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....
YA In this ninth Xanth novel, Grundy Golem is feeling unappreciated, so he decides to begin a Quest to locate Princess Ivy's lost pet dragon, Stanley Steamer. Consultation with Good Magician Humfrey leads him to the Ivory Tower, where he rescues Rapunzel from the Sea Hag. As the Quest procedes, the Hag harries the couple and their companions. The puns that have made this series so popular with teens come thick and fast, although perhaps more forced and wearily than before. A lexicon of Xanthian people, places and things is attached. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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December 31, 1985
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Excerpt from Golem in the Gears by Piers Anthony
Chapter 1. Quest
Grundy Golem stretched and bounced off his cushion. He looked at himself in the mirror, not totally pleased. He stood the height of a normal man's spread-fingered hand, and that was fine for sleeping on a cushion but not all that great when it came to making an impression on the Land of Xanth.
It was a nice new day. Almost, he was able to forget that he was the least significant of living creatures. When he had been a true golem fashioned of wood and rag he had longed to be a real living thing, supposing that he would be satisfied if only he could become flesh. At last he had won that goal and for a time he had believed that he was happy. But slowly the truth had sunk in: he was still only a handsbreadth greater than nothing.
No one took him seriously. They thought he had a smart mouth because he liked insulting people; actually it was because he was trying desperately to cover over his deepening awareness of his own inadequacy. When he used his talent of language to make some other person or creature feel low, he felt a little higher himself -- for a moment. But now he knew that this was a false device, and that his mouth had mainly brought him the contempt of others. He wished he could undo that damage and make of himself a genuinely worthwhile and respected person -- but he didn't know how.
Meanwhile, he was hungry. That was a consequence of being real: he had to eat. It hadn't been that way when he had been a true golem. Then he had suffered no hunger, pain, or calls of nature. But he liked it better this way, he decided, because he also felt living pleasures.
And living miseries...
He slid down the banister and scrambled out the window that was normally left open for him. He landed in a clump of toadstools that had sprung up overnight, knocking several over. Unfortunately, a small toad had been sitting on one.
"Clumsy oaf!" the toad croaked, righting himself. "Watch where you're going!"
"Listen, frogface," Grundy retorted. "This is my path! You have no business here."
"I was on a toadstool, as I have a perfect right to be," the toad protested. "You just came barging through!"
The creature had a case, but Grundy didn't care. His irritation with the situation -- and with all of Xanth -- caused him to react in the familiar way that he wished he didn't. "Know what I think of that? I'll bash all these stinky things to smithereens!" And he grabbed up a stick and laid about him, knocking over toadstools right and left. Grundy was no giant, but they stood only about knee-high to him, and were easy to dispatch.