on May 28, 2007
This series has its high and low points, though as a whole I've always really enjoyed it. This book however is likely the peak of this series. Just as readable as my other favorites in the series (On a Pale Horse in particular) without much of the moralizing we see in that book. While Piers had intended only to write 5 books, customer response prompted him to write two last books dealing with the "eternals" of his pantheon (god and satan of course), this portrayal of Satan, not as eternal adversary, but as a thoughtful man trying to do a difficult job is commendable. While for the rest of the series satan is portrayed as a self-interested monster of sorts (with the exception of the fifth book perhaps), in this novel we find a man put into an office which is as reviled and misunderstood as it is necessary, and actually working towards making a more effective means to organize souls. Definitely a highlight of the series, well recommended.
on October 21, 1997
For several years, I ate, drank, and breathed the Incarnations of Immortality series, much as I had previously done the same with Star Trek. I was 15. Even then, though, although I much loved the stories and especially the alternate reality portrayed in Incarnations of Immortality, I found certain aspects of Piers Anthony's storytelling to be, well, annoying. For Love of Evil even more so than most.
The target readers of all of Anthony's books seems to be pre-teens, or any others with an exceptionally short attention span. He feels the need to remind us of things that anybody with a halfway decent memory would remember without his prompting. This is especially true in For Love of Evil. For example, a key character in the novel is Nox, the Incarnation of Night. Anybody who has read the book hardly needs to be reminded that Nox is the Incarnation of Night, though, because in the course of this single book, Anthony finds it necessary to TELL us that Nox is the Incarnation of Night, "she who knows all secrets, and keeps most of them," at least SEVEN times. By the end of the book, we practically have her character description memorized. This is unnecessary. Worse, it's condescending. And it's what makes this story a 4, instead of, say, and 8.
on October 6, 1997
First of all, in reply to a comment before - if you did not read "Wielding a Red Sword" and "Being a Green Mother" it is hardly fair to comment on how good "For Love of Evil" is as this novel acts as an umbrella framework within which the previous five are slotted. Anthony's style, as usual, lefts a lot to be desired - but it is something you adapt to after awhile and, although somewhat explicit and left little to the imagination - it is a refreshing change from some other fantasy writers who can be so vague as to left the reader totally clueless to the plot. Having said that, I must say that "For Love of Evil" is my favourite in the series (yes, I've read "... And Eternity") and although the plot can be predictable (how could it not!!! This is a tie-the-previous-five-togther effort!) I found it a refreshing and different view at a very old character.
The novel was a good exploration of the devil and how he came to be - why would someone incessantly try to win a war against, well, God? Anthony did a good job here I think, to portray the Devil as a likable protagonist while not changing a lot of what he did - admittedly he acted to avoid the holocaust. What emerged was a very lonely man trying to do the most unappreciated job in history. After reading this book, I never thought of Satan in the same light ever again.
on February 23, 2001
I truely enjoyed this book. I actually read it when it first came out (circa 1989) and again now. Now I remember why I loved it so.
I would suggest reading 'On a Pale Horse' first (as an intro to the series and illustrates how Satan is a jerk to the other Incarnations), 'Wielding an Hourglass' as optional (well written and gives more depth to Satan's character), 'Being a Green Mother' (Did not truely enjoy this one until I got to the last 4 chapters. When taking in the context of a supporting book to 'For Love of Evil' it enhances that story well.), and 'Love of Evil' last (the best one). (I did not read 'And Eternity').
Pros: I enjoyed how Piers Anthony illustrated the humanity of Satan along with the reasoning and stuggles that comes with his role as Incarnation of Evil. Once you get past the first few chapters (slow story line) it just gets better from there. It really explains and ties togeather why Satan acted and did what he did in the previous books. It also ended in what could of been a extremely tragic and depressing ending on a high note. I put the book down after I've finished feeling good and that 'alls well that ends well'. I love how the main protaganist (hero of the story) was Satan.
Cons: If you haven't read the previous books (or at least the ones I suggested) you can feel cheated as the author just summarizes the plots of the grand schemes the hero (Satan!) goes through in the 2nd half of the story. Do yourself a favor and read the others. Makes this book so much better.
on October 2, 1997
I enjoyed the first two books of this series, in fact, I liked the first a lot. I didn't like the third, but a friend had given me this volume, so thinking it might be different as the "normal" Incarnations were over with, I decided to jump over the intervening novels and read FOR LOVE OF EVIL.
I wish I hadn't. Though it was better than WITH A TANGLED SKEIN, it was still bad. Anthony is probably the worst player at "show and tell" out there. You know, how an author is supposed to show, rather than tell? He writes as if his readers are idiots. I nearly lost it when Parry took a swipe at the succubus and his hand got caught in her crotch <!> He even has to tell us that it's "warm and furry." Pleeease.
I don't know if his writing style had deteriorated by this installment or I simply wasn't aware early on, but by now it had gotten exremely irritating. The study of evil is inept; I can only imagine what the next chapter (which apparently dealt with God) turned out like. Fortunately I'll never know. Avoid!
on February 7, 2000
I came across this book at my jr.high library by accident. We were supposed to pick a book out for a book report, and I was trying to pick up a book on the first shelf, because I didn't care which one it was. Lucky for me, the author of this book has a last name that begins with "A". If it hadn't I would've never seen it. I'd never heard of Piers Anthony, But into the first few pages of this book I just couldn't put it down! I was really amazed at the writing skills of this awesome author. Not only that, but this was exactly the kind of book I'd been looking for! I didn't do my book report on it, this was more for luv of reading than anything. But I was just so surprised. I'd never read a book like this before. At first it took me a while to understand the plot of the story, but I caught on. This is really a great book, and I'm reading the rest in the series. If you're looking for a book that combines the forces of good and evil, with a magical twist and eye-opening events, this is definetely the book you want to get!
on July 13, 2003
Of the seven books from Piers Anthony's Incarnation of Immortality series, For Love of Evil is better than all in the series with the exception of On a Pale Horse. Not to say that it is worse than On a Pale Horse but it is as least as good. For Love of Evil is a thought provoking and finely written piece of work for this genre. I do feel that some area of the book was left sketchy jumping years in advance leaving it up to the reader's imagination to fill the left out parts. But considering that Piers Anthony compacted 800 years into 383 pages it is understandable why some descriptive lead-ins were omitted. Piers Anthony was in top form when writing this installment. He is also an atheist, by his own admission, but has still used a very original view of how the age old deities conduct business.
Piers Anthony's synopsis of Satan, AKA Parry, in For Love of Evil, is not necessarily evil, only evil by the accepted norms of the current society when the office is taken. Parry believes there is much evil in humanity that is none of his doing, and that the persons doing these atrocities slip though the bureaucratic cracks and end up in heaven. By the same turn people are going to hell for reasons that he does not believe to be sound. Because of these beliefs he creates a heaven in hell for these people, and sets out to try and work out a new set of rules with his counterpart who apparently is not paying attention.
For Love of Evil has a storyline that could be read as a stand alone book and the reader would not loose any of the storyline not having read the other six books in the Incarnation of Immortality series. Sadly number seven, An Eternity, was a let down for a series of books that gave us an interesting idea, what if the immortals are just everyday Joe's.
on October 22, 2001
The sixth volume in Piers Anthony's "Incarnations of Immortality" series, "For Love of Evil" is the story of Satan. But this is not the biblical story of Lucifer's fall, as one might expect (although there are parallels to the fallen angel theme). In Anthony's magical alternate Earth, Satan is one of the seven Incarnations, offices which must be filled by mortals; and this story is of a man who was once filled with purity and goodness, and who became Satan.
The story begins in medieval France, where Parry, a young man and apprentice wizard, falls in love with the beautiful young woman Jolie. Though evil is rife in this dark age, Parry abjures it and devotes himself to helping his fellow humans and spreading goodness. Then Jolie is tragically killed, and Parry, swearing celibacy, joins the priesthood. Here the seeds of his downfall are sown as the demoness Lilith tempts him into evil with the delights of the flesh. For a man who was once pure of heart, Parry's corruption and subsequent descent into evil is appallingly rapid. At last, he has become sufficiently evil to qualify for the office of Satan- when it becomes vacant. His subsequent adventures prove that good and evil are not always as they seem.
"For Love of Evil" is not just a gripping story; it also reflects the author's philosophical musings on the nature of good and evil. This theme continues in the next and final volume of this series, "And Eternity". After reading this book, you won't want to miss it!
on March 16, 1998
I must say, I picked up this book first over the others. How intriguing!A book about Evil? The villain is the hero and being Bad is so good!I thought I would blow the other other books by reading this one first, but I truly discovered what a genius Piers was! The book not only tied the others together nicely, it gave us a sense of Evil. Didn't talk about powers of Evil? What more powers you need than Illusion! Deception, subtle sin! This is what Evil is, not the climatic battle the Bible talks about. If I were to make a movie out of these books - For Love of Evil would be the First one, then follow it up with And Eternity!!!Imagine the controversy it would brew!The Devils point of view - the ultimate downfall of human nature itself!Problably the onlything that did prevent a "10" as a few others commented was the repetiveness of certain phrases (Nox) , etc..
on May 4, 1999
The young sorcerer, Parry, lived with his adopted father (who taught him the ways of magic), and his love, Jolie. This was in the 13th century. A crusade swept the country of France, devastating it, and incidentally claiming Jolie's life. Thanatos came to claim her soul, but instead, he let her reside in a drop of blood on Parry's wrist. Parry soon became a Franciscan, than Dominican monk. He was guided by Jolie's ghost, whom no one else saw. Afterwards, he became an Inquisitor. Something unexpected happened. Parry was corrupted by a demoness sent by Lucifer, for foiling all of His plans. Parry was then enslaved by Lucifer, but eventually over threw Him. Parry then became Satan, the new Lord of Hell; the Incarnation of Evil.