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Wielding a Red Sword
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About the Author

Piers Anthony, sometimes called Pier Xanthony, is the pseudonym of a Mundane character who was born in England in 1934, came to America in 1940, was naturalized in 1958, and moved to Xanth in 1977. His first story was published in 1963, and his first novel, Chthon, in 1967. His first Xanth novel, A Spell for Chameleon, won the August Derleth Fantasy Award as the best novel for 1977, and his fantasy novels began placing on the New York Times bestseller list with Ogre, Ogre. He shifted from writing in pencil to writing on the computer, and Golem in the Gears was his first novel created on the machine; naturally, the computer found its way into Xanth.

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The fourth book in Anthony's popular Incarnations of Immortality series describes the recruitment of an Indian prince to become the latest Incarnation of Warserving alongside Death, Time, Nature and others. Mym reluctantly accepts the office as a way to cut through the tangled political web that has produced famine in his homeland and trampled on his private life. As hard as Mym works to keep earthly peace, however, Satan is ahead of him with snares and lures that lead to hell. Anthony's setting of a world where both science and magic work was charming in previous volumes but becomes troublesome here: demons coexist with biological warfare; two teardrops from an Incarnation are all it takes to end one aspect of the conflict in Ireland. In fact, most of this weak entry in the series is concerned with finding a proper mate for the hapless Mym. As before, though, the liveliest part of the book is the author's note, a 30-page open letter to his fans in which Anthony feels free to be cantankerous, boastful, whimsical and self-revealing. Major ad/promo.(October 15)

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