"For Xanth punsters"
On Mount Parnassus Clio the Muse of History begins to write
the twenty-eighth Chronicle of Xanth, only to find the tome
exists, which means somehow she already has written it.
Already shocked beyond words adding to her chagrin, the
tome is impossible to read as it contains words that are
indecipherable. Clio decides to visit Humfrey the Good
Magician Humfrey to learn how to read the enigmatic book.
Of course this being Humfrey, he does not care that Clio is
a long time friend as anyone who wants his help must
perform a required service. He orders her to find the
magical red berry, a simple enough task. However, this is
Xanth and not Mundania; nothing is ever simple especially
if Humfrey is involved. On her trek, Clio gathers a host of
fellow travelers especially Sherlock and must perform
sidebar deeds like transporting safely six thousand dragons
from Dragon World to Xanth and other dangerous tasks to
solve the mystery of the unclear history book.
More a book of puns held somewhat together by the quest,
Xanth fans will appreciate this lighthearted romp that
takes readers away from Mundania. The story line leaps from
one pun to another with occasional twists and turns to make
room for a double entendre. Clio is a fine muse although
skirting the edges of her magical world. As has been most
of the recent novels, Piers Anthony has fun incorporating a
zillion jibes, jokes and witty and not so droll bon mots
provided by Xanthian readers, whom the author acknowledges
for their contributions, but the Mundanian masses might
feel it is time to punt.
Reviewed by Harriet Klausner
Posted November 21, 2004
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted January 26, 2007
When Clio, the Muse of History, sat down to pen the twenty- eighth volume in the Chronicles of Xanth, she was stunned to discover it was already there! And, what was worse, it was totally unreadable, for the words on its pages were fuzzed beyond comprehension. Vexed and bewildered, and more than a little concerned, Clio resolved to leave the quiet comfort of her study on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, and ask her old friend, the Good Magician Humfrey, to search a solution to her problem in his Book of Answers. But, much to her consternation, Humfrey required her to perform a magical Service before she could acquire her Answer: to rescue Xanth's dragons from the verge of extinction before the delicate balance of its wildlife was permanently thrown out of whack. Her momentous mission lead her to a dangerous Dragon World hidden amongst the Moons of Ida, across a perilous landscape filled with wonder and danger, in search of the fabled Currant, a very rare red berry that might hold the secret she sought. Along the way she acquired a fellowship of companions, including the brave and beautiful Becka Dragongirl, a pair of pocket dragons named Drew and Drusie, a charming young child called Ciriana whose destiny was somehow entwined with hers, and Sherlock, a sweet but homely man from Mundania who might just be a master magician himself. Together they gradually began to unravel the momentous mystery of Xanth's missing history. And Clio began to realize that Sherlock's enchantments had begun to work their way into her heart.