Monday, January 28, 2013

Rereading A Spell For Chameleon by Piers Anthony (WITH SPOILERS)

A small lizard perched on a brown stone. Feeling threatened by the approach of human beings along the path, it metamorphosed into a stingray beetle, then into a stench-puffer, then into a fiery salamander.

A Spell For Chameleon is an amazing, and very original fantasy novel. It is set in Xanth, a land of magic, where every citizen has their own magic talent, and centaurs and dragons and other magical creatures abound. But Bink of North Village seemingly has no magic. Unless he gets some fast, he'll be exiled. He goes to the Good Magician Humfrey, who is convinced that Bink does have magic, powerful magic. As powerful as by the King or Humfrey, or even the Evil Magician Trent. But Humfrey is unable to discover it. That's almost worst than having no magic...having powerful magic, but still being exiled. When Bink sets out for Mundania (Earth), more adventures will befall him...

The first section of the book is devoted to Bink's adventures as he journeys to Humfrey's castle, the second to after he's exiled. The most interesting character is certainly Chameleon; she's so multifaceted (literally), and so beautiful and intelligent, at different times. I think this concept is so fascinating, and obviously so hard to wrap your head around because it could never happen in our world. My favorite of the three is probably Dee; she's fairly intelligent, and not ugly. Though I really like Fanchon too. I also love Trent the "evil" magician.

I give A Spell For Chameleon 5 stars, but one thing that annoyed me was, well, Bink himself. He's a bit sexist, and he's always objectifying women's bodies. It was really annoying; each new (pretty) female character is introduced with some description of her physique. I noticed it more this time around than when I read it two years ago. Apparently, there are over 20 books in the series, most of which are like that. And they also have really stupid puns. Even the titles: Crewel Lye: A Caustic Yarn, Heaven Cent, Faun and Games.

But all kidding aside (no, that's not a pun), A Spell For Chameleon is a really gripping book, just as good as Magic Kingdom For Sale- SOLD!, though both are excellent 1980s fantasy novels. They have interesting plots, and interesting creatures, objectification aside.

Read A Spell For Chameleon:
  • if you like fantasy
344 pages.
Outstanding Book That Will Stay On My Bookshelf For Rereading (jf I own it)!

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