick read without the need for intellectual thought. It's fun in it's own right, but maybe more appropriate for a teenager...in the 80s.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beware of imposing moral judgements on Science Fiction
Split Infinity is the first book in one of Piers Anthony's more philosophically adventuresome series.It is set in a universe in which might is right (so many 21st-century readers should find it easy to relate to) and the vast majority of people are underdogs, helped by mysterious forces whose nature get partially clarified in the later books.

Some of Anthony's more 3-dimensional characters populate this series.He goes to great lengths to imbue them with moral instincts (despite the moral vacuum that some earlier reviewers complain about).However, as with all of us, the main character Stile discovers his moral boundaries only when faced with circumstances that make him grow.For instance, monogamy, so highly prized in some quarters, only takes on significance in the context of what the two individuals expect, and the creation of a home for children.(From where I'm sitting, it seems that most young people today sleep with practically anyone who's willing; it seems naive in the extreme to expect that monogamy will have a resurgence in the distance future on another planet!)When Stile falls in love, he does not abandon all women but one, but sex is accompanied by a certain amount of anguish, which is the beginning of the kind of morality some of our readers will admire.

In future novels, Stile is the very model of continence, but one has to wait until he becomes a Citizen to see and admire his behavior.

In Neysa and Lady Blue, Anthony has invented two delicious fantasy women with all the attributes he hopes his readership will appreciate, and it apparently does, judging by the sales history of the series.They are contrasting types, models of feminine independence of different sorts.His most interesting female characters are still to come, some of them in this very series.

The level of invention in this series is high, but not consistently high.There is a lot of filler, which I had to hurry through, but we must remember that these books were not intended to be great literature.Some readers do find the accounts of the tournaments fascinating, so I can hardly complain.

These books are still firmly in the realm of popular fantasy, but we see the author exploring the relativism of moral codes, and he clearly justifies some of the choices, and does his best to make it easier for his readers to make sense of the motivations of his characters.

Piers Anthony has the tendency to create a 'game environment' for reading his books.Each series has its own "rules", which you need to try and discover in order to get the greatest satisfaction from each story.This enables him to be a little lazy, and appeal to the formulas he has established if he isn't in the mood for filling out the details in certain situations.(This is not an uncommon device; all authors use the experiences of their readers to some degree; Piers Anthony only steers this experience a little more firmly.)This series is one of the most satisfying to read, and the 'puzzle' feel pervades all the books.There are also symmetries in each of the stories, to which the author tries to adhere with varying degrees of success.

Highly recommended


2-0 out of 5 stars Feh.
Regular readers of my reviews know that I have been going through a phase of re-reading the books of my childhood and deciding which ones I really want to bring with me into the future. Piers Anthony was a huge favorite when I was 13. Re-reading his books, however, pretty hard for me to figure out why.

I am willing to grant that the first few books of Xanth are genuinely entertaining. I also think that elements of his books are very well done. For instance, in Split Infinity, the concept of the game on Proton is really interesting. I wish that he had kept his attention there instead of his rather noxious obsession with nekked people.

Frankly, the female characters in Xanth are bad enough. Eeping nymphs and scolding harpies, pretty much. But this first book in the Phaze series is repellent. The main character, Stile, sleeps with all the non-human women around him, even though he is not in love with them. This is okay, since they are in love with him. So he is, you know, doing them a favor. Despite being loyal, wonderful and gifted with permanently perky breasts, he isn't in love with them because he can't be in love with a woman who isn't traditionally human. He is horribly insecure, yet possessed with a strange charisma that makes all women want to put out-- even if he is honest (which he always is) about the fact that there is no future. Oh yeah, also, he cannot date women taller than he is. You know, that just doesn't work out. *eye roll*

I really feel kind of bad savaging Anthony's books because they reveal the enlightened approach to gender of a caveman. Talk about shooting fish in a barrel. But-- really-- Split Infinity is actually toxic.

Proton/Phaze is an interesting enough idea that it made me wish that authors did rewrites like film directors do remakes. There is some decent stuff in here, but it only makes it more depressing when confronted with the morass of junk that makes up the rest of the book.

I would not give this to a developing adolescent, even if that is just about the right age level for the view of women. If I hadn't loved this as a child, I probably would have given it one star. ... Read more

36. DoOon Mode
by Piers Anthony
Mass Market Paperback: 384 Pages (2002-04-15)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$3.18
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812575423
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Beyond the world we know there is a multiverse of Modes where many strange realities interlock in an infinitely intricate pattern, and a perverse and deranged Emperor plays a deadly multidimensional game with human pawns as his slaves.

Now, with DoOon Mode, Piers Anthony at last delivers the breathtaking climax to this awesome saga. Fearing the heroine Coleen's dawning power, the depraved Emperor Ddwng dispatches a terrible Mind Monster to assault her soul and bend her to his will. To protect herself, and those she loves, Coleen must journey back through many worlds to her own home on Earth, face her deepest and darkest fears, and draw the strength for a final confrontation to save the multiverse from tyranny and domination.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars DoOon Mode
This is a very good book as all the books in this series are. However, if the only thing you've seen of Piers Anthony is his Xanth series that is so popular, then you may want to screen this for the kids. All of these books deal with adult issues. You can judge whether someone is mature enough to read it, but all the books in this series follow a girl who is suicidal, the older man she loves and who loves her and their various companions. They deal with issues like suicide, rape, sex, etc... They do it in good way that is relevant and fits into the story. The story is about a girl Coleen, who was raped at a party once. Her father is an adulterer and her mother is a drunk. She puts on a good act and is a very popular girl on the outside, but cuts her self and frequently contemplates suicide, though she's very smart. One day on the way home from school, she comes across a man passed out in a ditch. Her suicidal nature leads her to take him home. After learning a little of each others language, he says that he's from another world/mode and that he wants to take her to be his wife there. She doesn't believe him and he disappears. She believes him and realizes she's made a mistake and he realizes he shouldn't have left. The method he takes is random though and the only way to reliably get back to Coleen is by invoking a virtual mode. The rest of the story is about how Coleen and Darren are trying to find each other and get back to his mode. They continuously encounter problems and solve them with the help of their friends from the other anchor modes. The whole time Coleen is trying to deal with her issues so that she can be with Darren in a health relationship. So there are many different things going on in this series and I have just gone over the general gist so that I don't give anything away. Everything is done in a tasteful manner, but as I said it contains very adult subject matter. Enjoy.

3-0 out of 5 stars Thus the series has ended
It was good to finally find closure to this series, though it seems as if this last book was a little stale compared to the other three. Also, the child molestation descriptions were far too gratuitus and gave creepy detailed dialog between the children and the man performing the acts...

2-0 out of 5 stars sexist garbage
There is a kind of book, I particularly dislike. In it the main character is pretty, sexy, intelligent, resourceful, etc., etc., as well as sexually appealing to every single character of the opposite sex regardless of how inappropriate this is. The character may have a single flaw - but nothing that interferes with the pretty, sexy, intelligence. The author goes to exhaustive pains to make this clear to the reader.

This is such a book. We learn over and over and over that the character has a sexy body (she's 14) and is pretty. Why? Who knows? Maybe the author was in love with her himself. We get descriptions of the character's body ad nauseam. In very little time, I longed to throw the book across the room.

There isn't much action, just traveling from different Modes, but nothing really serious in the way of danger. The heroine deals with some painful memories by reliving them, and the way they are described seemed unnecessarily graphic. If you ask me, the writer wasn't sure whether he was writing a porn novel or a sci-fi/fantasy book.

The other characters have little distinguishing traits (except that they are Good or Evil, but always, always in love with the protagonist). The resolution with the parents and the protagonist was too good to be true and really read like a bad fantasy scene in a teen's imagination.

Over all, I found myself thinking: Who cares? Repeatedly.

Skip this one.Please.

3-0 out of 5 stars DoOon Mode
Theirs would be an ideal romance if it were not for a variety of issues- Colene is a teen ager and Darius and adult, Darius, as king must marry a woman he can draw joy from- and Colene is locked in melancholia, and there's an insane emperor who wants to destroy them. Other than that, Colene and Darius have a perfect love. However, now they have a few more allies in overcoming these obstacles. Clones of themselves banded together with human/animal beings who are part of the emperor's game will help them try to beat the odds, along with the friends who have gone with the couple through the modes of reality on their quest. In this exciting, quirky and strangely hopeful novel, once more Piers Anthony makes use of the greatest magic of all- love, to defeat unimaginable evil.

Reviewed by Amanda Killgore.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the other books in the series.
We get a conclusion, but it is unsatisfactory. I feel that the last few pages was hurried and not planned as good as they could have been.
But I guess that any finish is better than none.
Since I have read all the other books by Piers Anthony I know that he can do better.
Read the book. But dont expect too much. ... Read more

37. Hope of Earth (Geodyssey)
by Piers Anthony
Mass Market Paperback: 640 Pages (1998-03-15)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$12.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812571118
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In Isle of Woman and Shame of Man, the firs two volumes of the monumental Geodyssey saga, bestselling author Piers Anthony chronicles the triumphs and tragedies of two remarkable families reborn again and again in some of the most turbulent eras of human history.

Now, with Hope of Earth, Anthony brings us a stirring epic that ranges from our ancient beginnings in Africa's Great Rift Valley to the windswept Andes a century from now, and includes some of history's most fascinating figures--the mysterious "Ice Man" of the Swiss Alps, the decadent King Herod, the British Warrior Queen Boudica, the Mongol Chieftan Tamurlane, and King Louis XIV of France.

Exciting, imaginative, and inspiring, Hope of Earth is the story of a group of heroic men and women, bound by ties of passion, honor, and blood, who struggle to transcend our violent past and forge and new and shinning future.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Piers Anthony
I purchased this book from a new vendor with no customer recommendations and I want to say that the book was like new and was shipped the same day that I placed the order. I received it within three days and was very pleased. Congratulations to a new vendor,

4-0 out of 5 stars Best of the series--so far
When I finally read "Isle of Women" a few months ago, I was sorry I waited so long.I loved it, and promptly bought the next three books."Shame of Man" was a disappointment, but Anthony got it back with "Hope of Earth".Probably the best feature in this book is his use of a family--consisting of 6 really interesting siblings--that ages and grows as both the story, and the human race, progress.

I'll be starting "Muse of Art" soon.

5-0 out of 5 stars Most Enjoyable!!
This is one of my favorite series by Piers Anthony.I would haveto say this is my favorite book this series.I like this one because of the ancient greek references.These are wonderful books with a great story and the marvelous job Piers does weaving the characters into each of these novels, yet keep them apart as their own.These books are well worth the time and money to read and buy them.Highly Recommended reading.If you like historial-fantasy this is a series for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars A roller-coaster ride through history
The third of Piers Anthony's roller-coaster rides through the history of humankind, 'Hope of Earth' showcases a half-dozen characters as they experience a lifetime of five million years. Why should you care about these characters? Because they are archetypes, each of their conversations and actions illustrating humanity's strengths and weaknesses. Why else? The supporting cast features the Ice Man, Boudica, Perikles, Herod, Samo, Toqtamish, and Louis XIV. Imagine meeting even one of these; Anthony's six meet them all.Conflict is important to fictional characters, and here each has a major problem to deal with: for example, one of the characters has a six-fingered hand, the natural successor to the left-handedness in the prior volume. As we have come to expect in the Geodyssey, the score of settings has lush variety. Central to the novel, and a quarter of its length, is the exploration of the war between Athens and Sparta beginning in 431 BC; other interesting locations include the Maginot Line, the supposed Great Wall of China, and the Great Rift Valley.Once molded by evolution to conquer the world, mankind proceeded to do so along Anthony's lines. His message, however, is that the world-conquering gifts our species retains may be our downfall as conquest turns to destruction. The hope of Earth is for us to learn from history and mend our ways. This splendid effort to wake us up to that task is not only inspirational but also enjoyable, and readers can ask for no better combination than that.

4-0 out of 5 stars Learn to hope; hope to learn
Anthony has long been one of my favorites.I cannot keep up with the outpouring of his titles.Hope of Earth thrilled me as did the other volumes of the Geodyssey series.True to his form of writing, Anthony conjures a vivid portrayal of humanity's history and just makes you rethink some of those ideas you have held as being "the only truth".Anyone who enjoys the annals of history will enjoy the traipsing adventures of characters that are not movers-and-shakers of history, but witness first hand those prime agents of our past.Hats off to Anthony's research assistant as he continualy provides information that gives the detail to live the story. ... Read more

38. The Color of Her Panties (Xanth, Book 15)
by Piers Anthony, Piers A. Jacob
Mass Market Paperback: 352 Pages (1992-09-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$2.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380759497
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

We See England, We See Xanth, We See Mels's Underpanth

In fact, Gwenny Goblin, Che Centaur and Jenny Elf are just about the only creatures on Xanth who have been spared the sight of Mela Merwoman's undergarment -- preoccupied as they are with helping Gwenny beat out her awful half-brother Gobble for chiefship of the goblin horde. But first they must master space and thyme . . . and find the fabulous egg that sits between the Roc and the hard place. While Mela -- who would gladly relinquish her oft-viewed undies for a new husband -- joins the Adult Conspiracy . . . and quickly discovers the power of a perfect pair of panties!

... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

3-0 out of 5 stars Multiple quests, but a derivative book.
In vintage Xanth style, this book has a major quest with the Good Magician Humfrey in the middle of it and lots and lots of puns. So, why did I give it only three stars in my review? Primarily because there was really no new ground being broken in this book - it is almost completely derivative of many of the other Xanth books that have appeared before. Let's talk about the similarities first:
* Young people decide to leave on a quest - happens in every book - in this one, the small plot twist is that there are two groups of young people who quests tend to interact with each other.
* The quests start with a visit to the Good Magician Humfrey who knows all the answers, but to get your question answered, you need to overcome three challenges and then become a servant of Humfrey's for a year.
* Once you have your answer, it makes little sense and you need to explore some part of Xanth to attempt to get it done
* The execution of the quest reveals much about the young people who are always good and get better.
* The young people are always on the verge of becoming adults and wonder about The Adult Conspiracy and what it means, and mostly they cross that threshold as part of this adventure - in this book, there are five young girls and one young Centaur who grow up.
* The color of the girls' panties is a huge secret and can cause problems to all kinds of males. In this book, we learn how some males freak out when they accidentally see the forbidden parts
* Puns galore - from hitmen (met who have unnaturally large hands because they hit you with them) to a Freudian Slip (a slip a woman wears which has a tendency to move around at awkward moments to display more than the woman wanted), this book is chock full of them.

About the only really new item in this book is that the author decided to have two intertwining parties go off on their own quests. Therefore the book is structured somewhat symmetrically with a chapter for party one, then a chapter for party two, and repeat. Each of the chapters is written from the point of view of the party involved, so they tend to bounce around in time a bit, but ultimately they come together to resolve the major portion of this book's storyline.

In terms of major Xanth characters and developments, this book is really bereft of them. We know from previous books that Che Centaur is supposed to change Xanth in some major way in the future, but that does not really happen in this book; Jenny Elf reappears but is in a completely supporting role; and the new characters that show up are minor beings for the most part. About the only new thing of any importance is that Gwendolyn has to become the first female chief of a Goblin tribe and this is actually her quest in this book. Does she succeed? Can she find the item that is between a Roc and a Hard Place? That is up to you to find out if you read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars great read
Great book in a great series.This book was always one of my favorite Xanth titles.For some reason I always loved the pantry scene, I think b/c it had such great description in it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Piers Anthony Xanth
Just as with all his other Xanth novels, Piers Anthony gets a 100% from me!!

2-0 out of 5 stars This is why I don't re-read things from childhood
Oh, Xanth, how I liked you when I was 10.Of course (not to show my age), that was early on in the series, as well.So why, you may ask, did I read this book?It's a long story, but I was told by someone in my book group that they'd read it and it was a novel about a skeevy old man and a young girl and that it had made them never want to read anything by the author again.I couldn't imagine it, so I went ahead and read it. And, okay, the title is a bit weird, but it's not that at all.It's classic over-punned Xanth at its wackiest.

And while there are some adult-oriented jokes and much talk of undergarments, there's nothing particularly shocking or horrible... except, perhaps, some of the puns.Those they could stand to lose.At least half of them.Three quarters, even.I realized they are the hallmarks of the Xanth universe, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.Though without any it'd be another boring, run-of-the-mill wacky fantasy quest novel.So it's a balancing act, and it seems to, in this novel, have all the grace of a humpbacked whale on roller skates, competing in a roller derby.

Bottom line is it's fantasy quest fluff wrapped in far too much that tries far too hard to be clever and ends up being a bit of a slog.Unless you are 10, I'd seriously suggest his other series, the Incarnation of Immortality.Or chuck the whole lot in and read Pratchett's Discworld series.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not one of his best, but keep reading
This Xanth book is really not one of the best , but as a whole they are great.If you are a fan, read this one and keep going.It is as entertaining as some of the previous ones, even though you don't want anyone siting next to you on the plane to see the title of the book!Bad title ok story.When you write 30 plus books in a series, they won't all be great, but I intend to finish them all and this is only half way there!!! ... Read more

39. Night Mare (Xanth Novels)
by Piers Anthony
Mass Market Paperback: 320 Pages (1987-12-12)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.06
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345354931
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Although the Nextwave of barbarian warriors was invading Xanth, Mare Imbrium discovered that ever since she had gained the half soul, the night mare had begun to mishandle her job of delivering bad dreams. Exiled to the day world with a message for King Trent, Mare met the relentless, unforgiving Horseman. For the night mare, it began to be all a horrible nightmare!
... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

1-0 out of 5 stars Pathetic
Even apart from the sexual references (which are not particularly rememberable in this book, other than the nymphs used as bait), this book was awful. One of the worse that I read and still remember anything about (I did read the three that came after Golem in the Gears, which were so bad I can't remember a thing about them).


In this installment, Xanth is invaded and every time the defenders start to repel the invaders, the current king (they go through quite a few) is incapacitated and the battle shifts to the invaders. This continues until finally the night mare herself becomes a king of Xanth.

This one was so absurb it was almost painful to read.

3-0 out of 5 stars the puns of Xanth misfire
In this , the sixth book of Xanth, we are reintroduced to many of the characters that were featured in the previous book - Ogre, orgre. The events in this book take place some four years after the conclusion of Ogre, Ogre and we are treated to the adventure as told by one of the most original characters in Xanth, the Night Mare Imbri. Thos who read the previous book remember her as the Night Mare that takes Smash and Tandy around and becomes part of the adventurer's band when Chem Centaur give her half her soul.

As the book begins we find out that have a Night Mare (horses whose jobs it is to bring nightmares to people) is failing at her occupation because her half-soul is making her be ineffective. So, the Dark Stallion sends her away to King Trent with a warning message. This warning message has to do with the invastion that Xanth is undergoing by a large band of warriors from Mundania. These Mundanes are making immense progress because they are being helped by an enigmatic man known as the Horseman.

In typical Xanth fashion, it pays the reader to pay attention to all the puns. In fact, the author tells us that all of Xanth is made of puns. So, we have a Night Mare bringing nightmares and in this book she lives through her own, and Xanth's nightmare of an invasion. If you understand this, then you can find the author's clues as to the course of the book sprinkled liberally thoughout the story ... but I will not divulge them to you - enjoy figuring them out!

Unlike previous Xanth books, I found this one to be extremely dark in tone. Not only is Xanth under siege from an army of Mundanes, but the only way that Xanth's citizens can fight is by killing them. Since the Mundane army is large, most of the book devolves into the story of one battle after another as both the Mundane army and the Xanthian forces are decimated. One very poignant chapter describes the battle between 50 centaurs and 300 humans and the tragic results of it. The book can be measured as the 600 mundane soldiers are slowly killed off via various means and the author almost seems to delight in telling us how each of the 600 was killed! I found that to be disconcerting and unappealing.

We also learn about the Kings of Xanth. We all know that only Magician class male people can by Kings, but under this emergency, that rule is twisted and turned and some very surprising characters become King. Oh, yes, we go through ten Kings of Xanth in this book.

The final battle is fought, as is customary between the tired champion of the good side - Imbri - and the rested and prepared Horseman with the predictable result of Imbri's win. However, even here the book goes too dark. As a result of the victory, Imbri can reverse the spells that held nine Kings hostage, but when she does so, she loses her body! The very lasat part of the book tries to twist that around into some sort of positive meta-physical thing, but the reality is that she is no longer a Night Mare, nor is she a Xanth horse, but becomes something completely different and something feels like a made up and tacked on ending because the book becomes more of a tragedy than the farce it was intended to be. So, I downgraded it severly for these reasons.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Best xanth books!
I though night mare was probably one of the absolute best xanth books!Imbri is a great character, and the book has a great plot.I recomend reading the series in order, becasue you will understand more of the jokes, and the book will make more sense. If you do find the urge to read the books out of order this one should be near the top of your list!

3-0 out of 5 stars It was O.K
Having read all of the earlier "Incarnations of Immortality" series I was anxious to find more books by Piers Anthony.

"Night Mare did not live up to my expectations maybe this is just the weak link in the series (there is always one you must admit) and I will try the others.

It seemed to me as if this book showed good promise but got bogged down trying to impress a younger audience.

4-0 out of 5 stars A fun book, but needs some back ground.
As far as Zanth books go, this was one of my few favorites, but I also think it needs more background than most Zanth novels. Most of them are more stand-alone, but many old characters are brought back in this book, and it's nice to understand Zanth's situation as it relates to "Mundania" before you read this book.

Consequentially I would recommend reading "A Spell for Chameleon," the first book, "Castle Roogna," and "Ogre, Ogre" before reading "Night Mare." Of course if you wanted to start out with the best you could read "Dragon on a Pedestal," a cute and up-lifting book, the very best of the Zanth Series. (It's later than all the others though, so it's sort of a toss up.) ... Read more

40. Dream A Little Dream: A Tale of Myth And Moonshine
by Piers Anthony, Julie Brady
Mass Market Paperback: 320 Pages (1999-09-15)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$3.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812564901
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Nola and Tina are both girls with problems. They don't know each other yet, though they will; each is a Creator, with the magical ability to turn dreams into reality. That would be a powerful gift--if either knew that she had it. And this world is hard on dreamers. Nola is trapped in a terrible, abusive relationship with a man she once loved, and Tina is an orphan who makes her living on the street. All their dreams are slowly being ground into dust.

That's a tragedy no matter who it happens to. But when the great dreamers stop dreaming, whole universes of imagination can be lost. And the land of Nola and Tina's dreams is fighting back.

Into their miserable everyday world soars Espirit, a winged unicorn dark as the space between the stars. he is the vessel of Nola's dreams, come to aid her in her battle, with sordid reality. Following after him comes Prince Michael, whose quest it is to find the human dreamers who can save his land from ruin.

And suddenly, Nola realizes that the last thing she wants is to keep both feet firmly on the ground...
... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

1-0 out of 5 stars Amazingly Awful
This book was amazingly awful. From the simplistic, awkward wording of the book to the lack of creativity, this book was just bad. The main characters were whiny and emo, and I found it difficult to get behind them and feel supportive. Not only that, but the plot, for me, fell flat. There was no real cohesive plot, and certainly nothing creative or remotely deep. The fantasy world was ill defined as a whole and fell well short of worlds created in other fantasy works. I finished the whole book, not out of any sort of attention but more out of an incredulous horror that such a poorly worded piece could be successfully published. However, I would still recommend reading it because if you don't take it too seriously, it can be absolutely hilarious.

1-0 out of 5 stars Some concepts were intriguing, but overall a disappointment.
A lot of the problems I had were basic problems: 3rd person point of view shifts every few paragraphs - and sometimes within paragraphs, a bit of clunky wordage, quite a bit of telling instead of showing (needs fewer adverbs!), and the requirement that you suspend disbelief a bit too much.

The "suspension of disbelief" was a problem with having thefriend who took this stranger's word for the fantastic things that happened to the main character, without so much as a blink.Sure, you are a prince and came from an alternate reality, and my friend brought you back here?There was no supporting structure that would allow this friend to believe a stranger saying the fantastic things he was saying.Maybe with a bit more of a lead in, some supporting character development to indicate a gullible psyche...maybe that would work.

I think the only reason it was published was the name Piers Anthony on the manuscript - and even then I am surprised it was!It had promise, but needed much more work than it got.

1-0 out of 5 stars I wish there was a space for zero stars
This badly-written, poorly-conceived excuse for a novel makes me ashamed to admit liking Piers Anthony's work.Ever.It reads as though written and edited by a classroom of first-graders.Except that first-graders are generally more imaginative.This derivative drivel is... self-gratification splashed onto a page, ready for unwary readers.The characters are flat, the plot is trite, and the writing itself is so incredibly clumsy it made me wince just reading the first page.

1-0 out of 5 stars disappointing dream journal
Warning 1- this is not really a fantasy novel.

Warning 2- Piers Anthony did not write it.

I'll explain.Anthony has an unfortunate tendency to find fans of his with heartrending personal lives, and he tries to brighten those lives and line his pocket book at the same time.He encourages them to write books, then he signs on as a cowriter, without actually contributing much, and gets the book published.That's what happened here.This novel started out as a dream journal.As such, it's perfectly fine and should be kept personal.It should never have been marketed as a fantasy novel.Added to that, Brady can't write very well.Her plot, what I could discern of it, was fine.Her decision to discuss abuse is laudable.Unfortunately, her style is nonexistant, her language is clunky and unbelievable, and her characters are cardboard.I have never been this dissappointed in a book.The best thing about it is actually the blurb on the back.As another reviewer stated, if you want to read a good story with some of the same elements, read A Game of You by Gaiman.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best start for a new series
This book was great! I thought that the story of Nola and her imagination was intriging. I can't wait for another book by these two authors comes out. I'll be the first on line. If you liked Piers Anthony's Chaos Modeseries, you'll love this new world of dreams and wishes. ... Read more

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