There is trouble in Xanth again. The Gap Dragon had escaped and was ravaging across the land, the forget-spell was causing mass amnesia, three-year old Ivy was headed right for a hungry dragon. Could things get any worse Probably....
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1 . Puns + Adventure = Awesome Tale
Posted April 18, 2010 by Michael , Colorado SpringsOnce agian, Anthony's unquie combination of puns and adventure creates a very good book, not to mention a good series.
December 31, 1986
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Excerpt from Dragon on a Pedestal by Piers Anthony
Chapter 1. Ivy League
Irene held her little girl snugly before her as they rode the centaur. They were approaching Castle Zombie, and she didn't want any problems about sliding off. Ivy, only three years old, had not encountered a zombie before and might react in an unfortunate manner.
Suddenly Irene experienced a terrible vision. She screamed and almost fell off the centaur herself.
Chem Centaur spun her front section about, trying to catch woman and child before they fell. Simultaneously, Chet jumped close, reaching out to steady them. "What happened?" he asked, his free hand reaching for the bow slung over his shoulder. "I didn't see anything."
"You didn't; I did," Irene told the centaur, recovering. They had been friends for a long time. "A vision. It appalled me."
King Dor, riding Chet, glanced obliquely at Irene. He evidently did not know how serious this might be, so he limited his comment to practicalities. "Let's get on inside the castle. Then you can tell us about it." He didn't say so, but he might have been nervous about having his daughter riding with a person who screamed without apparent reason, for he reached across and lifted Ivy from Irene's arms. Irene stifled a flash of anger and embarrassment, but did not resist the transfer. She could hardly explain her reaction herself.
They rode on in slightly awkward silence, the two centaurs choosing the path. Irene glanced at her husband and child. Dor had been young and gangling when she had arranged to become engaged to him, and still somewhat unprepossessing when she had finally managed to marry him five years ago, even though he was a full Magician. She remembered their nuptials with a certain fondness; they had been in the zombie graveyard at Castle Roogna. Most of those zombies were gone now, having perished at the brutal hands of the invading Mundanes. It was difficult for a zombie to die, since it wasn't really alive, but it could be hacked to pieces. However, the newer zombies here at the Zombie Master's own castle in the uncharted wilderness of southern Xanth had not been subjected to such indignity.
She closed off that subject in her mind, as she was not partial to zombies, useful and loyal though they might be. She returned her thought to Dor. The assumption of the throne of Xanth had abruptly matured him, at least in her eyes, and the arrival of their darling child two years later had matured him again. Now, at age twenty-nine, Dor seemed quite solid and respectable. In a few more years he might even look kingly!
Ivy, in contrast, was a bundle of squiggle. She was large and agile for her age, with fair hair that bore just a tinge of green and eyes with more than that. She was insatiably curious about the whole of Xanth. That was natural with any child, of course; Irene's parents, who had ruled Xanth before Dor, had remarked on her own propensities for mischief at an early age. Irene's magic talent was for growing plants, which was probably why her own hair was green, and it seemed that talent had manifested early. Before she had learned to talk, she had caused all manner of weeds to sprout around Castle Roogna. Blue roses were all right, but skunk cabbages were awkward, particularly when they got upset.