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Two to the Fifth by Piers Anthony
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Two to the Fifth (2008)

by Piers Anthony

Series: Xanth (32)

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A wonderfun example of the wacky world of Xanth. Sure, it's cotton candy for the mind, but it always satisfies the desire for a light, fun read. ( )
  Jami_Leigh | Mar 31, 2013 |
Xanth #32: Two to the Fifth, by Piers Anthony

I've been reading a lot of Xanth novels lately, and "Two to the Fifth" is the only one I've really enjoyed after reading a few other lackluster installments in the fantasy series.

I do have one big complaint about this book, and that is Anthony violates his own "Adult Conspiracy" and has a 12 year old girl (Princess Rhythm) have a relationship with an adult male. The relationship isn't a little thing either; it's thrown in the reader's face quite often and is a big plot point. It irritated me somewhat, and I was sick of being reminded of their relationship over and over. Anthony seems to be turning into something of a pervert, and while it's a bit refreshing to have him move beyond the oppressive "Adult Conspiracy," doing it in this way wasn't the best.

Well, enough harping on that. Because once you get over that point, you'll be reading one of the better Xanth novels in recent years. Cyrus Cyborg goes to see the Good Magician and learns his life's desire - to be a playwright. His Service for the Answer is to rescue Xanth from the clutches of an evil roc who is intent on taking over the magic land. Cyrus and his troupe are the only ones who can defeat Ragna Roc.

A nicely large part of the book details the troupe's formation and evolution into a talented acting company. I really liked Anthony's take on writer's block - instead of keeping one from writing, in Xanth, one *needs* a writer's block, complete with a muse inside to inspire the writer. The plays Cyrus creates are fun as well.

All in all, a good Xanth book with just one big stumbling block, but at least Anthony does clean things up at the end. A little too neatly for real life, but then again, Xanth is a land of fantasy. And for once, there isn't an overabundance of puns, which was a real plus for me.

3/5. ( )
  5aweek | Feb 26, 2010 |
I have been reading Piers Anthony's Xanth series for years and have enjoyed them alot. For the most part I liked this addition to the series...a lot of puns and fun stuff going on. But the main characters relationship with a minor child rubbed me the wrong way...I would not recomend this book for a minor child...I am not even sure if I would have read it if I had known about this part of the storyline. ( )
  luvbug11 | Apr 25, 2009 |
Another fun frolick through Xanth, but one that will only be appreciated by true fans.

As has happened with so many of the more recent titles, the plot is fairly thin and the number of characters required to work through Anthony's PUNishment is almost distracting. (Although I really appreciate the lack of a comic-strip in this tale. That device was really wearing thin for me.)

It should be noted that the "Adult Conspiracy" takes quite a hit in this novel. Unlike the rest of the Xanth 'trilogy'I wouldn't recommend it for younger teens. Lots of highly suggestive circumstances, outright seduction scenes and more stork signaling than I think any other Xanth book contains.

That being said, loyal readers will happily gobble up this latest light read. ( )
  HockeyLibrarian | Oct 20, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765358948, Mass Market Paperback)

The future of Xanth is in frightful peril. A powerful magical bird named Ragna Roc has embarked on a campaign to become absolute ruler of that mystical realm. Those who swear loyalty to him are spared. The rest have simply disappeared.

So powerful are Ragna’s sorceries that even the Good Magician Humfrey dares not confront him directly. Instead he enlists Cyrus the Cyborg, a handsome half-human playwright with little knowledge of the world, in a stealthy subterfuge. Cyrus must assemble a troupe of traveling players to attract Ragna’s interest. And hidden in disguise among the bevy of beautiful young actresses are the young princesses, Melody, Harmony, and Rhythm, whose magics might just be a match for the evil bird.

But Ragna has planted a spy in the midst of the troupe, one who knows their deepest secrets, including the true nature of Cyrus’s forbidden love for one of the young princesses. Only a mysterious child called Kadence, and a cryptic clue — “Two to the Fifth" — may give the companions the edge they need to defeat Ragna’s dictatorial dreams.

Brimming with passion and merriment, drama and deception, Piers Anthony’s thirty-second Xanth fantasy is a pun-packed performance sure to provoke applause and ovations from the series’ myriad fans.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:47 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The future of Xanth is in frightful peril. A powerful magical bird named Ragna Roc has embarked on a campaign to become absolute ruler of that mystical realm. Those who swear loyalty to him are spared. The rest simply disappear, in Anthony's 32nd novel in the Xanth fantasy series.… (more)

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