Sunday Afternoon Reads: Xone of Contention and the Xanth Series by Piers Anthony

Reading a new (to me) book in one of my favourite series this week, I struggled with how to present it to you guys, my blog audience. As a novel, it was marvellous but what appeals to me most about this series is this entirely believable fantasy world that the author has created and this builds more as you read more and more novels of the series. The book was Xone of Contention and it is part of the Xanth series by Piers Anthony.

With 32 novels released in the series, Xanth has been the fantasy world that I have grown up with. Bored with the offerings of the primary school library at age 9 (my reading age already tested off primary and secondary education charts), I asked my parents if there were any books of their's that they thought I'd enjoy. They put a Xanth novel in my hand and I was sold.

Xanth is a parallel world that exists alongside ours, a land where magic is the key to daily function as opposed to the science and technology-based world of "dreary Mundania". The series is written with an ensemble cast - similar to television shows like Shortland Street, Home and Away, Coronation Street or E.R., one novel the focus will be on a certain set of characters and this may vary with the next novel. New characters are added and older ones fade out.

Xone of Contention, while a later book in the series, demonstrates more of the magic of Xanth - as mundanes (us ordinary humans), Pia and Edsel's experiences in Xanth heighten the bizarrely literal nature of Xanth... for a future English teacher like myself, the proliferation of punnish creatures - foot balls, cri-tics (and cri-tocks) and handbooks - is an absolute delight.

The real magic of the Xanth series though, is despite the abundance of magic, the hysterical mishaps that come from the land's literal nature and the inherent governance of the Adult Conspiracy to stop things getting too graphic or racy - the sight of a woman's panties will make a man freak out - Piers Anthony still manages to create novels that are very adult - dealing with some very serious issues in a crazy world.

The world can have their Twilight novels and dream about being seduced by a vampire - it's Magician Grey Murphy that does it for me :D

Pick up a Xanth novel - any one will do - and give it a try today. Every single one is worth at least four out of five stars.

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