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Wielding a Red Sword by Piers Anthony

Wielding a Red Sword

by Piers Anthony

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Incarnations of Immortality (4)

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*Book source ~ My home library

Mym is a Prince who stutters. Since he has an older brother who will inherit the throne he finally runs away to join a traveling circus. He starts out doing menial labor, but soon works up to being one of the main attractions as Mym the Mime. He and Orb Kaftan, the musician main attraction, fall in love, but just as they are happily making plans for their life the royal guards show up. They inform Mym his brother is dead and he is to inherit the throne. He promises Orb he will get things settled with his father and come back for her. But the Rajah has other plans for his son. Mym is stuck between his duty to his country and his love for Orb. What will he do?

Oh, boy. How utterly frustrating for Mym. First he deals with a severe stutter all his life and then he’s denied the woman he loves and a life he’s happy living. He’s forced into a marriage agreement he doesn’t want and then when the political winds change he’s forced on yet another woman. When the Red Sword comes to him giving him the option to become Mars, well, who can blame him for taking it? I wouldn’t. His dad should have just let him marry Orb. But in taking the sword his trials haven’t ended. Not by a long shot. Now, he has to stay a step ahead of Satan and as the newbie Incarnation he’s at a disadvantage as Satan is going to do what he can to get around Mym and fulfill his evil plans. Will Mym have what it takes to defeat the Father of Lies? All I’ll say is it’s an excellent journey and the final act is sheer brilliance. ( )
  AVoraciousReader | Mar 4, 2014 |
Mym becomes the god of War (Mars) and must struggle with Satan as all who step into their roles as immortals must to prove that they cannot be corrupted by Satan. Not my favorite in the series. ( )
  bookwormteri | Feb 14, 2014 |
La trama per certi versi mi è piaciuta, ma la vicenda è trattata in maniera troppo semplicistica: non sono un fanatico dello "show don't tell", ma Piers Anthony la fa un po' troppo breve in molte parti; l'ambientazione è un mix confuso e anacronistico di presente, passato e mitologia che stride con sé stesso; lo "scontro finale" è risolto sin troppo semplicemente.

A quattordici anni mi aveva preso, con l'età devo essere diventato più esigente. ( )
  Tonari | May 19, 2013 |
an interesting take on the necessity of violence/war. also on compromise and consequences. ( )
  librarydanielle | Apr 1, 2013 |
I only have a couple of the Incarnations of Immortality series, because it is a wildly uneven series as a whole (Anthony, predictably, can't write female protagonists worth a damn, and the one about Time is straight out of pulp space opera for no obvious reason) and this was #3 on my list of the three that I can stand.

It's kind of awful. But first, the good bits:

1. This book was totally the reason I bought a translation of The Book of Five Rings at age 12, and that is a profound and fascinating work that I still deeply value.

2. ...ummm. Apparently there is no 2.

As usual, the book opens with a lengthy analysis of how attractive the protagonist is to women of all kids. Verdict: irresistible. Nevertheless, he is only attracted to the pure and virginal woman, who promptly spreads her legs for him because he's so awesome. However, she turns out to be nothing more than a minor plot device and promptly disappears offscreen so she can be the longed-for Lost Love for a chapter or two, until...

Mym gets shipped off to the Honeymoon Castle at the behest of his father (who murders women callously to prove a point, namely, that women are worthless interchangeable tokens and the fact that Mym feels bad about this is Weak and Unmanly.) Now, the Honeymoon Castle is actually an interesting device - it's set up so that a) people residing there can hear each other's thoughts and b) they are forced to interact to eat, sleep, or bathe, presumably so proximity will make them fall in love. This of course leads to numerous descriptions of Mym's arranged bride's physical assets, and the various scary things that chase her into his arms whenever they try to rebel firmly establish that while she is intelligent, she is entirely spineless. This is held up as an ideal - in fact, it's why she's a better match than the Blessed Virgin in the opening sequence, because independence is a negative trait in a woman.

Look, it only goes downhill from there, and frankly I'm tired of responding to this appalling crap. On a Pale Horse at least had the redeeming aspect of some relatively serious thoughts about the nature of end-of-life care - this has some lukewarm apologia for War that it's clear the author himself doesn't even really believe. So there's no moral core, and the book is entirely about Mars finding a suitably tractable (and royal, don't forget for a second that he's a prince) mate AND concubine, because obviously his royal prerogative requires both. I'm not even going to get into the confusingly terrible characterization of modern-day India as Generic Fantasy Kingdom #248, Where Everyone Has Long Descriptors Instead of Names.

Skip it. Just... skip it. ( )
  JeremyPreacher | Mar 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Piers Anthonyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crisp, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It was a travelling show, the kind that drifted from village to village, performing for thrown rupees.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345322215, Mass Market Paperback)

Mym was a dutiful son, but rather than agree to his father's choice for his marriage, he took up the Red Sword, symbol of office of the Incarnation of War, in order to ameliorate some of the suffering caused by Earth's constant petty wars. But Mym discovered that Satan was waiting to trap him, and he must now take desperate measures to outwit the evil genius who aimed to destroy the world....

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:38 -0400)

Mym, an Indian prince in a land dominated totally by rajahs, assumes the role of War and, in his new incarnation, sets out to alleviate injustice and undermine the evil power of Satan.

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