- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books (Oct. 18 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312853920
- ISBN-13: 978-0312853921
- Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 17.1 x 23.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 635 g
- Average Customer Review: 22 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,551,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Roc And A Hard Place Hardcover – Oct 18 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
The 19th novel in this lighthearted series, popular for its puns and its innocent naughtiness, is again set in the fantasy land of Xanth (Demons Don't Dream ). Here, Anthony tells the story of the Demoness Metria and her other selves, the crazy D. Mentia and the waif Woe Betide, as they carry on a mission for the Good Magician Humfrey: Metria and company must assemble a court and jury to try Roxanne Roc, under unspecified charges from another magical Xanth bird, the Simurgh. On this loose structure are hung many outlandish characters, adventures, jokes and plays on words-such as the quarter horse that splits into four one-legged creatures, or the twins Ordinate and Abscissa, who can travel "by geometry." The mentions of Xanth's enforced "Adult Conspiracy to keep Interesting Things from Children," the youth of some of the characters and the euphemistic presentation of sex may appeal to younger readers. A concluding author's note adds a more somber touch, as Anthony explains how deceased friends and fans have made their way into his ever-evolving vision of Xanth.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
In the umpteenth installment of Anthony's Xanth series, the Demoness Metria has a problem that only the good magician Humfrey can help her solve. There is a price to pay, however--finding a jury to give Roxanne Roc, under indictment for some bizarre crimes (and under such dubious circumstances that even Metria doubts Roxanne's innocence), an impartial trial. It is getting hard to say anything new about the Xanth yarns, for Anthony is not really putting many surprises in them anymore. The series goes on as before, affording honorable light entertainment and no more, but never any less. Perhaps the most interesting feature of this book is Anthony's afterword, which takes up how he draws on events and people in Mundania (i.e., our world) to continually expand the cast and concepts of Xanth. Roland GreenSee all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
Review of Roc and a Hard Place
Roc and a Hard Place, by Piers Anthony, welcomes you to the magical land of
Xanth. In this Xanth adventure, the reader experiences the world through main character,
Demoness Metria. D. Metria, an extraordinary demoness, obtained half a soul, which she
achieved when she married a mortal. In order to conceive a child, she has summoned the
stork numerous times. The stork will not respond to her signals, because of a sin she
committed long ago. D. Metria goes on a quest to get the stork's attention. Along with
her comes her other personalities, Woe Betide, a small innocent girl, and D. Mentia, the
insane, soulless half of D. Metria. To find the answer to her problem, D. Metria must
travel the length and breadth of Xanth.
Piers Anthony has created a real world that everyone can love because of the
diversity of the characters and the different genres. D. Metria, in herself, is really three
characters: the very ordinary wife D. Metria, the sweet and innocent Woe Betide, and the
diabolically insane D. Mentia. At times, we fit into the roles of these personas. All the
characters represent us in small ways. It is easy for the reader to become any of these
characters. Over all there is one big genre, fantasy, but if you look deeper the reader can
see adventure, romance, action, and a little suspense.
Xanth is a land of beauty and color. Piers Anthony shows his readers a very real
world by using vivid details and real problems. With the greatest of ease, Piers Anthony
transports us to Xanth. In Xanth, the reader feels every thing the main character feels,
that is the power of great details. Problems such as discrimination are examined. Centaurs
discriminate against any centaur with a magic talent, because that makes them different.
Xanth has two trademarks, puns and making the impossible possible. The thing
that makes the Xanth series so entertaining is the huge array of puns. Puns in Xanth
actually grow on trees, such as the fruit flies which are fruit that fly around with their
wings. Names, things, and places are subject to being puns. D. Mentia and loan sharks
who are sharks that will give you anything but for the price of an arm and a leg are
examples of some of the puns. Puns make Xanth a light hearted comedy where the reader
just stops and laughs. Xanth is a land where everything can and does happen. One such
example is that Princess Ida has a planet revolving around her head. This planet contains
everything that has and will happen. This bombardment of oddities makes for a book that
never gets boring.
Piers Anthony has made Xanth a home for his readers. Every Xanth adventure
brings you home to see good friends and loved ones. The readers' friends age, marry, and
have, just like in the real world. Old problems get solved. Xanth gives its readers a
home that they really want to return to again and again. This adventure lets the reader see
the future of Grey Murphy, Princess Ivy, Prince D. Vore, and Princess Nada Naga. The
greatest thing is that none of the main characters really die they just fade away until they
are needed again.
Anthony's style does have its problems though. The onslaught of puns really
begins to get tiresome. In less than a page, there are about thirty puns. The puns should
be more stretched out and perhaps catch the reader by surprise. The whole story is
bursting with other smaller stories. After a while all these sub plots begin to get cluttered
and you can never keep the different plots straight.
In spite of the problems in this series, in the end the good out weighs the bad.
Xanth is a little known magical land that any reader can and will love. Xanth takes a little
time to drag a reader in, but the time is well spent. In a world as mundane as our, we are
lucky to have a great outlet into a land that makes us laugh and get scared, but always
leaves us happy at the end.