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A Spell for Chameleon [Turtleback]

Piers Anthony
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 1987 Xanth
Xanth was the enchanted land where magic ruled--where every citizen had a special spell only he could cast. That is, except for Bink of North Village. He was sure he possessed no magic, and knew that if he didn't find some soon, he would be exiled. According to the Good Magician Humpfrey, the charts said that Bink was as powerful as the King or even the Evil Magician Trent. Unfortunately, no one could determine its form. Meanwhile, Bink was in despair. If he didn't find his magic soon, he would be forced to leave....


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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Though already developing a successful career in SF with such heady novels as Chthon and Omnivore, Piers Anthony did not reach brand-name status until he cooked up some fantasy in 1977. And it was cheerful, humorous fantasy at that, as in his first Xanth series novel, A Spell for Chameleon. The book's young hero, Bink, is without magical powers in a world ruled entirely by magic. Worse still, if he doesn't discover his own magical talent soon, he will be forever banished from his homeland. Naturally, it takes an epic quest for Bink to learn what his unique talent truly is--and perhaps to win the girl of his dreams as well. A Spell for Chameleon was the very first of Anthony's bestselling (and still ongoing) humorous fantasy series. Noteworthy for their outrageous word puns and bizarre characters, the Xanth books are a light yet often satisfying brew, especially when compared with the author's sometimes nihilistic and ultraviolent hard SF. --Stanley Wiater --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars It's an ok book Jan. 31 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was ok. It so would have been better if he left out the nudity in it but besides that it has a good story line and good meaning too it. I won't be buying any of his other book though maybe checking them out at the library but definitely not buying them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun at Any Age Nov. 24 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I first read this book when I was 12 or 13. It was great. I recently have re-read it, at age 33, and it is still a good read. A Spell for Chameleon is one of Mr. Anthony's best books even after 20 years as a writer and well worth the read for anyone interesting in magic or fantasy.
In particular, the story centers on a young man named "Bink." In any other world, Bink would have it made. He is young, strong, a good fighter, and good looking. He has a beautiful girl and a good family.
Unfortunately, Bink lives in Xanth, a land of magic. In Xanth magic is so common that those without it seems strange. Indeed to be a human without magic, is to be a human who eventually will be expelled from Xanth. Bink does have magic, he just doesn't know what it is. As such, he is to be expelled from Xanth to a mundane world without magic.
In his adventures, he comes across a magician who controls the weather, another who can transform people to any creature at any time, and still another who is a master of illusions. He fights with dragons and giant worms, flees from hungry plants, and eventually comes entangled in a plot to overthown the current king. Along the way, he makes friends, falls in love, and, eventually, learns what his magic talent is.
A Spell for Chameleon is everything a fantasy book should be. It has adventure, romance, irony, and monsters. It is light hearted and a pleasant read. I enjoyed it very much and, if you like fantasy books, I think you will too.
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3.0 out of 5 stars good for the right demographic.... July 12 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
You tend to see polarized reactions to Xanth. People either love it, or hate it. I think thats because the Xanth series has a limited appeal (mainly to boys between the ages of 11 and 14).
You see, I have been in both positions. In my pre and early teens I read just about every Xanth book there was, by my late teens I wouldn't get near any of Anthony's work. At the grand old age of 22 I can look back and see why I enjoyed it when I enjoyed it.
Anthony does the entire sword and sorcery thing and adroitly mixes in lots of sexual tension and innuendo. The later is what makes it so appealing to teenage boys. Young guys swimming with hormones just eat it up. However, once you get out of the initial stages of adolesence, Xanth, with its puns and predictable plot line, becomes very boring.
You'll gobble this book up, as well as its subsequent sequels, if you're in the aforementioned demographic, but probably won't like it if you aren't (although I have talked to a few women in their 20's and early 30's who like it). When it comes down to it Xanth is like one of those teeny-bopper rock groups, you really dig it for a short time, and then throw it away with disgust.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!! I couldn't put it down! May 13 2004
By TonyM
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I just finished this book! It is soooo good! If you enjoy fantasy you'll love this book. It is full of action, suspense, magic, and mystery all rolled into one neat story!!!! I ASSURE you if you read this book, you will NOT be disapointed!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read! April 14 2004
By Vega
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Lately, have you run into any carnivorous Tangler trees? Haw about the gigantic, Roc bird, or a Manticore (shown on the cover of the book). Do you get your shoes of a ripe shoe tree. If so, you're living in Piers Anthony's magical land of Xanth!
Introducing the average, Earth dwelling human to this fantasy world could prove to be difficult. But Anthony mastered this with wit, extraordinary word choice, and well formed characters. He begins this mystical series with 'A Spell for Chameleon'. Bink of the North Village has no magic talent. Every citizen in Xanth is born with a talent, even if it's what is called "spot on the wall" magic; a useless talent. If a citizen of Xanth does not have apparent magic by age 25, they would be banished. All the kids in North Village taunted him about his seemingly lack of magic, they would laugh and call him the "Talentless Wonder", and harassed him with dim -witted logic and what Anthony calls 'garden variety' magic. They would never be further off in assuming Bink had no magic within him!
Bink, although he was a supposed talentless wonder, was no weakling, in intellect nor body. If the other children were to race him, Bink always won. Well he won according to "Mundane" (no magic) rules. But when magic interfered some cheap kid who could create an illusionary hole, or run through hills, generally won. Still , Bink grew p to be a fine mane, and held no hindrance to magic itself. In fact, Bink was quite curious about it. But curiosity does not help you find a magic talent, and in a couple of weeks Bink would be banished to Mundania, a world with no magic, otherwise known as "Earth".
Apparently having no magic in a magical land is bad enough, but there is more to it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The First Step to a Magical World Feb. 17 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have been always reading fantasy books such as Harry Potter for my entire life. But this book was extremely good, no other fantasy books can ever compare with this book! Just a few months ago, a friend of mine lent me this book to read over the winter, which a teacher introduced her to read. As usual, I took this book casually as though I read this many times and took it without notice. However, as I started reading, I was immediately emerging into the book. It did not seem like any other original fantasy as I have read before like Harry Potter; talking about magic and casting spells! This book, took me into magical worlds where I could never have imagined and the description makes me feel like I¡m watching the characters doing things first-hand.
There is one unique way in how Mr. Anthony writes, which I really admire. Each character he describes is really different from each other and unusual. I¡m using the word unusual is because one of the characters he described was known as a villain however this villain turned out not doing any villainous action. Basically, he misleaded us and surprised us!
In this book, each person/character obtains a skill, where each individual has his or her own magic. However, the main character Bink was forced to lead a magical journey and duels with the most evil wizard known in his magical world. If one likes to read books about magic, adventure, and fantasy this is a must read book!
Also, since I have started this fantasy, I have never stopped reading, up till now; I have read the first three series of Xanth (the name this magical world Bink and the other characters dwell in). I¡m going to continue and finish the rest of the series about Xanth since this book is really good!
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Xanth series 1-14 review... Entertaining quick reads
I passed by these books everytime I went to the book store. I didn't think I would enjoy these novels, they looked too childish. Read more
Published on Feb. 11 2004 by Christopher Nash
4.0 out of 5 stars xantherific
I would have given this work 5 stars if the main persons name was not Bink. That was hard to get passed. Besides that the rest of the book was wonderful. Read more
Published on Jan. 14 2004 by "joepaterno"
4.0 out of 5 stars Despite Bink's Sexist Attitude, I Enjoyed "Chameleon"
I read this ten years ago and with a rereading I still enjoy the characters and the introduction to the imaginative world of Xanth. Read more
Published on Dec 8 2003 by Andy Rector
5.0 out of 5 stars Love at first read
I am not a fantasy reader. I never have been, until I read this book. It seems to me that all of the other fantasy novels include such ridiculus names that you can't seem to... Read more
Published on Nov. 14 2003 by Tall Blonde Tara
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good book yet i find
I found this book to be very good and i was from then on very interested to read the rest of his series. Read more
Published on Sept. 15 2003 by Jeff
5.0 out of 5 stars ***FASCINATING***
I LOVE this book. I'm not a huge fan of science ficiton, fantasy or otherwise, but this book is absolutely enchanting. Read more
Published on Aug. 9 2003 by Autumn Weisweaver
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm finally interested in reading again!
After college, I lost interest in picking up a book and reading for pleasure -- most of the books I read had put me to sleep, and I always thought of reasons to put it off. Read more
Published on May 30 2003 by jif101
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild and Crazy
I couldn't decide whether to keep puzzling over this book or just laugh myself silly, its that good.
Young Bink is in trouble. Read more
Published on May 7 2003 by Severa
4.0 out of 5 stars a fun beginning
This is the book that first got me reading fantasy novels. I read this for the first time when I was in 8th grade, I believe (now 23 years old). Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2003 by Joe Sherry
5.0 out of 5 stars A good beginning.
This book is an excellent read, and is great way to introduce kids into the world of novels.
Published on Jan. 15 2003 by "sccflood"
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