Book Cover
Title A Spell for Chameleon
Author Piers Anthony
Cover Art Michael Whelan
Publisher Ballantine Books - 1989
First Printing Ballantine Books - 1977
Book Cover
Title The Source of Magic
Author Piers Anthony
Cover Art Doug Beekman
Publisher Ballantine Books - 1983
First Printing Ballantine Books - 1979
Book Cover
Title Castle Roogna
Author Piers Anthony
Cover Art Darrell K. Sweet
Publisher Ballantine Books - 1990
First Printing Ballantine Books - 1979
Book Cover
Title Centaur Aisle
Author Piers Anthony
Cover Art Michael Whelan
Publisher Ballantine Books - 1990
First Printing ??? - 1981
Book Cover
Title Ogre, Ogre
Author Piers Anthony
Cover Art Darrell K. Sweet
Publisher Ballantine Books - 1991
First Printing Ballantine Books - 1982
Book Cover
Title Night Mare
Author Piers Anthony
Cover Art Darrell K. Sweet
Publisher Ballantine Books - 1992
First Printing Ballantine Books - 1982
Book Cover
Title Dragon on a Pedestal
Author Piers Anthony
Cover Art Darrell K. Sweet
Publisher Ballantine Books - 1990
First Printing Ballantine Books - 1983
Book Cover
Title Crewel Lye
Author Piers Anthony
Cover Art Darrell K. Sweet
Publisher Ballantine Books - 1985
First Printing Ballantine Books - 1985
Book Cover
Title Golem in the Gears
Author Piers Anthony
Cover Art Darrell K. Sweet
Publisher Ballantine Books - 1986
First Printing Ballantine Books - 1986
Book Cover
Title Vale of the Vole
Author Piers Anthony
Cover Art Darrell K. Sweet
Publisher Avon Books - 1987
First Printing Avon Books - 1987
Book Cover
Title Heaven Cent
Author Piers Anthony
Cover Art Darell K. Sweet
Publisher Avon Books - 1988
First Printing Avon Books - 1988
Book Cover
Title Man from Mundania
Author Piers Anthony
Cover Art Darrell K. Sweet
Publisher Avon Books - 1989
First Printing Avon Books - 1989
Book Cover
Title Isle of View
Author Piers Anthony
Cover Art Darrell K. Sweet
Publisher Avon Books - 1990
First Printing Avon Books - 1990
Book Cover
Title Question Quest
Author Piers Anthony
Cover Art Darrell K. Sweet
Publisher Avon Books - 1991
First Printing Avon Books - 1991
Book Cover
Title The Color of Her Panties
Author Piers Anthony
Cover Art Darrell K. Sweet
Publisher Avon Books - 1992
First Printing Avon Books - 1992
Book Cover
Title Demons Don't Dream
Author Piers Anthony
Cover Art Darrell K. Sweet
Publisher Tor - 1994
First Printing Tor - 1993
Book Cover
Title Harpy Thyme
Author Piers Anthony
Cover Art Darrell K. Sweet
Publisher Tor - 1994
First Printing Tor - 1995
Book Cover
Title Geis of the Gargoyle
Author Piers Anthony
Cover Art Darrell K. Sweet
Publisher Tor - 1996
First Printing Tor - 1995
Book Cover
Title Roc and a Hard Place
Author Piers Anthony
Cover Art Darrell K. Sweet
Publisher Tor - 1996
First Printing Tor - 1995
Book Cover
Title Yon Ill Wind
Author Piers Anthony
Cover Art
Publisher
First Printing
Book Cover
Title Faun and Games
Author Piers Anthony
Cover Art
Publisher
First Printing
Book Cover
Title Zombie Lover
Author Piers Anthony
Cover Art
Publisher
First Printing
Category Humour
Warnings Bad puns?
Main Characters Bink, Trent, Dor, Irene, Ivy, Dolph, Good Magician Humfrey, Grey, Grundy, Crunch, Esk, Imbri, Cherie, Chex, Chem, Chet, Chester, Che, Arnolde, Lacuna, Hiatus, Demoness Metria, Gwenny, Jenny Elf, Mela, Nada, Dug, Kim, Okra, Smash, Gloha, Marrow, Gary, Surprise
Main Elements Wizards, demons, dragons, griffins, centaur, you name it, it will appear
Website The Compleat Piers Anthony




Click to read the summaryA Spell For Chameleon

Click to read the summaryThe Source of Magic

Click to read the summaryCastle Roogna

Click to read the summaryCentaur Aisle

Click to read the summaryOgre, Ogre

Click to read the summaryNight Mare

Click to read the summaryDragon on a Pedestal

Click to read the summaryCrewel Lye

Click to read the summaryGolem in the Gears

Click to read the summaryVale of the Vole

Click to read the summaryHeaven Cent

Click to read the summaryMan From Mundania

Click to read the summaryIsle of View

Click to read the summaryQuestion Quest

Click to read the summaryThe Color of Her Panties

Click to read the summaryDemons Don't Dream

Click to read the summaryHarpy Thyme

Click to read the summaryGeis of the Gargoyle




I started writing this review by giving a brief opinion on each of the books. Of course that's when I thought that there were about 17 books in the series. Well, many MANY more books later I realize that there are too many to cover in detail (as of December 2007 there are 29 and counting). So I will be general.

Good Points:

There is a storyline weaving its way through all of the books. We start with one character, then we follow his children, sometimes branch off to a friend, and so forth. This makes the series addictive, you want to find out what happens next to your favorite character. Of course, it is also disappointing to know that some characters will fade out from the storyline as they age and you'll be lucky if they even get mentioned again. But I still consider that a good point. This also means the books should be read in order, as they do reference previous events, though some are more standalone than others.

If you are a fan of really obscur fantasy creatures, like manticores, hippogryphs, and even centaurs, here you will find them all. If you can imagine the creature, it will probably show up at some point. Unicorns fans however beware, there's only been one by the time I got to the ninth book. On the other hand, dragons, centaurs and zombies are extremely common.

The setting is amazing, most of the plotlines interesting, some of them downright suspenseful (Night Mare is highly recommended!) some of them basically pointless (Ogre, Ogre wasn't all that interesting).

Bad Points:

Puns, sometimes really bad puns, sometimes pages upon pages just dedicated to puns. Puns in passing are ok, several pages in a row that have no other purpose than to please fans who send in their own puns, cramming them in, without any purpose to forward the plot, that's just too much. Anthony requested from his fans to stop sending them in, because the editor has started taking them out. Most books have a couple gratuitous pages of puns, but generally you can run through those. But if you hate puns, stay away, stay FAR away.

Juvenile behaviour and speech. "Snoot-nose!" "Horse-rear!" Stuff like that, and usually a fair amount of that. But no truly bad language, I think I saw "Hell!" exclaimed once, and "Damn!" mentioned a few times, but not in the context you might expect. Also, many of the books have, well, damsels in distress. Which is ok, except when just about every female encountered is generally helpless, beautiful, and not much good for anything except getting in trouble and kicking her pretty little feet. Some female characters turn out stronger than others but by book 9, only two of them were main characters. One was a horse, the other a 3-year old child. Most of the males spend most of their time wondering what colour are the panties those helpless females are wearing, or in the case of centaurs who wear no panties? They admire the visible attributes quite a bit. I happen to be female, maybe men find the books equally sexist in the representation of the male characters, I don't know. At least they don't spend so much time naked, jiggling enticingly. And when they are naked, we get no details (so unfair!) So feminists, stay away, stay FAR away.

Note that though many kids like these books, Anthony points out that they are written with adults in mind. As he muses, that's probably why the kids like them. Spell for Chameleon was on my high school summer reading list (that's how I got started on this series) so it seems that they are school approved at least for teenagers.

Conclusion:

If you can stomach the puns, the juvenile behaviour, and the sexism, then maybe you can enjoy the other fantasy aspects of these books. I find I don't generally like them, but I do find them addictive. Do I recommend them? Not really, you have to make the decision yourself. Some people will hate these books. Others, like me, will probably get attached to the characters and annoyed at all the silly stuff. And finally, there are true hardcore fans out there. Read the first couple, suffer throught the next few, and get to Night Mare. If you don't like that one, then its time to give up.

September 2010

I hadn't read any Piers books for quite some time, so first thing I noted was that there are WAY too many characters. Even with little hints dropped here and there as to where we might have last met the character, I honestly couldn't remember a lot of them. I could recall with great clarity the storylines of about the first 8 books or so, but after that they all just mushed together. That's why I was so thrilled when Magician Trent appeared in Harpy Thyme, I really missed the older characters, and it was refreshing to have a non-teenage character to read about, he's actually one of the few characters I have a lot of respect for, perhaps because he was an adult from the very start. I'd had enough with figuring out the colour of women's panties or wondering what the Adult Conspiracy was all about! I suggest skipping The Colour of Her Panties, I've read better fanfic on the web. Demons Don't Dream had an interesting twist by mixing in a Mundane computer game with the fantasy world, especially as characters have become aware of the fact that their world is full of puns. Before the puns where just there, now they become a plot element in and of themselves. Makes them more tolerable. However, while Piers always states in the back of the books he had to hold back on some of the puns for the sake of the plot...um, yeah, not really. The puns overwhelm pretty much everything. Honestly, I don't know why I keep reading them, but I'm one of those people who if they start something, they will see it through.

June 2011

And in Geis of the Gargoyle, Sorceress Iris makes a return, and it was suprisingly less driven by puns than it was by plot, a refreshing change! Yes the first two chapters is just one pun after another but once the story gets going it's actually rather interesting. Roc and a Hard Place was just an excuse to bring out all the old characters, to remind us of the large number of them (and introduce some new ones). I found it didn't really have much plot, Metria just runs around Xanth collecting about 30 characters. While it was nice to see the really old ones again, like Trent, Iris and Arnolde, I really had to work my brain to recall the some of the in-between ones. And yet, by the end of it, I was already wondering where I put the next book in the series. Maybe there is some addictive magic dust within the pages.




Posted: July 2006

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