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The River of Dancing Gods by [Chalker, Jack L.]
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Length: 243 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Product Description

Something strange happens to Joe and Marge on the way to El Paso. They run into Throckmorton P. Ruddygore, a strange wizard who informs them that they are going to die in nineteen minutes and eighteen seconds.

But they also have a choice. They can abandon the current world by taking a ferryboat across the Sea of Dreams to a new life in a new world, full of magic, fairies and wonder.

But along with all its wonders, the new world is also the site of an ancient battle still being fought between the forces of Evil and Good, and the forces of Hell threaten to unleash perpetual darkness.

Joe and Marge not only need their wits to survive in this unpredictable and dangerous world, but must somehow help prevent the oncoming Armageddon.

About the Author

"A Reader's Guide to Science Fiction" has praised Jack L. Chalker for his ." . . inexhaustible imaginative concepts," adding that he is very popular with the non-stop action SF readers," who, in Chalker's case, number in the hundreds of thousands. Author of numerous best-sellers, Chalker is a familiar figure at SF conventions, often as a guest speaker, frequently as toastmaster.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 810 KB
  • Print Length: 243 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Phoenix Pick (April 15 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #281,882 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars 18 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Judge A Book By It's Cover! Oct. 26 2012
By molokaigirl007 - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What can I say about The River of Dancing Gods? It's terrific, engaging, and timeless! Please don't let the cheesy cover fool you. The original cover was better! This book was first published in 1984 I believe, and I did not come across it until 1997 or so. I borrowed it from a friend (who is now my husband :)) and immediately fell in love with it. The genre falls into the Fantasy/Adventure category. In a way you can compare it to other great Fantasy/Adventures like Lord of the Rings and numerous others, meaning it has wars, faeries, magic, romance, etc. (But let's be honest, Lord of the Rings is in a league all of it's own.) Anyways, the humor in Dancing Gods is what sets it apart. Some of the humor is easy to catch, but some of it is so "behind the scenes" you might not catch it at first. I was just out of high school when I first read this book, and as I've gotten older and wiser to the world I find a lot of parallelles that I never picked up on before. And to FINALLY have Dancing Gods as an e-book?! YAY!!!! There are a total of five books in The Dancing Gods series. All of the books are great, but it's this book, The River of Dancing Gods, that will pull you in and make you a fan forever! So in closing, ignore the cover, grab this book, make a pot of coffee or hot chocolate and be transported to a world that is like ours in many ways, yet so different!

Below is a list of all the books in this series:

The Dancing Gods series

The River of Dancing Gods, Del Rey, 1984 (ISBN 0-345-30892-1)

Demons of the Dancing Gods, Del Rey, 1984 (ISBN 0-345-30893-X)

Vengeance of the Dancing Gods, Del Rey, July, 1985 (ISBN 0-345-31549-9)

Songs of the Dancing Gods, Del Rey, August, 1990 (ISBN 0-345-34799-4)

Horrors of the Dancing Gods, 1994 (ISBN 0-345-37692-7)

The Dancing Gods: Part One, Del Rey, November, 1995 (ISBN 0-345-40246-4). This is an omnibus volume containing The River of Dancing Gods and Demons of the Dancing Gods

The Dancing Gods II, Del Rey, September, 1996 (ISBN 0-345-40771-7). This is an omnibus volume containing Vengeance of the Dancing Gods and Songs of the Dancing Gods
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I've Loved this Book for almost 30 years now May 19 2012
By Geoffrey A. Snyder - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Its wonderful that Chalker's novels are coming out as ebooks and I was excited when I was the first book in this series has been released. I loved it as a teen when it first came out in 1984 and I still enjoy it today. It's a light read and more than just a little tongue in cheek. Some great fun is poked at traditional epic fantasy creatures and devices ranging from a magical sword named Irving to a wizard who looks like Santa Claus to Rules requiring beautiful women to be scantily clad in warm climates .... This is an extremely amusing book.

But, with all it's lightheartedness, this is an epic fantasy that is written by someone who loves the genre enough to tell a complex story set in a well built world. There is some grit to it and that's part of what makes it work. The good guys are just people with strengths and weaknesses and are not necessarily all bright and shiny, the bad guys are more than just pure evil constructs. People can die and horrible things can happen. It feels like its set in a real world where real things can happen.

Oh, and ignore the cover. This book is much better than the cover suggests.

This is good fantasy and the first book in a great series. I think you should just get it, read it and enjoy yourself.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy March 4 2013
By Jennifer Storm - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this eBook as I remembered reading this book and all of Jack Chalker's books when I was younger and felt they were fun books. I kept thinking about this great book and how fun it would be if it were made into a movie. Got this as a birthday gift for myself. As I now have a tablet wanted to try it out. I love it. Thank you.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For grown-up Piers Anthony fans Dec 3 2014
By David - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
A number of other reviewers have made the obvious comparison to Xanth, and they're right - this first book in a prolonged series reads very much like a slightly more mature Piers Anthony novel. But only slightly. The River of Dancing Gods is part traditional portal-epic fantasy, part satire of that genre. Chalker must have had a lot of fun writing this, but in his self-aware parody, he sometimes comes off as trying a little too hard to convince us it's all a joke. "See, the bit about beautiful women walking around half-naked, it's in the Rules!" Yeah, okay Jack, I get it, you're being totally subversive. Har har.

Marge and Joe, a trucker and a woman on the run, find themselves at a literal ferry crossing, where they meet an enormously-girthed wizard named Ruddygore who gives them the classic call to adventure, layered with a bit more metaphysics. Chalker builds his alternate world with a story about heaven and hell and how the magical fantasy world of Husaquahr was built as a sort of prototype for the "real" world, Earth. Ruddygore needs a couple of adventurers from Earth, for rather obscure reasons that aren't completely explained in this book, to help prevent the Dark Baron from conquering Husaquahr, which hell will then use as a beachhead from which to launch an invasion of Earth.

Upon crossing over, Joe becomes a brawny, iron-thewed barbarian warrior complete with a magic sword, and Marge becomes a half-naked elfin witch. The two of them go through a quick training period, then acquire a group of companions to accompany them on their quest, which involves a Circe-like sorceress who transforms men into animals, some battles with enemy soldiers in the mountains, a neurotic dragon, a genie in a magic lamp, and finally, a big staged battle between fantasy armies.

This is a classic, cliche-heavy epic fantasy, but the twist is that it's deliberately and intentionally so - when the angels created Husaquahr, they did so with a book of Rules concerning how magic and quests and everything else were supposed to work. Then a Council of wizards took over the job, and like all bureaucracies, has added to it over time until now the Rules are an immense library governing everything from genies to magic swords to barbarian heroes to the attire of beautiful young women. Each chapter begins with an excerpt from these Rules, so we are continually reminded that there's a reason for the cliches.

And here's how it ends:

He sighed. “Remember back at the start of this thing? Remember, Marge, when you labeled it the start of an epic?”
She chuckled. “Yes, I remember. I didn’t know how true that was when I joked about it.”
“You still don’t,” he told her. “The Books of Rules, Volume 16, page 103, section 12(d).”
“Yeah? So what’s that crazy set say about us?” Joe wanted to know.
“All epics must be at least trilogies,” Ruddygore replied, and laughed and laughed and laughed…

This book was fun, light reading, though were some passages where it felt like Chalker was just kind of filling space by telling us what happened between the scenes he really wanted to write. The worldbuilding hints at a bit more complexity than is immediately apparent, but nothing like his Well World or Quintara Marathon series. This is basically a book that's a product of its time, the 80s boom in epic fantasy of indifferent quality, and while Chalker is always an entertaining author, this series was probably not his best work. The first book was okay, but I'm not really motivated to read the rest.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable Aug. 29 2014
By Sodamoca - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I will admit upfront that four stars is probably a harsh review and would not be fair to most authors it is only fair because my respect for Mr. Chalker is so high. I have yet to read the other books in this series so my minor complaint may prove entirely unfounded but here it is: the barbarian hero was basically a wimp. He was undone by magic consistently had only one fight he came out of successfully without serious wounds and that was against hotel clerks. I was expecting Conan the barbarian and got Conan O'Brian. In personality and interaction he is probably still my favorite but I kind of hope he gets a bit more prowess as the series goes on. Again to keep this in perspective for most authors only one disappointment would be wonderful but after my love affair with the Well World Books I have high expectations from this excellent author.